Every trishaw ride begins with one, negotiate the price with the driver. Now you can be brave and just jump in any old trishaw that comes along, give the driver a destination and deal with the fair when you arrive, but chances are if you're a Westerner that is going to be a hefty fair.
As it stands now we probably pay, make that we do pay too much, probably double what a Sri Lankan pays.
More often than not when you ask how much the driver usually says something to the effect of "No problem, you pay whatever" or "Get in, no problem" everything is no problem.
It's just automatically assumed you're rich if your a Westerner. To make things that much more difficult for us is that if we catch a trishaw outside of our apartment then they know you live in one of the most expensive apartments in Colombo, doesn't help. Works the other way around as well when we try to catch a ride to our apartment.
Funny double whammy as we ate at a restaurant at the Hilton Residences (Hilton Hotel apartments) and grabbed a trishaw back to our apartment. Yeah, try being cheap leaving one of the most expensive apartments in Colombo and going to one of the other expensive apartments in Colombo. Actually wasn't so bad, I started the negotiation off with 150 Rupees, he asked for 250 and we settled for 200 ($1.75), probably 100 if I was Sri Lanka!