Travel Tips

Follow our travel tips for happy journey

As a responsible travel company we always care about our clients. Their satisfaction is the most important thing to us. Therefore, we always try to give some best TRAVEL TIPS and INFORMATION to our clients. Our travel tip page will guide you to find the most important information you need, when you travel to our richly diverse country.

When to visit Sri Lanka

Sri Lank is one of the most famous destinations you can visit at any time of the year, because we have sunshine very well throughout year. Temperature is around 27°C – 30°C. But, some parts of the highland as low as below 10°C at night [hill country]. Our island has two wet monsoon periods in May and July in south-west region and December and January. Clear blue skies and bright sunny days are usual even during the wet season, when tropical showers and storms don’t last long. Sri Lanka is 51/2 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), 2½ hours behind Singapore and 4½ hours behind Australia EST (Eastern Standard Time).

Booking in advance

The peak season is between December and March. So many European travelers who plan to visit leisurely select this period in their winter cold, because they love our warm sunshine and golden beaches. in that period of time, the most popular destinations are west coast , Kandy and Nuwara Eliya if you expect to select some accommodation facilities in this period, it’ s better, if you book in advance to secure desired accommodation as well as July and August also peak period because of the Kandy Perehera festival programme.

What to pack and bring

Sri Lanka is a tropical country. So it’s better if you can use cotton cloths and when you expect to visit the beaches, you can use swimwear also but casual dress should not be provocative to others . If you have some special sun cream and other cosmetics, best thing is to bring that because sometimes you will not be able to find that product at local outlets. Wi-Fi facility is available at all hotels and restaurant. So, you can use your sensational gadgets and enjoy. Bring enough prescription medicines too as the brand might not be stocked by pharmacies. so as little as possible.

Trip Organizing

When planning a Round trip tour most important thing is your flight arrival time and departure time, because we can spread your tour plan very well under your flight details and make maximum use of your stay. Most tourists when visiting SriLanka always try to select Habarana as their first destination, because Habarana is the central point, when visiting the cultural sites [Dambulla,Anuradhapura,Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya].From Airport to Habarana travel time is 3 hours If you arrive in morning it’s easy to travel to Habarana on the same day, but when you have flight which arrives in evening, the best thing is to spend the night in Colombo[30 minutes travel time by express way] .when you travel to another city, you had better start early [depend on the day tour plan] because on the way you will be able to see a lot of natural sceneries and beautiful places. So, if you can start early you will be able to spend your time to visit more places but it depends on your choice and try to manage your hotel reservation early.

About the visa

You can get your visa under all category form our Immigration Department WEB site.that is the best way for clear and fast visa.

Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha,
Maradana,
Colombo 10.
Tel: +94-11-5329000 / +94-11-5329316/20/21/25
www.immigration.gov.lk
www.eta.gov.lk [for tourist visa]

About Currency/Money exchange

Visitors to Sri Lanka bringing in more than US$10,000 should declare the amount to the Customs on arrival. Your foreign currency and Cheques may be changed at any hotel, although commercial bank also offers better rates. There are many places for converting foreign currency at the Airport banks, and other banks in the city areas in addition to the most of the cities. we have money change centers that work under government permit. They also prove good rates for you. All unspent rupees converted from foreign currencies can be re-converted to the original currency on departure as long as encashment receipts can be produced. Currency notes are in circulation are for 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 2000s and 5000 rupees. Please note that the Sri Lankan rupee is not the same as the Indian rupee and has a different value.

Credit cards and Payments

Most of the hotels and restaurants as well as other supermarkets also accept most international credit cards .Most widely accepted credit cards are American Express, Visa and Master card and cash advances may be obtained against credit cards at bank ATMs. Normally banks are open from 9.00 am to 3.00[government]/4.00 pm [private] from Monday to Friday and some cities there are 24 hours banking service but most of them are close on public holidays and week-ends But, you can use their island wide ATM service for your cash withdrawal.

Shops

Most shops keep open from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm but normally they are closed on Sunday and Full moon Poya days as religious particularism for Buddhist and alcohol is not served in bars, hotels , restaurants and public recreational areas on this day.it s a government rule.

Custom and their rules [imports and export]

In Our airport on arrival and departure you may be required to open your baggage for inspection. Tobacco products are not a part of a tourist’s duty free allowance. creation type of animal products, antiques and gold You will not be able to bring out of the country so it’s better if you can keep your shopping bills, because sometimes in the airport they would check specially Gems and Jewellery.

you are allowed to bring into the country duty free 1.5 liters of spirits, two bottles of wine, a quarter-liter of toilet water, and a small quantity of perfume and souvenirs with a value not exceeding US $250. The import of personal equipments such as cameras and laptop computers are allowed but must be declared on arrival. However, personal equipments must be taken out of the country upon the visitor’s departure. The import of non-prescription drugs and pornography of any form are an offence

Sri Lanka Customs: www.customs.gov.lk

On leaving the country you are allowed to export up to 10kg of tea duty free.

No antiques antique Defined as anything more than 50-years-old – rare books, palm-leaf manuscripts and anthropological material can be exported without permission from the

Director,
National Archives,
7 Reid Avenue,
Colombo – 07.
Tel: +94-11 2694523 / 2696917
www.archives.gov.lk
Director General,
Department of Archaeology,
Sir Marcus Fernando Mw,
Colombo
Tel : +94 11 2692840/1
Tel. +94-11-2694727, +94-11-2667155
www.archives.gov.lk

Purchase and export without license of any wild animal, bird or reptile, dead or alive. Also, the export of parts of animals, birds or reptiles, such as skins, horns, scales and feathers is prohibited. Occasional exports are, however, permitted exclusively for bona fide scientific purposes. It is prohibited to export of 450 plant species without special permits. The export of coral, shells or other protected marine products are also strictly prohibited.

Applications for special permission to export fauna should be made to the

Director,
Department of Wildlife Conservation,
382 , New Kandy Road,
Malabe
Tel: +9411 25060380

And flora should be produced to the

Director,
Forest Department,
82, Rajamalwatta Road,
Battaramulla,
Tel : + 94 11 28666 16/ 2866632
www.environmentlanka.com

Immigration

You should fill the immigration forms when you arrive but if you are a Sri Lankan passport holder, you don’t need that and on departure Sri Lankan passport holders have to fill in embark forms

Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha,
Maradana,
Colombo 10.
Tel: +94-11-5329000 / +94-11-5329316/20/21/25
www.immigration.gov.lk

Water

From the supermarket and normal shops you can buy filtered, mineral and bottled drinking water. For washing and other purposes, you can use tap water but not for drinking

Electricity

220 Volts/50 Hz Ac. Two and three pin round and square plugs are used. But, if you can use the multi-plug, it will be very useful

Embassies and Consulates

All of the embassies details and local Emergency services contact numbers and details you can get from hotel reception and the telephone directory, they provide in your hotel room.

Medical facility

If you need a doctor, you can contact your hotel reception. In most of star class hotels there is a doctor within the hotel premises or on call in addition all towns, we have pharmacy shops.

Communication

City hotels ,resorts, ,communication centers and all post offices in SriLanka, they have IDD[ international direct dialing] call facilities .we have several mobile telecommunication companies in SriLanka that sell local SIM cards .Most of the places have WI-FI connections in addition to the government which has already provided free WI-FI facilities in famous public places[ Ex: Gall face green].fax and postal service you can get from our government Post offices and hotel receptions also and most of private communicaton shops that provide mobile recharge, fax, photocopy and IDD call facilities.

Tipping

It’s customary to tip Drivers, Guides Hotel housekeepers and restaurant staff it depends on your satisfaction. The average tip is Rs. 300 for housekeeping and up to 10% of your meal bill for restaurant staff. It depends on your satisfaction.

Food and Drink tips

Most of the hotels and restaurants provide high quality food But, the best thing is to ask from your Driver or Guide they will help you any time to find a better place. Always wash and peel fruit before consumption and Drink enough water to avoid dehydration.

Photo Permit & Entrance Charges

Sri Lanka is one of the most famous photographing delights. During your travel period before you enter some sites, you have to take an extra special ticket for photographs [Ex: National Museum]. Entrance tickets to individual sites are available only from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. These tickets cover charges for recording, parking and photographs. Rates are quoted in US Dollars and rupee parities are subjected to fluctuation.

When you are there

STOMACH PAIN

As most stomach pains are due to the unsanitary preparation of food, it is useful to know what to watch out for. Under-cooked fish (especially shellfish) and meat (especially pork and mince) can be hazardous. Salads can be risky unless purified water has been used to wash various vegetables. Fruit that has already been peeled should be avoided. Be careful of ice cream, in particular the varieties sold by street vendors and served at cheap restaurants. Sometimes, there are power outages in Sri Lanka, especially away from urban centers, so it pays to be suspicious of all refrigerated foods if you know there has been a recent outage in your area

WATER

Tap water is not safe to drink, and boiling and filtering is sometimes done too hastily in some hotels and restaurants, so the best solution is to drink bottled water. There are now many brands available, mostly using spring water from the highlands of the island. Make sure that the bottle carries an SLS certification and that the seal is broken only in your presence. Beware of ice unless you are satisfied it has not been made from tap water, and remember the tap water you may be tempted to use to rinse out your mouth after brushing your teeth is unsafe. Keep a bottle of water in your bathroom for this purpose.

SUNBURN

When you flop onto the beach or poolside lounger for a spot of sunbathing, always remember to apply a sunscreen product with a sun protection factor of at least 15. Remember you are just 600km from the equator: even with sunscreen, your sunbathing should be limited in time. If you don’t apply sunscreen you are liable to become so sun burnt that it will be painful to move, your skin will peel, you will have to start afresh to get that tan, and most importantly you put yourself at risk of serious dermatological disease.

HEATSTROKE

Sometimes those who have spent too long in the sun suffer what is termed heatstroke, the most common form caused by dehydration. This condition can occur if the body’s heat-regulating mechanism becomes weakened and the body temperature rises to unsafe levels. The symptoms are a high temperature – yet a lack of sweat – a flushed skin, severe headache, and impaired coordination. In addition, the sufferer may become confused. If you think someone has heatstroke, take that person out of the sun, cover their body with a wet sheet or towel, and seek medical advice. To avoid heatstroke, take plenty of bottled water to the beach, or buy a Thambili (king coconut) from an itinerant seller.

PRICKLY HEAT

Prickly heat rash occurs when your sweat glands become clogged after being out in the heat for too long or from excessive perspiration. The rash appears as small red bumps or blisters on elbow creases, groin, upper chest or neck. To treat it, take a cold shower, clean the rash with mild soap, dry yourself, apply hydrocortisone cream, and, if possible, a product that contains salicylic acid. Repeat once in three hours.

LOCAL HEALTH CARE

Minor health problems can always be treated by doctors with practices in the resorts and elsewhere in the country. If you have a more serious problem, Colombo now boasts a selection of modern, well-equipped private hospitals offering the latest in conventional medical and surgical therapies. A growing number of foreigners are taking advantage of affordable, high quality private healthcare in Sri Lanka, and combining it with the chance to take a holiday. Though the medical tourism industry in Sri Lanka is still in its early days, a number of private hospitals in Colombo are geared to provide advanced surgery and other treatment to international clients (link to Medical Tourism article)

TRAVELERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Travelers with special needs, especially if they visit Sri Lanka without a companion, should note that the country has relatively few facilities for disabled people, although greater awareness and improvements are evolving. There’s no need to worry at Colombo Airport as wheelchairs and assistance in boarding and disembarking are available. Buildings, offices, and banks are becoming better-equipped with wheelchair ramps and suchlike. If you don’t travel with a companion, you’ll find that Sri Lankans will be only too eager to assist.

SRI LANKA’S CURRENCY

The local currency is the Sri Lankan Rupee, divided into 100 cents (you rarely come across cents today). Currency notes are Rs.5000, Rs2000, Rs1,000, Rs500, Rs100, Rs50, Rs20 and Rs10. Beware of mistaking the Rs500 note for the somewhat similar Rs100 one. To check whether notes are genuine when not given at a bank, look for a lion watermark. Coins, should you have receive them; will be in denominations up to Rs10. Make sure you have plenty of lower denomination notes (Rs50, Rs100, Rs500), especially when travelling and you need to buy small items, fruits, and eat cheap meals, because change is often hard to come by apart from at hotels and big shops.

BANKS

Banks are open from 900 hrs to 1300 hours Monday to Friday. Some city banks close at 1500 hrs, while some are open in Saturday morning. It’s easy to withdraw money in all over the island at ATMs using international credit cards or debit cards.

CREDIT CARDS

Most hotels, restaurants and shopping centers accept credit cards. Some establishments may try to add a surcharge, which is illegal.

TIME DIFFERENCE

Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe.)

ELECTRICITY

230-240 volts, 50 cycles AC. If you travel with a laptop computer bring a stabilizer.

LANGUAGE

Sri Lanka has two official languages. Sinhala and Tamil – with English as a link language. Most people have some knowledge of English, and signboards are often in English.

RESTRICTIONS

There are some important restrictions that apply to photography regarding Buddhist imagery. When you visit a temple or other religious site, remember that photographs should not be carried out in a manner causing disrespect. For instance, it is strictly forbidden to be photographed in front of or beside any statues and murals. Note that flash photography can damage old murals.

WHEN TO VISIT

Sri Lanka is a round-the-year destination for the visitors who seek for sun and sea the best time to visit the island is from November to April. The Southwestern coastal area, where the most of the beach resorts are located Kalpitiya, located in the western (North Western) coast has been declared a new tourist attraction. Many development projects have also been planned such as hotels and other infrastructure to make the East a new tourist destination in Sri Lanka. The central highlands are pleasantly cool and relatively dry from January to April. The peak season is mid December to mid January and March-April during Easter with a mini peak season in July and August when festivals and pageants are held through the country.

WHAT TO WEAR

Cotton clothes are useful at any time of the year but you will need light woolens for the hills and waterproof clothing or an umbrella Modest dress for women is advisable especially off the beach and when visiting religious sites. Don’t forget comfortable shoes, sandals or trainers and cotton socks. If you are planning to trek and climb go prepared with suitable gear. Water sports enthusiasts would do well to take their snorkels and diving equipment along.

PUBLIC PLACES

You may sometimes be overwhelmed by crowds of people in public places (railway stations, markets, bus stands, temples or simply busy streets). “Touts” and hawkers may jostle and push and clamour to show you a hotel and sell you things. Taxis and three – wheelers are often there when you do not need them.

SAFETY

In general the threats to personal security for travelers in Sri Lanka are remarkably small. It is more pleasant to travel with a companion as it is advised not to travel alone especially after dark. The island including the North and East is safe to visit. If you have anything stolen, report it to the tourist Police, (a special tourist police set up to look after the needs of the tourists. Contact tel Number + 94 11 2382209)

WHERE TO STAY

Sri Lanka offers visitors an excellent range of accommodation facilities to suit all budgets from luxury hotels to low budget accommodations. In the peak season (mid-January and during Easter) bookings can be heavy so it is best to reserve accommodation well in advance through Tour operators/ travel agents, booking online and through our travel planner.

DRINK

Sri Lankan ‘Ceylon’ tea is prepared as in the West and coffee too. There are a huge variety of bottled soft drinks, including well-known international brands. Thambili (king coconut water) is a safe and refreshing option. Local beer and spirits are widely available. Bottled mineral water is available in 5 star hotels. Please note: Alcohol is not sold on Poya days (full-moon day of the month).

What kind of foods available here

In Sri Lanka we have different kind of food but most people’s are using Rice and curry (eggplant, potato, green banana, chicken and fish).most of our foods are very spicy and delicious. There are also hoppers (a pancake-like snack), string hoppers (steamed rice noodles) and pittu (flour and coconut mixture). Lamprais – rice and accompaniments baked in plantain leaves – is a legacy of the Dutch. Fresh fish, prawns, crab, squid and crayfish are readily available. As a dessert we have buffalo curd topped with palm-honey, the caramel-like wattalapam,ice cream, salad and other all of desserts also. Snacks [we call short eats] are very tasty and excellent for trip

We have deferent kind of delightful fruits as popular Mango, banana and papaya, pineapple, and sapodilla, mangosteen , rambutan, wood apple, custard apple and beli,duriyan, avocado etc.

Around All of the tourist attraction areas we have good restaurant and you can enjoy with Srilankan,chines, European food also

It’s better if you can try
  • SriLankan food
  • Sea food
  • SriLankan sweets

At any time you wish to stop for a break please ask the driver/guide. He will help you find best things

About the self driving

In, we don’t recommend you drive in Sri Lanka unless you have previous experience driving in this part of the world.

The General Guidelines when visiting the cultural site

  • Gents wear trousers to cover their knees or a “sarong” with a shirt or T-shirt
  • Ladies should wear decent attire such as a trouser or a skirt to cover the knees and a Blouse or t-Shirt

It may not be expedient for ladies to wear deep necked or a sleeveless top this is very important when you visit the cultural sites.

About insurance

We always provide the vehicles for you with passenger insurance coverage in addition It’s better if you select some recommended places with our agent’s recommendation [safari ,elephant riding ,water rafting, boat riding and water sports ,whale watching and etc…..] because we always care to arrange government recommended dealers for you when you engage in activities, because they have government license and insurance also ……so the best thing is to book the activities true to your travel agent .Then, we can take responsibility about your safety with insurance.

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