Guides and Tips
What to Pack
Your Prescription Medicines.
More than one ATM card.
Mosquito repellent & Your favorite sun protection.
Your favorite tech and power adapter
Reusable water bottle
Appropriate Clothing for Temples
Get your Sri Lankan rupees inside Sri Lanka
As the Sri Lankan rupee is not a major currency, you often get better exchange rates from local currency outlets once you arrive. Ask for notes in smaller denominations (below Rs.500). Please note that you cannot bring Indian rupee and Pakistani rupee into the country – best convert them into USD and exchange to Sri Lankan rupee once you arrive. ATMs are widely available and major credit cards are accepted too.
There is a lot of head waggling
You’ll notice that body language and communication in Sri Lanka can be difficult to decipher for an average Westerner. The head waggling is one of the first things that a traveller notices, and it can mean many things, including yes, no or maybe. Be respectful and take time to learn what the locals are saying and how they say it. Sri Lankans are extremely generous by nature, so don’t be surprised if a head waggle leads to an invitation to dinner.
Tap water is not safe
While it is generally safe to gargle with tap water, you should avoid drinking from the tap. Bottled water is readily available, look for ones that bear the Sri Lanka Standards Institution certification mark. Alternatively, bring a reusable water bottle with a filter.
Public nudity is illegal
Swimsuits are fine on beaches but don’t skinny-dip as public nudity is illegal. It is also advisable to wear modestly and remove your shoes when visiting places of worship.
Be Prepared for Haggle
Haggling is an art and also a necessity in Sri Lanka. Be prepared for a round of bartering because often a vendor will offer you an inflated price. The rule of thumb is to half any price initially offered to you.