There are some fine lists out there on what you should pack in your bag when you travel in Sri Lanka. After speaking with travel and packing experts, NKAR has compiled a list of necessities every frequent traveler needs to have on their hand and ready to go! Below are simply some overlooked, perhaps questionable, items & knowladge that you would find interesting.
All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay and it is compulsory to obtain visa prior to arrival in Sri Lanka.
Extensions can be arranged simply by visiting the emigration and immigration department.
Due to the bilateral relationship between the countries, Maldives and Singapore passport holders do not require visa to enter Sri Lanka.
VISA Fee –
– SAARC Countries Online Visa fee 30USD
– Other Countries 40USD
– Please note On Arrival Visa is 10USD higher than the above.
Official web site to obtain your visa : www.eta.gov.lk
The national currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR), with an exchange rate of 140 to the Euro and 111 to the US$. This is the current exchange rates and are subject to change.
You can bring your money in cash (Sterling, Euros or US dollars) or Travellers Cheques: you will find changing cash much easier in practice. We advise you to change money on arrival at Colombo airport. The hotels will be able to change money as well but the rates will probably not be favorable. There are banks at the airport open 24 hours a day.
It is always best to consume bottled water which is readily available and can be brought from all hotel bars, restaurants, and local shops. Please ensure that throughout the stay you drink as much water or soft drinks in order to avoid dehydration.
Voltage is 230V, but you may need an adapter in most hotels since the type of pin can be different to the one on the plug base.
All recognized credit cards are accepted. However it is important to check of a service charge is levied. Avoid any individuals taking your credit card away from you for payments.
ATMs are available island-wide and the use of credit cards are also encouraged and accepted by most establishments.
Sea bathing can be dangerous in certain places due to the strong currents, especially during the monsoon period. Therefore sea bathing is at your own risk. Please respect the local people when swimming or sunbathing- topless or nudity is prohibited. Always remember to use a high factor sunscreen lotion as the sun rays can be strong.
In general Sri Lankans love having their picture taken, but it is common courtesy to ask permission. Taking photographs of dams, airports, roadblocks, or anything associated with security is forbidden. Do not pose beside or in front of a statue of the Buddha as this is considered extremely disrespectful.
It is suggested that you use a mosquito repellant. Most hotels will provide this to you. If not these are freely available in local shops. Mosquito coils are not recommended. Mosquito repellent oils which can be applied on your body when sitting out in the evenings, are also available. You are advised to test it on your skin at least one hour before use.
Casual wear is acceptable. However swim wear is accepted only around the pool or beach areas and most certainly not inside the hotel. The body must be fully covered when visiting temples and other places of worship. Long dresses and trousers are recommended for such visits.
This can be done from your hotel either through the operator or some hotels provide direct dialing facilities from your room. You need to dial “00″ followed by the country followed by the area code and the number.
The world’s finest Tea and Spices are grown here. Sri Lankan precious gem stones are world famous. A wide range of batiks, Silver & Brassware, Ornaments and Jewellery are found here. Branded clothing and Ceramic ware are available on popular offers. Prices cannot be bargained in shopping malls but in other markets or shops you may be able to negotiate on the quoted prices.
As a leading tourist destination, Sri Lanka holds one of the best hygienic records in Asia, where stomach complaints are not common. Nevertheless, it is good to comply with the following guidelines;
Please keep your travel documents and other valuables in a safe place.
Refrain from leaving your travel documents, money and other valuables unattended in the hotel room. It is recommended that you store such items in the safety locker in the room or alternatively in the safety locker at the reception.