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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 6 Things to Know Before Travelling to Sri Lanka - Six Travel Tips for Holidaymakers heading to Sri Lanka
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Joanna James Joanna James
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6 Things to Know Before Travelling to Sri Lanka - Six Travel Tips for Holidaymakers heading to Sri Lanka

As one of Asia's best loved beach holiday hubs Sri Lanka is a tourist Mecca for the masses. Here are six tips to help any travel enjoy a memorable getaway in the island nation.

1

Safety Concerns

Although those hailing from western nations may have memories of when the island nation was embroiled in a civil war, Sri Lanka is one of the safest countries to visit in Asia. While the 30 year old war has left its mark on the country's economy, the island nation has emerged from the conflict as a safe tourist destination for visitors from around the world. The tourism infrastructure has been largely reclaimed and refurbished to meet the requirements of modern day travellers and the country is safe to navigate on one's own or with a group. Keep in mind that scammers and dodgy personalities are a part of every country's social fabric, making it important to be cautious in your dealings with the locals to avoid mishaps of this nature.

2

Driving in Sri Lanka

While most countries allow visitors with an international driving license to drive in the country, the rules are somewhat different for those who wish to get behind the wheel in the island. In addition to your international driving license, you will also be expected to present the driving license you use in your country of origin. Ensure the IDP lists Sri Lanka as one of the countries in which it is valid. Remember that driving in Sri Lanka can be a dangerous undertaking due to the strict traffic rules and the daredevil driving habits of some locals so proceed with caution.

3

Food Quality

When dining out or eating from street side vendors and small kiosks in Sri Lanka, always select establishments that use tongs to handle food and paper plates or similar reusable utensils when serving local food items. Although food safety is not a major concern in Sri Lanka as it is in India, dining in reputed establishments is a good way to avoid food poisoning and stomach upsets in general. There are apps and websites listing local restaurants and dining options based on ratings and reviews and one can download this information to keep indigestion at bay.

4

Don't Miss the Wildlife

As a country that is perhaps best known for its beaches, many travellers forget to explore the country's abundant wildlife sanctuaries and safari options. Home to some of Asia's finest national parks, the sheer variety of protected reserved and safari hotspots makes Sri Lanka a hit with nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Sign up for a tour of at least one of the island's top national parks including the Minneriya National Park or Yala National Park and take a walk on the wild side.

5

Maintain Respect for the Country's Past

Sri Lankans are some of the friendliest people one will come across in Asia but that does not mean you can act disrespectfully towards the country's past conflicts and present challenges. Keep conversations with the locals limited to their families and interests and refrain from engaging in political discussions or religious opinions unless you are specifically asked for your opinion.

6

Transport Tips

Offering visitors a comprehensive network of public transport methods, travelling by bus and train is the most efficient and inexpensive way to explore Sri Lanka. With connections to nearly every corner of the island available, the timely and comfortable buses and trains managed by both the government and the private sector offer easy and speedy commutes around the country. Those who wish to reach AVANI Kalutara Resort or any of the many similar Kalutara resort bases upon arrival in Sri Lanka can also use the public bus service available on the Southern Expressway.