1 Do I need a visa? All visitors, with the exception of citizens of Singapore, Seychelles and the Maldives, will need a visa to enter Sri Lanka. You can get a short-stay visa online at Although it’s still possible to get a tourist visa on arrival, it’s recommended that you do this before you travel.


How long will it take me to get there? 4 hours from Singapore. Sri Lanka is 5.5 hours


• Sri Lanka became famous for tea only after its coffee fields were wiped out by leaf blight in the 1870s. • The Sri Lankan flag is the only one in the world to recognise different religious groups. The yellow border and pipul leaves symbolise Buddhism, while the green and saffron bands represent Muslim and Hindu communities. prime minister was Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka. • A footprint found on the sacred mountain, Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak), is believed by Buddhists to belong to Buddha, by Muslims to Adam, by Christians to St Thomas and by Hindus to Lord Shiva. • Most of Sri Lanka’s electricity is powered by hydro-powered energy due to their many waterfalls. • Cricket is the most popular sport but the national sport is volleyball. • The world’s first female

ahead of GMT and 2.5 hours behind Singapore.

3 What’s the money situation? The official currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan rupee (LKR). Most major banks will change US dollars, Euro and GBP. Visa and MasterCard are the commonly accepted credit cards at top end hotels and restaurants. There are ATMs in major cities but it’s best to have cash for small purchases or if you’re heading out of town. When’s the best time to visit? The best time to travel to the western and southern coasts and hill country is between December and March. May to September is regarded as prime time to see the eastern coastlines. What’s the lingo? The official languages of Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil. English is widely spoken in the country. Here are some Sinhalese phrases to get you started: Hello Ayubowan What is your name? Oya geh nàma monadha? My name is __ Mageh nàma __ How much? Keeyah the? Thank you Bohomus isthuthi Yes Ohw No, thank you Nah isthuti 5 4

Is there anything I should know about meeting the locals?


Try to greet people by saying “Ayubowan”, with your hands pressed together at chest level. Light handshakes are common among the younger generation.

What’s a must-try dish? Curry and rice; variations include beetroot,


jackfruit, daal, fish, chicken and many others.

What should I buy as a souvenir? Traditional wooden devil masks, tea, packets of


spices, or Ayurvedic beauty products. | Jaromir Chalabala


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