Originally known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka is drenched in culture and natural beauty. This teardrop shaped island can bring tears to anyone’s eyes with its beauty. Sri Lanka has 8 World Heritage Sites that take one on a journey through the ancient archaeological sites to cave temples with walks through forest reserve & natural highlands as additional compliments.
It is a country which appeals to all kinds of travelers. It offers crystal clear beaches with amazing aquatic life and coral reefs. One can go diving in the oceans or do whale/dolphin watching. For geo travelers, it is a gold mine of caves which one can explore while enjoying the surrounding natural beauty. If you are a traveler who loves to sink into the history of the place you visit, then Sri Lanka is the place for you. You can visit the ancient cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy that tell the ancient tales of this country through their ruins. The forts and architecture of the cities talk about their Portugal, Dutch and British Heritage. The trekkers and hikers will find this country to be a paradise with its great expanses to explore. Surfers can ride the waves to the shore and lay back on the beach. The hills of Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Haputale call you to enjoy the morning mist and a hot cup to tea.
Food lovers will find Sri Lanka to be a paradise; the cuisine of Sri Lanka has been inspired by the long heritage of Malay immigrants, Arab traders, Portuguese, Dutch, British and its local Sinhalese flavors. A must try food is the Sri Lankan Hooper. It is an amazing marriage of south Indian appam and fried egg. One can enjoy the fresh local catch of the day cooked to perfection in front of your eyes.
After years of political turmoil this country has emerged as a diamond in the rough. Every effort is being made to revive tourism and make sure that the travelers are safe. The northern province of Sri Lanka was majorly hit and still continues to be on high alert list. The eastern province situation has improved in last year but is still somewhat volatile.
For the ones who love speed and thrills, The Mahagastotte and Radella Hill Rally hosted in April can fulfill your driving streaks.
1) It is customary to remove shoes before entering a religious place/temple or even in the ancient ruins of temples.
2)Men should be dressed in trousers and women are advised to wear loose trousers & modest tops. Ensure that you are fully clothed or covered as a sign of respect for the religious sentiments.
3) Use the right hand to give or take something and for eating. Left hand is considered unclean in the Sri Lankan culture.
4) In the presence of a Buddhist monk or Hindu pundit, ensure to greet them by holding your hands in a Namaste position over your head. If sitting with them then ensure to sit a level lower to them and never point your toes in their directions.
5) The 10% service tax and 12.5% government tax is usually included in the bills at the restaurant and hotels. It is at your discretion to tip the waiters. It is advisable to tip the chauffeur or tour guide for their services.
Sri Lanka is still not handicap friendly in terms of its infrastructure; therefore, it is advisable to make sure you update your travel agent in advance about your requirements.
6) The currency of Sri Lanka is Rupee. The notes are available in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 & 1000 Rupees. It is advisable to break down large denomination notes like 500 & 1000 into smaller ones as the locals generally don’t seem to have change easily at their disposal.
7) If travelling north of Vavuniya, you need to obtain prior permission. Reference: http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20100801_06)
1) Do not drink water straight from the tap in Sri Lanka as it is not safe. Ensure the bottled water has the SLS label (Sri Lanka Standard institute).
2) There are scams involving gem sales. Therefore, ensure to go to a proper shop which can give you certificate of gems' purity and authenticity.
3) Plan your sightseeing or travel within the country in advance, do not completely depend or believe the taxi/tuk tuk drivers.
4) It is not advisable for women to visit the beaches or the streets alone at night.
1) Factories of many international brands are based in Sri Lanka. With little hard work, one can find authentic fabrics and brands at cheeper rates, though the chances of being cheated are equally high.
2) Sri Lanka grows the world’s finest tea and some excellent coffee. It is definitely worth buying some to take home.
3) There are some nice local artifacts like masks, mats, baskets and bags.
We hope that we have been of help in finding the required info for Sri Lanka.
Do allow us to help you find the cheapest hotel or flight for your visit!