Sri Lanka, located in the Indian Ocean, was once known as ‘Pearl of The Indian Ocean’ Sri Lanka has been known to the ancient world by a variety of names as ‘Taprobane’, ‘Serendib’, ‘Thambapani’.
Ayubowan – May you live long
Sri Lanka is a year round destination with an abundance of sunshine all year round. The average temperature is around 27°C – 30°C in most parts of island. The temperature gradually drops as the land rises towards the hill country, with some parts of the highland as low as below 10°C. The island has two wet monsoon seasons; briefly between May and July in the south-west region and between December and January in the north-east. However, Sri Lanka has no off season per se as clear blue skied bright sunny days are the general rule even during the wet season. Sri Lanka is 5 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Median Time), 2½ hours behind Singapore and 4½ hours behind Australia EST (Eastern Standard Time).
The peak season is between December to March as many European travellers prefer the warm sunshine and the golden beaches of Sri Lanka. It is common that most popular hotels are overbooked due to the limited room inventory in the country especially along the coast (Beach Resorts) and in Kandy which is the Hill Capital of Sri Lanka. Apart from this period, the months of July & August could be also considered a peak period in Kandy due to the famous “Esala Perahera” which is a must to see for all travellers. Therefore, it is advisable to book in advance if you are planning a trip during the peak season.
When to visit Sri Lanka Booking in advance What to pack Sri Lanka is a tropical country and cotton clothes are the most ideal to wear and of course your bathing suits are a must if you are visiting the beaches. Sun tan lotion could be very handy as it can be very hot sometimes. If you are visiting the cultural and religious sites, it is a must that you wear appropriate clothing. Gents are required to wear trousers to cover their knees or a “sarong” with a shirt or T-shirt. Ladies should ideally wear decent attire such as a trouser or a skirt to cover the knees and a blouse or t-shirt. It may not be advisable for ladies to wear deep necked or a sleeveless top.
If you are interested in booking a Round Trip programme, the flight times are an important component when making the maximum use of your stay. Habarana is a central point when visiting cultural sites such as Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, and Dambulla and is approximately 3 hrs away from the airport. Most travellers prefer to drive up to Habarana directly from the airport when they arrive in the morning. Most European and Middle East carriers arrive early morning to Sri Lanka which is ideal for most travellers. Overnight stays close to the airport or in Colombo are considered practical for late evening arrivals.
It is not a huge problem to obtain a visa to visit Sri Lanka as many nationals are granted a visit visa on arrival valid for 30 days. However, please visit http://www.immigration.gov.lk/html/visa/info.html for more information and to check if you are required to obtain a visa prior to arrival.
If you need a doctor, please contact the hotel reception. The hotel will have a doctor within the hotel premises or nearby. Pharmacies can generally be found at the commercial centre of most towns.
International Direct Dialling (IDD) facilities are available at all city hotels, resorts, post offices and telecommunication centres. Postal services are provided at most hotels and at the local post office or authorised sub-post offices. Telegrams and faxes can be handed over to the hotel reception for transmission.
It is customary to tip drivers, guides and hotel housekeeping/restaurant staff if the service is satisfactory. This is solely at your discretion. The average tip is 100 rupees for Housekeeping and 10% of your meal bill for restaurant staff.
Your hotel provides safe and high quality food and we, as a policy do not recommend restaurants outside the hotel. Always wash and peel fruit before consumption. Drink plenty of water during the day to avoid dehydration.
Foreign currency and Traveller’s Cheques may be changed at any hotel, although commercial banks offer better rates. Converting Sri Lankan rupees back to a selected foreign denomination could be done at the airport bank which is open 24 hours of the day. Please retain your money changing receipts. Currency notes are in 10s, 20s, 50s, 100s, 200s, 500s, 1000s,2000s an
Hotels and shops accept most international credit cards. No surcharge is required for their use. Cash advances may be acquired against credit cards at certain bank ATMs. Most widely accepted cards are American Express, Visa and MasterCard. It is advisable to enquire if your card type is accepted by the establishment before the use of any services. Banks are generally open from 9.00am to 1.00pm from Monday to Friday. Some city banks close at 3.00pm, while others offer night banking facilities. Banks are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, all public holidays and special bank holidays on June 30th and December 31st. ATMs are most found adjoining bank branches island-wide.
Most shops open at 10.00am and close at 6.00pm. Shops are usually closed on Sundays and Full moon (Poya) days. The full moon poya day has religious significance for Buddhists and alcohol is not served in hotels, bars and public recreational areas on this day.
You may be required to open your baggage for inspection. Refrain from carrying prohibited or restricted goods. Certain types of animal products, antiques and gold are not allowed to be taken out of the country. It is important that you retain your shopping receipts, especially for gems.
Embarkation forms are available at the airport check-in counter and need to be filled and handed over to the immigration desk prior to departure. .
Filtered, mineral and bottled drinking water is available at most retail shops. Avoid drinking water from the tap.
220 Volts/50 Hz Ac. Two and three pin plugs are used mostly.
A list of embassies is given in the local telephone directory which is provided in most hotel rooms. If not, one may be obtained at the hotel concierge desk. Please contact us if further assistance is required.