Is it your first time visiting the pearl of the Indian Ocean? Then it’s good to know a few things about the island and follow some tips during your trip.
Expect crowds in touristy areas
If you are planning on visiting iconic places such as the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy or the Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura, expect a decent crowd in them. These are some of the most important places in the country where locals and tourists flock in large numbers. If you want to avoid the crowd you can choose to go to less crowded temples such as the Temples of Gadaladeniya and Lankathilake in Kandy.
Speaking of temples…..
Mind your clothes
Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country and there are a fair number of temples out of which some are more popular and visited by tourists from all over the world. All of these temples have a dress code and usually do not allow in people with clothes which are too revealing. So bring on those long skirts and scarves on your trip to the island.
Prepare to sweat it out
Being a tropical country, Sri Lanka is an island where you sweat a lot! So prepare to wear some light clothing during your normal outings and don’t forget to bring a hat or scarf and to slather on some sunscreen when going out.
Shopping at its best
Places such as Laksala and LUV SL are great to buy souvenirs but expect to pay quite an amount when purchasing from these places. On the other hand you can shop for moderate to cheap items at malls like Majestic City or the Pettah Bazaar. However, be prepared to walk a lot under the hot sun if you are planning to go shopping in Pettah.
Spice it up
Sri Lankan food has a lot of flavor and is mostly delicious with the wide range of spices used one each dish. Traditional Sri Lankan food such as lunu miris and pol sambol are extremely spicy and its best that you are aware of it before indulging in these delicacies.
Tropical beaches or cool hill country?
Know where to go in the paradise island as you can select from beautiful beaches in the South of the island or scenic hill country of the Central province. Some of the more popular beaches are Galle Face Green in Colombo, Unawatuna Beach in Galle, Hikkaduwa Beach, Nilaweli Beach and Mirissa Beach famous for whale watching
Learn a few Sri Lankan traditions and words
Learn a few Sri Lanka traditions and related terms with the most popular one being “Ayubowan” used as a welcome note or greeting. It’s also useful to learn a few Sinhalese words synonymous with thank you, see you etc. The locals love to be friendly with tourists and are most comfortable conversing in their mother tongue.
Explore the island on train or cab
Take the train to the hill country to enjoy the lovely mountains or down south for a dash of sea breeze. Trains are extremely cheap and you can pre book some of the luxury train services available. Uber taxi service is also available in Sri Lanka and is a popular transportation method among tourists travelling in the island.
Be a part of a rich history
Once a kingdom, Sri Lanka is rich in heritage, culture and history. So don’t forget to explore what it has to offer while respecting its heritage. The country has some rules and regulations when it comes to historic places such as Sigiriya Rock and Dambulla Rock Cave where visitors are not allowed to capture images in certain areas. It’s best to adhere to these rules and regulations in order to avoid any problems which might arise as a result.
Let’s hope you have a great time in this paradise island by following this guide and tips while having the best time of your life!
Written by – Hilshaad