Apart from a few fantastic rides on trains, most of our time spent traveling in Sri Lanka was by car. We hired a nice driver who took good care of us and more often than not acted as our guide.
In Sri Lanka they drive on the left (just like in England and Hong Kong) – a hangover from colonial times.
Most of the countryside roads are one lane wide dirt tracks and the easiest way to drive on them is to stay in the centre and only move to the side when you see a bigger car. You cannot trust mopeds or tuk-tuks drivers. They are fearless and can (and will) drive in any direction at anytime. Several times we came across bus drivers blocking entire roads while chatting to each other.
We always made sure we had our seat belts on as cars in front were prone to slamming on their breaks – which resulted in our driver doing the same. This happened over and over again.
Sri Lankan drivers are not fond of respecting traffic signs (not that there are many of them!) just like in Poland years ago. Speed limits are treated as guidelines and not rules that shouldn’t be broken. Horn usage is excessive and used mostly to announce your presence to others in hilly areas.
Seemingly short distances would sometimes take hours to drive because of traffic or the condition of the road but this didn’t bother us. We had a great time chatting and watching the traffic.