holiday in sri lanka
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Discover About Sri Lanka
"The Land of Smiles and Hospitality"
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with a remarkable diversity of culture, languages, religion and the natural beauty. Discover the beauty of this tiny island with us, we will make your tour a memorable one for life time.

Sri Lanka, the land of smiles & hospitality is world renowned for its inexplicable, friendly culture. Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, described as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ is located at the southern tip of India.

Inherited with diverse landscapes, breathtaking picturesque & nature parks supported by a tropical climate, Sri Lanka certainly is a paradise Island. Sri Lanka has so much to offer with its palm fringed, golden sandy beaches, magnificent rivers & waterfalls & fascinating wild life either with wet- zone forests or dry- zone forests, it is truly an exploration of beauty & wonder bundled to one package.

Due to the location of Sri Lanka, it has become a drop off point for long journeyed ships that pass thru Asia which has added more value to this beautiful island. Sri Lanka is also the proud title Holder to 8 UNESCO world heritage sites, being bestowed with Cultural, Historical and Natural beautiful landscapes with value and diverse array of wildlife.

History Sri Lanka has many eras added to its history, starting from the tribes of Yaksha and Naga before 300 B.C. , Ruled and governed by many great Kings , Invasion of Portuguese, Dutch and British throughout the early 16th to the mid 20th centuries to democratic government soon after the freedom in February 1942. As a result there are four ethnic groups, the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers with religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. With the democracy, free education, legal and commercial agriculture systems added more value to Sri Lanka’s culture making it even more diversified.

Transport in Sri lanka Transportation in Sri Lanka took a new leap with the construction of first ever Highway, The Southern Expressway from Kottawa to Galle (Down South) that takes only an hour to reach the destination. With the ongoing projects of highways to the Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport as well as the extension from Galle to Mattala International Airport, Sri Lanka’s Transport has a promising future.

In general, Sri Lanka’s transport system is centered to the Capital city, Colombo on road and rail having a network to reach all major towns and tourist destinations.

Air Transport Sri Lanka owns two International Airports in Katunayake and in Mattala. Due to the fact that Sri Lanka is taken as a Transit point to many carriers, almost all major airlines in the world operates to Sri Lanka. Sri lanka also owns few domestic airports as well as Air Force bases in Major Cities such as Rtahmalana, Ampara, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Galle, Minneriya and Anuradhapura to name few.

Sri Lankan Airlines is the carrier of pride for Sri Lanka which flies direct to all major cities around the world and is known for its friendly, homely service and the delicious food served on board.

Mihin Lanka is a low-fare carrier based in Colombo, owned by the Sri Lankan Government. It flies to number of cities in the Indian Sub Continent, The Gulf States and Southeast Asia. It code-shares with its partner Sri Lankan Airlines on several routes and also has domestic flight s to destinations such as Trincomallee, palely ( in Jaffna) and Ampara.

Geography Sri Lanka is an island situated at the southern tip of india in the Indian Ocean. From North to South - 432 km From East to West - 224 km Total area - 65, 525 sq. km

Population The majority of Sri Lankans are Singhalese and Buddhists, but the total population is a mixture of Tamil, Moor, Burgher (people of european descent). Sinhala, Tamil and English are the national languages. English is spoken throughout the island.

Climate The south-west monsoon brings rain to the western, southern and central regions from May to July, while the north-eastern monsoon occurs in the north and east in December and January. The weather is finest in the coastal regions and hill country of the south-west from October to March. The temperature in the lowlands averages 27 degrees Celsius. However, temperatures fall rapidly with altitude. In Kandy the temperature on average is around 20 degrees Celsius and in Nuwara Eliya it is often below 15 degrees Celsius.

Time Sri Lanka is +5 ½ Greenwich Mean Time.

Clothing Lightweight clothing is recommended. It is a good idea to be conservatively dressed on the streets and shorts are not permitted in places of worship. Footwear off in temples. A light sweater is recommended in the hill country. Bring rain proofs, avoid synthetics.

Telephones Card operated telephone booths and cyber cafes can be found in most towns. Cards can be obtained at the nearest shop or kiosk. Mobile telephone rentals are also freely available.

Health It is safer not to drink water from the tap though water in major towns are treated. Boiled water, bottled water and water and ice at reputed hotels are safe. Government run hospitals and a number of private hospitals are available in the event of an emergency. Most hospitals are well equipped with medical specialists on call at any time of day. Reputed hotels have a Doctor on call.

Electricity 210-240 volts, 50Hz, Alternating Current / Plug sockets take round pins.

Currency The currency in Sri Lanka is the Rupee. The value fluctuates with world market rates. All commercial banks are authorized to exchange money and so are most tourist class hotels. American Express, Master Card and Visa Card are also widely accepted.

Visas Nationals of most countries may obtain visas on arrival, at the airport. It is best to check with your nearest Sri Lankan diplomatic mission or consulate. The visa that is issued at the point of entry is only valid for 30 days. Extensions can be obtained, if required, from the Department of Immigration & Emigration in Colombo.

Communications The general post office is situated in the city of Colombo. Other towns have central post offices. Privately run agency post offices, cyber cafes, communication centers also function throughout most of the country.

Photography and Video Photography and video filming often require permits at historical and sacred sites- it is advisable to check with the officials at each place. Film rolls and videotape are freely available in all main cities.
Visa Nationals from 80 countries who visit Sri Lanka for tourist purposes are exempt from visa requirements and automatically receive a free 30-day visa on arrival. Those from these countries who visit for purposes other than tourism should obtain prior visas from a Sri Lankan Consular Office. For nationals of other countries there is a varying fee for the 30-day visa.

The 30-day visa can be extended up to 90 days on the payment of a fee. You’ll need to show a return or onward airline ticket out of Sri Lanka, along with proof of funds, such as traveler’s cheques or credit card, and provide a copy of the bio-data page of your passport and 02 photographs.

Department of Immigration and Emigration,
Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha,
Maradana,
Colombo 10.
Tel: +94-11-5329000, +94-11-5329316/20/21/25
www.immigration.gov.lk When You Visit Sri Lanka ? Sri Lanka is a year round destination with an abundance of sunshine all year round. The average temperature is around 27°C - 30°C in most parts of Island. The temperature gradually drops as the land rises towards the hill country, with some parts of the highland as low as below 10°C.

The island has two wet monsoon seasons; briefly between May and July in the south-west region and between December and January in the north-east. However, Sri Lanka has no off season per se as clear blue skied bright sunny days are the general rule even during the wet season.

Sri Lanka is 5 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Median Time), 2½ hours behind Singapore and 4½ hours behind Australia EST (Eastern Standard Time). What To Pack ? Sri Lanka has a tropical country and cotton clothes are the most ideal to wear and of course your bathing suits are a must if you are visiting the beaches. Sun tan lotion could be very handy as it can be very hot sometimes.

If you are visiting the cultural and religious sites, it is a must that you wear appropriate clothing. Gents are required to wear trousers to cover their knees or a “sarong” with a shirt or T-shirt. Ladies should ideally wear decent attire such as a trouser or a skirt to cover the knees and a blouse or tshirt. It may not be advisable for ladies to wear deep necked or a sleeveless top. Organizing Your Trip If you are interested in booking a Round Trip programme, the flight times is an important component when making the maximum use of your stay. Most travellers prefer to stay near airport in the first night (if they arrive in evenings). However most European and Middle East carriers arrive early morning to Sri Lanka which is ideal for most travellers to start the tour in the same day Currency/ Money Exchange Foreign currency and Traveller’s Cheques may be changed at any hotel, although commercial banks offer better rates. Converting Sri Lankan rupees back to a selected foreign denomination could be done at the airport bank which is open 24 hours of the day. Please retain your money changing receipts.

Currency notes are in 10s, 20s, 50s, 100s, 500s, 1000s,2000s ,5000s. Credit Cards Hotels and shops accept most international credit cards. No surcharge is required for their use. Cash advances may be acquired against credit cards at certain bank ATMs. Most widely accepted cards are American Express, Visa and MasterCard.

It is advisable to enquire if your card type is accepted by the establishment before the use of any services.

Banks are generally open from 9.00am to 1.00pm from Monday to Friday. Some city banks close at 3.00pm, while others offer night banking facilities. Banks are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, all public holidays and special bank holidays on June 30th and December 31st. ATMs are most found adjoining bank branches island-wide. Shops Most shops open at 10.00am and close at 6.00pm. Shops are usually closed on Sundays and Full moon (Poya) days. The full moon poya day has religious significance for Buddhists and alcohol is not served in hotels, bars and public recreational areas on this day. Customs You may be required to open your baggage for inspection. Refrain from carrying prohibited or restricted goods. Certain types of animal products, antiques and gold are not allowed to be taken out of the country.

Important Retain your shopping receipts, especially for gems. Immigration Embarkation forms are available at the airport check-in counter and need to be filled and handed over to the immigration desk prior to departure. Whater Filtered, mineral and bottled drinking water is available at most retail shops. Avoid drinking water from the tap. Embassies / Consulates A list of embassies is given in the local telephone directory which is provided in most hotel rooms. If not, one may be obtained at the hotel concierge’s desk. Please contact us if further assistance is required. Medical Facilities If you need a doctor, please contact the hotel reception. The hotel will have a doctor within the hotel premises or nearby. Pharmacies can generally be found at the commercial centre of most towns. Communication International Direct Dialling (IDD) facilities are available at all city hotels, resorts, post offices and telecommunication centres. Postal services are provided at most hotels and at the local post office or authorised sub-post offices. Telegrams and faxes can be handed over to the hotel reception for transmission. Tiping It is customary to tip drivers, guides and hotel housekeeping/restaurant staff if the service is satisfactory. This is solely at your discretion. The average tip is 100 rupees for Housekeeping and 10% of your meal bill for restaurant staff. Custom Exports On leaving the country you are allowed to export up to 10kg of tea duty free.

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 is also strictly prohibited.

Applications for special permission to export fauna should be made to the Director, Department of Wildlife Conservation. Foriegn Currency Regulations Visitors to Sri Lanka bringing in more than US$10,000 should declare the amount to the Customs on arrival. 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. Banks Banks are open from 0900 hrs to 1300 hours Monday to Friday. Some city banks close at 1500 hrs, while some are open on Saturday mornings. It’s easy to withdraw money across the island at ATMs using international credit cards or debit cards. 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.) 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. Photograph/Restrictions and Permits Sri Lanka is a tremendously photogenic island, so it’s hardly surprising that most tourists bring a camera of some kind when they visit the country. The stunning landscapes, the captivating fauna and lush flora, and the stupendous archaeological remains provide great opportunities: a bonus is that Sri Lankans love to be captured on film. So it’s easy to capture the traditional rural lifestyle. You’ll find villagers, farmers, fishermen and tea pluckers will readily stand in front of your viewfinder. Your subjects will often ask to have a copy of picture sent to them. This may be laborious, but it is a reasonable courtesy as many may never have seen a picture of themselves. It is also understandable that many will also expect a token recompense for allowing themselves to be photographed. Restrictions There are some important restrictions that apply to photography regarding Buddhist imagery. When you visit a temple or other religious site, remember that photography 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. How To Arrive Usually all visitors to Sri Lanka travel by air; flights arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport, 35 km north of Colombo, and 6 km of Negombo.

Mobile phones have been made so affordable in Sri Lanka that almost everybody has one, and coverage has extended beyond the major cities. There are four main network operators on the island; Dialog GSM , Mobitel, Etisalat, Airtel and Hutch. If you'd rather not use your own mobile phone on roaming but still want to be contactable, the cheapest alternative is to get a mobile phone connection with one of these major companies. All these phone companies have a pay-as-you-go plan where you can buy a local SIM card for around Rs.300 (that will work in GSM phones from Europe, the Middle East and Australasia) and keep adding money to the connection as you require it. You will find recharge cards at any corner store throughout the island.