Canadians and the AbaY Tuk Tuk scam mafia

First published 16th September, 2010
re- issued because it might still be relevant
Please also look at the attached Comments !
Add YOUR own experience for all to see & shame the responsible guys!

We attempted to find a short cut from Arugam Bay to Tissamaharama by heading along the coast through Yala National Park, a bite-sized chunk of parkland out of the South-East corner of the map of Sri Lanka; but we could discover no means of transit and were advised that there were towns approaching it that were still militarily impassable.
(editor’s note: This is incorrect. There simply is no road, and no town at all)


3 wheelers need to tidy up their mode of ethics

Consequently our journey became a six-hour bus ride in searing heat, particularly when one added the heat from the constantly overworked engine and gearbox of the bus, and the heat thrown up from the black asphalted roads. We knew it would be an exhausting day, but we’re getting pretty used to this and can always console ourselves with the thought that things could be worsea??we could be travelling by train! Before our bus ride could begin, however, we had a few little snags to overcome.
No matter who we asked, we got a different answer about what busses were leaving Arugam Bay and at what times. Absolutely no official information! We were up early enough to make a leisurely start; but by the time we were out at the roadside, a very convincing tuk-tuk driver lied and said wea??d missed the direct bus from Arugam Bay. Sakura Guest House With Hosts

Sakura Guest House With Hosts

He convinced us that we needed to cross the causeway into Potuvil, which was a short enough journey, so we let him take us. As we arrived at the bus stand in Potuvil, a bus pulled out and roared off. A dozen tuk-tuk drivers howled in convincing chorus that it was the only bus of the day to get us to Tissamaharama.
One tuk-tuk driver convinced us (against all logic) that he could catch the bus if we hopped in his tuk-tuk quickly. After a few kilometres of falling further and further behind, we told him to return us to Potuvil. Despondently, we disembarked and were trying to pull ourselves together to consider our options when another bus went screaming by. This time a tuk-tuk driver who was quickly on the ball pulled up beside us and urged us to get in. He drove like a bat out of Hell.
This time we really thought we had a chance to catch “the last bus”. We quickly negotiated a fair price even as he cut corners and safety, leaning on his horn for the entire time. a??Dona??t worrya??, he assured us, a??bus stop at next military checkpoint!a?? Of course it didna??t and we ended up at the next towna??he wanting to take us hundreds of kilometres for thousands of rupees; we insisting we get out right there. We ended up in a terrible argument with the lying driver and having to settle payment for more than we agreed upon, but less than he was demanding. Ia??d become resolute by now, seeing how wea??d been taken three times, and was determined to wait for the next bus even if it meant waiting through the night on the side of the road Cheap cabgolin tab Supper Being cooked For Us

Supper Being cooked For Us

. We didna??t have to wait so long. Within another hour, yet another bus arrived from Potuvil and our journey really began and ended uneventfully.

We didna??t even have to walk far once we disembarked, but spotted quickly the sign for Sakura Guest House. As we turned into the lane for the accommodation, a jeep pulled up beside us and asked where we were going. a??Sakura Guest Housea??, we answered. a??Oh. Thata??s my placea??, he said. a??Hop ina??. Before wea??d travelled the fifty yards or so to the door, the guy had tried to sell us a safari and an air conditioned room in another hotel. Needless to say he had nothing to do with the Sakura Guest House. Our host smiled, indicating that this goes on all the time. Fortunately wea??d booked at a lovely guest house at a budget price where our hosts Kumudu and Nalani Kariyawasam who have two lovely children were keen to make us welcome. Wea??d recommend the Sakura Guest House to any budget traveller. Ita??s actually in Debarawewa, a suburb of Tissamaharama. The first thing we did was go to our room, hop in the shower and wash the a??stupid tourista?? signs off our foreheads.

The garden is lovely and the accommodation is just far enough from the main road to give the impression that traffic is a distant memory. That night we hit the main road of Debarawewa, turned right for about a hundred metres and ate street food at the Ranil and Dilshan Hotel. Dona??t be fooled by the hotel name; ita??s a street food kiosk, but they are friendly, fair, and cook up a mean Gotu and Egg Roti.


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3 Responses to “Canadians and the AbaY Tuk Tuk scam mafia”

  • Tuk tuk, taxi, land & investment frauds, deception, thefts and so on
    gives Arugam Bay a bad name!
    Recent disturbances by outsiders at the most mellow pub in town also do great harm to the resort’s otherwise good reputation.
    This Community should stand together and iron out the few rotten eggs in their middle.
    Maurice, France

  • Very relevant indeed!
    Things got even worse since then:

    02/09/2013 at 20:15
    Loved my time in Sri Lanka, especially in Arugam Bay.
    But at the last day strange things happened:
    We managed a taxi driver to the airport, a person I knew before and that´s always fair and kind. But then strange people called him and threaten him to leave the town, created strange rules (only 4 people can go by car) and forced him not to bring us to the airport (at 1 am / our plan was to go at 5 am). After long discussion we started our journey but short drive after ABay a car overtook us and forced us to stop. 5 people came out the car and threatened our driver with violence. The situation was really dangerous.

    I think somebody should stop this mafia. Everybody can choose which driver he will take, at which time and for how much money. So be careful when u are looking for a taxi.”


    Thank you.
    For this valuable feed-back.
    We hope that the people involved see the danger signs and re-think their own strategy.
    It will be in the best interest of EVERYONE in the Bay

  • Oh dear, I had tears (sorry -of laughter) reading your story. I can just imagine these guys sitting there plotting. I have had to wash that sign of my forehead many times too.

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