Introducing Sri Lanka
A trip to Sri Lanka is often a peaceful and introspective vacation, where travellers come to visit sacred sites and take gentle strolls through nature and mellow villages.
When is the best time to visit?
Sri Lanka has two monsoon seasons, which makes deciding on the best time to visit a little confusing. The weather is rarely dramatic enough to ruin a trip, however, which makes this Southeast Asian country a year round destination.
Where to go in Sri Lanka?
From the rainforests to the temples to the beaches, there really isn’t anywhere in Sri Lanka that isn’t beautiful. Visit Anuradhapura, the world’s oldest human-planted tree, take a safari in Minneriya National Park to see the country’s native elephants, experience the country’s eight Unesco World Heritage Sites, and explore the post-colonial culture of Colombo.
How many days do I need?
Anywhere from 4 days to 3 weeks is a great amount of time to spend in Sri Lanka.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE
Tropical climate. Upland areas are cooler and more temperate, and coastal areas are cooled by sea breezes. There are two monsoons, which occur May to July and December to January.
THE BEST SEASON FOR BEACHES
The best time to visit the South West coast is from November to April. The best time to visit the North West is during May to October as the monsoon falls from May to October ( South West monsoon ) and December to March ( North East Monsoon ). There are also 2 inter monsoon periods in SL from March to Mid may and from October to November.
Many hotels and shops accept reputed credit cards. No surcharge should be permitted for its use. Cash advances are possible against credit cards in certain banks.
There are two sub-categories which come under visit visas –
- Tourist Visit Visa – A Tourist Visa is issued to bona-fide tourists who want to enter Sri Lanka for sightseeing, excursions, relaxation, visit relatives or yoga training for a short period of time.
- Business Visit Visa – A Business Visa is issued to foreign nationals who visit Sri Lanka for business purposes for short periods of time. This visa may be issued for single, double or multiple journeys.
Please visit http://www.eta.gov.lk for more details.
ROADS IN SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka has a good network of roads. Connecting all principal towns and places of tourist interest. However some of the roads facilities in the remote areas have not been maintained.
Hiring a vehicle offers you unlimited flexibility. The price of the vehicle with a driver is approx. Rs. 60/- per km. + Rs. 2000 per day. A long trip from Colombo to Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Galle and back to Colombo cover approx. 1000km.
Prior to departure, a amount of Rs. 1000/- needs to be paid. It is usually added onto the airline ticket
PROHIBITED EXPORT AND IMPORT ITEMS
Corals, Ivory, antiques, living plants, reptiles and living animals are prohibited .Precious stones could be carried with a permit. If you want to export antiques more than 50 years you will need the authorization from both the director of the National Archives, and the Director General of the Archeological department.
BANKING HOURS AND FACILITIES IN SRI LANKA
Banks keep increasingly flexible hours to suit customer convenience. All banks are open from 0900hrs to 1300 hrs Monday to Friday. Some city banks close at 15.00 hrs while some others have night banking facilities too. Banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays, all Public Holidays and on Special bank holidays (June 30th and December 31st). Banking facilities have grown and widened tremendously to cope with the sophisticated needs of today. Sri Lankan and foreign banks provide an expanding range of services to investors. The banks at the International Airport operate 24 hours a day at departure and arrival as well as at some private banks. Banks keep increasingly flexible hours to suit customer convenience.
ENTRANCE PERMITS REQUIRED TO VISIT PLACES IN SRI LANKA
Tourists who wish to visit or photograph the principal ancient monuments in Sri Lanka are required to obtain a ticket from the Central Cultural Fund. Tickets are available at the office of the Central Cultural Fund Office.
Entrance Fees to Sri Lanka Tourist Locations
LANGUAGES USED IN SRI LANKA
English is widely used. But the official languages are Sinhala and Tamil.
CURRENCY IN SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka has a decimal currency system. One Sri Lankan rupee is divided into 100 Sri Lankan Cents. Currency notes are in the denominations of Rs. 10/-, Rs. 20/-, Rs. 50/- Rs. 100/- , Rs. 500/- and Rs. 1000 and Rs. 2000/- Denominations are clearly marked in figures on both sides of the notes and stated in English addition to Sinhala and Tamil. Coins commonly in use are of the following denominations: 25 cents, 50 cents. one Rupees, two Rupees, five Rupees and ten Rupees.
STANDARD VOLTAGE USED IN SRI LANKA
230-240 volts. 50 cycles A.C