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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 14, 2020
Headline for Top Things That You Shouldn't Do in Sri Lanka – Ensure A Fun Trip!
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top Things That You Shouldn't Do in Sri Lanka – Ensure A Fun Trip!

Sri Lanka has much to offer intrepid travellers exploring this enchanting island. Of course, as with other destinations, you should have an idea of the local cultural practices, traditions and norms which will help you enjoy your trip and ensure you don't cause offence either!

1

Don't Take Pictures Without Permission

When travelling in Sri Lanka, there will be plenty of things to photograph and post on Instagram, not to mention the countless selfies to take too! Don't forget to always check if photography is allowed at certain sites (such as temples or museums) and ask permission before taking pictures of people.

2

Don't Be Disrespectful of Local Religions

The island is a predominantly Buddhist nation but is made up of Hindus, Roman Catholics, Christians and Muslims too. Don't be disrespectful of these religions be it at sacred sites or in public. Remember, it is disrespectful to touch a monk, especially on the head; also make sure to always face a statue of Lord Buddha and don't turn your back to it.

3

Don't Forget Appropriate Attire at Sacred Sites

It is important to wear appropriate (conservative) attire when you visit temples and other religious sites; for example, if you are going to the famed Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic close to Earl's Regent Kandy, make sure to wear attire that covers bare shoulders and legs. Also, do not wear clothing with images or drawings or the Buddha.

4

Don't Expect All Hotels to Have Beds

When it comes to accommodation, you can easily find everything from budget hostels to 4 star hotels; Kandy and Colombo are two popular destinations to stay at, though when walking on the street, be mindful that if a sign says "hotel" it sometimes means restaurant! In Colombo, you will find several places with the sign "Hotel De Pilawoos"; while there are no rooms to be booked here, these eateries do specialise in a yummy street food called kottu roti.

5

Don't Drink Water From the Tap

Remember it is better to avoid drinking tap water when in the country. Most Sri Lankan households boil the water before drinking it, though it is common to find water filter systems in homes and offices as well. You can buy mineral water bottles when travelling and they are readily available at supermarkets and grocery stores.

6

Don't Use Your Left Hand to Eat

It is a common practice in Sri Lanka to use one's hand to eat instead of forks or spoons, though most hotels and restaurants do offer the needed cutlery. If you want to try eating the local way however, do ensure to only use your right hand; people avoid using the left hand since it is thought of as "unclean".

7

Don't Forget the Sunscreen

Chances are you are going to be spending lots of time in the sun be it at the beach or while sightseeing. Sri Lanka is a country near the equator so the sun's rays can be quite harsh at times; with this in mind, don't forget to pack effective sunscreen and use lots of it for a sunburn-free holiday!

  • 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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