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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for 5 Tips for New Expats Living in Sri Lanka - Five Guidelines for Expats Who Call Sri Lanka Home
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Tips for New Expats Living in Sri Lanka - Five Guidelines for Expats Who Call Sri Lanka Home

As one of Asia's most popular retirement destinations, many foreigners are heading to the sunny shores of Sri Lanka each year. Here are five tips to help new expats adjust to island life in no time.


Local Transport

When it comes to getting around with ease, there's nothing quite as convenient as a three-wheeler or tuk-tuk. Easily accessible through a plethora of local apps, one can book a tuk-tuk from nearly any destination and expect a speedy ride to different areas of the city or the country. Use metered tuk-tuks at all times and steer clear of unmetered tuks as they can cost twice as much. Local three-wheel drivers are notorious for swindling unsuspecting tourists so make sure you are aware of where you are going and are adept at using Google Maps on your phone. Every neighbourhood has its own three-wheel community and it would be beneficial to befriend a driver or two to call in the case of an emergency or for your weekly grocery runs.


Take Out Must-Haves

One of the best things about living in the capital of Sri Lanka is that most of the best restaurants in the city offer delivery services or is affiliated with an app which offers deliveries based on orders. Download the countless foodie apps available in the country to make the most of this facility and enjoy restaurant-quality food at home. Not only can one purchase meals and snacks via these apps but beverages and quality coffee as well so add these applications and learn to navigate the sites which are especially useful for couples and single expats.


Educational Institutions

Foreign families living in Sri Lanka as expats should take special care when enrolling children into schools and other educational institutions. There are many dubious schools that are promoted online and in local papers with bad track records and no affiliations with overseas educational systems and schools. Do a thorough check-up and research regarding the schools and look up the international curriculum on offer to see if it's up to standard.


Dress Code

While there are no legal ramifications for dressing a certain way, expats should strive to dress conservatively during their time on the island as local culture frowns upon revealing attire. There is no need to restrict one's individual fashion sense, however, as one need only consider the type of occasion or location one is heading to and selecting clothes appropriate for the said venue. Avoid wearing shorts and skimpy tops when visiting religious attractions such as temples and stick to cotton and breathable fabrics to combat the heat and humidity of the local weather patterns.


Join Facebook Groups for Expats

Whether one is residing at Cinnamon Life Colombo or any similar luxury apartments in Colombo or renting a house in the suburbs, the value of connections with other expats is invaluable. Join Sri Lankan Facebook groups set up by and for expats to find useful and practical information from fellow expatriates

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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