Suresh Bandara is a great tour leader. He went beyond the call of duty several times to ensure comfort and well-being to the tour members from arranging a quick neck massage before departure to tracking down some aloe vera cream (and actual plant leaves!) at 8pm for a sunburn. He works very hard to make sure the tour members are having a great time and he provides excellent information. He is very open to answering questions about Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans and he's inquisitive about our home countries and customs as well. He's always trying to learn new English phrases he can use with future groups. Every day he made sure my husband and I had either a "king's bed" or two twins pushed together. That really meant a lot to us.
The only point I would like to see more of is a better idea of the day's itinerary when we meet for breakfast. With the Trip Notes I knew where we were going, but I wasn't sure of the timing. Would we get to the hotel in the early afternoon? Have the activity before or after lunch? How long (approximately time and distance) would we travel that day? I know I am more interested in time than many people on holiday, but I like to have a good understanding of the process. A simple "Today we drive approximately 30 minutes to this temple then drive 1 hour to the hotel. We'll check in and have time for lunch and a swim before we meet again at 3pm for the afternoon activity" would be helpful for me.
I loved the day's "topics" and personal details Suresh shared with us. He is a wonderful guide with great enthusiasm for welcoming and sharing his country with visitors. He has a big heart and his laugh makes everyone laugh with him because he's so happy. He is very generous and gving of more than his time.
"Dinner?" (Wobble-wobble) Ha ha!
For women bring a combination of shorts and capri pants. Trousers were only needed at Nuwara Eliya and when hiking out to World's End (we didn't have Adam's Peak on this itinerary). No shorts or tank tops at temples, but the rest of the time shorts and capris or longish skirt are fine.
For swimming in the river at Kithugala: local women don't wear swimming costumes. They swim in shorts and t-shirts. If you don't want stares from local men, dress modestly. The local guys think it's OK and flattering to say, "Hey, Hottie!" and whistle. On the rafting trip you'll have the chance to jump out and swim in the river. Dress accordingly.
At the Hill Club Dining Room: No clothes to lend for women-we just need to be dressed "suitably enough" to accompany the men. For men: they have jackets, ties and shoes to lend, but no collared shirts or trousers. Make sure you have the appropriate collared shirt and trousers wtih you and you can borrow the rest. National dress ok for both men and women. No sandals or trainers on men. If you're not dressed suitably, you'll have to eat in the casual dining room.
On the safari in Yala NP: bring a bandana or something to cover your face while driving down the dusty roads or you'll be coughing out orange dust after! Also bring a plenty of sunscreen-you'll need it. A 1L refillable water bottle is also helpful.