Sri Lanka also known as the the isle of splendour is a small tear-dropped shaped island in the Indian Ocean which has receive …
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Sri Lanka also known as the the isle of splendour is a small tear-dropped shaped island in the Indian Ocean which has receive much from natures’s bounty. Just across the span of 650 kms and breath of 350 kms the country experiences different climate and is endored with amazing geographical feature. Life is abundant and thriving with a dozen rivers streming down from the central hills irrigating vast stretches of paddy fields. The country well noted in ancient sea routes as a port-of-call to collect semi-precious stones and spices and later for coffee, tea, rubber and coconuts. Links with the ancient Kings of India enabled the country to embrace Buddhism – a religion based on principles of nature that is also a decipline towards achieving spiritual heights. Majority of Sri Lankan who are Buddhist (and also Hindus) follow veganism opting make life simple.
Rest of the World have also joined ranks opting to be a vegan for reasons like improved health, care for animals and encironment. This 12-day tour is design to explore the beautiful island nation while enjoing vegan food options and better still learning to cook them in local style.
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Day 1 Arrival & Transfer to Negombo / Overnight: Negambo
Negombo is a coastal city just north of Colombo with attractive beaches and places of historical value to visit
Situated 8 km north of the BIA Negombo is the most comfortable place to start your journey having arrived in Colombo. Like many other coastal towns in the country, Negombo was a vital spice port long before the Portuguese set foot on the island. The Dutch who arrived in 1640 expanded on the fort that was built initially by the Portuguese. In spite of a short stay in Negombo, it is worthwhile exploring this monument belonging to the colonial period
dated three centuries back. Other attractions are the beach, old churches and the Dutch canal which has slowly been restored as a tourist attraction.
Day 2 Visit a Tea Plantation / Temple of tooth / Kandy cultural show / Overnight: Kandy
Explore the central hills to enjoy cooler climate and fantastic views of mountain ranges. A brief visit to the Agro Technical Park to understand natural farming techniques.
As we climb the hills along A1 route, you will enjoy cooler temperatures and magnificent panoramic views. Unfortunately, the new road by-passes the Kadugannawa Rock tunnel built by the British in 1880 however Kadugannawa itself has a lot in store for you. Perched on the Kadugannawa Mountain and surrounded by neat rows of tea bushes is the Tea factory where you can find out more about Ceylon tea. Further up the hills and closer to Kandy you will visit the Agro Technology Park in Gannoruwa. Spanning over a thousand hectares and combined with the research unit of the Faculty of Agriculture – Peradeniya University this farm is one of the best in Sri Lanka.
The park complex includes a superb eating place called Hela Bojun. This vegetarian food outlet offers a wide range of nutritious local food cooked by the community women under the guidance of the Department of Agriculture.
Later in the afternoon we will drive to Kandy the citadel of the central hills and visit the famous Tooth Relic Temple (aka Maligawa) built by the ancient Lanka kings in fifteen hundred to hold the precious relic of the Lord Buddha. The relic is placed on the upper floors in the inner chambers and cannot be accessed by visitors. However much of the temple complex can be explored. The Tooth Relic Temple that was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site (1988) is not only important culturally but also hold great architectural and historical value. It has its own museum showcasing items from the last kingdom of Lanka and the British colonial period. A smaller museum holds the taxidermy of the Tusker Rajah, the elephant who for many years carried the Tooth Relic during the Esala Perahera.
The tour in this great city will conclude with a cultural show of dance and acrobatics. These skills are practised by the artisans in Kandy for generations mainly to upkeep the traditions.
Day 3 Discover Kandy / Cooking classes /Sunset walk / Overnight: Oruthota
Regreshing walk around the Kandy Lake which is encircled by a low parapet wall giving the feeling of a coud followed by an interesting cooking class of authentic Sri Lankan food. In evening enjoy a nature trail along the river bed.
What better way than can start the morning with a long walk along the Kandy Lake. Much of the lake and the tiny island in the centre will be covered in mist. Yet you are bound to encounter a variety of birds who will accompany you with their cacophony. If the rain trees are blooming around the time you visit Kandy, then you are in for a shower of soft pink blooms. A walk around the lake offers fantastic photographic opportunities.
After breakfast, we will move to the place where the cooking demo will take place. A special vegan preparation is in store with many options available using local vegetables, fruits, spices and of course coconuts. The cooking lessons will be followed by lunch.
Travelling via Katugasthota around 30 km north we reach the Huluganga river to experience slow-paced life in a rural village. Till the evening you may traverse the river bed, observe birds and listen to their calling or mingle with the local people to find out about their daily routines.
Day 4 Mind, Body and Spiritual / Overnight: Matale
A chance to imroprove your spiritual wellbeing, relax and boost the suppleness of body following a half-day yoga program. Enjoy the tranquillity and peace in the open space.
At Oruthota time stops still. The breathtaking views will transport you to a haven that will be hard to imagine. And in this place, a special program is conducted dedicated to embracing the fullness of life and working towards a healthy body, mind and spirit. Yoga Acharya will lead you through the program following the ancient Sivananda Tradition. The half-day program will be in four sections and cover Pranayama (breathing exercises), Meditation, Yoga Asana and Relaxation. At the end of the program, you are free to discuss your progress with the Aacharya and seek his advice.
Oruthota offers a buffet of vegetarian food. After Lunch, we will make our way to Kundasale where a Buddhist Monastery is found. The monks there will help you with further instructions on peaceful meditation practice (90 mins).
During the evening travel 25 km north to Matale where we will stay overnight.
Day 5 Meet Natural Farming guru / Overnight: Habarana
All the nutrition the body required can be found in plant produce. In Matale we take a nature walk to explore the wilderness with a Naturalist and alter join a cooking class in the village.
Matale district is well known for its spices. Unlike the central hills, the Matale has remained unspoiled by tourism, and much of the local natural farming techniques used have been transferred to other places. Matale is home to the famous Knuckles range that is popular among hikers.
During the day we will take a Nature Walk accompanied by the Naturalist, Thilak Kandegama to explore the wilderness and vegetation. We will also have a cooking workshop to learn some of the favourite dishes among the local community. We will proceed to savour the cooked meal as our lunch, mingle with the local people to understand them better.
In the afternoon we will proceed north to reach Dambulla and under a cooler sun visit the ancient Enderagala temple that is perched on a rock. The rock summit holds panoramic 360- degree views that would be wonderful to experience during the sunset. According to inscriptions found in the caves, the stupa dates back to 2nd – 1st century BC.
From Dambulla, we travel to Habarana with possible encounters with wild elephants.
Day 6 Discover Sigiriya Rock Fortress / Minneriya jeep safari / Overnigh: Habarana
Enjoy the foretaste of living in a 5 BC fortress climbing up the Sigiriya Rock and take a walk among the clouds. In the evening join an exciting Jeep Safari to witness Asia’s largest Elephant gathering
Our stay in Habarana helps us to make an early trip to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Ascending the rock fortress during mid-day will quickly tire the visitor under a scorching sun. Sigiriya one of the first sites in Sri Lanka to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage site (1982) is famous for its unique architecture and landscaping. If the climb is too steep you can take rest at the Lions Paws; however, the rest of the climb has some delightful surprises that you may not want to miss. From the peak, you can see the design of the fortress, the landscaping, ponds and fountains, the parapet walls that line the moat on either side. A separate museum located outside showcases some valuable artefacts unearthed during an excavation that is linked to the kingdom ruled by King Kashapa in 5th century BC.
During the afternoon we will have a cooking class conducted in a local village. After lunch, the group will proceed to Minneriya National Park (wildlife sanctuary) for a safari. Minneriya Park is famous for the ‘Elephant gathering’ reported as the largest gathering of Asian Wild Elephants, where 100-150 pachyderms are said to be witnessed in a close group near the Minneriya tank. The jeep safari that will continue till evening holds a chance of encountering other wild animals as well.
Day 7 Ritigala 1/2-day excursion and Bush walk / Enjoy rest of the evening at leisure / Overnight: Habarana
Explore the ancient monestries and hospice center of Buddhist monks in Ritigala and be able to relax in an evergreen forest. This place according to folklore is piece trailing off the Himalayans.
Travelling 19 km northwest of Habarana to visit the Ritigala nature reserve which is home to one of the most ancient monasteries and a nature reserve of rare medicinal plants. Ritigala is mention in the Ramayan as one of the spots where Hanuman (the Monkey God) dropped chunks of the Himalayan forest with contrasting microclimates and species of flora found nowhere else in the world. A walk in the nature reserve will cover some important archaeological sites and the monastery. It will also give an opportunity for some meditation. upon returning to the hotel in Habarana, the rest of the evening will be spent at leisure.
Day 8 Lending a helping hand / Overnight: Jaffna
Perhaps happiness is a mere state of mind. Give more than you receive and enjoy a life of abundance. We will visit a children’s home in the North to share our love with a group of destitute children.
Enroute A9 visit Mahadeva Children’s Home in Jeyanthy Nagar, Puthumurippu, Kilinochchi. This is home to 162 boys and 177 girls whose ages range from 3 to 19. These children have lost their homes and families during the war civil war and are now looked after by the Social Services Department of Sri Lanka. You assist them in kind or school supplies, food, medicine, school uniforms, clothes, books, computers or funding for extra classes.
Day 9 Delft island and terurn to mainland / Cooking classes / Overnight: Jaffna
A trip hugging the the coastal line against the deep blue ocean
Delft island is the last of a series of islets located west of Jaffna peninsula, 40 km off the mainland coast. The island is locally known as Needunthevu, for the yearning traveller, a day trip to this bucolic island is nothing short of an adventure.
You can reach the island by a chartered boat and take a site seeing tour hiring a local taxi. First head towards the pigeon house, the Dutch trader’s residence, the Dutch fort and the old stables located nearby. The narrow roads on the insland are lined with limestone walls; the stones are just piled neatly. You will also find a giant footprint on coral stone (supposedly of the Buddha) on your way to the old stables. Delft is well known for a local breed of wild horses. These brown and white horses are descendants of those animals brought in by the traders. The highlight of your trip would be ofcourse the Baobab tree of humongous promotion. This tree was brought into the island by Arab traders (from Africa) and said to be able to host 15 persons inside the hollow of its trunk.
Past all the famous attractions is the bottomless well that gives pure water for everyone on the island. If you want to go for a swim, white sand and calm beaches are on the West side of the island. The azure blue sea stretches beyond the horizon, the sun rays blink in reflection from the glassy surface of the ocean. Be mesmired by the sea but make sure you are back at the pier on time for the last boat leaving to the Pennisula.
Day 10 Discover Jaffna peninsula / Transfer to Anuradhapura / Overnight: Anuradhapura
Reaching the North was a big deal a decade ago. However it is now a prime tourist destination. Explore the many cultureral and historical monuments as well as TAMil cooking style in Jaffna.
Since the ending of the civil war in 2009 Jaffna Peninsula has attracted many visitors because of its historical and cultural importance. The north is occupied mainly by Tamils who are Hindu’s like many South Indian citizens. For the discerning vegan traveller, Jaffna offers a beautiful culinary experience of items like Dosai, Waddai, Iddley, Pittu and even Appam (hoppers) and string hoppers. You will have ample opportunity to cook some of the delicious vegetarian food while on tour. Tamils have their own special sweetmeats displayed in colourful combinations along slide garlands and incense near the entrance to significant Hindu temples.
A famous landmark as you enter Jaffna town overlooking the lagoon is the Dutch Fort most of which has been restored. Once one of the most significant Dutch forts in Asia, it was built in 1680 over an earlier Portuguese fort. On the Jaffna-Point Pedro Road near Nallur you can find the Cankilian Thoppu which is an ancient facade, and one of the remnants belonging to the Jaffna kingdom dating back many centuries. Also in the vicinity is an old manor house known as the Mantri Palace that some say was used as guest quarters for visiting ministers during this time. The charming home which although still in tack is derelict, and the walls are covered in graffiti.
In terms of attractions in Jaffna, Nallur temple is a huge Hindu temple that is not to be missed. This shrine crowned by a towering gold-encrusted, golden-ochre Gopuram, and one of the most significant Hindu religious complexes in the island. Its sacred deity is Murugan (or Skanda), and during cacophonous puja in the morning and evenings offerings are made to his brass-framed image and other Hindu gods like Ganesh in shrines surrounding the inner sanctum.
Day 11 Discover Anuradhapura / Transfer to Colombo/Overnight: Colombo
Arrive the Kingdom of Anurahapura and visit UNESCO heritage site, archeological
On our return journey, we stop at the sacred city of Anuradhapura to explore the ancient ruins. The city was constructed around the Sacred Bo tree (fig tree). This tree is from a sapling from the tree that helped the Buddha attained enlightenment. It was brought to Sri Lanka in 3 BC. Throughout 1300 years, the Kings who reigned in power added on to the city complexes. Ruins of temples, monasteries, palaces, royal parks and great irrigation works can be seen in this city. The city designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992 is perhaps one of the best preserved archaeological sites in the whole of Asia. Ruins of temples, monasteries, palaces, royal parks and great irrigation works can be seen in this city. The Sri Maha Bodhi, Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba, Jethavanarama Dagoba and the Archaeological Museum are places located within the World Heritage site that can be easily visited in 1-2 hours.
After that, we travel 205 km south to reach the capital city of Colombo.
Day 12 Discover Colombo / Depature
A chance to savour authentic Tamil food, wander in the corridors of Art Galleries and do some shopping in Colombo.
Most of the morning can be spent at leisure since the hotel is not far from the beach you can even go for a walk. Shamugas is a decent vegetarian restaurant nearby that offers a variety of food. If you opt to venture out Wellawatta is an excellent place for shopping for clothing including Indian sarees, Batiks and sarongs.
During the day it is possible to venture to the city to find some exciting places promoting art and culture. While Barefoot gallery which is just 3 km north of Wellawatta is a wonderful place to visit, the Colombo Art Gallery, Lionel Wendt Gallery, Saskia Fernando Gallery, Sapumal Foundation, Geffory Bawa’s residence at No 11 and the National Museum in Colombo are some of the other options you consider. Do not miss the street art created by armature artistes along the Greenpath next to the Museum and Art Gallery. Opposite to the street is a large open area called the Viharamahadevi Park (formerly known as Victoria Park) which is ideal for relaxing.
In the heart of Colombo two vegetarian restaurants – Shanthi Vihar and Ponnasamy’s stand out from the rest for the simple yet delicious meals on offer. In the afternoon you may visit the famous Gangarama temple in Colombo 02 (Slave Island).
The area once known for slaves and who worked on the dockyard has a tiny island floating on the Beire Lake that is now a favourite place for recreation. The Seema Malaka designed by veteran Architect Geffrey Bawa hung on columns atop the lake, was meant for meditation instead then worship is an ideal place to enjoy the fading sun. From far the Seema Malaka is like a sparkling gem, its decorative lights reflected across the water. You can also see Colombo’s newest attraction the Lotus Tower that at 350 meters height is Asia’s tallest structure. If you are in the mood night shopping can be arranged at the Colombo Shopping Center before your departure.
- 12 days of accommodation; 3-4 star (self-rated)
- English speaking private Chuffer guide
- Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner
- All parking, taxes and fuel charges etc.
- All government taxes and service charges
- Driver’s allowance and other expenses related to the vehicle
- Surface transport by air-conditioned vehicle
- Entrance fees: Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Hiriwaduna village tour, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Minneriya Jeep Safari, Dambulla Cave Temple, Kandy Cultural show, The temple of tooth entrance and Galle Fort.
- All cooking demonstrations and workshops.
- Spice garden
- Wood carving Factory
- Tea Factory & plantation
- Travel insurance
- Medical expenses of any kind
- Personal shopping expenses
- Arrival day dinner
- Personal expenditure
- Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances (flight delays, cancellations, hike in fares, costs incurred by natural calamities or industrial action.
- Photography fee- if any
- Gratuities or tips. (we do not include tipping when quoting tour price, if you are travelling with a guide, we suggest $9 per day as tips.
- Visa fee
Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)
With effect from 1st January 2012, all Holiday or Business travellers to Sri Lanka must have Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) for entering into Sri Lanka. Please visit www.eta.gov.lk for more information. Payments are to be made through the arrangement made in website http://www.eta.gov.lk/ and obtain an acknowledgement of ETA application. No third parties are authorised to collect payment.
What is a Sri Lankan Visa?
A Sri Lankan visa is an endorsement on a passport or a similar document to facilitate the legal entry of non-Sri Lankans into the country and to regulate the period of their stay and the conditions governing such stay.
What are The Types of Sri Lankan Visas?
There are four kinds of visas which permit a person to enter and/or stay in Sri Lanka.
A Visit Visa is an entry permit signifying the consent of the Sri Lankan Government for the admission of a foreign national to the country. The Visa contains details of the period and the condition/s of the stay. 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.
Photo Permits & Entrance Charges
Sri Lanka is a photographer’s delight. However, permits are required before you can take photos at specific sites. Entrance tickets to individual sites are available only from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. These tickets cover charges for photography, recording and parking. Rates are quoted in US Dollars, and rupee parities are subject to fluctuation.
Custom Imports and export
You are allowed to bring into the country duty-free 1.5 litres of spirits, two bottles of wine, a quarter-litre of toilet water, and a small quantity of perfume and souvenirs with a value not exceeding USD 250. The import of personal electronic items such as cameras and laptop computers is allowed but must be declared on arrival. However, personal electronic items must be taken out of the country upon the visitor’s departure. The import of non-prescription drugs and pornography of any form is an offence.
On leaving the country, you are allowed to export up to 10kg of tea duty-free.
No antiques defined as anything more than 50-years-old - rare books, palm-leaf manuscripts and anthropological material cannot be exported without a permit.
Purchase and export without a licence of any wild animal, bird or reptile, dead or alive are prohibited. Exportation 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 also prohibited the exportation of 450 plant species without special permits. The export of coral, shells or other protected marine products is also strictly prohibited.
Foreign 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.
The health risks in Sri Lanka are different to those encountered in Europe and North America. Watch out for bowel diseases such as diarrhoea and amoebic dysentery, vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, and a variety of fungal infections. Sri Lankan physicians, though, many of whom have trained in the West, are particularly experienced in dealing with locally occurring diseases.
Before You Go
No vaccinations are compulsory unless you are coming from yellow fever or Cholera area. (Cholera is very occasionally reported in Sri Lanka, so is not considered a serious risk.) However, the following vaccinations are recommended, particularly if you plan a long trip or intend visiting remote areas:
Typhoid (monovalent), Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies.
Children should also be protected against diphtheria, whooping cough, mumps, measles, rubella.
Remember to plan well ahead with vaccinations. Allow up to six weeks to receive the full course, for some vaccinations require more than one dose, and some should not be given together.
The risk of malaria exists throughout the whole country apart from the districts of Colombo, Kalutara and Nuwara Eliya. Medication has to start one week before travel, continue during the trip, and finish four weeks after your return. Once again, planning is essential, as well as care to ensure the course is followed.
When You Are There
As most stomach upsets 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 the 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 centres, so it pays to be suspicious of all refrigerated foods if you know there has been a recent outage in your area.
Tap water is not safe to drink, and boiling and filtering are 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.
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 sun exposure should be limited in time. If you don't apply sunscreen you are liable to become so sunburnt that it will be painful to move, your skin will peel, you will have to start again to get that tan, and most importantly you put yourself at risk of severe dermatological disease.
Sometimes those who have spent too long in the sun suffer what is termed heatstroke, the most common form being 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.
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 every three hours.
Local Health Care
Minor health problems can 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, some private hospitals in Colombo are geared to provide advanced surgery and other treatment to international clients
Travellers with Special Needs
Travellers 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. Colombo's Airport is equipped with wheelchairs and assistance in boarding and disembarking are available. Buildings, offices, and banks are becoming better-equipped with wheelchair ramps.
Sri Lanka's Currency
The local currency is the Sri Lankan Rupee, divided into 100 cents (you rarely come across scents today). Currency notes are Rs5,000, Rs2,000, 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 received 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, fruit, and eat cheap meals because change is often hard to come by apart from at hotels and big shops.
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.
Most hotels, restaurants and shopping centres accept credit cards. Some establishments may try to add a surcharge, which is illegal.
Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe.)
230-240 volts, 50 cycles AC. If you travel with a laptop -computer, bring a stabiliser.
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.
Photography, Restrictions & Permits
Sri Lanka is a tremendously photogenic island, so it is 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 breathtaking archaeological remains provide great opportunities: a bonus is that Sri Lankans love to be captured on film. So it is easy to capture the traditional rural lifestyle. You will 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 payment for allowing themselves to be photographed.
Some restrictions may apply to photograph 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.
Tourists who wish to visit and or photograph the principal ancient monuments in Sri Lanka are required to purchase a ticket. A single round ticket for two months’ validity costs US$50 and will entitle you to visit and photograph historic monuments such as as Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Nalanda, Ritigala, Medirigiriya. There are separate charges at each site for those who do not obtain round tickets: Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya USD25, Nalanda USD5, Ritigala USd8, Medirigiriya USD5.
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 South-western coastal area, where most of the beach resorts are located. Kalpitiya, located on the 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
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 woollens 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.
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.
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.
In general, the threats to personal security for travellers 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 on + 94 11 2382209.
Where to Stay
Sri Lank 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 operator’s, travel agents, booking online and through our travel planner.
Ceylon tea is prepared as in the West. There are a vast 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 all hotels.
Alcohol Sales Restriction
Please note alcohol is not sold on Poya Days. (full-moon day of the month)
Source: Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau
Terms & Conditions – Food Tours