Tuk Tuk Drivers in Sri Lanka

You’ve got to be a bit careful with the tuk tuk drivers in Sri Lanka. Well, you’ve got to be a bit careful with tuk tuk drivers anywhere, I suppose.

In Sri Lanka though the tuk tuk drivers have earned themselves a reputation of being crooks and for swindling tourists. But as long as you’re a bit savvy you can easily avoid problems.

All you have to do really is be very clear about where you are going and agree the price before you get in.

tuk tuk drivers in sri lanka

Tuk tuk-ing near Adam’s Peak

During my backpacking trip in Sri Lanka, I was in and out of tuk tuks more than anywhere else I’ve travelled. In many places I had a regular driver who I’d call when I wanted to go somewhere.

The main reason for this is because it’s easy to negotiate a good price for a second or third trip when you are already in the tuk tuk chatting. For example, if you meet a tuk tuk driver at the station and he takes you to your accommodation, during that ride the he is going to be chatting to you about what you can do during your stay and where he can take you.

So what I always did was find out how much it was going to cost to go to a place I was interested in, take his phone number and then give him a call to have him pick me up for the price agreed.

You’re likely to get a better price if you are going to use him several times during your stay. Plus, getting his phone number means that you don’t have to commit to anything there and then; you can be more flexible.

Lipton's Seat

Tuk tuk-ing at Lipton’s Seat

Here is a list of tuk tuk drivers that I used throughout my stay in Sri Lanka, along with their phone number so you don’t have to find a reliable driver yourself:

Colombo

Firdouse (94) 77 6317073

Firdouse isn’t exactly a tuk tuk driver though he does have a tuk tuk. Actually, I think he has two. Firdouse is the person whose house we stayed at on our first night in Colombo. He came to the airport to pick us up and also took us to Fort Station the next day.

Read more about Firdouse here.

Habarana

Indika (94) 77 6225194

We met Indika when we arrived in Habarana by train. He was waiting at the station and took us into town. It was Indika that took us to Thuruliya Guest House and recommended it as a place to stay.

Indika took us to Sigiriya from Habarana and wanted to take us to Polonnaruwa, Dambulla and all over the place. He was disappointed that we always wanted to take the bus. He was a nice guy and was always on time. We bumped into him constantly in Habarana.

Kandy

Anas (94) 77 1828555

Anas was a nice enough guy and really wanted to take us to the Buddha on the hill and the botanical gardens but we weren’t in Kandy for long and just stayed in the city.

Anas was the tuk tuk driver with the black market train tickets. Careful with this one!

Tangalle

Dilantha (94) 71 1685594

When Dilantha approached us getting off the bus at Tangalle Bus Station I though he was just a kid who wanted to chat. Turned out he was a tuk tuk driver looking for business.

He was the driver that we used most and he was very reliable and polite. He took us to our original accommodation though he wanted to recommend us somewhere else. When we called him to move us to somewhere else, he was delighted to find out that we were moving to Coppenrath, the guest house that he was planning to recommend us in the first place. He and the owner from Coppenrath had been in the same class at school and always made a point of recommending each others’ services.

Dilantha took us for a half day tour to Dikwela and Goyambokka and was really helpful with entrance tickets and which way to go and things. His prices were very reasonable.

Mirissa

We only used this driver once and I’m afraid I’ve forgotten his name, but he was a nice lad and his number is: (94) 78 7259881. His English was very good and he chatted to us at Mirissa Beach one night. We called him to take us to Unawatuna as we’d decided to go by tuk tuk so we could make stops along the way and take photos.

I hope this information helps if you are tuk-tuking in Sri Lanka. After all, it’s always nice to support the friendly locals, isn’t it?

Filed Under: asiafeaturedSri Lanka

About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....

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