Miris Trails – Sri Lanka Tours - FAQ
1) How is this tour different from any other tour?
To begin with, you’re not going to be packed in a charter bus or mini-van packed with other tourists, lurching through a guided tour with stops only allowed for toilet breaks and tourist traps.  On this tour, you (and your partner) will have your own chauffeur driven car and you are free to explore all that Sri Lanka has to offer.  The car and chauffeur are exclusively yours from the day that you arrive to the day you depart. 

2) How many people will be on this tour?
This is not a group tour and you will only meet the other couples on tour at the six cooking classes.  The rest of the time, you (and your partner) will be on your own.  You can catch-up with the others but you don’t have to.  In tourism industry terms, you’ll be a Free Independent Traveller (FIT).  Travelling independently makes a traveller out of a tourist.

3) I like cooking but I don’t want to go back to school… is the whole tour going to be packed with cooking lessons?
There are only six scheduled days where you will visit markets to pick fresh produce, meat and seafood and learn to cook typical Sri Lankan meals.   Some of Sri Lanka’s finest chefs will mentor you and help conjure up dishes typical of each region and the people who live there.  Cooking aside, these chefs will also share their knowledge of the rich cultural and historical influences that have helped shaped Sri Lankan cuisine.  At each lesson, you will have your own cooking station and you will also be given recipe sheets and briefing notes.  At the end of each lesson everybody sits down together to enjoy the meal that was prepared. 

4) I like to cook but does my partner also have to attend the lesson? 
No worries. If your partner isn't interested in cooking, the car and chauffeur will be available to take your partner wherever he or she wants to go (shopping, golf, nature trails, pub crawl, etc.).  

5) Are there any other activities planned?
No.  As per the tour outline, there are plenty of other activities that have been suggested at each stop but you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.  Each cooking lesson is followed by a day left open for you to do what you want to do.  Depending on the location, some of the options include; lounging by the pool, golf, whale watching, an elephant safari, a trek through the hills, shopping or curling up in bed with a book. 

6) How much does it cost?
$5500 per person (Based on Twin Share, Excluding Airfares).  Early Bird Special of $5000 pp if booked before 15th Dec 2013.  To book, please contact Sonali on +61432689804.

7) I don’t have a partner and I want to do this tour by myself. Will it cost me more?
If you’re travelling as a single and you want your own room, there is an additional cost known as a Single Supplement.  There is also an additional cost if you also want your own car and you don’t want to share a car with another person.  Please contact Sonali on 0432689804 to get a quote.

8) What is included in the cost?
- Accommodation at some Sri Lanka’s finest hotels
- Private air-conditioned car and an English speaking chauffeur-guide for the duration of the trip (all scheduled travel from Day 1 to Day 14, including airport transfers) 
- Local government taxes & service charges 
- A grand breakfast everyday and the meals prepared at each cooking lesson – As specified above 
- Preparation for cooking demonstrations at each hotel including shopping allowance for the requisite produce, meat and seafood
- Cooking stations at each venue (no, you don’t have to do the washing up afterwards)
- Entrance fees to UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Dambulla Cave Temple)  

9) What is not-included?
- Visas (please visit www.eta.gov.lk for visa requirements) 
- Vaccines (please consult your doctor)
- Insurance 
- Optional tours and activities 
- Airport taxes 
- Camera & Video permits at Cultural sights 
- All expenses of personal nature 
- Tips and portage 
- All entrance fees not specified above – including access to golf courses, cultural shows and other tourist attractions 
- Optional excursions 
- Travel costs for extra travel (wildlife safaris, shopping excursions, etc. @ US$ 0.30 per Km)

10) When do I have to book?
ASAP! Bookings are taken on a first come, first served basis.  A deposit, per person, of 30% of the tour cost is required to secure the booking and the final payment is due no later than 31st January 2013.  Accommodation has been reserved for 16 to 20 persons (typically, 8 to 10 couples) and the cooking lessons are restricted to 10 cooking stations so that you have personalised attention from the chefs – true value for money.

11) Will I get a record of my trip? Will you be taking photographs and video of the cooking lessons?
Yes you will get a record of your culinary adventures on DVD and a USB.  The rest of the tour is up to you to document.

12) Can I use my mobile phone in Sri Lanka? 
Your mobile provider can answer that question but International Roaming is usually expensive.  Sri Lanka, however, has first class mobile communications infrastructure and has extremely cheap rates to Australia, North America and Europe.   The best option would be to get a local sim on arrival, from one of the many mobile phone companies who have a presence at the airport.  It’ll be cheaper for you to call the kids than for the kids to call you.

13) What about Internet connectivity in Sri Lanka?
Wired and/or wireless Internet connectivity is readily available if you wish to Skype, check your emails or surf the web.
14) What about airfares to and from Sri Lanka?
As a Free Independent Traveller (FIT), you are free to book your own flights to the country.  Please contact Miris Trails to get a list of travel agents who provide competitive rates for travel to Sri Lanka (currently quoted fares from Melbourne to Colombo on Singapore Airlines start at $1170).  You can confirm your travel cost by contacting the travel agent directly.

15) Do you have any other terms and conditions that I should know of?
Yes.  Download PDF below.

16) I’m excited and want to make a booking.  How I do that?
Click here to fill out a simple form and we will contact you within 24 hours to start the process.
Sonali Peiris,
Apr 14, 2013, 3:24 PM