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Sri Lanka ~ Information on travel & travel pictures

What to wear, safety, health, money, visas, language, hotels, books

woman with children walks a trail through a tea plantation in the mountains of Sri Lanka Sri Lanka See travel pictures, find Sri Lanka travel information and tips on what to wear, travel safety, health, money, visas, languages and more to plan your trip to this island country off the south coast of India that is one of my favourite holiday destinations.

Start in Colombo: Like most international arrivals, I began my trip in the capital, Colombo. From there, I toured south past Bentota to Galle, and inland to Kandy and the fortress at Sigiriya, taking pictures of everything, even Sri Lankan foods, and fruits.

Is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka ? Travel conditions can change rapidly, so before you go, check the links to government travel advisories.

Sri Lanka Geography: The interior is mountainous, with cool nights, and a climate that's perfect for growing tea, with many large plantations, like the one shown in this photo. The coastal areas are hot, humid, tropical, with wonderful beaches.

Ayubowan! Ayubowan means welcome in Sinhalese. So, Welcome to Sri Lanka, the Resplendent Island formerly known as Ceylon. Read on for infomation about Sri Lanka visas, language, and where to stay. Enjoy your trip!

Information on Travel to Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon)

Do I need a visa for Sri Lanka travel? When I, a Canadian, traveled, I needed a Sri Lanka Visa. Now, apparently, Americans and Canadians, and citizens of 78 other countries do not need a special tourist visa . For business or other travel, check for requirements at Sri Lanka Visa online and/or the search box on the  Do I need a visa? page.

SriLanka Tourism Official site has more detailed information about visas, safety, water, vaccinations, about photo taking, etc. See Travel Tips.

What language to they speak in Sri Lanka? The Official Languages in Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil; but English is fairly widely spoken. If you want to try a few phrases, get a Sinhala Phrasebook

What to Wear - what to Pack for trip to Sri Lanka Travel wardrobe for Sri Lanka is basically the same as a holiday to any tropical resort in a similar climate, such as Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic (see list here), with allowances for trips into the hill country around Kandy so bring along a jacket and hiking shoes if you plan to walk to the waterfalls, or up Sigiriya.

How long should I stay in Sri Lanka If you can, allow two weeks or more, as there is much to see and do. One week is fine if your holiday plans are to soak up some sun and surf.

What money do they use in Sri Lanka The currency for Sri Lanka is the Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR) Rates fluctuate, but roughly $1 USD = $100 LKR [See travel currency tiips page for ways to back up your travel funds if you encounter any diffuculties] I changed money on arrival at the airport in Colombo (CMB), and withdrew cash (rupees) at ATMS. There are not a lot of ATMs and they may not be exactly like the machines you are familiar with.

Travel Health Issues for Sri Lanka Check with a travel health clinic several weeks before you plan to travel as health issues change. Some travelers take malaria meds; some don't. (See Vaccinations notes on travel documents page and travel medications tips)

Books about Sri Lanka Sri Lanka guidebook available on Amazon - the Rough Guide Sri Lanka. For background reading about Sri Lanka and Colombo, I liked Anil's Ghost, and A Fine Balance, set in India. See also Culture Shock Sri Lanka.

Flights to Sri Lanka I travelled from London Heathrow (LHR) on Sri Lankan Airlines; The planes all have cameras mounted under the belly and in the nose.

As the plane lands in Colombo, turn on the television screen mounted in the back of the seat in front of you, to the channel with the view from the nose camera. I know that watching those runway lights come up to meet the landing gear is the nearest I will ever come to seeing what it's like to land a jet! It was amazing, and worth the trip for this alone!

Best time of year to travel to Sri Lanka? For good weather, I traveled in October, and the weather was generally fine, and not too hot; there were a few sudden downpours. Keep in mind that Sri Lanka has many festivals that can affect number of travelers and hotel availability.

What side of the road do they drive on in Sri Lanka? In Sri Lanka, they drive on the left. If you are used to driving on the left, then you will have no problems. But check with your hotel, as it is fairly inexpensive to hire a car and driver.

What's the food like in Sri Lanka? Similar to Indian cuisines, but with a heat all its own. See pictures and comments at Srilanka foods.

My Travel Pictures of Sri Lanka

  • Colombo The capital, port and arrivals city for international visitors
  • Kandy The historic hill capital in the mountains
  • Sigiriya, site of the rock fortress
  • Galle and Bentota, the resort area along the Indian Ocean