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Take one step from the door of the Mango House Villa and you are entering the rich landscape of Sri Lanka, which offers you a breathtaking choice of wonderful holiday experiences.

Mango House has four double bedrooms all with hand carved mahogany four poster beds and ensuite wet rooms Mango House has four double bedrooms all with hand carved mahogany four poster beds and ensuite wet rooms Enjoy panoramic views over the Peelagoda temple from our terraces The golden sands of Unawatuna, voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world by the Discovery Channel and Mark Ellingham, founder of 'Rough Guides'.Enjoy panoramic views over the Ganahena temple from our terraces







Click here to read more about The Mango House Villa

Events & Festivals
All about Events and Festivals

Print
Airports & Airlines
Banks/ATM's
Begging
Bargaining
Business Hours
Bicycles
Currency
Cinema (Movies)
Climate
Credit Cards
Customs Allowance
Disabled Travellers
Diseases
Drugs
Electricity
Festivals
Flora and Fauna
Getting Married in Sri Lanka
Health and Hospitals
Holidays (Festivals)
Religious Holidays
2007 Holidays
Internet Access Insects & Animals (avoiding)
Languages
Manners/Customs
Mail
Media
Parks and Reserves
Photography
Religious Worship (Temples)
Shopping
Safety
Sun Prevention/Swimming/Marine Creatures
Telephone (Landline)
Telephone (Your UK Mobile)
Travel Insurance
Tipping
Time Difference
Transport
Tuk Tuk's'
Roads and Driving
Shipping/Waterways
Upset Tummy
Visas
Vaccinations
  • Airports & Airlines

    Bandaranaike International Airport is the country's international airport, located in Katunayaka, 22 kilometres north of Colombo. There are twelve paved airports and two unpaved airstrips in the country. Sri Lankan Airlines is the official national carrier, partly owned and operated by Emirates. It was voted the best airline in South Asia by Skytrax and has won numerous other awards for its excellent service. Sri Lanka Air Taxi is the smaller domestic arm of Sri Lankan Airlines, and operates amphibious aircraft landing on waterways and lakes as well as fixed undercarriage aircraft landing on conventional airstrips. It operates flights throughout Sri Lanka including flights from Colombo to Ampara, Anuradhapura, Bentota, Dickwella, Hingurakgoda, Kandy, Katukurunda, Koggala, Nuwara Eliya, Sigiriya, Trincomalee and Weerawila (near Tissa). Expo Aviation and Lankair are also alternate private airline companies.Top Menu...
  • Banks & ATM Machines

    You can use your UK Debit or Credit Card to withdraw local currency at any of the major banks during working hours or ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) which are located in most major cities and towns. Major banks in Sri Lanka are Bank of Ceylon, Hatton National Bank, Sampath Bank, Peoples Bank and Seylan Bank. Banks are generally open Monday - Friday 8/9am - 2/3pm in the afternoon.Top Menu...
  • Begging

    As in other similar countries it exists. Donate, but sparingly if you so feel. The recent practise of handing out pens, sweets etc. particularly to children should be avoided as it is contributing to a dependance on 'pseudo begging' as a right. Donate instead to our Giving Something Back! charity. Top Menu...
  • Bargaining

    Expected and great fun - but maintain a sense of humour and reality. Bargaining is usually only in smaller shops (e.g. clothing shops), markets, street vendors, Tuk Tuk drivers etc. Usually not practised in larger stores, shops and restaurants. Top Menu...
  • Business Hours

    Most offices work a standard 5 day week from Monday-Friday 9 -5.30am. Post Offices are different generally opening from 7am to 9pm and Saturday as well. Many Museums shut on Friday whilst Hindu temples are also shut until about 5pm. Buddhist temples however are usually open all the time. Shops are open from Monday through Saturday from 10.00am to 7.30pm and some are open Sundays from 11.00am to 3.00pm. Top Menu...
  • Bicycles

    Are available for hire at some hotels and guest houses, but are not recommended in busy towns and cities because of the volume of chaotic traffic and also unfamiliarity with your surroundings but if you wish to do a bicycle tour, just let us know and we can arrange it for you. Top Menu...
  • Currency

    The local currency is the Sri Lanka Rupee (abbreviated to R. R/ or R/-) with approximately 47 UK pence equals 100 Sri Lanka Rupee (at 21 May 2008), or 1 UK Pound = 212 Rupee. Each Rupee is further divided into 100 cents although these are now rare to find. Coins are in denominations of 25 and 50 cents, and R/- 1, 2, 5 ,and 10. Notes are 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000. A common practise now is for hotels, upmarket restaurants, tourist attractions etc. to advertise their rates in Euros or US dollars but expect payment in Rupees. This is to guard against the devaluation of the Rupee against hard currencies such as the US dollar, British pound and Euro. A good idea also is to always keep a good supply of small notes and coins and try not to carry large (1000-10,000) notes as they are rather too large with most purchases. Top Menu...
  • Cinema (Movies)

    Sri Lankan cinema for western (English) films is limited to a couple of upmarket cinemas in Colombo and other major cities (Kandy) who show current western movies. Other non-English cinemas are for the locals and show local films in Sinhala, Hindi and Tamil languages. Top Menu...
  • Climate

    Sri Lanka's climate can be described as tropical, and quite hot. Upland areas are cool and dry; coastal areas are warm but refreshed by sea breezes. The Northeast monsoon blows from November to February, and the Southwest monsoon from May to September. Rainfall can be sudden and torrential. It's position between 5 and 10 north latitude endows the country with a warm climate, moderated by ocean winds and considerable moisture. The mean temperature ranges from a low of 16°C in Nuwara Eliya in the Central Highlands (where frost may occur for several days in the winter) to a high of 32° C in Trincomalee on the Northeast coast (where temperatures may reach 38 °C). The average yearly temperature for the country as a whole ranges from 28 to 30 °C. Day and night temperatures may vary by 4 to 7. In January, the coolest month, many people wear coats and sweaters in the highlands and elsewhere. May, the hottest period, precedes the summer monsoon rains. The rainfall pattern is influenced by the monsoon winds of the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal, which upon encountering the slopes of the Central Highlands unloads heavy rains on the mountain slopes and the south western sector of the island. Some of the windward slopes receive up to 2500 mm of rain per month, but the leeward slopes in the east and Northeast receive little rain. Periodic squalls occur and sometimes tropical cyclones bring overcast skies and rains to the Southwest, Northeast, and eastern parts of the island.

    Between December to March, monsoon winds come from the Northeast, bringing moisture from the Bay of Bengal. Humidity is typically higher in the Southwest and mountainous areas and depends on the seasonal patterns of rainfall. At Colombo, for example, daytime humidity stays above 70% all year, rising to almost 90 percent during the monsoon season in June. Anuradhapura experiences a daytime low of 60% during the monsoon month of March, but a high of 79% during the November and December rains. In the highlands, Kandy's daytime humidity usually ranges between 70 and 79%. Top Menu...
  • Credit cards

    Major international cards are widely accepted in large hotels, restaurants and shops. Top Menu...
  • Customs Allowance

    Free import of 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 375g of tobacco; 2 bottles of wine and 1.5 litres of spirits; a small quantity of perfume or 250 ml of eau de toilette. Precious metals , including gold, platinum and silver (including jewellery), must be declared on arrival. Antiques (anything more than 50 years old) cannot be taken out of the country. Top Menu...
  • Disabled Travellers

    In general Sri Lanka does not have developed facilities for disabled travellers. A private driver and vehicle is suggested if you are a disabled traveller. Please contact us for full details and information if you wish to travel with us as a disabled traveller. Top Menu...
  • Diseases

    See Vaccinations
  • Drugs

    Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Sri Lanka are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Top Menu...
  • Electricity

    230-240 V, 50 cycles AC. All UK appliances run on this voltage so you can use your UK appliance in Sri Lanka although the plug is different. Sri Lanka plugs have three three round prongs instead of the UK three flat plugs so you will require a plug adaptor which are widely available in the UK and on arrival in Sri Lanka. (Tip: Do NOT buy the South Africa 3 round pin adaptor as this is DIFFERENT to the Sri Lanka plug which is an older design and uses smaller prongs) Also most hotel rooms now have both plug outlets i.e. UK flat 3 pin plug outlets and Sri Lanka 3 round prong plug outlets. Top Menu...
  • Festivals

    Is covered in detail here Top Menu...
  • Flora & Fauna (Source: Wikopedia)

    The mountains and the south western part of the country, known as the "wet zone," receive ample rainfall (an annual average of 2500 millimetres). Most of the Southeast, east, and northern parts of the country comprise the "dry zone," which receives between 1200 and 1900 mm of rain annually. Much of the rain in these areas falls from October to January; during the rest of the year there is very little precipitation, and all living creatures must conserve precious moisture. The arid Northwest and Southeast coasts receive the least amount of rain — 600 to 1200 mm per year — However, though many say that there are no really dry areas in Sri Lanka, there are many pockets of very dry and abandoned areas where there is little to no rainwater. Concentrated within the short period of the winter monsoon. Varieties of flowering acacias are well adapted to the arid conditions and flourish on the Jaffna Peninsula. Among the trees of the dry-land forests are some valuable species, such as satinwood, ebony, ironwood, and mahogany. In the wet zone, the dominant vegetation of the lowlands is a tropical evergreen forest, with tall trees, broad foliage, and a dense undergrowth of vines and creepers.

    Subtropical evergreen forests resembling those of temperate climates flourish in the higher altitudes. Forests at one time covered nearly the entire island, but by the late 20th century lands classified as forests and forest reserves covered only one-fifth of the land. Ruhunu National Park in the Southeast protects herds of elephant, deer, and peacocks, and Wilpattu National Park in the Northwest preserves the habitats of many water birds, such as storks, pelicans, ibis, and spoonbills. During the Mahaweli Ganga Program of the 1970s and 1980s in northern Sri Lanka, the government set aside four areas of land totalling 1,900 km² as national parks. The island has three biosphere reserves, Hurulu, Sinharaja, and the Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya. Top Menu...
  • Getting Married in Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka is one of the worlds most popular honeymoon destinations and many couples also combine this with getting married in Sri Lanka. Beach weddings are particularly popular. Just let us know what your interested in and we will put you in contact with experts at arranging weddings in Sri Lanka. Top Menu...
  • Health & Hospitals

    Medical standards in Sri Lanka are good and most doctors speak excellent English, with many having trained in the UK, Australia or the US. All large town and cities have hospitals and chemists with Colombo having world class hospitals and private medical clinics as well. There are six large hospitals in the Colombo area, including three with emergency trauma service - Asiri Hospital, Apollo Hospital, and the government-run General Hospital. Most tourist hotels have access to a house doctor also. Top Menu...
  • Holidays (Festivals)

    Nearly all the festivals are religious in nature and are based on the Lunar Calendar, where every Full Moon signifies the start of the new month, with an extra month added every couple of years to balance the solar and lunar calendars. Accordingly, most festival dates vary greatly from year to year apart from Thai Pongol and Sinhalese New Year. Muslim festivals also follow the same Lunar calendar without the extra months added into the Buddhist calendar. Buddhist festivals revolve around the nights/days of the Full Moon, known as Poya Days" which are official Public Holidays as well as being religiously important. The most important Buddhist festivals are celebrated with lavish peraheras (parades) with wonderfully decked out elephants, drummers and dancers. (Sort of a tropical version of Mardi Gras parade!) The main Hindu festivals are also very colourful affairs and rival the Buddhist festivals for splendour and spectacle. Muslim celebrations are however much more low key and modest, usually only involving the small Muslin community. Top Menu...
  • Religious Holidays:

    Moveable: Thai Pongal, Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Sinhalese and Tamil New Year, Eid al-Adha (Hadji Festival Day), Milad un-Nabi (Birth of the Prophet), Deepavali Festival (October). In addition, there is a Poya holiday on the day of each full moon, when shops and offices close. (link) Religious holidays in 2007. Top Menu...
  • 2008 Holidays

    January 1: New Year's Day
    February 4: Independence Commemoration Day (National Day)
    April 6th: Good Friday
    May 1: May Day
    June 30: Bank Holiday
    December 25: Christmas Day
    Top Menu...
  • Internet Access

    Sri Lanka is not an Internet hotspot. Although it is rapidly becoming wired, now with good broadband access in major cities and tourist areas, most of the Internet cafes, communication bureaux (as they are known) guest houses and hotels only offer 56K dial up modem access, which is very different to the UK with our normal high speed broadband access. Expect to pay anything from Rs. 3 to Rs. 6 per minute. No problems with checking e-mail but don't try any prolonged web page surfing as if it is a dial up connection download can be very slow. Its a good idea to ask the proprietor before you book and pay for your session what type of connection they are operating with. Top Menu...
  • Insects & Animals to avoid

    Mosquitoes are as always something to be avoided not only because of the itching and scratching from the bite that can lead to infection, but also they can transmit malaria. Malaria however is confined to specific areas in Sri Lanka and varies enormously as to when you visit and where you are, with the South and West Coast and the Hill country currently considered malaria free. Again, check with your doctor or clinic before leaving the UK for up to date advice and possible anti-malarial medication. Avoidance is better than treatment for bites, wear long sleeve shirts and light trousers especially in a known mosquito area at dusk, use a mosquito repellant and if your room is not air conditioned and you sleep with the windows open, you should sleep under a mosquito net and use mosquito repellant coils. Snakes are common in the wild in Sri Lanka and some are quite poisonous. As for any country where snakes exist, be sensible. Don't wander through heavy undergrowth in bare feet. If you do want to go off the beaten track, wear boots, socks, long trousers and be careful. Better still, don't go there - there is no need to! Leeches are also a problem in some areas especially after rain in the forest areas such as Adams Peak. They are however harmless and drop off after having a good feast. Don't pull them off as they can leave bits behind that can become infected. Tip. A sprinkle of salt on them is a good way to get them to harmlessly drop off. Top Menu...
  • Language(s)

    English is widely spoken everywhere in Sri Lanka - particularly well in tourist areas - and is the compulsory second language in all Sri Lankan schools. The official language of Sri Lanka is Sinhala. (approx 14 million Sinhalese inhabitants) Alternate names: Sinhalese, Singhalese, Singhala, Cingalese. There is a great difference between the literary and the colloquial language. Tamil is also widely spoken with approx 3.5 million Tamil inhabitants. Top Menu...
  • Manners/Customs

    The Sri Lankan people have beautiful manners, and are incredibly polite and courteous. They are a very proud people both of their country, their achievements, and most importantly - *their superb cricket team who are treated as royalty in this country. (*The recent World Cup cricket final match in April 2007 against cricketing giants Australia will be remembered for many years into the future, as was their previous World Cup win - also against their old foe Australia in 1996 - the stuff of modern day legend.) Sri Lankans are mostly quite shy, with public displays of affection not common. You should also eat and shake hands with your right hand as is the local custom. Top Menu...
  • Mail

    Postal services from Sri Lanka are very reliable with an airmail letter (cost Rs. 30 for under 10g and Rs. 17 for a post card) taking from 5-8 days to be delivered in the UK. EMS Speed Post is much quicker but considerably dearer. Top Menu...
  • Media

    Daily newspapers published in English include the local Daily News, the Evening Observer and The Island. The Midweek Mirror comes out each Wednesday, while the Lanka Guardian is an informative current-affairs magazine published every two weeks. Radio Sri Lanka has regular national and international news and takes in programmes from the BBC. The government run television stations Rupavahini 1 and 2, and ITN, have programmes in English as well as Sinhalese and Tamil but you wont spend much time watching them as the selection is extremely limited. Top hotels have Satellite TV from the BBC and/or CNN, as well as the Indian based Star TV, which includes movies and Sports channels.Top Menu...
  • Parks and Reserves (Tourist Prices)

    Sri Lanka operates on a 2 tier pricing structure for its Parks, Reserves and Archaeological sites, being an extremely low admittance price for locals and a much dearer price for tourists. This is not uncommon now in many developing tourist countries and in fairness given the strength of the UK pound - quite acceptable. Prices however are quite adult, with up to 10-12 pounds (including all taxes and other charges) being the entrance fee to some popular parks and archaeological sites for a tourist and for a local only around an average R.40. Top Menu...
  • Photography

    Is strictly forbidden around or near any Sri Lankan military installation and near or around any Sri Lankan Airports. Be discrete also if taking photographs in Colombo or any major town area. If in doubt - ASK. Locals love to have their photo taken and very rarely ask for money except the more savvy - and more photographed - i.e. tea pickers, fishermen, animal handlers etc. Taking photographs in Buddhist (including being photographed with Buddhist images)and Hindu temples is strictly forbidden. Top Menu...
  • Religious Worship (Temples)

    All visitors to Buddhist and Hindu temples must be appropriately dressed. You must not wear hats nor shoes of any sort in temples and you must cover your shoulders and legs. This is particularly important for women. Do NOT wear swim-wear or any sort of casual beachwear of any description. Never be photographed alongside a statue or picture of Buddha especially with you facing the camera and your back to Buddha. The usual traditional rule of walking around dagobas only in a clockwise direction and not pointing your feet at Buddha are not as rigidly enforced as they are in Thailand, however it would not harm you to comply with this religious etiquette. The same rules also apply in Hindu temples but with a few subtle differences. Usually if you are not a Hindu you are not permitted to enter the Inner Shrine, and women are sometimes barred entirely from the temple. Some temples (both Buddhist and Hindu) also sometimes have a guide (a priest or an unofficial self appointed guide) who will guide you around in return for a small 'donation'. Top Menu...
  • Shopping

    This is covered in this section: Top Menu...
  • Safety

    As with any popular foreign tourist destination be sensible and keep alert to your surroundings and personal safety. Be aware of pickpockets in crowded places. Don't carry valuables and don't linger on beaches after dark. If yo you do have anything stolen you must report it to the police and obtain a copy of the official report for your insurance claim back home in the UK. Top Menu...
  • Sun Prevention/Sea/Swimming/Marine Creatures

    The sun in Sri Lanka is VERY strong - after all it is the tropics. If you are arriving from an English winter or without any recent exposure to the sun or a suntan be careful and use a good factor 30 blockout cream for the first couple of days, gradually cutting back to a factor 15/10. Wear a wide brimmed hat. It's not a fashion parade. wear sunglasses (ideally polarized) as your eyes can also get damaged from strong sunlight. True! Cover up or get into the shade if you get at all burnt. Drink plenty of fluids. If swimming in the sea - sea water and sun are a fierce combination for getting burnt very quickly. Be careful. Also be careful if swimming off beaches as strong currents exist on some of the Sri Lankan beaches and the beaches can also slope off quickly into very deep water, so be especially careful until you know the beach properly. Warning flags for currents and other dangerous conditions are usually posted (Red Flags) on the beaches that are adjacent or part of tourist hotels but public beaches often do not have any warning signs or flags. Again, common sense prevails. Jelly fish are sometimes found on the beaches at certain times of the year and can give a nasty sting. Vinegar is a good antidote for normal jelly fish stings. Also check the quality of the water as sometimes in built up areas - usually if it is windy - polluted water can be blown back towards the beach. Also keep an eye out for rubbish, glass etc. and other bits and bobs on the beach - not nice to walk on. Finally - and obviously - nudity and topless bathing is NOT permitted anywhere on Sri Lankan beaches and should be also studiously avoided at any hotel pool or surroundings. Top Menu...
  • Telephone (Landline)

  • The international dialling code for Sri Lanka is 94. International Direct Dialling is available at most big hotels but is quite expensive. IDD is also increasingly available from public pay phones using telephone cards. Phone booths are operated by different companies, such as Lanka and Metrocard, whose cards are not interchangeable. To call the UK dial 00 then UK country code (44) Sri Lanka phone numbers were standardised in 2003 to being all 10 digit numbers, however many telephone numbers still show the old 7-8-9 digit old numbers so check the number that you are dialling is a 10 digit number.

    Local Telephone Codes:
    Anuradhapura 025
    Batticaloa 065
    Colombo 01
    Jaffna 021
    Kandy 08
    Mathara 041
    Negombo 031
    Polonnaruwa 027
    Ratnapura 045
    Trincomalee 026
    Top Menu...
  • Telephone (Your UK Mobile)

    If you are planning to do a lot of calls within Sri Lanka and back to the UK on your UK mobile phone you might want to consider obtaining a local Sri Lanka SIM card for your mobile which will charge domestic rates for International calls, approx. Rs. 20-25 per minute for international calls and RS. 5-7 for local calls. Local SIM cards cost about 10 pounds and are available as are 'top up' (pay as you go) cards from any of the myriad local phone shops in Sri Lanka. With current charges by some UK mobile operators charging up to 80 pence a minute for BOTH inbound AND outbound phone calls this is a very viable option. However, some UK mobile operators have reciprocal arrangements with local Sri Lankan telecom operators (Dialog & Celltel) and offer inexpensive rates using your existing UK mobile and UK SIM card. Check with your UK mobile network operator before you go. Most UK mobiles use GSM protocol which works well in Sri Lanka. Top Menu...
  • Travel Insurance

    It is essential that you have adequate travel insurance covering theft, loss and illness or injury. Please contact us for details and pricing of our range of insurance policies. Top Menu...
  • Tipping

    Tipping is a fact of life in Sri Lanka even sometimes expected on top of service charges. Most hotels and restaurants include a service charge of 10%, however extra tipping is optional. Taxi drivers expect a 10% tip, and private car driver guides around 10-15 R. per day. Tipping in general is a subjective issue - if someone is of help and assistance to you and you feel they should be remunerated then a small tip is in order - better to offer than not. To put this in perspective, 5 UK pounds a day is the approximate daily average wage in Sri Lanka. However don't tip if you feel that you have been pressurised or it is not in order. Sri Lankans are generally a most gracious people and extremely well mannered and any pressure with tourists is from a very small minority. Top Menu...
  • Time Difference
    Sri Lanka time zone is 5 1/2 hours ahead of London (GMT) time Evening Observer and The Island. The Midweek Mirror comes out each Wednesday, while the Lanka Guardian is an informative current-affairs magazine published every two weeks. Top Menu...

  • Transport (Including Train & Airport Information)

    Colombo has a good bus service, including private buses and minibuses. We strongly recommend that you DO NOT use the local bus services in Sri Lanka as the busses are driven often at great speed and in a very reckless fashion. Bus accidents are common. Most towns have *taxis (*see section on Tuk Tuk's below) which we suggest you use instead of busses. Trains connect Colombo with all tourist towns. Most Sri Lankan cities and towns are connected by the Sri Lanka Railways, the state-run national railway operator. The first railway line was inaugurated on April 26, 1867, linking Colombo with Kandy. The system was built by the British during the colonial times with the rolling stock being mostly pre/post WW2 era - fantastic for nostalgia buffs! As most tracks are one way an elaborate set of signalling exists and delays are commonplace but - its pure magic for train buffs and tourists that have the time to explore. Three classes of travel exist, First, Second and local Third Class. If you have the time - and want to meet the locals including the wonderful wide eyed children, take a third class trip in the open window carriages down from a hill country station for a couple of hours! Fantastic! Costs are ridiculously cheap by UK standards. Also not to be missed if you have the time is a trip aboard the wonderfully scenic Hill Country Line running from Colombo to Kandy then onto Hatton and Adams Peak. These trains have good seating and observation cars as well. They are also very popular and must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance - First Class booking is required for guaranteed observation carriage seats. Booking before you leave the UK is a good idea! Top Menu...
  • 'Tuk Tuks'

    These are motorised rickshaws common in most Asian countries. The are also called trishaws, three- wheelers, and euphemistically also called 'taxis'(!) Tuk Tuk's are everywhere in Sri Lanka and the standard mode of local rental transport. They are colourful and mostly well kept, very inexpensive and a suprisingly efficient form of transport - albeit a bit terrifying at first introduction as you zoom along side busses and lorries at the same speed. Fares are unmetered so a bit of cheerful bargaining is necessary before you mutually agree on a fare to your destination. Locals pay around Rs. 30 per kilometre so this should be used as a guide but you will be charged more as a tourist. Most drivers are honest but a few will try you on so make sure you have agreed on the cost - and have the approximate fare (don't expect change from a 100/500 note!) before you hop in. Top Menu...
  • Roads & Driving

     The major Sri Lanka highways are excellent. The real problem with driving in Sri Lanka is the enormous amount of human and animal traffic that believe they have as much right to the road as vehicles, plus the local driving skills also leave a lot to be desired compared to driving on the super regulated UK road systems. Our advice is don't drive unless you are super confident of your driving skills and familiar with the local hazards and driving conditions in Sri Lanka. If you still want to drive we suggest that in order to rent a car you should obtain an International Drivers Licence in the UK before you visit. If you only have your UK licence you will need a government permit (R.600) which lasts for a month, however it takes about 4-6 hours to process the necessary paperwork. The usual global corporate rental car operators are in Sri Lanka including Avis and Hertz. 'Quickshaws' is also an excellent local rental car company in Colombo. If you fancy driving around Sri Lanka we recommend that you examine the use of a car and driver (personal driver and car) which is quite a good compromise as you can do this either per day or for a given period for a particular trip say 2/3 days. Note however most drivers extra income is derived from commission from restaurants, attractions, shops etc., so make sure that you are aware of this before you sign up. The total length of Sri Lankan roads exceeds 11,000 kilometres, with a vast majority of them being paved. The government has launched several highway projects to bolster the economy and national transport system, including the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway, the Colombo-Kandy (Kadugannawa) Expressway, the Colombo-Padeniya Expressway and the Outer Circular Highway to ease Colombo's traffic congestion. There are also plans to build a major bridge connecting Jaffna to the Indian city of Chennai. Top Menu...
  • Shipping/Waterways

    Sri Lanka also maintains 430 kilometres of inland waterways. It has three deep-water ports at Colombo, Trincomalee and Galle. There is also a smaller, shallower harbour at Kankesanturai, north of Jaffna. Top Menu...
  • Upset Tummy (Travellers Diarrhoea)

    Usually from eating or drinking food which you are not used to or that was contaminated. Although most cases resolve naturally in a few days it is highly recommended that you take an anti diarrhoea treatment with you such as 'Imodium' and also an oral rehydration salts treatment. Both can be obtained along with further advice from Boots or your High Street chemist. Top Menu...
  • Visas

    Nationals of the UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ Canada and the US visiting Sri Lanka as a tourist are issued with a free one month visa on arrival.Top Menu...
  • Vaccinations

    Before travelling you should make sure that you are up to date with your vaccination program for the tropics. Vaccinations should include tetanus and hepatitis A, and other suggested vaccinations could include diphtheria, polio, tuberculosis, meningitis and typhoid. Check with your UK Doctor or medical clinic for a full up to date list and advice. You should also make sure you have up to date protection against malaria - especially if you are visiting any known malaria regions. Top Menu...
 


Hot Travel News

The Sunday Times Travel


Last One in's a... Beach bum? Culture vulture? Intrepid adventurer? On Sri Lanka’s south coast, you can be all three. By Jeremy Lazell published on Sunday 21st September 2008 in The Sunday Times travel guide.

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Rough GuidesMark Ellingham, founder of Rough Guides votes Unawatuna the best tropical beach for The Guardian Travel Edition on Saturday May 24 2008

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