In contrast to the size of India to its north, Sri Lanka is a small country but with so much to offer, starting with its cuisine influenced by its larger neighbour. As an island nation, you have access to untrod beaches wherever you go. Sri Lanka’s varied climates mean you have to consult a Sri Lanka travel blog for which beaches to go to at different times of year. Inland, there are verdant hills home to tea plantations and rainforests abundant with wildlife and dotted with timeless ruins.
If you are seeking a safari experience without the crowds, Sri Lanka’s national parks will delight with its population of elephants, leopards, birdlife and a passel of primates. On the cultural front, Sri Lanka has more than 2,500 years of continuous written history overlaid by Portuguese, Dutch and British influences. Despite its size, this island nation has as many as eight UNESCO World Heritage temples, ancient cities, fortifications, forest reserve and highlands.
Sri Lanka Travel Blog and Holiday Tips
Medical and Health Care
Visitors to Sri Lanka are recommended to have vaccinations for Hepatitis A+B, tetanus, and if traveling outside of tourist areas during the wet season, typhus. Have comprehensive travel and medical insurance, and if you plan to travel to rural areas for prolonged periods, consider getting vaccination for Japanese encephalitis. As a tropical country, Sri Lanka teems with mosquitoes that can be carriers of dengue and yellow fevers and malaria, with the latter a risk in the north, east and southeast.
As a fast emerging popular tourist destination, Sri Lanka has already its share of scams unfolding – the price of your transport, the price of the safaris, the gems you bought, and even the e-Visa you applied for may not be what they are. Touts and other con artists usually approach tourists and become friendly, and will take advantage of your attention to trick you into buying something or taking an overpriced tour with them. Refrain from giving cash to begging children or strangers with a grievance as they are likely used by con men to trick tourists into parting away with their money. Solo female travellers have to be especially vigilant when riding public transport and going to beach areas.
You can withdraw Sri Lankan rupee from your ATM card or debit card back home in the cities and suburbs where logos of international cards are displayed. Credit card fraud is on the rise in Sri Lanka, so use only cash wherever you can. Tipping directly the worker for good service is appreciated as the usual 10% service charge usually goes straight to the business owner.
Refrain from talking about Sri Lankan politics, religion, race and cricket (the sport), as these are very sensitive topics in Sri Lanka.
When to Go
Sri Lanka may be a small country, but its weather varies depending on where you are in the country. If you are traveling to the east coast, the north-east monsoon runs from October to January, while the south-west monsoon runs from May to July and predominantly affects the west and south coasts. If you are headed to Kandy, the best time to visit is from January to March, and again from July to August. The capital, Colombo, is on the southwest coast, and the best time to get there is from December to March. Countrywide, the best time to visit is during the ‘shoulder’ season of April, and September to November.