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My latest blogs

  •   Are you traveling to Hungary soon? Then this is the perfect blog post to find the best places to see in Hungary beyond Budapest. Of course I understand if the beautiful capital is going to be your base and you start traveling around the
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  •   In December 2018 I got the opportunity to travel to Alicante and check out nearby places. In my extensive Alicante travel guide I already wrote about the best places to visit and the best things to do and also mentioned some day trips. To
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  •   Ever since I was a kid I have been fascinated by maps. They hang above my bed, I collected flags of countries I had a globe to learn about our planet, basically I was already a big fan of exploring before I even started
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  •   Most people that travel to Thailand probably imagine that taking busses, trains and boats are the easiest ways to get around Thailand. But in fact to see the best places in the country taking cheap domestic flights in Thailand is much easier, faster and
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  •   Plenty of Maldives resorts to choose from nowadays, so where to stay in Maldives is a difficult question to answer. Every resort is unique and has its own style and so is Kanuhura Island Resort & Spa. In this review I will take you
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  •   Who can travel without an internet connection? Is that even possible nowadays? Think about electronic tickets, ordering a taxi, booking a hotel or even making phone calls. Everything is done over the internet and being connected feels just so much better. As a professional
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  •   Another day, another resort in Maldives! After spending already two weeks in Maldives, it was time to board another seaplane. The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo just recently opened its doors and we were about to check out and review this brand new resort in Maldives.
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  •   My main reason for visiting Australia’s Northern Territory was to visit Australia’s largest national park. Just to give you an idea of how big Kakadu national park is, it is about 1/3 of the size of Tasmania , nearly half the size of Switzerland and
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  •   Before arriving in Perth I had travelled the west coast of Australia, where you’ll hardly find any hotels, so my accommodation for over 2 weeks consisted mainly of self-contained units. Arriving in Perth I really needed a good hotel offering a good bed, a
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  •   Lately I flew over from Hungary to Alicante to get a taste of the beautiful Costa Blanca in Spain. Not only in the UK holidays to Alicante are popular there are many direct flights landing on Alicante Airport from Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia. For
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  •   Nowadays there is a lot of discussion on zoo’s and animals living in captivity. Let me be clear, I’m in favour of animals living in their natural habitat. It’s not really my place to weigh in on this discussion. Animals in the Croccove in Darwin
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  •   When you are traveling to Spain I am pretty sure you want to keep the people back home up to date about how things are going on your trip. Surely you don’t want your Spain holiday to get ruined by outrageous roaming costs and
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  •   For some people the mountains are always calling, but for me that counts for Maldives as well. Perks of the job is that I get to experience the best resorts in Maldives. Apart from the standard ‘oh wow, Im jealous!’ reactions a lot of
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  •   After my stay in Adaaran Meedhupparu, Hudhuranfushi and Prestige Vadoo I completed all the Adaaran Maldives resorts by visiting Adaaran Club Rannalhi. It was already my 4th trip to Maldives in 2 years time and eventually this became the longest one of all. In
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  •   There’s much more to a casino than its gaming tables, spinning roulette machines and whizzing and whirring slots. The very best casinos in the world know that they have to offer their guests that something more to entice them into their establishment – especially now
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about traveltomtom

My name is Tom and my biggest passion is obviously traveling. In 2008 I decided to go on a trip around the world and in 1 year I traveled through 24 countries from North America to South America, New Zealand, Australia and finally South East Asia.

I got back to the Netherlands and saved as much money as I could and in December 2012 I quitted my job again and ever since I am traveling the world. I have now been to almost 100 countries and this website and my social media accounts help me to travel the world. Traveling makes me a better person with ever day I am on the road. Don’t waste time live now, go out and explore the world! May you want to help a little please use my affiliate links. Thank you very much!

With this blog I love to give back and help you make the most out of your trip. I hope these tips will help. May you have specific questions please get in touch with me.

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It is hard to find a country that is easy accessible, where the tourism industry is flourishing and where I have not been yet, especially in Asia. Though two very well travelled countries were topping that list: India and Sri Lanka. Somehow so far I had never been tempted to go there, although the growing curiosity for especially India. Since there are so many different stories out there, some good, some bad, I thought it was time to put it to the test. A couple days later I flew out from Abu Dhabi and had a smooth landing with Eithad in Colombo: I made it to Sri Lanka.

Where to travel in Asia?

Although I always knew that I was going to travel here some day, I did not really plan to come here now. Since I ruptured my eardrum while diving in Thailand there was no point for me staying on Koh Tao. Diving was the main basic purpose why I was staying there and that was impossible for the next 8 weeks. Two days later I flew to Dubai, just for a couple days I though initially, but in the end I stayed there almost 3 weeks. Mostly cause of my cousin and her husband who hosted me all this time, which I’m extremely thankful for! During my days on the beach I had time to think about where to go and what to do. Of course I looked at Google Maps loads of times to area’s of the world I had never been. At first I wanted to go to Northern India and make my way up to Pakistan and may be catch a glimpse of the K2 Mountain. So I started googling about visas for India and Pakistan. It was then when I discovered that it was fairly impossible to get an Pakistani visa abroad. Which basically means you have to apply for it in the country of residence. Probably it is a pain in the ass for Pakistani people to get a EU-visa, so Pakistan is not making it really easy for us either to get one for their country. I can somehow understand it, but on the other hand I was willing to spend money in their country, stimulate the local economy and explore and tell stories about it, making it a topic. Unfortunately I can’t and I had to come up with an alternative for Pakistan.

Travelling in such an enormous country like India can take up to a couple months, so I decided to get my Indian visa and just travel around there before heading back to Koh Tao again for diving. Surprisingly obtaining a visa for India was not really a straightforward process in Dubai. Because I was not permanently living in the UAE I needed to arrange two extra statements. The first one was hilarious: on a random piece of paper I had to write my name, a signature, the date and that I wanted to go on a holiday to India. That’s it! The second one was sadly enough not that easy, cause they demanded a statement from the Dutch Embassy that I was registered in The Netherlands and therefor was a visitor in the UAE.

When I contacted the Dutch Embassy they said that they had never heard of this procedure and that they don’t hand out such statements.  Being caught up in this bureaucracy was driving me nuts but then came up with the magical idea to arrange my Indian visa in Sri Lanka.

About to travel to Sri Lanka? Read these Sri Lanka travel tips first!

Getting your Indian Visa in Colombo

Applying for an Indian visa in Colombo is nowadays a straightforward process and as long as you have the required documents ready it wont be that much hassle to get one.

If you are really lazy, you can just take a tuktuk to the IVS Lanka and go next door to one of the little shops, give them your passport. They will prepare all the necessary paperwork, which will set you back about 700 Rs, about $5, including two pictures. It is really easy to do it yourself online though and let the hotel print out your forms. Be careful there are some pitfalls as your current address needs to be the address of your hotel in Sri Lanka. It is also advised to apply for a 6 months visa, multiple entry and port of entry and exit should be ‘ALL PORTS’. Make sure you bring two picture that are exactly 2x2mm and a copy of your passport and a copy of your Sri Lankan visa. Once you got your stuff organised, enter the IVS where they make you fill out a little paper, you wait for a bit, in my case only 20 minutes. I had to pay the amount of 5,847 Rs, just $45. You straight away get your passport back and after my travels through Sri Lanka I have to drop it in the morning between 9-11am and collect it the next day between 4-5pm. This all sounds pretty convenient and this is the way it should be everywhere. Visas are already a freaking pain in the ass, so don’t make the process to get one too complicated please!

First thing to do when arriving in Sri Lanka

I am here now for only a couple days, so it is hard to tell something about the country. I stayed in Colombo just because I had to arrange the visa and fair enough but that’s about the only reason I can think of to stay in this city. There are some kind of temples you can visit and there is bit of historical Dutch architecture to take a look at, but so far there was not really anyone who could tell me something exciting to do there. 

Getting a Sri Lankan SIM card with data

On the airport I arranged a Sri Lankan SIM card from Dialog for 1300Rs ($10), which enables me to use 5GB data and 150min calling time for the next 30 days. Excellent deal and so far the coverage is pretty good and the internet stable and fast.

Taxi from the airport to downtown Colombo

Coming in at night from the airport by taxi which set me back 2500Rs. ($19), Colombo was not like something I had never seen before, just another worn out Asian city with too much traffic if you ask me. The people though are really polite and friendly.

Getting in touch with locals in Sri Lanka

They all ask you which country you are from and try to start a little conversation. Of course they are not the tallest so I’m like a giant for them, which makes them look really sweet actually. So far they really touched my heart and of course there is always a dispute about a little bit of money, but once you arranged a price it is all good. Whether it is on the streets trying to change money or that tuktuk ride that costs you $1, once you settled they will help you with a big smile!

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About the Traveltomtom

Born in The Netherlands a long time ago I grew up in the South of Holland, just a couple kilometers from the German border as well as a couple kilometers from the Belgium border. Considerably close to a couple borders, you can say I have been spoon-fed with different cultures, different languages and crossing borders.

In 2006 I made my first big move as I decided to travel overseas and live for 6 months on the lovely Caribbean island of Aruba. Here a different lifestyle inspired me! Local people showed me that life was more than our society is teaching us. Getting a degree, finding a nice job, making career and being successful is something most people pursue, but I found out that this was not my thing.

Exploring the world, making new friends, discover new places and meeting people from all over the globe was making me happy. Then why should I be sitting behind a desk, seeing the same people over and over in my daily life?

Read more about my story

 

about traveltomtom