Welcome to Sri Lanka. You are undoubtedly eager to explore the sights & sounds of the paradise isle. We hope these tips will help you make your stay more memorable!
Culture & Religions
Sri Lanka is a cosmopolitan country with a truly unique, vibrant culture. The main religions practiced are Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity & Islam. You will find people belonging to Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher & Malay races living together in perfect harmony.
The Full moon day of each month known as Poya Day is a National holiday. Sale of liquor is prohibited on this day.
The traditional Sinhala Greeting is “Ayubowan”. The Tamils say “Vanakkam”, while the Muslim community prefers “Assalamu Alaikum”. However, the majority of urban Sri Lankans use the standard “Good Morning/Evening greeting.
Climate & Clothing
The season throughout the year is “Summer”. Yes, that means you can expect lots & lots of sunshine.
Do bring comfortable clothing (preferably cotton), bathing suits, sun block etc., so that you can enjoy the sunny weather. When visiting the central hill country, it is advised to wear a sweater as the climate becomes cold and misty.
It is advised to be culturally sensitive when selecting clothes to wear as Sri Lanka is generally considered to be a conservative country. Long and loose clothing is considered respectful.
Beach boys / touts
Almost all beach front hotels in Sri Lanka share public beaches and as a result of this there is a presence of beach boys. These beach boys / touts are not allowed to enter to our hotel premises. A stern “No Thank you” generally prevents them from approaching you and we further advice not to make conversation with the beach boys to avoid any incidents.
Sri Lankans — Get To Know Them
Sri Lankans are usually friendly, hospitable & curious. The country has a literacy rate of 90%. You may notice distinctive differences between the urban & rural community. The citizens are always eager to talk & lend a helping hand. Be sensitive & understanding towards the many cultural differences you may experience.
Etiquette & Guidelines
While visiting temples & places of worship, do not wear revealing clothing. White & light shades are the best choice. Remove any footwear & hats before you enter. Some places prohibit photography or video — taping . If in doubt, observe the behavior of the local folk or ask from your guide/ interpreter. Please note that it is considered very disrespectful to photograph in front of or beside statues of Buddha.
Nudism, public display of intimate behavior such as kissing, hugging etc., is a strict “No”. Alcoholism, drug abuse & smoking are also banned in public.
Food & Accommodation
Please turn off the lights & air-conditioning before you leave your accommodation facility. Fresh fruits & vegetables are abundantly available around the country. Beverages like King coconut (Tambily), Hot or iced tea are ideal to refresh yourself. Also, it’s best that you consume bottled water that has the SLS (Sri Lanka Standards Institute) logo on the bottle. Rice and curry is a popular choice of food in Sri Lanka and visitors are invited to experience the many exotic types of curries found here.
Locals use their fingers to consume meals and only use the right hand.
In Sri Lanka the main plug points used are type G power sockets (3 pin flat), type D and type M power sockets (3 pin and 2 pin - round).
The Single — phase Voltage in Sri Lanka is between 230V — 240V and the frequency is 50Hz.
There are plug point adaptors available at the hotel and is provided on request.
Business & Charity
Tourism based small enterprises are strewn across the country. You are encouraged to do business with them & contribute to the development of the community. Never give things free & do bargain if you feel that you are not getting the real value for money. Items made of ivory, coral, antiques & other bio — diversity products should not be bought or sold . Purchasing local handicrafts & souvenir s from trustworthy sources is a great way for you to support the local economy & livelihoods. Do not encourage begging. You can visit orphanages, schools for the disabled etc., & make donations but it’s advisable to first check the authenticity of the place with the authorities.
Tipping is optional. It is left o the customer to tip if satisfied with service. Most hotels and restaurants include a service charge of 10% in any bill. In the event of your wishing to give a tip, about 10% of the bill or 100 — 300 rupees is generally considered a fair tip.
Festivities & Celebrations
Being a truly diverse & multi — ethnic country, festivals & various cultural celebrations embody the true grandeur & exuberance of Sri Lanka. A host of events such as the Sinhala & Tamil new year, The Esala Perahera , Vesak are celebrated throughout the year.( Please refer http://www.tourslanka.com/sri_lanka_information/sri_lanka_festivals.html for more details. )These are ideal opportunities for you to experience the essence of Sri Lankan culture.
We Hope You Enjoy your Stay!