A TRAVELLER’S GUIDE TO AMAZING SRILANKA
OFFICIAL NAME: Democratic Sociaflist Republic of Srilanka
AREA: 65,525 SQ KM
LOCATION: The island of srilanka lies in the Indian ocean, to the south west of the Bay of Bengal .it is separated from the indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait
POPULATION: 21,128,773 (estimated)
ETHNIC GROUPS: Sinhalese 74.5%, srilankan Tamils 11.9%, Indian Tamils 4.6%, Moor 7.2%, other 1.8 %
TIME ZONE: GMT +5 ½, Day light saving times not observed.
CLIMATE: Srilanka has no marked seasons, there are two monsoons. the north east monsoon occurs from December to March and the south west Monsoon from june to October. A tropical climate exists throughout the island. the hill country is cooler and more temperate.
LANGUAGES: Sinhala, Tamil and English widely spoken throughout the island
COASTLINE: 1340 KM
CAPITAL:Sril Jayawardenapura Kotte
COMMERCIAL CAPITAL: Colombo
ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS: Nine provinces: Central, North Central,North,North,North Western,Sabaragamuwa,Southern,Uva,Western and Eastern Province.
RELIGION: Predominately Buddhism,Hinduism,Christianity and Islam
INDEPENDENCE DAY: 4TH OF February
Saturdays and Sundays are usually non-working days. The days of the full moon, poya day is a religious holiday in the Buddhist calendar .it is a public, bank & mercantile holiday and most independent places are also closed. The selling of alcohol, including tourist hotels is banned on poya day.
MAJOR EXPORTS: Tea,Textiles,Gems,Rubber & Coconut products.
HIGEST PEAK: Piduruthalagala (mount pedro) at 2,524m
NATIONAL BIRD: Jungle Fowl
NATIONAL TREE:Ironwood:the na tree (Mesua nagassarium)
NATIONAL FLOWER: Blue Water Lilly (Nymphaea stellata)
VOLTAGE REQUIREMENTS: 230/240 volts AC,50 HZ (Round three pin plugs are common, with bayonet lamp fittings)
INTERNATIONAL DIALLING: +94 followed by the area code without the 0, and the number
Rice, sugarcane,grains,pulses,oilseed,spices,tea,rubber and coconut
processing of rubber,tea,coconut,tobacco and other agricultural commodities ,tourism ,telecommunications,insurance,banking,garment manufacturing,textiles,cement,petroleum refining
CURRENCY: Srilankan Rupee(RS)
KEEP IN MIND
TRAVELLERS CHEQUES: widely accepted at banks and money exchanges, a 1% stamp duty plus a small commission is charged .
CREDIT CARDS: Accepted in major establishments Islandwide ATM:Available throughout the country where are banks and commercial areas.
MONEY: The exchange of foreign currency should only be done at reputable outlets such as banks or licensed money changers. a receipt should be obtained so re-exchange of rupees to foreign currency can be done at airport banks on departure.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: The medical standards are excellent. qualified doctors and surgeons are available in government and private hospitals for emergencies.
TIPPING: A service charge of 10% is included in restaurant and hotel bills. a tip above this (say half of the service charge in cash to the server) is appreciated .there will also be an additional percentage (up to 17%) added to restaurant and hotel bills for government and provincial taxes. It is not compulsory to tip to drivers but customary.
SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS: Shops and Restaurants are open daily
STAY UP TO DATE: For Tourist Information Call 1912
Sri lanka is well connected with network of flight services from around the world .
we have put down some useful information here as a guide line.so please take some time to browse around and book a your flight in advance . you always find better deals online and you can use your chosen flight search services to look for the flights .
Depending on your location you can book either a direct flight or a connecting flight (which may include two airlines) to Srilanka.
Sri lankan Airline is the National Carrier of the island
you can use flight Search Services to browse for your flight and connections . the most popular on the market as of 2015 are Kayak,Sky Scanner,Seat Guru,Hipmunk,Momondo,Google Flights .
please do enough research before you book your flight ,because the cancelations and change of your flight and alterations may cost you an additional money.
DO YOU NEED A VISA TO VISIT SRI LANKA
- Bona-Fide Tourist who arrives in srilanka without prior ETA reference number still can obtain visas upon on arrival at the Airport after the payment of relevant processing fee
- ETA is not a pre-condition to Board a flight/vessel to srilanka
- if there is a difficulty in log in to the ETA system ,visitors can still apply through srilankan high commission from your country or by post
- you need a valid passport minimum of up to six months
- you need to satisfy the authorities by providing that you have sufficient funds to cover the stay in srilanka.being minimum is $15 per day .
TRAVEL VACCINATIONS FOR SRILANKA
we recommended that you consult with your family doctor , General Practitioner or Practice Nurse 6-8 weeks in advance of travel.
They will assess your particular health risks before recommending vaccines and /or antimalarial tablets.
discuss important travel health issues including safe food and water ,accident and insect bites.
Many of the problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other preventive measures need to be taken.
strongly recommend you visit the CDC website for more information. CDC is your online source for credible health information for travellers and is the official website of the centres for disease control and prevention.
you can also find some information on the website of srilanka high commission regarding travel to srilanka
ARRIVING AT SRILANKAN AIRPORT
by visiting Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) ltd website ,you can gain lot of pre Arrival and Departure information in Srilanka.
or alternatively visit
SRILANKAN DUTY FREE
visitors to the island are exempt from custom duties on personal belongings ,this includes your clothing ,cosmetics and any other nature of your personal belongings .
and any Gifts should not exceed to the value of $250
you can bring 1 and half litre of liquor and two bottles of wine
SMOKING AND DRINKING IN SRILANKA
smoking is prohibited on public transports ,indoor places and work places and please refrain from smoking in religious places in and around .
You can be fined if you ignore instructions not to smoke or drink in certain public areas
please visit the website for more information on this subject and Law.
you will find useful discussions on the subject on trip advisor as a tourists
PLEASE RESPECT LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS
There are severe penalties for all drug offences and crimes related to the abuse of children.
In some circumstances you can be held without charge indefinitely. Convicted offenders may face a lengthy jail sentence.
Same-sex relations are illegal . we as a operator promote equality in general for all visitors arriving to the island ,please visit our LGBT guide page where you will find useful information how you can best enjoy your holiday in srilanka.
Nude or topless sunbathing is generally not allowed. please see the following discussion on trip advisor on the subject
Although Sri Lankan attitudes to informal styles of dress are generally relaxed, women travelling alone may feel uncomfortable if not dressed modestly. Cover your legs and shoulders, and take off shoes and hats if you are entering a Buddhist temple.
The mistreatment of Buddhist images and artefacts is a serious offence and tourists have been convicted for this.
foreigners have been refused entry to Sri Lanka or faced deportation for having visible tattoos of Buddha.
Don’t pose for photographs standing in front of a statue of Buddha.
Don’t take photographs of military bases, government buildings or vehicles used by VIPs (this includes numerous sites in central Colombo).
RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS AND POYDAYS
Alcohol and meat are not usually available on religious holidays.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN SRILANKA
public transport is cheap and the infrastructure is in good condition
the island is connected with bus and train services mainly all the main cities while villages and some areas are poorly served with these services .but they can be extremely crowded,uncomfortable with no room for luggage and slow .you may experience hours of waiting and with regular stops for particular transportation services .
the pros of this service is it can be cheap and ideal for travel between some cities.
the trains tickets are cheap and there are beautiful (recommended) routes if you take a train ride ,we have included some of these train journey in our tour packages .
the cons of these mode of transportation is, its not frequent ,slow and crowded with limited destinations. some journeys can be uncomfortable as well.