- Public transport is seamless, cheap and good fun. From Kandy to Anuradhapura the 'fancier' a/c bus goes every half hour until 4.30 and took three hours. We paid 360 Rs each and bought an extra seat for our packs (now known as the clergy). From Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa we caught the regular bus (the only option), it runs approximately every half hour till 4.30 p.m. and took 2.5 hours. We paid 153 Rs each and were able to stash our packs under the backseat. Polonnaruwa to Sigiriya we had to take the bus to Inamula Junction, it ran so regularly no one seemed to bothered by the timetable, we narrowly missed one bus pulling out as we arrived at the bus station, but were driving out on the next one in under 10 minutes. The journey took just under two hours. We paid 100 Rs each and this time our bags went in the under bus storage. From the junction we caught a tuk tuk about 15-20 minutes for 500 Rs.
- The entry fees to the sites are steep by Sri Lankan standards and sent us well over our budget every day. If your shoestring won't handle this kind of stretching, I would skip Anuradhapura.
- Bikes are a great way to get around. We rented ours from our guesthouses for 250 - 400 Rs. Don't expect anything fancy. My bike in Anuradhapura was held together with wire, but it did the job. The ancient cities are separate from the main towns so there isn't a lot of traffic to contend with.
- It is hot. Although we set out early each day we were still wandering around the ruins by early afternoon. Dragging ourselves around in the mid-day heat made the last few sites more of an endurance test than an adventure. I'm not sure how you avoid this without going for the more expensive tuk tuk or car and driver options. Just take lots of water.
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