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Updated by Kanya Mae on Oct 17, 2017
Headline for Traveller's Checklist to Sri Lanka -Three must-do's when travelling South
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Kanya Mae Kanya Mae
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Traveller's Checklist to Sri Lanka -Three must-do's when travelling South

Sri Lanka with its misty mountains and serene sands has much to offer. Travelling down the Southern coast of the island, witnessing tropics at its best, here are a few things for you to remember.

1

Sun protection

Sun protection

When in the areas of Kalutara, Galle and Matara – the popular towns in the Southern region of the country – you will be tempted to spend all your time under the glorious Sun. But you'd do well to remember that you are merely 600km from the equator, and Sun can be harsher than you think. Make sure that you have applied a generous layer of sunscreen product – with a factor of 15 or higher – whenever you stroll on the beach or flop on the poolside lounger. Even with protection, it is best to limit direct exposure to Sun, as not doing so could leave you with a severe sunburn that is unsightly, painful and definitely will ruin your vacation.

3

Photography and restrictions

Photography and restrictions

Who comes on vacation without a camera, seeking to capture on film the glorious beauty of this island? There is plenty of picture perfect moments in the area, including that of rural life, for the locals do not shy away from the lens. You will be able to photograph the fisher-folk, the little boys running on the beaches and the local damsels with their curious but shy smiles. While it is not required, some do offer certain compensation if the people have to go out of their way to pose for the photographs. More commonly, though, the poser will request you send a copy of their picture to them, which is a laborious task – but a justifiable request.

However, one must remember that while beaches and nature are free to be photographed, religious places have certain restrictions in this regard. Buddhist temples being one of the key places to visit in Kalutara, it bodes well to bear in mind that posing next to or with a Buddha statue, as well as posing with one's back turned towards the statue are considered highly disrespectful. It would be best if you consult a local on the premises on the best way to take a photograph, without offending the gentle hosts on your vacation.

2

Water is life

Water is life

Being in the tropics, under the scalding Sun, dehydration is a common occurrence if one is not careful. A common result of dehydration is heatstroke, where the body's heat regulating mechanism dysfunctions causing the body temperature to rise to unsafe levels. If you or someone around you seem to suffer from a high temperature, but lacks sweat, has flushed skin, a severe headache and becomes impaired in their coordination, they might be suffering from heat stroke. The best thing to do is to remove the victim from Sun's glare, cover them with a wet towel and seek medical advice. The only way to avoid heat strokes is to drink plenty of water; this is another task in this tropical island.

Tap water is not considered safe to drink, so it is best that you avoid them at all costs. Although the population of the island has been told to, and do, boil and filter water prior to drinking, little hotels and boutiques might do this hastily, making their drinking water not too safe. The best option is to drink bottled water, which is available aplenty. However, make sure that you purchase only those with a SLS certification, and ensure that the seal is not broken prior consuming. If you are staying on the island for an extended period of time, it is best to avoid tap water even to rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth. Many of the reputed hotels in the area such as Anantara Kalutara Resort keep a complementary bottle of mineral water for this purpose in their washrooms, so you need not worry if your place of accommodation is of luxury variety.