Srilanka Sri lanka travel, holiday travel to sri lanka, holiday travel guide to sri lanka Srilanka
Srilanka
Srilanka

Sri Lanka Travel

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Best Time To Visit
December- March

Reaching Sri Lanka

By Air:
Air Lanka is the national airlines of Sri Lanka. Air Lanka’s fleet connect Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, to London, Frankfurt. Paris. Stockholm, Zurich and Rome . Air Lanka also has connections to Delhi, Mumbai, Madras, Maldives, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Sydney. Foreign airlines include British Airways, Aeroflot (via Moscow), Bulgarian Airlines (via Sofia), Royal Jordanian (via Amman), and Emirates (via Dubal).

By Sea:
Some cruise lines facilitate cruise and tour combinations with tours of the ancient cities as part of a cruise itinerary. International ports include Colombo, Talaimannar, Trincomalee and Galle. Passenger services to Sri Lanka are operated by CIT, Cunard, Holland America, P&O and Royal Viking.

Visas
Visitors from the USA, most western European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Israel, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong are exempted from obtaining visas.

Customs
Tourists can carry upto one and a half litres (approx three pints/two bottles) of spirits, two bottles of wine. 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars.

Banned items!
Banned goods include Sri Lankan currency in excess of Rs 250, firearms, explosives or any other weapons, antiques, animals, birds or reptiles; tea, rubber and coconut plants: dangerous drugs.

Declare on Arrival
Gems and jewellery and 'valuable goods' - such as video recorders and personal computers - must be declared on arrival.

Health Tips
Immunization against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid is recommended. Malaria and cholera are present. It is always better to have a malaria preventative while travelling during the monsoons or else the mosquito might take you to the bed! Take medical advice before traveling. Pack Imodium or a similar preparation to alleviate symptoms of diarrhoea, as well as electrolyte mix for rehydration. Sunburn and heat exhaustion are significant risks at all times of year and children, in particular, should be kept out of the sun as far as possible. Drink plenty of water to minimize dehydration. Do not drink tap water anywhere in Sri Lanka unless you haveboiled or sterilized it yourself.

Health Services
Most luxury and mid-range hotels have a doctor on call. Your travel insurance should include emergency repatriation.
General Hospital Emergency Services: 10 Regent Street, Colombo 8. tel: (01)691111.

Pack These
For men:
Light cotton or linen short-sleeved shirts, T-shirts, shorts and light baggy pants for the coastal regions. Lightweight linen suit for business or more formal occasions, light jacket or cotton sweatshirt for evenings in Kandy and the hills where evenings can be cooler. Jacket and tie required at some old and more formal hotel restaurants and clubs.

For women:
Skirts and tops made of linen or cotton; pants, shorts and T-shirts and also beachwear. For business, tailored linen dress or suit. Large cotton or silk shawl for the up-country where the evenings are cool.

For both:
For visits to sacred sites and ancient cities modest wear covering knees, arms and shoulders is advisable.

Other items which may prove useful include Swiss Army knife or similar, small torch and batteries, mosquito repellent, binoculars.

Tips on Currency
The Sri Lankan rupee is divided into 100 cents. Coins come in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents and 1, 2, 5 and. 10 rupees. Notes are denominated in values of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. While changing money, tourists are advised to ask for smaller denomination notes,for hawkers, taxi and three-wheeler drivers are often unable to give change.

Staying
Colombo offers a wide range of accommodation from international brand five-star hotels to basic guesthouses. Elsewhere, there arc highquality resort hotels, numerous small family-run guesthouses and hotels which offer basic but very affordable accommodation.

Eating Out
Sri Lanka has plenty of restaurants, ranging from smart Colombo nightspots, catering to the elites, to the simplest beach bars. The major hotels usually offer a wide choice of international and Sri Lankan cuisines. Around the main hotel complexes at Negombo, Bentota, Beruwala and Hikkaduwa there are numerous independent restaurants.

Restaurant prices are quite affordable by international standards, but imported liquors may burn a hole in your pocket.

Internal Transport
Air:
There is no internal air network.

Trains:
Sri Lanka has an extensive rail network and the key places may be travelled by rail. Some trains offer first, second and third class, some only second and third, some only first and second. Besides, some trains offer air conditioning in first class, while those on the overnightrun from Colombo to Badulla offer sleeperettes.Some trains running on the highly scenic stretch between Colombo and Kandy have observation car berths.

Buses:
State-operated and privately-run buses link Colombo with all points and operate between major towns, but they always remain stuffy.

It is better to travel by rail whenever it is possible.

Car hire:
Self-drive cars can be hired from tour operators but extreme caution is required while driving , for the road surfaces are poor. Traffic drives on left. Cars with drivers can be hired from travel agencies in Colombo and at resorts, and taxis can be hired by negotiating a daily rate with the driver.

Business Hours
Bank timings: 09:00-13:00
Government and commercial office hours: 08:30 to 16:30.
Shopping hours: 08:00/ 09:00-19:00 from Monday- Friday. Closes early in the afternoon on Saturdays.

Time Difference
GMT + 6 hrs

Tips on Communications

Post office timings: Monday-Friday 08:00-17:00.
Telephone calls: Direct dial almost all throughout the country
Dial 101 for trunk call connections where direct dial is not available.
International Direct Dial (IDD) is available.
International enquiries: Dial 134 within Colombo or (01)324144/329792 outside Colombo.

Electricity
230-240V. 50 cycle AC. Three-round-pin sockets.

Weights and Measures
Metric system of measurement.

Emergence Tel No.
Police: (01) 433333.
Fire: (01) 422222.
Tourist Police: (01) 327711.

Etiquette
Modesty is highly valued by all sections of the society. Beachwear is acceptable at beach resorts, less acceptable off the beach and wholly unacceptable at temples, mosques and shrines. Remove footwear and head gear before entering Buddhist or Hindu shrines. Posing beside or on religious statues is prohibited. Topless and nude sunbathing are illegal in Sri Lanka.

Languages
Official Language: Sinhala
National Languages: Sinhala and Tamil
Neutral Link: English, which is widely spoken and used on signs, maps, timetables and place names.

Tips for Shoppers
What to Buy: Carved wooden masks, leather goods such as bags and belts, silver and gold jewellery. Precious gemstones like rubies and sapphires are widely sold, especially around Ratnapura.

Bargaining is the order of the day.

Beware!
Some street vendors and dealers offer irresistible bargain on gems - but on returning home, the stone you have bought will turn out to be worth far less than you paid for it, and may be completely worthless! Reputable gem centres in Colombo are the only reliable place to buy stones. Avoid buying goods made from ivory, turtle shell, or reptile skin of any kind, for these are illegal and such purchases will be confiscated by customs on your return home.