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Updated by Hiru Piumwardena on Oct 10, 2019
Headline for Five must have apps if you're travelling in Sri Lanka
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Five must have apps if you're travelling in Sri Lanka

Navigating a foreign country becomes a lot easier with the help of technology! Here are 5 apps that are essential when you’re travelling in the sunny island of Sri Lanka.

1

Google Maps

If you’re stuck in a strange country and don’t speak the language, getting lost can be a frankly terrifying experience. But there’s no need to rely on contradictory directions supplied by those walking down the street, and no wrangling large paper maps. With Google Maps, it’s easy to see exactly where you’re going and with street view you can even make sure you already know what your destination looks like as an extra precaution against losing your way! Google Maps is especially useful in the city if you need to get to specific buildings, and it’s also great for figuring out how to drive on long distances. If you’re staying at one of the more remote hotels in Sri Lanka, you will find the app incredibly useful to get there. If you take a tuk tuk or some other mode of transporting, it’s useful to have Google Maps on so that you know your driver taking the route he needs to take.

2

Uber

Many travellers will be happy to know that Uber is a well-run app in Sri Lanka! Featuring tuk tuks as well as cars of various sizes, Uber is one of the most convenient ways of getting around the city. Affordable and priced by demand, Uber has a set sum as long as you stick to the route you’re supposed to take. Great for making your way through Colombo without getting burnt in the sun, Uber works well especially for short distances but is worth your while for long ones as well. As an added bonus, if you’re at your accommodation and feeling peckish but don’t want to go outside, use the Uber eats app to order some delicious food right to your doorstep!

3

PickMe

A home grown Sri Lankan home app, the aptly named Pick Me is a boon for those who want to book a tuk or car for hours at a time – especially if you’re planning on touring the city or going to a lot of places at once to do your sightseeing or shopping. Priced by an algorithm that factors in time spent as well as kilometres covered, Pick Me is reasonable and will cost you less than hiring a driver. The app is easy to use and features tuk tuks, cars as well as vans and trucks, so hiring a Pick Me for long distances is a viable option.

4

Train Sri Lanka

When the dust and traffic of the main road can get too much, there’s always the train to look forward to. Though at certain times they can get too crowded for comfort, if you time it right and get your tickets well in advance or simply choose the right time to go in the train, it can be an awesome, fun experience. For short rides in the city, try not to go very early in the morning and around 4 or 5 in the evening as you can get caught to work traffic. But at most other times, you can easily catch a seat and enjoy the sea breeze as you race through Colombo right next to the ocean, or chug along from station to station at a steady pace if you’re taking the train elsewhere in the country. Fast, cheap and sometimes great simply as a novelty, the trains in Sri Lank must be experienced! The Train Sri Lanka mobile app is great as it tells you the schedule as well as stations that a train stops at. It’s easy to use and consult, even when you’re on the go.

5

Doc 990

There’s few things scarier than when you’re in another country and you unexpectedly get sick or suffer an injury. Having Doc990 on your phone should ease your fears somewhat. The app offers medical services to its subscribers. Dialog Axiata PLC partners up with some of the leading hospital groups in the country, namely Asiri Hospital Holdings PLC, Nawaloka Hospitals PLC and Ceylon Hospitals PLC (Durdans), in order to make medical care more easily accessible to all. Available on both Android and iOS, the app connects users with doctors so that they can easily make appointments. Users can also call consultants, have medicine delivered and access lab reports with ease. They payment system is linked to credit cards, making it safe and easy.