volunteers' Bus Advice

 

Fig and Gecko guests joining us by bus from Arugam Bay / Pollonaruwa / Trincomalee/ Dambulla / some Kandy and Kurunegalla routes entering Anuradhapura from the west via Mihintalle Road,

alight at Mahinda School (ask the conductor - Mahinda school / scholay ./ college.

Across the road, going back the way you came, you will see a large white sign with our logos on, and directions. You have a 3 minute walk from the bus stop.

If you miss the Mahinda School stop, the next stop,, a 100 yards on, is Jaffna Junction, so get off there and walk back the way you came, or get a tuk tuk at the roundabout. It should cost no more than 100 RS

Busses criss-cross the country, and run 24 hours. There are private buses, usually white and blue, and the older government buses, which are red. You can get private A/C buses too. Costs are minimal, even for the A/C bus, being approximately LKR 15 / £0.09 for routes within a town such as Anuradhapura, and LKR 35 / £0.30 to go 15 Kms. Longer journeys, such as from Anuradhapura to Colombo, which take about 5 hours plus, cost in the region of LKR 350-400 / £2. The A/C buses will cost more.

With some planning, you can get from A-B, and if you are travelling the length of the country, you can take over 12 hours.

Public transport can be packed particularly on Friday and Sunday nights, Monday mornings, and at the end of school - 13:30, as well as before, on, and after poya days, So plan your journey, and if you want to travel by bus, travel light.

You can travel the same day to the airport, but our advice is to leave earlier than you need to. (this applies to trains as well) Usually, the journey goes without hitch, but if the driver hits a vehicle, which has happened, even with minor damage, you may have to alight and await the next bus, which could delay you  by at least an hour - or more if the following bus is packed.


 
The # 04 bus to Negombo, junction 18 for the airport, and Colombo Fort. 

The # 04 bus to Negombo, junction 18 for the airport, and Colombo Fort. 

The bus stop going north at junction 18, at Katunayake

The bus stop going north at junction 18, at Katunayake

Bandaranaike Airport (CMB) to Anuradhapura

Journey length: approx 4 - 5 1/2 hours

Leaving the airport, take a taxi (expect to pay approx LKR 100 - 500) or a tuk tuk to Junction 18, of the Colombo Negombo Main Road, or walk the 2Km there. Turning right, out of the airport. You can catch a bus from outside the airport to Jctn 18, but I can't tell you the times. Cost of the bus to Jctn 18 from CMB, approx LKR 12.).

At junction 18 turn right - going north - under a flyover. Walk / go  approximately 100 yards past the flyover and you will see a green bus shelter, which is opposite an eating place, with a rectangular white sign about 50 foot in the air, on which are the words RANKA FOOD (see photo)..   

Here you can catch the # 87 (destination Jaffna) or a # 4 (destination Mannar) to Anuradhapura. cost, approx LKR 400 (£2). There are other # 4s too (it's confusing) which go up the coast road too, but not as far as Anuradhapura.  If the conductor says no, when you say 'Anuradhapura?' even though the bus is a # 04, then wait for the next # 04.

Both the # 4 and # 87 will drop you at Jaffna Junction, which is a 5 minute walk for our hostel.

Or get a tuk tuk to our Fig and Gecko Hostel from the roundabout.

Anuradhapura to Bandaranaike Airport (CMB)

You can travel the same day to the airport, but leave earlier than you need to (this applies equally to trains). Usually, the journey goes without hitch, but if the driver hits a vehicle, which has happened, even with minor damage, you may have to alight and await the next bus, which could delay you  by at least an hour - or more if the following bus is packed.

Journey length: approx 4 - 5 1/2 hours

Go to the Old/Long Service (long distance) bus stand/station next to the petrol; shed/station, From here you can catch a# 4 which originates inside the bus station, or a # 87, which stops outside on the road, briefly. Both busses drop you at Junction 18.

Bus #4 Departure times from A'pura  Long Service Old Bus Stand

08: 15 /  09:15 / 10:10 / 11:15 / 12:15 / 13:15 / 14:00 / 14:30 / 15:00 / 15:45(RS 350 / 400)

After 6pm, the # 4 starts from the old market, leaving there at 6:15, We can explain when you get here.

Bus # 87


Anuradhapura to Arugam Bay

Journey length: approx 9 hours

Your journey begins 100 yards from the Fig and Gecko on the #75 bus to Pollonaruwa, which arrives at approx 05:25.

You'll arrive at the Pollonaruwa Bus Stand at approx 07:45, and then you need to get the #48 to Kalmunai, which leaves at 08:25, and arrives at Kalmunai around noon.

At 12:30, you leave on the bus to Pottuvil (# unknown), arriving there at about 14:00

Check the times of the return bus with the inspector's office before leaving the bus stand.

From there you get a tuk tuk to Arugam Bay (cost approx LKR 200)  

Arugam Bay to Anuradahapura

Journey length: approx 9 hours

Reverse the journey. You could catch a bus from Pottuvil at about 09:00 ish.


Anuradhapura to Habarana (for the afternoon elephant safari)

Journey length: allow 2 hours

Catch the bus to Pollonnaruwa 100 yards from the Fig and Gecko, which will take you to Habarana.

A bus arrives  at 11:20, a Red SLTB bus, to Pollonaruwa

A white private bus arrives at 11:30 -40. to Pollonaruwa

There is a bus to Dambulla at 11:15 from the same stop, from where you can get a connecting bus to Habarana / Pollonaruwa / Trincomalee / Kandy / Colombo. 

Regular buses from this stop take you to Kandy via Dambulla.

At the bus stop by the petrol shed, in Harbarana, you will see safari jeeps. You will need to be there - depending upon where the elephants are - at 13:30, (October - August ish) 14:30, (July ish) or 15:30 (June ish)Habarana to Anuardhapura

Journey length: allow 2 hours plus

after 18:00, you will need to make your way by bus to Dambulla, as there are fewer buses to Anuradhapura in the evening from Habarana. Then by bus from Dambulla to Anuradhapura

At times, the safari guide may drop you in Pollonnaruwa, depending on where he is heading home, where you can catch a bus to Anuradhapura.


Anuradhpaura to Trincomalee

Go out of the Fig and Gecko to the main road, and turn right. 100yds down the road is a bus stand. 05:30, 08:30, and 11:30 a bus goes direct to Trincomalee.

At other times catch the bus to Horowputhana (every 30 minutes?), and on arrival, get on the Trincomalee bus 200 metres down the road.

You can catch a bus at the same bus stand to Dambulla (to Kandy), or Habarana (to Pollonaruwa), and then catch a bus to Trincomalee from either place.