Specialists
Reviews for Experiential Journeys

Experiential Journeys

It’s all about what you will be doing. We take pride in offering the exclusive and unique experiences going beyond just the tourist highlights. We believe that no two persons on this earth could be the same, so therefore no holiday created should be the same too. With our unparalleled access to all the hidden corners, we don't merely create holidays, we design experiences that money can’t buy.

Featured trips & expertise

Udawalawe National Park
Highlights of Sri Lanka - 12 Days

Known as the "Jewel of the Indian Ocean," Sri Lanka is famed for its centuries of history and exotic tropical wildlife. Explore the island's top destinations through this introductory tour that will satisfy both nature lovers and cultural enthusiasts alike.

Ancient City of Polonnaruwa
Cultural Triangle and the East Coast of Sri Lanka - 13 Days

From UNESCO World Heritage Sites to tucked-away temples to bustling cities, this tour has a little something for every type of traveler. Spend your days exploring lively cities like Kandy and Negombo, snorkeling colorful reefs at Pasikudah, and wandering through ancient ruins in places like Polonnaruwa for a diverse experience in this beautiful, culturally rich country.

A leopard in Yala National Park
Best of Sri Lanka's Wildlife - 7 Days

This seven-day Sri Lankan tour winds its way through three national parks full of wildlife and a coastline with the longest whale season in the world. Keep your camera and binoculars at the ready. Here you're likely to see sloth bears, elephants, leopards, flamingos, whales, and dolphins aplenty.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Best of Sri Lanka - 6 Days

From sacred Buddhist temples to rugged mountains, this six-day tour will take you through the best that Sri Lanka has to offer. Split your time between historic cities, ancient stone fortresses, and the Sri Lankan Highlands as you soak up the history, culture, and landscapes of this unique country.

Ancient City of Polonnaruwa
Ancient History and Pristine Beaches in Sri Lanka - 16 Days

Discover the best Sri Lanka has to offer, from pristine beaches to Buddhist temples. This extensive tour takes you across the island's eastern coast and inner highlands, where will encounter three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and countless natural and man-made wonders.

Lion Rock Fort at Sigiriya
Authentic Encounters & Adventures in Sri Lanka: 14 Days

This epic 14-day Sri Lanka adventure begins at the coast, heads through the central highlands before looping back to Colombo. In between, you'll explore some of Sri Lanka's best sights, including ancient hilltop forts, wildlife-filled nature reserves and gorgeous beaches. Sri Lanka's unique Buddhist culture and hospitality will be on display as you round every corner of the country.

Recent Trip Reviews for Experiential Journeys

Sri lanka trip, Sri Lanka - Sep 3 - Sep 11, 2018

Traveler: Megan M. - Local specialist: Sandun Jayasundara

A large part of our trip was really great. We very much enjoyed the ancient sites and safaris. The Ecolodge and hiking in the rainforest were both incredible experiences. We did have a couple things we were quite frustrated with:

Our driver for the most part was good- he got us to where we needed to go safely. I left my wallet at a hotel in a previous city and he arranged to get it back for me which was incredibly helpful. However, he kept bringing us to these terrible tourist traps where he... read more

A large part of our trip was really great. We very much enjoyed the ancient sites and safaris. The Ecolodge and hiking in the rainforest were both incredible experiences. We did have a couple things we were quite frustrated with:

Our driver for the most part was good- he got us to where we needed to go safely. I left my wallet at a hotel in a previous city and he arranged to get it back for me which was incredibly helpful. However, he kept bringing us to these terrible tourist traps where he would get a commission if we bought something. Everything at these places was very overpriced. We wanted to get a carved elephant to bring home with us and he kept refusing to bring us to other places telling us he knew of a better place in Kandy. When we got to the shop we realized it was a scam (with terrible reviews online) and that everything was outrageously priced. He also brought us to places for lunch that would feed him for free for bringing us in. It would have be okay except a few of the places were dirty with bad food and 2-3 times more expensive than normal local places.

We also had an absolutely terrible night at one of the hotels. The hotel was outdated and very dirty. There were stains on our pillows and curtains, hairs in the bed that weren't ours and a dead lizard. We asked hotel to fix this and when we returned to our hotel room the same stained pillows were put back on our bed and the lizard was placed on our table. We have never been treated this way and thought our requests were not at all unreasonable but the staff seemed to be offended at our request? So they left a dead animal on our table. I have been in contact with Sandun about this for the last month and he kept saying he would follow up with the hotel (I was under the impression that we might get a refund or something) but I haven't heard anything which is further frustrating.

Sri lanka, Sri Lanka - Sep 21 - Oct 6, 2018

Traveler: Miranda H. - Local specialist: Sandun Jayasundara

Our driver Thasim was exceptional - made an effort to accommodate our requests and suggested other activities we may have been interested in. Went over and above any expectations we could have possibly wished for.
So many great experiences during our trip!

Sandun Jayasundara, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Miranda,
Many thanks for the review. I am thrilled to hear you had so many great experiences in Sri Lanka. Wish you the best on your future trips!
Best Regards,
Sandun.

Sri lanka from north to south, Sri Lanka - Aug 1 - Aug 23, 2018

Traveler: Marie D. - Local specialist: Sandun Jayasundara

We were particularly happy with our driver, Sandalal. Our 23-day tour from north to south covered a range of cultural, religious, archeological and natural sites and with Sandalal’s knowledge of his country we were able to visit even more than was outlined in the itinerary. Sri Lanka is a truly wonderful experience. Its people and their delicious food enhanced our three weeks even further.

Sandun Jayasundara, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Marie, Thank you for your valued review. wish you the best on your future trips!
Best Regards,
Sandun.

Akl adventurers, Sri Lanka - Aug 19 - Aug 29, 2018

Traveler: Vicky V. - Local specialist: Sandun Jayasundara

Chaminda was our excellent Tour Guide with Atullah the Coach Driver & Sushi the Luggage/spare driver assistant. They were a top team that just got better & better every day of our intensive tour. Chaminda in particular led the way with a passion for everything about Sri Lanka. His knowledge was v wide & informative & could answer any query !! He couldn't do enough for us often going to a lot of trouble to make sure stays at hotels etc were the best they could be. All of us will recommend him... read more

Chaminda was our excellent Tour Guide with Atullah the Coach Driver & Sushi the Luggage/spare driver assistant. They were a top team that just got better & better every day of our intensive tour. Chaminda in particular led the way with a passion for everything about Sri Lanka. His knowledge was v wide & informative & could answer any query !! He couldn't do enough for us often going to a lot of trouble to make sure stays at hotels etc were the best they could be. All of us will recommend him to anyone we know who'll visit Sri Lanka in the future as we'll be confident they'll be so well looked after by Chaminda.
Brief precis of highlights; Galle Fort & history that set the scene for understanding recent Sri Lankan settlement history. Then because a couple of us had heard about Horseshoe Bay on the way to Yalla Nat Park, the Coach stopped there for a couple of hours. Stunning surf/beach setting.........just idyllic & one of us surfed & another swam out to enjoy a beaut swim. We all liked Ella v much + trek up Little Adams Peak. After that, a short walk to nine arches railway bridge was stunning where we watched train go over. V nice stay at Mountain Heaven too. Sigiriya Rock an outstanding visit. Spent a while there & at the summit. Afterwards a lunch put on by Villagers near a lake in their humble place was a real highlight. At least 8 ethnic dishes cooked over open fire & mostly prepared in front of us, that were delicious.........all of us declared best Sri Lankan meal by far !! Dambulla was good with the Cave Temples. While in Kandy went to an excellent Cultural show in a local hall prior to the Perahara Festival that night. Visit to the Tooth Relic Temple as well as watching all the elephants in the surrounds was great. Visit to Polonnaruwa was good even though v v hot !! Chaminda knew the history so well. We wanted to go to the Pilliwarra Elephant orphanage as a side trip & what a terrific occasion that was !! 3 of us drew tickets to bottle feed elephants, watched up to 40 elephants in river, then they all walked freely right past us in the access lane back to enclosures. Breathtaking !! Finally a drive around Colombo at finish excellent with a stay at Mandarina just beaut.....................best pool ever too on rooftop !!

Sandun Jayasundara, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Vicky,
I am really thrilled to hear about all the new experiences you had in Sri Lanka. Chaminda also really enjoyed his time with you and fellow travel companions. I wish you the best on your future trips!
Best Regards,
Sandun.

A relaxed pace through cultural triangle, Sri Lanka - Aug 5 - Aug 14, 2018

Traveler: Linda H. - Local specialist: Sandun Jayasundara

My trip to Sri Lanka was a true pleasure. I wish to thank my guide, Mark, for his expert care. I felt at ease and well cared for throughout my 10 day stay.

I can't say which region was my favorite to be honest. I traveled in the North and through the cultural triangle. I loved all of it but ,Jaffna, perhaps, stole my heart. I think, because of how much the people have had to endure and have come so far in rebuilding life there.

The beauty of the island is truly amazing. I was greeted so warmly by the people there and I met some forever true friends. Lovely. Thank you.

Sandun Jayasundara, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Linda, Many thanks for your kind review. I am really thrilled to hear that you had a great time in Sri Lanka. It was really great to talk to you and knowing you were enjoying the tour to the fullest. I wish you the best on your future trips!
Best Regards,
Sandun.

Robyn

History tour wanted please, Sri Lanka - Jul 17 - Jul 20, 2018

Traveler: Robyn M. - Local specialist: Sajith Kularathna

Sajith was great with organising our Sri Lanka trip, his attention to detail was very high. Although we didn't end up going on our trip we would highly recommend using Sajith for organising a trip.

Sajith Kularathna, local specialist, responded to this review:

Many thanks for posting the nicest review! Furthermore, thank you very much for reviewing me. It was my pleasure to help you in planning your trip. Unfortunately, we couldn’t deliver you the services as you were not feeling well to travel to Sri Lanka. Hopefully, in the future, you will travel again to Sri Lanka and contact me as your local travel specialist. I want to thank you once and again and enjoy your next travel with kimkim. I wish you all the best!

High lights of sri lanka, Sri Lanka - Jul 20 - Jul 26, 2018

Traveler: Dennis R. - Local specialist: Sandun Jayasundara

La was a very attentive guide and good driver. He ensured that we understood the schedule on a day to day basis to enable a smooth routine.
Our schedule was interesting with a good variety of sightseeing and physical activity.

Sandun Jayasundara, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Dennis,
I am really glad that you have enjoyed the variety of sightseeing and also the amazing trek with good physical activity. I wish you the best on your future trips!
Best Regards,
Sandun.

5 days sri lanka, Sri Lanka - Jul 3 - Jul 7, 2018

Traveler: Peter P. - Local specialist: Sajith Kularathna

We had a fantastic time during our time in Sri Lanka. Nuwan was an excellent tour guide. We did a five day tour and enjoyed the sights of Sigirya and Kandy and surrounding areas. The Dambulla Caves, Lion Rock, Minneriya National Park Safari and Temple of the Tooth were highlights. We also enjoyed the trek over the Hanthana range above Kandy, Kandyan dancers, visits to a Herb Farm and Tea Factory. Nuwan was very obliging and added other places of interest that weren't in our itinerary. Would definitely recommend kimkim.

Sajith Kularathna, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you so much for posting the nicest review! I am happy to hear that you had a great time with your chauffeur guide Nuwan. I will pass your valuable comments to him as well. Wishing you other wonderful journeys around the world. All the best to you and your family members!

Rebecca

Trip to sri lanka, Sri Lanka - Jun 18 - Jun 30, 2018

Traveler: Rebecca M. - Local specialist: Sajith Kularathna

Our guide, Denver, was absolutely wonderful. Not only was he incredibly knowledgable, and always willing to answer our million and one questions about Sri Lanka, but also one of the kindest warmest hearted people I've ever had the privilege to meet. I can't recommend him highly enough. Sajith was brilliant in helping me to plan the trip, too - he was so fast in sorting things out and in communicating his suggestions, and kimkim in general took a huge amount of stress out of the process for... read more

Our guide, Denver, was absolutely wonderful. Not only was he incredibly knowledgable, and always willing to answer our million and one questions about Sri Lanka, but also one of the kindest warmest hearted people I've ever had the privilege to meet. I can't recommend him highly enough. Sajith was brilliant in helping me to plan the trip, too - he was so fast in sorting things out and in communicating his suggestions, and kimkim in general took a huge amount of stress out of the process for us. We loved that kimkim works with ethical companies and makes suggestions on those grounds, particularly in regards to the best place we could go to see elephants.

The highlight was definitely the elephant safari at Udawalawe; other favourite things were the views of the mountains in Kandy, climbing Sigiriya and the views over the the lake at Giritale, from Deer Park Hotel. We found the people everywhere we stayed so kind, courteous and helpful, and the countryside astonishingly beautiful!

We do have a couple of pieces of feedback - I hope this helps!

1. The Kandalama Heritance was extraordinary! We only regretted that we didn't get to spend more time there as we arrived after a long day of sightseeing and then had to leave very early the next morning. I felt that if someone expresses a wish to stay at Kandalama, you could maybe build in either two nights there or at least plan the schedule so that guests can arrive in time to enjoy the hotel a little more.

2. The cooking class in Kandy was wonderful! We'd highly recommend that location again for anyone thinking of doing a class like that.

3. The trek planned for us in Kandy was really enjoyable overall and the guide was great. However, this was not something we discussed in correspondence at all - our guides told us that this hike was the 'easy' option, and that it was one that lots of guests are very happy to do, but for us, it was simply not an appropriate skill level to book us in for without letting us know in advance. Neither of us had the correct footwear or clothing, with the result that I felt very unsafe walking on slippery surfaces in high winds and at those heights. Denver told us that he'd assumed we'd be fine with the trek as we are a young couple and appeared healthy - but I feel strongly that you cannot make assumptions about people's health on the grounds of appearance as injuries and/or fears are not visible; and that you should simply discuss the option of adding a trek to an itinerary and make sure people have the option to make an informed decision if they would like to do it.

4. This point is somewhat similar to the above - there were a few other stops which had been planned for us which we would rather not have done. The tea factory visit was genuinely interesting and a wonderful way to get to know this important element of the Sri Lankan economy - but the spice garden, wood factory and gem factory visits were frustrating. We felt no pressure from Denver to buy something, and he always made that very clear, but we did feel a lot of pressure in each of those locations from the staff to buy things we didn't want. We simply didn't appreciate the lack of choice in whether we went to these places or not. I understand that guides possibly receive commissions to take guests to these factories, but I just wanted to let you know that this element of the trip was not ideal for us.

I hope that this is all taken as suggestions to what is already an incredible company providing an amazing service! We adored our trip and have many wonderful memories of a beautiful culture to carry with us :)

Sajith Kularathna, local specialist, responded to this review:

Many thanks for your wonderful review and the valuable recommendations. I am really happy to hear that you have enjoyed your vacation very much. I already shared all your comments with your guide Denver and all my colleagues of the tour operation team. Having a good guide really makes a difference. Denver is one of the best guides who work with our travel agency.
Furthermore, thank you very much for reviewing me and the core values of our travel company. It was my pleasure to help you in... read more

Many thanks for your wonderful review and the valuable recommendations. I am really happy to hear that you have enjoyed your vacation very much. I already shared all your comments with your guide Denver and all my colleagues of the tour operation team. Having a good guide really makes a difference. Denver is one of the best guides who work with our travel agency.
Furthermore, thank you very much for reviewing me and the core values of our travel company. It was my pleasure to help you in planning your trip, and I'm very happy to hear that you have enjoyed working with me. As a pioneer eco-tourism company in Sri Lanka, we do not offer any of the unethical tourism activities which harm to nature and our ultimate purpose is to minimize the negative impacts to the environment.
I noted your positive feedback on accommodation options, sightseeing activities and local experiences that you have enjoyed whilst your vacation in Sri Lanka. Your comment is really helpful for us to offer these kinds of specialty accommodation options and local experiences in our future tours.
The trek from Kandy to Hanthana is well known soft to moderate trek, especially among the young crowds. However, I am sorry to hear that we were not that much happy with this trek. Further to your review recently we stared aware our clients about the grading of these kinds of treks, appropriate skill level and suitable footwear and clothing that need to be considered in advance before someone book this kind of trek/ hike with us. I hope this will work better in the future and thanks for your contribution on behalf of this.
When it comes to the spice garden and gem factory visit, as one of the company ethics we always advise our guides to not to take our clients to these kinds of commercializing places if they don’t really like it. Never our clients are forced to make decisions that they don't feel comfortable with. I highly appreciate all your feedback, and we will carefully check all the details through with our team so that we can avoid similar problems in the future!
I want to thank you once and again and enjoy your next travel with kimkim.
All the best wishes!

Sri lanka, Sri Lanka - Jun 23 - Jun 28, 2018

Traveler: Frank B. - Local specialist: Sandun Jayasundara

We had a fabulous 5 days in Sri Lanka. The set up of our itinerary by Sandun was expertly done and contact with Sandun was extremely easy. The accommodation choices were super. Each of the hotels chosen were great places to stay and the people there were extremely friendly and accommodating. Our driver/guide, Tony did a fantastic job. We cannot recommend him highly enough. The various places we were taken to along the way were all great places to visit. We thoroughly recommend using Kimkim for any visit to Sri Lanka.

Sandun Jayasundara, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Frank, I am absolutely thrilled that you had a great time in Sri Lanka. I wish you best on your future trips!
Best Regards,
Sandun.

Getting around in sri lanka: all you need to know, Sri Lanka - Jun 25 - Jun 27, 2018

Traveler: brian c. - Local specialist: Sandun Jayasundara

The trip was great, very enjoyable, relaxing and beautiful. I had a wonderful time, the suriya resort was very welcoming, comfortable, and just a nice place to be. The staff were fantastic as were the facilities. My kimkim facilitator Sandun was informative, helpful and patient with me, and made the entire process very easy.

Sandun Jayasundara, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Brian, I'm really glad to hear that you have enjoyed your time in our little island. I hope you are having a good time on the ship. Safe travels!
Best Regards,
Sandun.

Sri lanka escape, Sri Lanka - Jun 15 - Jun 19, 2018

Traveler: Michelle F. - Local specialist: Sajith Kularathna

I highly recommend Kim Kim, and in particular Sajith. He created an itinerary that was perfect for us. We loved every moment of our Sri Lankan experience! Thank you for an amazing time!

Sajith Kularathna, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you very much for your kind response and the wonderful review. I am really happy to hear that you had a great vacation in Sri Lanka. I passed your valuable comments to our tour operation crew as well. I wish you all the best for your future trips!

Sri lanka visit, Sri Lanka - May 7 - May 12, 2018

Traveler: bruce r. - Local specialist: Ida Lindholm

My wife and I had a quick 6 day trip in Sri Lanka, with Rukan, our guide. This was a great experience and we visited all the main tourist spots we wanted to, plus more, that Rukan fitted in along the way. Our accommodation along the way was superb and everything went as planned. We even got to watch 2 leopards during our safari at Yalla Park, which was a highlight.

General scenic, Sri Lanka - Feb 26 - Mar 7, 2018

Traveler: Barbara A. - Local specialist: Ida Lindholm

We had a marvellous time. Our driver Kalika was exceptionally capable at managing everything, driving us safely even in busy and awkward traffic situations. The activities planned by Sandun were perfect giving us all the interests we requested. We saw amazing trees, rocks, fungi and wildlife and have some marvellous photos along with great memories.

For me the stand-out activity was Sinharaja National Park with the park guide being extremely knowledgeable on plant species and growth habits... read more

We had a marvellous time. Our driver Kalika was exceptionally capable at managing everything, driving us safely even in busy and awkward traffic situations. The activities planned by Sandun were perfect giving us all the interests we requested. We saw amazing trees, rocks, fungi and wildlife and have some marvellous photos along with great memories.

For me the stand-out activity was Sinharaja National Park with the park guide being extremely knowledgeable on plant species and growth habits of flora. A close second was the visit to Horton Plains, the Botanic Garden in Kandy and the tea plantations and factory visit.

We also enjoyed the sunrise at Galle with a lighthouse, crows and monks making it special.

A first visit to sri lanka coupled with a relaxing and indulgent holiday, Sri Lanka - Feb 10 - Feb 22, 2018

Traveler: Gordon A. - Local specialist: Sandun Jayasundara

We had a fantastic holiday in Sri Lanka. It is such a diverse country that it is hard to identify a single highlight, but the safari at Wilpattu, the luxury of Tea Trails at Hatton, and Galle were certainly memorable. Sigiriya, Kandy, and Trincomalee were also very enjoyable and interesting.

Our driver, Rukan, was very good. Nothing was too much trouble and he got us where we needed to be safely and in good order. He was knowledgeable about everywhere we went and if he ever didn’t know where... read more

We had a fantastic holiday in Sri Lanka. It is such a diverse country that it is hard to identify a single highlight, but the safari at Wilpattu, the luxury of Tea Trails at Hatton, and Galle were certainly memorable. Sigiriya, Kandy, and Trincomalee were also very enjoyable and interesting.

Our driver, Rukan, was very good. Nothing was too much trouble and he got us where we needed to be safely and in good order. He was knowledgeable about everywhere we went and if he ever didn’t know where he was going we didn’t notice.

The accommodation we booked was always close to what we expected and in some cases much better. Jungle Beach at Trincomalee was very comfortable and restful, Heritance Kandalama was fascinating architecturally, and Tea Trails at Hatton was wonderfully indulgent. We also enjoyed Fort Printers in Galle; it was centrally located and very comfortable.

Sandun Jayasundara, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Gordon,

Thanks for your kind review. I'm really glad you had such a great time on our little island. I wish you best on your future trips!

Best Regards,
Sandun.

Spirit of sri lanka , Sri Lanka - Feb 20 - Feb 27, 2018

Traveler: Robin K. - Local specialist: Ida Lindholm

The trip was well organised and according to our specific requests. Our guide was a good and careful driver and responded well however we experienced some communication problems due to his limited English. Sandun (who took over from Ida) was great - very responsive and also flexible when we asked for an addition to our itinerary to see Geoffrey Bawa's Heritage Kandala hotel near Sigirya.

Katherine

Family vacation, Sri Lanka - Dec 17 - Dec 29, 2017

Traveler: Katherine G. - Local specialist: Sandun Jayasundara

Our driver Mahesh was great. The van was beeping the entire time, some programming problem. We were in the van a lot and this was very annoying. The hotels were just okay, not 4 or 5 star like we asked. Some of the bathrooms were sub-par. The Colombo hotel was way out for the main city, which was very disappointing! We asked to go to a spa for a massage and they place was not good.

Sandun Jayasundara, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Katherine,

Thank you very much for your comments! I highly appreciate all your feedback, and I'm very sorry that the trip didn't meet all your expectations.

It seems that we had a little misunderstanding at the first part of our conversation when you mentioned about your preferences on accommodation and the both options - 3 to 4 small hotels and 4 to 5 boutique hotels. Because of this reason, all your accommodation was not at high-end hotels.

About the hotel in Colombo, I am... read more

Hello Katherine,

Thank you very much for your comments! I highly appreciate all your feedback, and I'm very sorry that the trip didn't meet all your expectations.

It seems that we had a little misunderstanding at the first part of our conversation when you mentioned about your preferences on accommodation and the both options - 3 to 4 small hotels and 4 to 5 boutique hotels. Because of this reason, all your accommodation was not at high-end hotels.

About the hotel in Colombo, I am really sorry that it was little bit away from the city. The month of December, especially the days right around the Christmas, is a highest peak season. Since your booking was just a few days prior to the arrival date, the choices for accommodation were very limited.

When it comes to traveling times and the visit in Jaffna, it is the northernmost district of the island and and a very long ride from Colombo. During our conversations, as well as in the itinerary, I mentioned you the distances and traveling times hoping to give you a clear idea about the traveling conditions. I'm deeply sorry if you feel that this information were not sufficient.

I want to thank you once and again for your comments and wish you a very happy new year 2018!

Best Regards,
Sandun.

Food, culture, wildlife and trecking, Sri Lanka - Oct 12 - Oct 26, 2017

Traveler: Kay M. - Local specialist: Ida Lindholm

Everything was very seamless and smooth sailing. Our driver,Denver was extremely helpful and couldn't do enough for us. Having a private driver allows so much more flexibility to tailor to our specific interests. It was great to learn about the history and visit this beautiful country. An incredibly well organized trip. Many thanks

Quick tour of sri lanka, Sri Lanka - Sep 1 - Sep 6, 2017

Traveler: Suresh M. - Local specialist: Ida Lindholm

I will start off by reviewing Ida. The entire experience of communicating our needs and having the trip set up was painless and very good. I would recommend Ida wholeheartedly to anyone wishing to go to Sri Lanka.

The trip itself though well planned had some hiccups in execution. The driver will take you to tourist traps for shopping. As long as one is aware, it is easy (though annoying) to avoid grossly overpaying for things. The driver will also take you to restaurants that cater to... read more

I will start off by reviewing Ida. The entire experience of communicating our needs and having the trip set up was painless and very good. I would recommend Ida wholeheartedly to anyone wishing to go to Sri Lanka.

The trip itself though well planned had some hiccups in execution. The driver will take you to tourist traps for shopping. As long as one is aware, it is easy (though annoying) to avoid grossly overpaying for things. The driver will also take you to restaurants that cater to tourists. These are impossible to avoid despite repeated requests to the driver to avoid them. The issue here is that we almost never got to experience Sri Lankan cuisine, only local parodies of "pasta", "pizza" etc. The hotels where we stayed were not much better with "American" or "Continental" being the option in most places. This is not a reflection on the Driver or on Ida but on a lack of understanding on the part of the hotels of a certain kind of traveller.

The pacing of activity was off as well on two days. The second day was crammed with activity. The entrance fee to the Temple of the tooth had to be paid up by us despite being included in the price of the tour. I was told that the driver did not have enough money and the tour agency would be refunding the money to me directly. The tea factory tour was on day two in Kandy as opposed to later at Nuwara Eliya. The explanation given was that the tea factory was shut on Sunday at Nuwara Eliya and hence the activity had to be shifted to Kandy. This could have been avoided as it was apparent that the day at Nuwara Eliya would fall on a Sunday.

Additionally, the morning of the day which we were supposed to visit Galle fort was rained out. The driver informed us that the entire day would be washed out and we could do Galle fort the next morning. We accepted this as something beyond our control. But later in the day when the weather cleared up, the driver was unavailable to take us to the fort. This meant we had to do this activity the next morning eating into the time we had to tour Colombo. We only got to see the fort at Galle for half an hour before the heavens opened up again leaving us to rue the half a day of sunshine we missed the previous day. Additionally,we only got to see Colombo from the car on our way to lunch and after that to the airport.

Overall, I would rate it as a good experience but would caution any would be traveler to be constantly wary of his own interests to avoid issues which is not a state of mind one wants to be in while on vacation.

As mentioned previously, the service received from Ida was exemplary.

Ida Lindholm, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Suresh for your review! It was my pleasure to help you in planning your trip, and I'm very happy to hear that you have enjoyed working with me.

Also, I'm very thankful for the comments that you have shared with us! We highly appreciate all the feedback that enables us to maintain the the high standards of our services. Concerning the Temple of the Tooth entrance fee, there was an unfortunate mistake due to a technical problem the driver had when trying to withdraw the money for the... read more

Thank you Suresh for your review! It was my pleasure to help you in planning your trip, and I'm very happy to hear that you have enjoyed working with me.

Also, I'm very thankful for the comments that you have shared with us! We highly appreciate all the feedback that enables us to maintain the the high standards of our services. Concerning the Temple of the Tooth entrance fee, there was an unfortunate mistake due to a technical problem the driver had when trying to withdraw the money for the tickets, and we will arrange a refund for you.

Regarding the tea factories, they are open for a visit every day of the week, but the machines are not in operation on Sundays. For this reason, the option of shifting the schedule was introduced to you. When in Galle, the driver was convinced, after receiving your messages, that it was only the following day that you wished to visit the Fort. We are deeply sorry for this incident as it appears that there was a misunderstanding regarding your request.

When it comes to food and restaurants, we want listen to the clients preferences and to offer authentic experiences, while taking in consideration the food safety and cleanliness in all our recommendations. Never our clients are forced to take decisions that they don't feel comfortable with.

I want to thank you once and again and to send all the wishes to your family!

Adventure, away from tourist hot spots, Sri Lanka - Jul 29 - Aug 3, 2017

Traveler: Janet M. - Local specialist: Ida Lindholm

I didn't receive a final confirmation of the itinerary which meant I didn't pick up on a misunderstanding on the last day of the trip. In re reading our emails I understood the last day was to be changed from Sigirya to Negombo. So I also take responsibility for not confirming this change. A bit more guidance on the timing of events would have been helpful - our driver left it to us to decide when to leave in the morning - I thought he would have had a better idea than us. We had lots of... read more

I didn't receive a final confirmation of the itinerary which meant I didn't pick up on a misunderstanding on the last day of the trip. In re reading our emails I understood the last day was to be changed from Sigirya to Negombo. So I also take responsibility for not confirming this change. A bit more guidance on the timing of events would have been helpful - our driver left it to us to decide when to leave in the morning - I thought he would have had a better idea than us. We had lots of questions but felt his English wasn't good enough, first of all to understand the question and then to give us an informed answer. He was very pleasant and easy going but also a little difficult for us to understand sometimes.

Ida Lindholm, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you very much for your comments!

I re-read our messages, and there was a misunderstanding in my end also at the moment you booked the tour. We had been discussing about the change, but it was re-confirmed yet. Definitely, the re confirmation is on my responsibility also, and I'm very sorry that this caused a confusion for your last day's programme.

When it comes to our our driver-guides, they are adviced to negotiate the schedules together with the client, highlighting the fact... read more

Thank you very much for your comments!

I re-read our messages, and there was a misunderstanding in my end also at the moment you booked the tour. We had been discussing about the change, but it was re-confirmed yet. Definitely, the re confirmation is on my responsibility also, and I'm very sorry that this caused a confusion for your last day's programme.

When it comes to our our driver-guides, they are adviced to negotiate the schedules together with the client, highlighting the fact thant both clients' wishes and driver's local knowledge should be taken in consideration in decision making. I highly appreciate all your feedback, and we will carefully check all the details through with our team, so that we can avoid similar problems in the future!

Gary

Sri lanka trip, Sri Lanka - Jul 3 - Jul 9, 2017

Traveler: Gary M. - Local specialist: Ida Lindholm

Thank you for a wonderful trip it was great to have all accommodation and attraction fees organized and the driver and vehicle were excellent. My daughter and I enjoyed everything and even had time to fit in a couple of extras with the help of Nishanthna using our free time. I have told everybody what a great time I had and have recommended KimKim as the people to see. I am now in the process of deciding where and when my next trip will be so will be in touch at a later date. Thank you, Gary & Julia.

Srilanka-looking past the tourist traps, Sri Lanka - Jun 20 - Jun 23, 2017

Traveler: warekois W. - Local specialist: Ida Lindholm

Plane was late from India-however Roshen was waiting and proceeded to make the trip a pleasure. As you may know when traveling single and its just you and the driver for the next few days a bond has to be made and it was-from the start-perfect timing with a stop at a hotel for a cup of café and then forth every nook and corner I wanted to see he helped with. I am impressed with the overall service you granted me with the minimum fee for your services (however being in India I know the... read more

Plane was late from India-however Roshen was waiting and proceeded to make the trip a pleasure. As you may know when traveling single and its just you and the driver for the next few days a bond has to be made and it was-from the start-perfect timing with a stop at a hotel for a cup of café and then forth every nook and corner I wanted to see he helped with. I am impressed with the overall service you granted me with the minimum fee for your services (however being in India I know the business of the business-)-hats off-will need your services soon-wish to arrange Northern India/Nepal. Looking at February 2018 ,

Thanks for all

Please see that Roshen is told of his excellent services.

Stand out-she was a pleasure to work with

Ida Lindholm, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you very much for your review - I'm very happy to hear you enjoyed your stay in Sri Lanka!

For sure, I will make sure that Roshen receives your greetings also. Having good guide really makes a difference, and therefor we work only with well-experienced driver-guides, who know how to show the very best of Sri Lanka in a truly authentic way.

All the best wishes, and enjoy your next travel with kimkim!