Travel Info - Sri Lanka
The humidity is higher than in most parts of India. But surrounded by the Indian Ocean the island has blowing winds more often, making the tropical climate more bearable.
Although a small country, Sri Lanka has a remarkably varied climate. The climate in Sri Lanka's wet and green and densely populated southwestern area differs much from that in the eastern and northern regions.
There is no time difference between India and Sri Lanka, both are 5.30 hours ahead of Greenwich Main Time (GMT +05.30) , and 2½ hours behind Singapore.
Languages in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has three official languages.
Sinhala is spoken by the Sinhalese majority.
Tamil dialects are spoken by both Tamils and Muslims, Sri Lanka's most significant minorities.
English is the native language of only a very small Christian group called Burghers.
But many people can make themselves understood in English,
and signboards are often in English, too.
Online visa must be applied by tourists before entering Sri Lanka.
An English form is to be filled out online in order to obtain
the "Electronic Travel Authorization" (ETA) on the website www.eta.gov.lk.
The Tourist ETA visa is valid for 1 month.
Visa charges are 15.- US$ for Indians and citizens of other SAARC countries,
and 30.- US$ for others.
Only citizens of the Maldives and Singapore
and holders of a Diplomatic or Official Passport can enter Sri Lanka free of charge.
The passport must be valid 6 more months on arrival.
No vaccination or immunization or inoculation certificates are compulsory, except for yellow fever in case a person has visited some African or Latin American countries
during the last nine days before entering Sri Lanka.
There is no duty-free allowance for tobacco products. Any cigarettes must be declared, cartons of cigarettes will definitely carry duty, only very few packets for personal may be free of charge.
Sri Lankan banknotes should not leave the country.
For gems, retain your shopping receipts.
When leaving the country export of 10 kg of Ceylon Tea is permitted duty free.
It is forbidden to pose in front of religious statues or murals for being photographed.
The dresscode is similar to that of Indians. Visitors of religious sites should be modestly attired and wear an at least knee-length dress. Before entering sacred edifices or compounds you have to remove headgear and shoes.
It is prohibited and punishable to smoke or consume liquor in public spaces such as roads, streets, malls, or beaches.
Alcohol is not sold on full-moon days; these so-called Poya days are Buddhist bank holidays.
The risks for your health are not higher than in India.
In general simply follow the same common precaution rules as in India or Southeast Asia.
Simply observe the same precautionary measures as in India. Keep your valuables in the hotel safety deposit locker, and when travelling never leave them unattended, avoid crowds of people.
Civil war and acts of terrorism ended in 2009. Though the Sri Lanka Army is engaged in clearing landmines, in former civil war areas better refrain from leaving frequently used roads and pathes.
Sri Lanka and South Indian food share a lot in common, but Indians should not expect to get the same kind of meals as at home. Even in specialized Indian restaurants in Sri Lanka the Dosas, Uthappams and Curries are not exactly prepared in the same way as in Tamil Nadu.
Veg food restaurants are not as widespread in Sri Lanka as in India. But tour packages particularly designed for Indian pilgrims provide purely vegetarian food, non-veg food only on request.
Similar to India, Sri Lanka is famous for tea and spices. Sri Lankan cinnamon is the best in the world.
Sri Lanka has been known as the "jewel island" since ancient times. The large variety of coloured precious stones is unique in the world. The quality e.g. of blue sapphires, Pushparagas and Padparadschas from Sri Lanka remains to be unsurpassed.
You can use the same three pin plugs as in India, Type D (IA6A3) is most common. Line voltage is 220 Volts/50 Hz AC.
The country code for Sri Lanka is (00) 94.
When dialling Indian phone numbers simply remove the domestic intercity prefix (0) of that city and replace it by India's country code 0091, or in some communication centres by +91.
HIGH COMMISSION OF INDIA (COLOMBO)
36-38, Galle Road, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka,
ASST. HIGH COMMISSION OF INDIA (KANDY)
No. 31, Rajapihilla Mawatha, Kandy, Sri Lanka,
DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION & EMIGRATION
Poruthota Road, Palanagathurai, Negombo, Sri Lanka