Monday, April 25, 2016

Dambulla Homestay: Oasis Tourist Family Resort

I found this accommodation via Booking.com while searching for cheap places to stay in Dambulla. I somewhat thought that Sri Lanka was teeming with cheap accommodation. I guess so, but these are the ones with no websites. I like pre-booking my accommodation to avoid the hassle of deciding where to stay when I land in a new place. 
This is not a sponsored post, I really use Booking.com. 

After a 5.5-hour bus journey from Colombo, I got off the Dambulla bus stop. There were no signs that it was the bus stop but I had my mobile data on and I was closely watching my location in the map. The guesthouse advised me to get off the bus stop and call them when I arrive - hence, a local simcard was really handy. I sat in front of a shop (I think it was a pawnshop and waited. I ignored the stares from passers-by. Fifteen minutes later, my host arrived in a tuktuk. We went to the main guesthouse to rest a bit (I really needed to rest) and I filled-out some forms. 


The main guesthouse

My host informed me that a couple was staying in my room but he had another room prepared for me which which was located in the annex. I stayed in their new guesthouse for the first night and two nights in their homestay. Both were nice and spacious (but do watch out for those annoying mosquitoes!) . 

The house reminded me very much of houses in Philippine provinces: there were a lot of trinkets in the house. 
They sell water here


The new-annex guesthouse is located around 500 meters after the homestay place. I hopped back into the motorcycle and we went there. 


My room in their new annex guesthouse

The room was clean enough when I arrived. But with the moths and UFI (unidentified flying insects) - which are inherent to Sri Lanka and other tropical countries - they kinda just...died all over the place. I don't know how to explain it. One minute the bedsheet is clean then the next minute, a dead moth or what not is there. I do really think the place is kept clean. Probably the insects have a shorter life in Dambulla.

The shower had some water-pressure issues during my stay. But I still got my shower. They had no hot water but that was okay because after enduring a 5.5-hour humid bus ride, I could do away with hot water. 



A full local meal costs LKR 667 (this was converted from their USD price). That's a lot. So after the first meal, I requested to have a half serving of that - LKR 333. More manageable for my pocket, my tummy and my weight. 

With the lovely welcoming family

Full serving of their dinner. Oops, I was so hungry I took a bite first before taking a photo.

Food was great! I was able to get the most delicious curry without it being spicy!

Continental Breakfast - LKR 435

I was glad I found this place. Room was cheap at $8+/night. I paid $24.62/LKR 3,565 for the three nights I stayed there which is really a deal. I really liked that the family was welcoming and I felt that I could approach anyone there. Of course, this was still their home and I respected some boundaries (like not bothering them too much at night). They were very responsive to my whims (I want some tea, I want ice cream, I want coffee). 



The bedrooom they rent out in their house is a double room with ensuite bathroom.  



The homestay had hot water in their shower. You won't need it really. Unless you wake up really early to shower. 



There's enough furniture in the room to place your stuff, and even a clothes hanger. 



The homestay is around 500-600 meters away from the entrance of Dambulla. I just walked my way back after exploring the complex. I think the area is safe enough.


Photo with their daughter. I like her long hair! Me in my batik shirt from Indonesia (talagang kelangan sabihin eh no!)


I booked my trips to Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya in this guesthouse. As a solo female traveler, I would still advise to be cautious towards over-friendly male that you may encounter.

Overall, a highly recommended budget stay in Dambulla!

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