Sri Lanka Travel Advice for Tourists

Sri Lanka Travel Advice for Tourists – Tips for Travelers

by Mani Mughal
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Sri Lanka is the country of south Asia and located in the Indian ocean. The capital of Sri Lanka is Colombo, the city of 21 million people. Buddhism is the primary religion of the country. The island has culture and heritage in abundance. Although English is not native English, It is spoken in the country, so there would be no problem communicating.  Listed below are some Sri Lanka travel advices for Tourists which can help you in planing your Sri Lanka trip. 

Weather

The weather of Sri Lanka has two monsoons in different parts of the country. So the best time to visit is either of the monsoons. So you would need to search the perfect time for your trip.  The monsoon on the west coast and southwest coasts occur from April to September called “Yala.” And the 2nd monsoon happens on the east coast from November to March called “Maha.”  If you want to enjoy the south and central areas of the country, the best time is Dec to march.  If you like to see incredible surf breaks of Arugam Bay and  scub diving in Trincomalee, then the best time is April to September. 

Medical

When traveling to Sri Lanka, you should be vaccinated from your country so that you do not catch any fatal disease. Precaution is certain than cure. 

There are a few things you should be aware of.

  1. Mosquito: Dengue is common on the island, so cover yourself up with cloths or put some lotion to avoid flies and mosquitos.
  2. Food and Water-related health issues: Some of the diet with spices can cause diarrhea and vomiting. If the food is not cooked correctly, it can cause food poisoning and other health issues. 

Tap Water of the island is not safe for drinking. Invest in some good purifier if you are in the country for a long time; otherwise, buy water bottles to keep hydrated. 

Transport

Traveling throughout this small island is easy, as it has a lot of transportation options. Buses and tuk-tuks are standard options. Tuk-tuks are preferable as they can move to all corners of the island. But in comparison, the buses cost a little more but make your travel faster.  The train network is the most versatile in Sri Lanka; it can be troublesome sometimes, but it covers almost all the areas of the country at least hill regions.  You can always arrange your private transport, but this can be costly.  

Safety

Untill 2009 Sri Lanka was not safe fro tourist. Snce 2009 with the end of the Civil war, Sri lanka receved increadibly positve response by International traveller as it is a country of peace, but in 2019, the terrorist attack shocked the world. The attackers were local extremists, and they killed approximately 250 people on Christmas day, including tourists.  The government has forced a state of emergency throughout the island, and now the security is very tight. 

After these attempts, now the island is a peaceful place, and the government has taken good care of their tourists.

Food

Sri Lanka is a country that has its own culture and heritage when it comes to food. It also has similarities with Tamil  Indians food because of the proximity. The street food of Sri Lanka is a delight. 

The staple food of the country is rice and curry.

Kottu Roti is also a street food mix of godamba roti, spices and vegetables cooked and chopped in the plate. 

Wade is one of the foods that is appreciated by passengers; it is in the form of a pancake made up of fried dhal.

Hoppers are the pancakes like bowls presented for breakfast made from rice flour and coconut milk; it has egg also, but it is optional.

A lot of delicious food is there to eat on the island, but street food is the best of all. 

Where To Go

There are not many places in Sri Lanka to visit. 

But breaking your visit in two halves helps a lot: the North and the South. 

Northside

You can start with Colombo to Nuwara Eliya, then move further to Ella, Kandy, to Sigiriya than to Anuradhapura and from there to Trincomalee and Jaffna and from Jaffna back to Colombo. 

Southside

From Colombo to Hikkaduwa and Galle from Galle to Mirissa, then to Tangalle from there to Tissa and Ella from Ella to Nuwara Eliya Kandy and back to Colombo.

In 2 weeks you can visit a whole country.

Budget

The currency of Sri Lanka is the Srilankan rupee.  The country is a pretty affordable destination to visit if you have a budget of 20 to 30 USD per day, including transport food and accommodations.  

 Cost Of The Meal

  • Street food is approximately 3 USD
  • Rice and Curry is 1-2 USD
  • Main local meals are 1-3 USD
  • Expensive western meals are 5-100 USD

Cost Of Accommodations 

  • Guesthouse per night, depending on location/season 10-20 USD
  • Airbnb per night is 15 USD
  • 3-star Hotel per night is 15-30 USD
  • 5 Star Expensive hotel per night is 100+ USD.

Cost Of Transport

  • Bus cost for 1 USD
  • Express bus depending on distances costs approximately 3-5 USD
  • Trains depending on mileage and classes 3-10 USD
  • Tuk-tuks are for 50c per kilometer, for longer distances, negotiation must be done. Costly in cities, so always negotiate.
  • Private cars are for 10-100 USD, depending on mileage.

Scams

Just like any other tourist distination Sri Lanka also has scamers.  Let me expose some common Sri Lanka scams which are often use to cheat tourists.

1 Tuk-Tuk Scam. 

The tuk-tuk scam is widespread in Sri Lanka. The driver will insist you to ride with him and tell you about the places where some celebrations are done. If you say you don’t want a ride, he will ask you to go with them, and once you are ready, they will take you to some other destination and demand a lot of money from you when you try to resist they will threaten you even beat you up. So we advise you to take good care of such scams do not go alone with strangers. And don’t hire a tuk-tuk without meters.

2.The Charity Scam. 

You will experience this scam more often in a variety of ways. Like an old couple came to you and asked you to give some money to them as they are a part of some charity community, they will show you some fake papers as well just to make you believe. This scam is more prevalent in Kandy and the beaches of Sri Lanka. Don’t fall for such scams if you are convinced write down the name of the organization and search it on the internet; if it’s real, it will show up, and if it’s not, then it was probably a scam.

3.Pickpocketing 

This is one of the popular scams, particularly in crowded places like festivals and markets. Avoid showing off your expensive items. Don’t put your valuables in the pocket.

4.Sapphire Scam

The valuable gem called Sapphire is present in abundance in Sri Lanka. So the scam is also popular. Fake gens are being sold at the prices of the real ones. The main areas of the fraud are Gally and Kandy. Try to avoid interactions with local gem sellers and find yourself some authentic place to buy.

4. Drink Scam

The scammer will take you to a bar and drink with you, and suddenly they will disappear and leave you paying their bills, and the bill would cost you a lot more than a regular price. This fraud is common in some other countries as well. 

For the avoidance of the scam, don’t trust strangers and don’t be over-friendly with them. 

Here is one of the scam video which recevied millions of views in a year only.

 

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