Haven on the world –Sri Lanka , known for its golden-sanded beaches and turquoise sea, it’s beautiful landscapes rolling through hills, carpeted with world best tea Plantations, Pouring rivers & waterfalls through imposing mountains, it’s abundance of rare wild life & foliage, wondrous thick wet forest & wet lands with lagoons & unique environment systems, it’s inspiring cultural heritage sites with rich history, its own indigenous scheme of traditional medicine (Ayurveda), it’s precious world famous gems, it’s friendly, charming, hospitable nation with persistent smiling faces. It’s truly paradise on earth. Sri Lanka is a breath-taking get-away. Come LET’S SEE this true beauty from your eyes.
LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY
Sri Lanka officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country, nestled like a teardrop at the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia, known until 1972 as Ceylon.
Sri Lanka lies between 5 55’ and 9 55’ North of the equator and between the Eastern longitudes 79 42’ and 8152'. The island dimensions are 430km from north to south and 225km from east to west with a coastline of 1340km and a total area of 65525km.
WEATHER & CLIMATE
Sri Lanka climate is tropical and consists of distinct wet and dry seasons. The Yala monsoon brings abundant rainfall to the country’s western and southern regions from May to September; the area experiences its dry season during December through March.
Altogether, the southwest receives around 4000mm of rainfall each year. The Maha monsoon affects northern and eastern Sri Lanka weather and often lasts from October to January, with the dry season usually lasting from May to September.
This region receives approximately 1000mm of precipitation annually, significantly less than the other half of the country. There is also an inter-monsoonal period in October and November during which rain and thunderstorms occur frequently across the island.
Upland areas of Sri Lanka are cooler and more temperate, with a yearly average around 16-20ºC (60-68ºF), and coastal areas are warmer with average temperatures around 27ºC (80ºF). The March-June season experiences slightly higher temperatures (up to 33ºC / 92ºF), while the temperatures in November-January are a few degrees lower (around 24ºC / 75ºF at the coast). Sri Lanka weather along the shores is made more comfortable by cooling sea breezes. The surrounding sea remains rather constant at roughly 27ºC (80ºF) year-round.
Humidity is typically rather high in Sri Lanka, averaging out at around 80% year-round.
Sri Lanka climate can be at its most enjoyable in the drier seasons; the best time to travel to the west, south and upland areas of the island is during December to March, while the recommended travel season for the east coast region is April to September.
The most popular season for tourism is between December and March, when the country attracts Europeans fleeing the Northern Hemisphere’s winter weather. Christmas and the New Year are particularly popular for a Sri Lankan holiday, while July and August represent festival season on the island.
Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe.
VISA TO SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka tourist visa is normally issued by Sri Lanka Diplomatic Missions overseas which will be endorsed on passport and usually valid for three months. After arrival, visitor could seek an extension to tourist visa up to six months. However, for promotion of tourism and to facilitate entry of tourists to Sri Lanka, Department of Immigration and Emigration has introduced an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system. The ETA allows tourist to apply an authorization online to travel and remain in Sri Lanka for one month. No passport copies, documents or photographs are required. There is no requirement to endorse the ETA on the passport. After arrival, tourist who may wish to stay longer than one month may apply for an extension to ETA up to six months
For further information please visit: http://www.immigration.gov.lk/
BANKS, CREDIT CARDS & LOCAL CURRANCY
Banks are open from 0900 hrs to 1300 hours Monday to Friday. Some city banks close at 1500 hrs, while some are open on Saturday mornings. It’s easy to withdraw money across the island at ATMs using international credit cards or debit cards.
Most hotels, restaurants and shopping centers accept credit cards. Some establishments may try to add a surcharge, which is illegal.
The local currency is the Sri Lankan Rupee, divided into 100 cents (you rarely come across scents today). Currency notes are Rs.5,000, Rs2,000, Rs1,000, Rs500, Rs100, Rs50, Rs20 and Rs10. Coins, should you have receive them, will be in denominations up to Rs10.
Make sure you have plenty of lower denomination notes (Rs50, Rs100, Rs500), especially when travelling and you need to buy small items, fruit, and eat cheap meals, because change is often hard to come by apart from at hotels and big shops.
FOREIGN CURRANCY REGOLATIONS
Visitors to Sri Lanka bringing in more than US$10,000 should declare the amount to the Customs on arrival. All unspent rupees converted from foreign currencies can be re-converted to the original currency on departure as long as encashment receipts can be produced.
You are allowed to bring into the country duty free 1.5 litres of spirits, two bottles of wine, a quarter-litre of toilet water, and a small quantity of perfume and souvenirs with a value not exceeding US $250. The import of personal equipment such as cameras and laptop computers is allowed but must be declared on arrival. However, personal equipment must be taken out of the country upon the visitor.s departure. The import of non-prescription drugs and pornography of any form is an offence.
On leaving the country you are allowed to export up to 10kg of tea duty free.
No antiques antique. Defined as anything more than 50-years-old - rare books, palm-leaf manuscripts and anthropological material can be exported without permission.
( www.archives.gov.lk ) ( www.archaeology.gov.lk. )
Purchase and export without licence of any wild animal, bird or reptile, dead or alive . also the export of parts of animals, birds or reptiles, such as skins, horns, scales and feathers is prohibited. Occasional exports are, however, permitted exclusively for bona fide scientific purposes. It is prohibited to export of 450 plant species without special permits. The export of coral, shells or other protected marine products is also strictly prohibited.
( www.environmentlanka.com )
WHAT TO WEAR
Sri Lank Offers visitors an excellent range of accommodation facilities to suit all budgets from luxury hotels to low budget accommodations. In the peak season (mid-January and during Easter) bookings can be heavy so it is best to reserve accommodation well in advance through Tour operators/ travel agents, booking online and through our travel planner.
WHERE TO STAY
The level of accommodation you can find in Sri Lanka is also very high in standard. From boutique hotels to five-star luxury resorts to affordable inns and guest houses, finding a place to stay with good service and a lovely view is not an easy task. Whether you want to see the beach, the forest, the hills or the plantations, LET’S SEE ASIA help you to find a hotel of suitable standard to rest and enjoy the experience. Combine this with the level of hospitality you will receive from your host, and you will be pampered throughout your holiday.
FOODS IN SRI LANKA
Most of the Sri Lankans eat vegetables. With a large community of farmers the Rice and curry is the main food in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka curries are known for their fiery hot spicy flavors and coconut milk is very distinct feature of Sri Lankan cuisine that different regions of country specialize in different types of dishes. The specialty in Sri Lankan food is that same food is differently made in different regions. Dishes from the North region of Sri Lanka have distinct south Indian flavors. Dishes from the South region of Sri Lanka can be Spicy, Hot or Mild. The meals of the southern region of Sri Lanka are known for their variety and fishing village though the coastal strip. Ambulthiyal a unique spicy fish preparation with thick gamboges “Goraka” paste.