This is the last day of our 13 day tour with you and we have had an excellent vacation, I was impressed by your culture and your knowledge of Sri Lankas fauna and flora but mostly I think what makes you a great professional is your flexibility, this was a key to us. Traveling with two kids all around the country. This will remain as a truly memorable experience and we thank you very sincerely.
I wish you all the best for the future and will recommend your services for sure
Celine, Olivier,Anthime, Aureli
Thank you very much for this great holiday. Based upon Trip Adviser comments we decided to go on vacation with your company, which was a very good one.
We got good extra information about Sri Lanka and the different areas along the way.You guided us very well though this fabulous country and booked for us nice hotels. Thanks to “EGLE EYED JALLY” We were able to spot Varans, Cameleons, Elephants, and even a cobra at the end of our Journey; you were always ready to give good tips and advices us on what to do or not to do during our 3 week vacation
Thank you for this great vacation!! and good driving skills between the thousands of tuk tuk and on the difficult roads in the rainforest
We found your company while searching on the internet. Every question was finely answered. After a few emails we had all the confidence in you and your company and this confidence was not unharmed
You showed us the different part of your country, the monuments, the habits of the people and their kitchen
Thanks you for giving us wonderful holiday
Barbara, Peter, Elise
We just returned from an amazing 16-day tour of Sri Lanka and wanted to give a huge shout out to Jally Tours for taking care of all the details, as well as us. We are independent travelers who have never done a ‘tour’ before and contacted Jally on the advice of friends who recommended his services, as you really need a driver and a plan to explore Sri Lanka.
From the start, Jally promptly replied to all questions and put together an itinerary based on our preferences, using budget/standard accommodation. Our ‘see it all’ trip was a huge loop visiting the best destinations for Sri Lankan history, archeology, culture, wildlife and activities, as well as time for relaxing. Our drivers, Iresh and Jally, were wonderfully attentive and informative as they transported us around in cool, comfortable, clean vehicles. He even arranged a leg of our trip to be travelled by train through the mountains. Each and every hotel Jally reserved for us was fabulous. I was amazed and delighted at the variety, comfort and cleanliness of the places, as we enjoyed a hilltop lodge, a treehouse, an English guesthouse, a beachside resort, and an exotic villa very affordably, all with great amenities and breakfasts included. They also took us to wonderful eateries with a wide selection of traditional dishes and western fare, and recommended restaurants in the towns where we stayed.
We loved exploring all the amazing archeological sites, ancient temples and cities, and climbing the rock fortress. Our safaris were incredible with drivers who got us phenomenal views of elephants, water buffalos, crocodiles, mongooses, peacocks, deer and wild pigs. And Jally took us to a sea turtle hatchery and informed us where we could snorkel to see reef and fish right off the beach. He recommended local attractions and hikes we could to do see the sights wherever we stayed.
Jally Tours made it easy to plan and take a trip-of-a-lifetime we will never forget. And having them do the driving and deal with the traffic so we could relax and look out the window was a real treat. We definitely enjoyed amazing value for our money and would highly recommend them to anyone looking to make an adventure around Sri Lanka
Very Efficient and organized, in the meantime Jally was always available right when we needed him. We would never discover great hidden sights and local restaurants without his help. Don’t hesitate to promote village tours. We really appreciate that moment with the two ladies ( sisters) who gave us good demonstration about cooking
About your car, Thanks to the air conditioning. You are a very good driver/Guide
Thank you for all your explanations ( Pollonnaruwa , village tours , etc) and you are always on a good mood
Thank you , you made our trip unforgettable
A four star with Jally was an amazing way to experience a large portion of Sri Lanka in a sort amount of time, and still have time to relax; we appreciated our drivers making transport a pleasure instead of a huge stress allowing us to enjoy the views and drives.
Each and every guest house and hotel exceeded our expectations, As we were doing our trip on a budget, not expecting luxury rooms but still getting beautiful places. We also appreciated the variety of activities suggested so that we could experience so many fantastic places all around the country, from temples and hikes to Ayurveda massages, Batik making to sea turtles; Jally really kept us active which we love
SO glad included the Train ride from Nuwara eliya to Ella as it was a great trip to get familiar with the train. We even took the train ourselves for a day trip from Induruwa to Hikkaduwa and back
So don’t miss Kandy temple of the tooth , Snorkeling in Hikkaduwa and a safari or two to see the amazing wildlife, Jally will line it all up and make your trip and adventure of a life time
Regards Jen & scott
We have had an amazing experience here and I attribute this to Jally and his fund and caring way of introducing us to the wonders of Sri Lanka..what we most appreciated was his ability to listen to our wants and needs and then incorporate those into our itinerary.
He pays attention to “us” and know that every clients desires are different but we feel like our tour was tailor-made for us and tweaked on a daily basis if not hourly basis
Jally has been our driver,tour guide,protector (of single women) and friend.we always felt safe and secure
Dear Sandra Grant,
During a recent holiday in Sri Lanka arranged with the excellent help of your Duncan Scott, we were assigned Mr,Jally (Known as Jally) as our Chauffer guide
One reason for writing is to make you aware of his qualities and to recommend that you try to arrange that he looks after your Discerning clients. Such was the care and attention he demonstrated during our time with him. This will reflect well on your companies reputation.
He is charming, good natured, broad minded, has an excellent sense of humor and he is always courteous, diplomatic an unfazed by the unexpected (the tsunami occurred towards the end of our time with him) what makes him special and different (as well as being a thoroughly nice man) is the extend and range of his knowledge of Sri Lankas History, Politics, Economics, Flora and Fauna, Religions and his peoples customs and culture. What really surprised us (in the context of him never having traveled out of Sri Lanka)is the amount he knew about worldwide political and historical events. Cricket is one of his great loves! He speaks English perfectly (it is the language used in his home)
Incidentally he is a very good driver given the complete absence of disciplines and road sense exhibited by his fellow countrymen. He kept the car immaculate cleaning it every day.
The phrase guide, mentor and friend is very appropriate to sum up 9 very special days in his company.
HE WOULD BE WASTED ON CLIENTS WHO HAVE NO REALL INTREST IN OBSERVING AND UNDERSTANDING ALL THE WONDERFUL EXPERIENCES THAT SRI LANKA HAS TO OFFER
Thanks you so much for taking me around these 3 days!!! It was a real pleasure meeting you and I do hope we will have the opportunity of meeting again one day.
I wish you all the best,,,,
I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to write to you but I only just got back to Mauritius via London.
I just wanted to thanks you so much for all your help, kindness and assistance during my stay in Sri lanka and putting up with all my questions and queries for the update of the Thomas Cook Travelers Guide.
You made an excellent travel ling companion and guide and I am sure that anybody who joins you on a tour round the Island will be truly amazed at your knowledge and expertise. You are indeed a credit to Sri Lanka.
Next time I come to Sri Lanka it will be for a holiday and with my Husband have told him all about you and he is looking forward to saying hello.
Once again, Jaleel, A million thanks!!!!!
Conference director – London Business Conferences
Thanks you so much for a wonderful 4 day tour of Sri Lanka.it have far exceeded my expectations and its the most beautiful country I have ever visited. Your professionalism, kindenedd and friendliness was 7 ++++! And we appreciate all your knowledge though we were a little quite! I will be recommending Sri Lanka and specially you to family, friends and colleagues. This has been the best holiday I have been on and certainly hope to come again perhaps with children.
With best wishes,
I can only echo everything my wife and everyone else in your books have said! Superb service and a perfect tour. Your knowledge of Sri Lankas Flora and Fauna rivals David Attenborough and Ornithology would make Bill Oddia proud! Your expert use of the horn and the mastery of the roads makes you the ideal driver and I genuinely could not imagine a better guide or person to help us discover the beauty and wonder of a country that you proudly represent! Come to London one day and we will gladly show you around (although as Hillary will testify my driving will scare you to death. No doubt!)Your country and family are hourned to have you.
Good luck and kind regards,
Oliver Hurrey (Conference director London Business Conferences)
Thank you Jally for making our Sri Lanka trip so special. You really took the time to get to know us and what we wanted from our holiday. We appreciate you changing the schedule some days so we could do some walking which we enjoyed. We liked your choice of hotel accommodation in particular the Elegant hotel in Kandy which was in a beautiful location, peaceful and a fabulous pool. Our dinning was at all times wonderful. We always felt safe even dining along the windy roads in Ella.
The delicious food, beautiful scenery & friendly people that make up Sri Lanka our long lasting memory of a wonderful holiday.
We only can recommend Jally tours for everything!
The trip was perfectly organized according to our wishes. He adapted everything so that a child can also do the visits and don’t find the days too long. He drives very safely which is really important when you see how many vehicles are on the road. The hotels he chose were very nice also with friendly people Jally knows everything about his country, he shows you the different trees,fowers,birds,monkeys along the road, explains the history of the cities, monuments Last but not least, Jally is very friendly and makes you feel relaxed from the beginning
Thank you for everything
Laurence, Hevier and Maxime
I went on a vacation to Sri Lanka with 4 friends and we chose jally tours as our guide. We had the time of our lives because of jally. he has done this job for about 20 years so he really knows the places to go and the stuff to see around Sri Lanka. he took us to tiny cosy restaurants in the middle of the jungle with a really great view on miles of ricefields. He stopped the car on top of big mountains so we could enjoy the magnificent view for a while, and smoke a cigarette, or as he called it ‘our vitamines’. when driving around and through towns he was telling us stuff really worth knowing. He is a really sociable and enjoying fellow this jally. I really enjoyed having him around on the two weeks i was there. I even felt a little emotional when the time to part our ways had finally arrived. I wished i could take him with me to Belgium. But he missed his wife and children and grandchildren to much to do that. I would really recommend Jally tours and especially Jally himself to everyone that’s going to Sri Lanka. You wil have the full Sri Lankan experience, no doubt about it.
Our trip to Sri Lanka was magical! We had jaleel himself as our guide. He guided us like a real pro guide. He arranged everything perfectly. We’ve seen magnificent views on top of mountains and in jungles. It was the most beautiful trip I have ever made. Thank you, jally tours for making this possible! You’ll always be in our hearts, Jaleel. 🙂
Jally Tours is a very professional and reliable company.
We enjoyed travelling with Jally. He is discrete, flexible, can answer all your questions and is fluent in English.
We definitely would recommend Jally to our family and friends!
Thank you for everything!
We only can recommend Jally tours for everything!
The trip was perfectly organized according to our wishes. He adapted everything so that a child can also do the visits and don’t find the days too long.
He drives very safely which is really important when you see how many vehicles are on the road.
The hotels he chose were very nice also with friendly people
Jally knows everything about his country, he shows you the different trees,fowers,birds,monkeys along the road, explains the history of the cities, monuments
Last but not least, Jally is very friendly and makes you feel relaxed from the beginning
Thank you for everything
Laurence, Hevier and Maxime
Thank you Jally for making our Sri Lanka trip so special. You really took the time to get to know us and what we wanted from our holiday. We appreciate you changing the schedule some days so we could do some walking which we enjoyed
We liked your choice of hotel accommodation in particular the Elegant hotel in Kandy which was in a beautiful location, peaceful and a fabulous pool
Our dinning was at all times wonderful. We always felt safe even dining along the windy roads in Ella.
The delicious food, beautiful scenery & friendly people that make up Sri Lanka our long lasting memory of a wonderful holiday
Couldn’t recommend Jally tours more. From the moment we started planning our trip he was an absolute pleasure to deal with. He knows the land so well and his recommendations for restaurants and Sri Lanka sights cannot be faulted. We would highly recommend this tour company. Thanks Jally for a great holiday and I cant wait to see whats install for us over the next 4days.
We have teamed up with our three children for two weeks through Sri Lanka moved around. Jally us both before and during the trip very well helped. Both the booking and arranging tickets. Along with Bidhu (the driver) we thoroughly enjoyed it. It rides quietly and safely. Jally know the spots where you should be! Nevertheless, he also looks after 24 years still to improvements. For example, bypassing the increasingly expensive hotels in various places. Recommended !
We spent 9 days together with Jally travelling all around the country. Using his experience, guiding skills and broad selection of activities, we had a great variation in our holiday: going from climbing, hiking, visiting temples, magnificent views to rafting (etc).
The program defined in advance isn’t something rigide but can be adapted when desirable.
We warmly recommend Jally as a guide along your journey!
We cannot recommend Jally HIGLY ENOUGH!!!
Safe driver on Sri Lanka’s crazy roads. We always felt safe –not an imaginary foot on the brake once
The perfect guide.. He knows his staff very well informed. He also seems to know everyone, gets us the best drivers for the safaris and always checks we have the best room possible
Hotels: Jally understood our holiday preference perfectly (off the beaten track, not too busy). Every hotels we stayed in over 21 days – 10 hotels was a perfect mix of Eco, Boutique, Modern etc..
We will recommend JALLY TOURS to everyone
Thank you for arranging such a wonderful holiday for us. From the moment we met you we had a complete trust in you. You are a safe and careful driver, full of good advice which we had complete confidence in. from birds to elephants, from temples to hotels your knowledge and understanding of our likes and dislikes was outstanding. You became more than just a guide and driver you became a good companion and a friend.
Thanks to you we have had a wonderful, memorable holiday. We will recommend your services to our friends who want a very special holiday tour in Sri Lanka
We shall miss our friend Jally
Love from Jan & John
Everything was great! Thank you Jally for having shared your kindness and knowledge of your nice country. Jally is a great driver, a cool man and he always wants to make his clients happy. Every detail are important and we can notice it. All the hotels were great (Aliya,98 Acres, Earls regent and of course the Buckingham place)
We had so much fun at the safari, in the train, in the tea factory; with monkeys….we will always remember all those memories. Thank you again for your great job and the great person you are.
Terry & Laura
Plus : Jally is always on time, really appreciate it
Dear Jally Thank you for the full immersion in Sri Lanka. We enjoyed the experience very much,it was a great mix of culture,nature and local touch The accommodation provided were very good in particular Elegant hotel in Kandy,hibiscuss garden in Tissa We felt well looked after and we enjoyed your friendly and never intrusive company. We will definitely recommend your tours to our friends in England,Italy,Spain and France. So be prepared for busy upcoming times!! Take care Giulia, Denis,Florencia P.S. Your sense of humor was highly appreciated
My experience of Jally tours has been amazed and a pleasure. We were on a 4 day tour which was intense but worthwhile. Jally made sure we saw Sri Lanka at its fullest. The hotels Aliya Habarana,Hotel Sigiriya at Sigiriya and Avani Bentota were great. Didnt have any problems with bookings. Jally sorted it all. Jally knows only the finest of places. His driving skills are on point and I can trust him with his driving. The amount of times I have slept with no worries in his car. Jallys hospitality is amazing to have. The first day I met him in Hilton Colombo he was well dressed and groomed and professional. He has a gray book in his car of pass experiences with clients and this gave me more of an understanding of JALLY TOURS. We had fun at the safari park, Jally showed the fun side of him. The knowledge he has about wild life!!!! OMG it was far beyond my expectations. His eyes are sharp!! If you miss a chance of looking for wildlife Jally would show you. Our stay in Sri Lanka has been amazing. Without the tour Jally proposed we would be stuck in Colombo for 2 weeks but thank god for Jally Thanks you for the wonderful trip and experience you have given us. You will be surely missed, please come to London and I will show you around. I wish you long life, joy and happiness in everything you do. Combine to remain blessed Lots of love Oye
We head about Jally tours from some friends who previousely had engaged him. We had 15 days to spend in Sri Lanka & wanted to see as much as we could while also getting some relaxation. No mean feat.
We tailored both our itinerary + accommodation through regular e-mail exchange with Jally in March prior to our holiday in September. Jally was always both terrific during our holiday, ready to be flexible
We have never really turned up in a country before with a load of money & handed over to someone we had never met before! However with Jally there was nothing to worry about. He is totally reliable + trustworthy. Not only that but he has safe driving among the hustle & bustle of Sri Lanka traffic. Relaxed us both to the extent that during the last few days we were frequently lulled to sleep
Jally was always punctual; smartly dressed + took great pride in keeping his car clean. If that weren’t enough Jally also turned to be a wealth of information & local history, culture, flora & fauna
We enjoyed our holiday at our pace and did not feel rushed; Jally was omnipresent but not intrusive.
Overall Sri Lanka has been a fantastic holiday and one of the best –made all the more enjoyable, thanks to Jally. Every holiday destination should have a Jally. But we guess that’s what makes him so special.
Top 3 tips for a smooth holiday in Sri Lanka
- Try not to mistake the Sri Lankan national bird for a chicken when on safari
- Pay attention when jally’s car passes road police, they may salute it thinking its their boss??
- Don’t get lost at any sights, Jally gets worried
Top 3 highlights
(Very difficult to limit this just to 3 )
- Sigiriya rock
- Elephants on safari at Minneriya national park
- Aliya resort hotel, the best hotel we have ever stayed
From our first contact by email in February until our last day in Sri Lanka in August, Jally has shown a high level of professionalism. He Took care of everything, our round trip and the bookings of our guest houses he had recommended.
Jally is very caring. He is a safe driver. He is of good advice. He is very well known everywhere in Sri Lanka
In summary, Thanks to Jally and the beautiful highland, my wife and I spent two great weeks in Sri Lanka with Jally
I selected Jally Tours based upon recommendation of friends (husband,wife, two young boys) who traveled with Jally for two weeks. I trusted their recommendation so I asked Jally to plan a packed, one-week tour for me. My wife was unable to join me but was happy I was traveling with a guide . Jally organized a tour that aligned with my interests: architecture, cities big and small, historic structures and inland mountain tour of tea plantations. Jally is a well educated man and very thoughtful and considerate: the perfect guide! I recommend him without any reservations. I had a very memorable tour of Sri Lanka!
We have just returned from a 16 day holiday in Sri Lanka and it was fabulous. We used Jally from Jally Tours as our driver and he was a real gem. We normally are very independent travellers and use hire cars or public transport (we used the public bus to travel through Chile to Ushuaia). However, we did not fancy driving in Sri Lanka. The roads are a bit frantic and not well sign-posted and public transport is not very appealing. We therefore followed the general advice to get a driver for the duration of our stay. Finding Jally Tours was not easy. How can you find somebody trustworthy from so far away? We eventually found Jally through a discussion forum where he came highly recommended and we took the ‘plunge’. We were quite anxious initially and we thought that we were just getting a driver. We therefore planned our own itinerary and hotels and let Jally help with some of the bookings only. However, he turned out to be much more than a good, calm and safe driver. He is a professional guide and speaks English fluently and knows the country, its attractions and wildlife inside out. He is very customer focused and adapted to our needs and he has a lovely personality . My husband is a keen bird watcher and Jally went out of his way to find birds for him to photograph but I am sure he would equally have focused on other interests. Had we known Jally before our holiday, we would probably have trusted him to choose some of our itinerary and hotels as he has been doing this job for 23 years. I think that Jally is very much in demand now and is therefore not always available. He can probably help by providing other drivers which are hand picked by him. Whilst if I came back I would prefer to use Jally himself as a driver, I would now trust him to find a safe alternative driver for me if Jally was not available.
I hope this review helps and removes some of the worries in finding a driver /guide in Sri Lanka. If you have any associated questions please e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org
We really appreciated our trip wit Jally for four days across the country. Jally is very kind, trustful, punctual and a very good driver. He is also an excellent guide. If you are interested he can tell you a lot about Sri Lanka about the people’s way of life, history.
We had a very good discussion with him and he knows the country by heart and advises you about sightseeing, accommodation, restaurents etc
I recommend Jally without any doubt and I assure you that you will definitely enjoy your trip with Jally as your guide
Vincent & Caroline (Grenoble France)
We really appreciate your ability, your kindness and all the good propositions about other activities you made to us. You were a really precious part of this trip and you turned it out in to a wonderful success
Some travelers like to prepare their whole travel themselves .some others like us like to be guided all the way.
What you could add is a real typical experience totally out of the touristic road, a market, a restaurant or another place where you could show people to discover the real heart of this beautiful country
Thanks you and take care
it’s been already more than a month that we left Sri Lanka and we would like to tell you how much you improved our trip to your country.
Even though we did not have a lot of time and the weather was not always on our side, our itinerary was well organised and respected our requests. You were always able to readjust the schedule of the day according to our needs or things we wanted to discover. You were more than just a guide, you are a GREAT representative of SRI LANKA. Your knowledge about your country (politics, sociology, religion…) and your personality made our trip even more interesting because for us visiting a country is not only about the sightseeing, but also about the people.
We would like to reassure you that we will spread the word about your company and the great service you offer. Definitely, Sri Lanka without you as a guide is not possible!
Thank you again for everything !
Isabelle and Frédéric
To whoever interested in Sri Lanka.
We spent three weeks in Sri Lanka in the month of October 2013 the season promised to be dry and we were not disappointed. We contracted Jally from Jally Tours which was a decision that was also not regretted.
I commend Jally for his attentiveness and his expert knowledge not only of his country but for his client’s needs and expectations. His twenty odd years experience in the industry becomes evident as one travels around the island country.
The contacts that Jally has made in all those years that he has been in the Driver Guiding business are invaluable, doors really do open where as they would not normally.
My advice now after choosing Jally as one’s guide and driver is prior to booking communicate everything to him as he is then positioned to advise and book accordingly. Driver accommodation is just as important as your own.
We all understand the importance of communication and if your driver is left in the dark then your expectation may not be met. Being guilty of not conveying a vital point I then fell into my own trap, Jally made every effort to book the desired train tickets but had we communicated this initially then we all could have enjoyed and without the angst. Just the same Jali made the day really very pleasant so the disappointment was not so hard to bear.
He always had us eat in clean respectable established restaurants with really comprehensive menus.Our preference for the local cuisine was taken into account and as such on occasion dishes were presented that did not appear on the menu. The food was always excellent.
Visiting Jaffna may not be on every ones itinerary but Jally was just eager as we were and was out inspecting and photographing the destruction and development in unison. Thus, furthering his knowledge bank.
If I were to return to Sri Lanka for another holiday I may not need his services but I certainly invite him to dine and I will always recommend him to friends and whoever is intending to visit.
Firstly, many thanks for how efficient and friendly you were when we were booking our holiday. Our emails were answered promptly and informatively. You gave us options to make sure our holiday would be tailored to exactly what we wanted it to be.
Upon arrival in Sri Lanka you have been nothing but friendly, professional and considerable. you have gone out of your way to make recommendations on restaurants,hotels and sightseeing and have showed genuine concern for us when David was unwell
We have thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Sri Lanka and have much appreciated your service. All of our day trips have left big smiles on our faces and thanks to you Jally we have fallen in love with this beautiful diverse country!
For anyone considering touring Sri Lanka I highly recommend Jally Tours to make your holiday a stress free pleasurable and amazing experience
Many thanks Jally Tours
E-mail = email@example.com
We traveled with Jally for 5 days during September 2013 and covered over 1000km with him. Prior to our trip we received very helpful tips from Jally regarding accommodation and our itinerary.
Jally is extremely friendly and made us feel welcome in Sri Lanka. He is an very useful guide to have whilst travelling Sri Lanka. He enabled us to experience the country in a truly fantastic way. His knowledge of historical sites combined with his local knowledge of best safaris and other attractions enabled us to enjoy our holiday to the fullest. He is also a very safe and attentive driver. His car is always clean and he is subtly aware of the need to leave you to enjoy your private holiday.
Overall Jally enabled us to enjoy one of the best holidays we have ever been on. The combination of his knowledge and manner contributed towards this enjoyment and I would not hesitate to recommend him to any friends or family.
Visit his website or find him on Facebook under Jally Tours. Highly recommended.
Dominika and Richard (UK)
We both appreciated your warm welcome at Colombo after a long flight. As two women travelling alone at once felt very much secured. It was very evident that you knew your way around and were an experienced and competent chauffer. We have appreciated your calmness and enjoyed some of the political discussions and respected your point of view.
We loved queen’s hotel and the governor’s guest house. Most of these would have been welcomed if available. A great experience. Will highly recommend you
Review of our wonderful Sri Lanka holiday with Jally – October 2012
We have just returned from another fabulous Sri Lankan holiday. This was our second visit in two years and again we hired the services to Jally as our driver and guide. Having been born and brought up in Ceylon our first trip with Jally was spent travelling to my place of birth, finding my old house, the church where my parents were married and we were all christened etc. Jally was excellent, using his local knowledge to make sure I was able to visit and find the places of my childhood.
This trip was different . We wanted to go off the normal tourist routes and try to see the East Coast before it becomes too heavily populated by tourists and commercialised.
Jally was again excellent. Finding new places to stay, helping with itinerary and booking the accommodation. As I had before, I gave Jally our rough budget and he found good places to stay within our range. I also told him places off the beaten track that I wanted to visit and he was able to incorporate them into our trip.
When I said I wanted to take the train from Trincomalee to Colombo Jally very diplomatically suggested that I might like to try the new Air Force service which only takes an hour and costs about £20. The train of course was cheaper but it was a 9 hour trip and I suspect Jally was right to suggest a more comfortable mode of transport for us!
As before Jally found some excellent things for us to do – a safari, a trip to see some baby elephants and knowing my passion for Sri Lankan food he took us to stay at a wonderful guest house run by the amazing Jayanthi who gave me three private cookery lessons – that were almost the highlight of the trip.
Jally was very good at knowing when we wanted some down time and was flexible enough to change the itinerary to allow us to have a morning or afternoon off to sit by a pool, wander through a town or to go for a walk. Always being alert to new experiences for us he even came and woke us up one morning just before 6am to see if we wanted to go out onto the beach to watch the fisherman come in. I have to say I was not sure but it turned out to be an amazing sight and one I would not have wanted to miss.
As before we stayed at some interesting places, and ate at some great restaurants. Jally was even delighted when we decided to take him to lunch at a tiny bakery that had been recommended in The Lonely Planet Guide that was completely off the beaten track and not known to him at all.
Jally has the knack of being able to get you in the right place at the right time to get the best view, best table, best seat etc. Yes, like every driver and guide he takes you to places where he will get a commission but they are still the best places and there is never any pressure to buy; and his choice of places to eat are excellent.
It is not only the obvious that we can recommend Jally for – but rather his ability to seize opportunities that we happened upon, that he knew we would enjoy like the fishermen, like stopping by the side of the road to watch a man roasting corn on the cob over a barrel, like going out of his way to find a seller of mangosteens – I fruit that I had not eaten since I was a child. It is these small touches that set Jally apart from other drivers.
He is very knowledgeable and very interesting to talk to about the history, politics, culture, religion and social aspect of Sri Lanka as well his great knowledge of the animals and birds; but it is his ability to understand his clients and quickly ascertain their area of interest, and knowing what experiences would make highlights for their trip, that makes a holiday with Jally a wonderful experience.
In our experience he is a quiet, gentle man, with a dry sense of humour; an excellent driver and superb guide who only wants to make sure that your holiday is the best it can be – and ours was! Thank you Jally – until the next time!
I have posted a review and report of our East Coast trip and itinerary on TripAdvisor. I have also recommended Jally to a number of people – all of whom have found him to be excellent and I do not hesitate to continue to highly recommend him. One word of advice – book him early as he is in high demand!
Jo Hampson and Georgina Perkins
My family and I (husband, wife, two small children aged 3 and 1) traveled with Jally all around Sri Lanka for 9 days in May 2012.
Jally was a consummate professional tour guide. We highly recommend him to any one, without reservation.
Jally met us at the airport at our scheduled arrival. He was there to help us with our luggage and the porters. He directed us to where he and his driver picked us up in a large, comfortable van.
As we had two small children, our concerns were that our guide and driver drive safely, be considerate of the children, and be flexible to timings (you never know when the children need to stop to go the bathroom, or eat, or nap). I am happy to say that Jally and his driver were both wonderful. Our children were calling him Uncle Jally soon, and Jally was good at helping them cross the street, watching them nap in their car seats in the van while we ate lunch, etc.
As for Jally’s actual guidance and advice on where to go and what to see? We had a fairly detailed itinerary booked when we arrived, so we knew most places where we were staying and going. Jally did recommend many sights,activities, shopping and meals. Most were excellent. We didnt’t feel that Jally was just trying to steer us to places where he received a commission. Of course, that is the business of how guides are compensated – we know that, and have no problem with that. The places he recommended that we LOVED included a fabulous jewelry shop near Kandi where we purchased a lovely sapphire, two different fabulous tea plantations (one old and one new) in the Tea Hills, and a few good restaurants along our drives (can’t remember names or places, sorry), a juice place where we tried out some exotic smoothies. There were a few places we didn’t like so much (one in particular was a batik shop which had the most beautiful batiks but was fantastically overpriced so much that we felt we could have bought the same in Europe or the US for cheaper), and an elephant ride for the kids which wasnt so much fun.
Jally speaks excellent English, and his knowledge of places and history is outstanding. We had many conversations about the history of Sri Lanka, the religions, the history of the Tamil country (we made it up to Trincomalee in Tamil territory), the tourism business, and many other subjects. Never once did we feel annoyed by the conversation with Jally, and when we wanted some quiet and rest, he recognized this and gave us some peace.
The driving was safe and careful, the van was large and comfortable.
Overall, we recommend Jally without reservations! If you have a family and want a guide who is considerate and good with children, Jally is your man!
THANK YOU Jally for a fabulous time, and next time we come to Sri Lanka we are booking with you again!
Saves time and see more with Jally
My spouse and I spent 7 days recently in Sri Lanka and we engaged the services of Hafiz Jaleel of Exotic J Tours, based on the good comments from tripadvisor members. We told him the places that we want to visit and he planned the itinerary for us.
We arrived at the airport at midnight. Jally drove us from the airport in the middle of the night and we arrived at our first stop at Habarana 3 hours later. Jally had booked most of our accommodations, except in Kandy and Galle where we chose our own guest houses. He managed to get us a cheaper rate at one the guest houses compared to the internet rate if we booked it ourselves. The guest houses recommended by Jally have rooms which were clean with air-con, but very basic, nothing fancy and cost US$45 per night B/B. No drinking water is provided at these guest houses. In Habarana, the water is hard and chalky, not suitable for drinking even if you boiled it. We bought drinking water from the stores.
Jally is also patient; stopping the car for my wife to get some fresh air each time her bad cough acts up. We are happy with his knowledge on the history of the historical sites, briefing us on the significance of some of the relics. He walked with us most of the time including visiting the Tooth Relic temple, Sigiriya Lion Rock and Anuradapura.
For commercial visits, we requested that he bring us to a spice garden and a gem stone shop. There was no pressure to buy from the shops and we received good explanations from the spice garden and tea plantations. The spices at the spice garden were expensive so we didNt make any purchase. We bought our tea at Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre, by far the biggest ISO 9001 tea factory and cheapest among the 3 tea factories that we had visited. We bought sapphires from Gamini Gems & Jewellery in Kandy. In fact the owner, who had done exhibitions in Singapore before, told us that they would be in Singapore for a jewellery exhibition next month.
Having a safe, caring and good driver should be the most important priority for everyone considering a driver-tour in Sri Lanka. The roads are hazardous and undisciplined to say the least. Roads are mainly single carriage and mostly without street lamps. Besides the normal heavy traffic, you can expect share the road with everything else from bullock trucks to wild animals like elephants. In this respect, we would highly recommend Jally if you need a reliable and responsible driver.
My family and I just spent the most amazing 3 weeks on the wonderful island of Sri Lanka in the extremely capable hands of our good friend Jally. Normally my idea of holiday is flight and a rental car key, however although I am not afraid to drive around Naples in Italy (which is not for the faint of heart), in Sri Lanka you need either a really good driver, or a miracle if you wish to reach the end of your holiday safely. There are of course many drivers to choose from, however I honestly cannot imagine a safer, kinder knowledgeable driver / guide / historian / botanist than Jally.
We were collected at the airport as planned and began a fantastic tour which I have documented in a little sideshow here:
We started in the south west (staying at Sankarest in Kosgoda), moving to the centre of the island close to Kandy staying at The mansion for two days visiting of course the botanical gardens and also the perehara festival.
Over the next three weeks we travelled north to Dambulla, Anuradhapura , Sigiriya , Habarana then east to Trinclmalee, moving south again to the tea plantations and mountains before finally moving east again to Arugam bay as you can see in the pictures.
Jally never just dropped us at an attraction, like Dambulla or Sigiriya, he went with us every step, explaining the significance of everything from tree, to person, to history and even politics, he had a story for every corner and it was just brilliant to be in his company.
Nothing was too much work for him, he stopped wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted, was always on hand as our friend, guide and helping hand.
Even when I had a problem with a coral injury on my leg (it swelled up) and only realised on a Sunday morning it might be serious, he calmly took me to the local hospital and made sure they cleaned out the wound and gave me the required medication and I was right as rain again within hours.
For anyone travelling to the island, especially as a family, who would like to see as much of the island as possible, without being dragged into the typical tourist traps, then Jally is your man. Of course he can arrange your tickets, accommodation, safaris etc for you, but on the other hand if you prefer to arrange it all (or part of it) yourself then that is also no problem at all for him.
As for the driving, Jally is the very best, the very safest and calmest. If you see something funny on the side of the road, Jally will do anything to make sure you can get a good picture of it.
I was just flabbergasted at his knowledge of the History of his Island, wherever we went and whoever we met, Singhalese, Tamil, Europeans, . . . everyone was always pleased to see Jally.
If we get the chance to visit the island again, the first email I will be writing will be to our good friend Jally.
Thank you once again for the holiday of a life time.
Malcolm, Jutta, Lisa
We travelled with Jally throughout Sri Lanka for 8 days. Having organised via an exhaustive number of emails (thanks for your patience Jally), for a pick-up from the airport on arrival (very early), to hotel & local guest house bookings that Jally was able to organise for a better rate, the trip ran smoother than the best of ceylon tea’s. Jally was very professional, communicative, very knowledgeable about his country, its culture, the politics and of course, cricket, and as per previous reviews, his car was always sparkling clean every morning! We organised to stay in Habarana for our first few days, and used it as a base to visit the cultural triangle, which we found ideal. Jally picked us up each morning fairly early, so to avoid the afternoon sun. This enabled us to see what we wanted, have some lunch somewhere local and allowed for an afternoon back at the hotel pool, rather than feeling exhausted at the end of each day. We moved onto Dambulla and then Kandy where Jally organised the Dancing Show for us, which was great, and then took us on to a local Indian restaurant which served great food, cold beer, and topped off a great day. We then travelled on to Nuwara Eliya and Ella, and it was here that a local driver is fantastic too, as you can literally stop anywhere to take a photo of some of the most spectacular scenery you will ever see – I’d love to see a bus do that for you! We finished our official trip with Jally in Galle, and spent four days between there and Hikkaduwa, which was fantastic, however we still had to get back to Colombo for an early flight out. We decided to enlist the help of Jally again (on his offering), with a trip back to Negombo from Hikkaduwa, as we wanted to maximise our time and save the hassle of a train back to Colombo, so for a reasonable fee, Jally took us to Negombo and ended what was a fantastic holiday experience. We would like to thank Jally again for helping (in no small part) to make our time in Sri Lanka stress free and truly memorable. It goes without hesitation that we would recommend Jally to anyone of any age.
Cheers again, Rich & Mia
We booked a 11 day tour of Sri Lanka via email with Jally in August 2009. We have travelled to many countries and have used a lot of different drivers. We have found Jally to be the best.
Jally was very professional; his car was clean and very new. He was keen to tell us about his country and answered any questions we had. We travelled with our 5 year old son and Jally was very patient with him.
Jally never took us anywhere we didn’t want to go, unless we wanted to go. We heard of other drivers taking people to craft places and spice gardens so they could get a commission.
We had the best time. Jally was always on time, helpful at making suggestions that would always benefit us. We wanted to go by train from Nana Oya to Ella. Jally was concerned as the train was full. When the train arrived Jally jumped on and found us somewhere we could sit and then he drove to Ella where we would meet him. He was not only a good driver but became a good friend and really looked after us. He came into banks and sat with us while we waited for a very long time, to change travellers cheques. He showed us where to go and get tickets for the International cricket, and what gate to enter at Galle. Nothing was a problem and we would not hesitate to recommend his services.
Cheers from Tarnia, Steve and Ryan Huppatz
This is our second tour with Jally in Sri Lanka.we were delighted to hear that he was able to accommodate us on this our return visit.perticularly as he was able to show us many completely new aspects of this wonderful island. He was there as promised to meet us on our arrival at the airport and whisked us off to our 1st hotel Cinnomon lodge in Habarana.from there we made visits to Anuradapura,Ritigala, Fasinative places. He also arranged for a jeep ride to Kaudulla where a large herd of elephants miraculously immerged from the jungle and came right up to our jeep for a feed at the end of the afternoon. You could even here them ripping the lush grass as they fed, such was the peace and tranquility of the setting.
He always knew the best comfort stops for us the spectacular location of the Ella motel or the ramparts in Galle.
He arranged two observation car visits for us. Kandy to nanuoya,Nanuoya to Ella.both spectacular and not to be missed. He arranged the best overnight accommodation at Ella and even fixed up a late afternoon trek for us up to the waterfall at Ella rock. This is a specialty in jally no time is ever wanted and he manages to organize things to allow us to get the maximum out of our stay.
A truly superb knowledgeable guide, fantastic organizer and safe and skilled driver.
Niel & Hazel Barnes
Having taught in Singapore and Taiwan for the past five years, I have had a chance to visit many countries in Asia. I would like to say Sri Lanka is among the most Interesting and beautiful of all the places I have been.
However what made it even more special was the chance to see the country with Jally.I normally travel independently and do not tend to travel on package tours. My itineraries are typically packed with offbeat adventures and classic sights both natural, historical, and cultural.
Jally quickly and accurately discerned my travel taste and help build a wonderful custom itinerary. He was amazingly responsive and no need went unmet. For example I arrived at 2.00am at Colombo and did not want to lose a day staying in Colombo.Jally picked me up and was waiting as I came out of the terminal and then proceeded to drive 5 hours to Sigiriya while I napped. He then led a wonderful tour through Sigiriya and on to Pollonnaruwa at a 1st Day?
The next day we took a trip to magical and unexcavated Ritigala.Jally then found a great hike for me at the Habarana tank.and in the evening we went to tour the Hurulu ecological park. The final day we went to Dambulla and Kandy.
The Kandy trip was last minute and Jally had no problem adjusting the itinerary.
We literally fit 6 days of touring in to 3 days.Jally was fantastic. He has a great sense of humor. He is very knowledgeable about history, archeology, architecture, religion and politics. He made the trip very special and gave me memories to last a life time.
He is reliable and provides excellent facilities.e.g his car is clean and well maintained.
Final day I would like to point out what a great value his services are. His prices are better than other good travel services such as RED DOT and KUONI he provides tour guide services on top of the driving. Most importantly he is a pleasure to spend time with a truly good honest guy and a great professional. I give him my highest recommendation.
3rd May 2010 to 6th May 2010
Many thanks to Jally, Terence (driver) and Gerard (porter) for the great service you gave us (family of 7) over 5 days (12-16 October 2009), and at a bargain price of USD50/day which included a 15 seater mini-bus (awesome value). Once we hit the heavy traffic of Colombo we were so glad to have had Jally and the boys drive us around. Terence’s driving skills were on full show during our 2 day trip to Kandy. Jally’s knowledge of Sri Lanka for the many places we visited around Colombo and on the way to Kandy was invaluable. We would have no hesitation in recommending Jally (and the boys) to anyone looking for a great holiday in Sri Lanka. Many thanks again.
We have used Jally for our three days tour in Sri Lanka on the recommendation of others & are so glad we did.he has been much better than we expected & have shown us some of the most beautiful sites this wonderful country has to offer.we got to see things we are sure we wouldn’t have seen with other guid driver such as a traditional Sri Lankan home which we was welcomed into & shown how they prepare meals & some great wood carving skills.
If you are in Sri Lanka I would advice you to use Jally’s for you tour as he will show you things & places with a great knowledge of nature,traditio n & history.our best experience was a ride through the jungle on the back of an elephant…….WOW!!!!!!.amazing.
The hotel Jally chose for us was very welcoming and had a great homely feel to it.the staff here are some of the friendliest people.it has been a pleasure to meet.
We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Jally for making our first trip to beautiful Sri Lanka the best vacation we have ever had.
Phill & I have had a thoroughly enjoyable three days with Jally. Jally’s explanations of Sri Lankas history, religious politics & culture have expand our knowledge of this fascinating country greatly. Jally has excellent knowledge of wild life plants & historical site which has added another dimension to our holiday than we would have otherwise gained.he was always be able to answer any queries or questions we had.
Jally is always polite,courteous & willing to assist in anyway he can.the background planning that Jally puts into arranging these tours clearly pays off as our tour was enjoyable.hassle free & we didn’t have to worry about anything.the accommodation that Jally arranged for us was excellent and gave more of a insight in to the true Sri Lanka.a particular highlight was visiting a traditional house & seeing how the family there lived,how food was prepared & how they used the land to live off,this was a real eye opener.we were grateful of Jally’s flexibility & willingness to show us thing that we would have not otherwise seen or read about in any tour books.
If we do come back to this amazing country again it will be Jally that we get in touch with.we couldn’t recommend him more highly.
It is my pleasure to send you a note of thanks for your excellent job as our family guide during our two weeks visit to sri lanka.I would be happy for you to use this letter as a way of reassuring any potential travelers of your ability, not just simply as a guide to accompany visitors but also as a fountain of knowledge on numerous subjects related to wild life,flora,faun a history,agriculture,culture and more besides in relation to Sri Lanka. Add to this a good knowledge of world affairs and it provides a significant level of what we call “added value” this we came to experience during our two separate trips over two weeks which were for three days in week one and four days in week two
Anyone can find a guide to drive a car and point out one or two things of interest,howeve r, if they want to really maximize their time and their investment in traveling to sri lnaka by gaining in depth knowledge whilst they are there, then they can do no better than call on your services and knowledge. I would also add that your attention to detail on each step of the way was always notable,welcome d and on occasions most necessary it is this attention to detail that makes things happen as they should by pre- empting potential difficulties.I am sure that if anything were to fall short of expectations, then it would be due to factors outside your control,but not for the lack of effort attention to detail or skill.I am pleased to say that we had two perfect trips and many thanks to you.
All the girls send their best wishes and I attach a couple of photos which include you.I would also add you worked well with our children of 15,13 and 10 years and again would have no hesitation in recommending you to a family group, as much as adults only.
Finally, if the above commendation is still insufficient and if any potential tourist need a final reassurance they can always give me a quick call or text on my mobile about any aspect of recruiting you. 00 44(0)7990508914
For now I wish you and your family well and continued success as a high quality guide that delivers great value. Regards Pat
I’d like to say that hiring a driver is probably the best way to make the most out of your trip. You can see a lot of the country in limited time, in A/C comfort. Safety on the road should be your foremost concern. I’ve been an ardent self driver in a whole lot of countries, but as for Sri Lanka I decided it was easier to hire a driver rather than plunge myself into local traffic, which would require a week or so before you get used to it. It is important what driver you chose. He must be reliable and concerned about your safety. With Jally I felt I made a very good choice. I initially selected him because he came recommended, plus his price was one of the best. But during 9 days and 1200 km with him on the road I also came to enjoy him as a travel companion and a good guide who provided a lot of insights into his country. There are a lot of drivers around, but I feel safe to say that you won’t go wrong with Jally. I recommend him without any reservation.
…though we must have been Jally’s nightmare clients! We had a run of misfortunes, from the non arrival of our luggage when we got to Colombo, to my unfortunate encounter with one of Kandy’s open drains when walking back to our hotel in the dark! Jally was immensely helpful in pestering the airline to get them to recover and eventually deliver the luggage, and was extremely considerate and flexible in altering our itinerary to take account of my difficulties in walking with a very bruised, badly cut, and swollen foot!
Hiring a driver guide for a week seemed like a big risk initially. Basically we were going to be spending eight days with a stranger, and we wondered if that would be difficult…especially as we’re fairly quiet people. But Jally was the easiest of company, extremely good humoured, and very intuitive about knowing when we wanted to chat and when we just wanted to gaze out of the window and watch Sri Lanka go by, (or in my husband’s case, as he was recovering from recent ill-health, have a snooze!)
We learned so much from Jally, and nothing was too much trouble for him. He was supremely patient and tolerant, and only wanted to give us the best tour he could, and make sure we experienced the best of everything his country had to offer. With his years of experience, and contacts (my husband reckons Jally knows just about everyone in Sri Lanka!), he was able to do just that.
Thanks Jally…we’re very grateful to you, and recommend your services wholeheartedly.
Many thanks for your guidance during our recent wonderful stay in Sri Lanka.you certainly made it a pleasure. I would have no hesitation in recommending your driving and guide services to any of my friends and relations. We found you a font of knowledge for our journey through the Ancient Cities, but your overall world knowledge was very impressive too, Id certainly want you on my quiz team! Anyway, thanks for your company and help I just wished that Id asked you to book the hotels we stayed in, we could have saved a small fortune or upgraded our rooms for the same price. Ah well theres always next time. See you soon. Phil & Viv.
We arrived in Sri Lanka on our first visit not quite knowing what to expect. Jally was there promptly to meet us at the airport and quickly collected our luggage and got us off on the way to Kandy. We were visiting Kandy during the Festival of the Tooth, which is attended by more than a million Buddhist pilgrims in just a few days time. Despite the traffic complications due to the festival which made driving very difficult, Jally managed to get us to the sights in the area and answer any question we could muster regarding Sri Lankan flora, fauna, history, etc. He is extremely knowledgeable in all matters that might be of interest to a visitor. Our experience of having Jally drive and guide us in the limited time we had in his country was truly memorable. I cannot imagine any return visit to Sri Lanka without using his services again. We were very fortunate to have him as our guide and would give him our highest recommendation. Jally clearly takes much pride in what he does and it shows by the quality of the service he provides. He was always on time and charged a very reasonable rate. I have read the other complimentary comments from satisfied clients of Jally on this site and must say that they are entirely consistent with our experience with him. I would be happy to answer any questions a prospective visitor might have who was considering engaging Jally as their driver and guide .
Reflections from a regular visitor to Sri Lanka
On the frequent visits I have made there has always been an important emphasis on the quality of the driver who is responsible of ensuring the safety of the client and the success of the tour.
Jally has more than fulfilled such responsibilities and expectations making his priority to be the satisfaction of the client. He is a professional and able to share a wide knowledge of the country, its history, culture and people.
His driving is exemplary on roads that would challenge the best of us and his negotiations thorough the reckless aspects of other drivers!!
He is always punctual, the car is kept in immaculate order and his priority is always with the client.
As a regular visitor my needs somewhat different from the average tourist in Sri Lanka.Jally had to adjust to extended periods of inactivity and deal with somewhat unconventional client. This he did and my appreciation is expressed in this brief note.
With many thanks,
Malcolm Wray (Bales Worldwide Tour Manager UK)
WONDEFUL TRIP IN SRI LANKA
Thanks you for being our eyes to your wonderful country.witout your assistance we would have missed so much. You seemed to know instinctively where we should go and what we should see.
You explained everything with deep knowledge the History, The culture, the natural life. Thanks you for showing us the Kingfishers, huming birds, the owl etc.I cant believe what we have all seeing in such a few days you have managed to stretch them for us. You have become such a part of our lives for the past few days and will become such a fond memory to look back upon.
We will also look back at the many funny times and your great sense of humor. the episode over my long shorts (or not so long enough!) at the temple, tail gating the coffin truck etc
Your driving was superb. We simply marveled at your skill and felt constantly safe. All this while delivering interesting commentary or answering our questions. Thank you so much..