Sri Lanka

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About

Reserve in Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka formerly known as Ceylon, is in Southern Asia.
  • It is an island country in the Indian Ocean, south of India.
  • Sinhala and Tamil are the official languages in Sri Lanka. English is spoken at all hotels, major restaurants and shops. Road signs are written both in Sinhalese & English throughout the country, with few exceptions.
  • Sri Lankan dishes are based on rice, with a large variety of vegetables, fish & fruits
  • Sri Lanka is often known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’.
  • The terrain of Sri Lanka is mostly low, flat to rolling plain, with mountains in south-central interior.
  • The highest point is Pidurutalagala at 2,524 m
  • The capital of Sri Lanka is Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte
  • The largest city is Colombo
  • Majority of the population in Sri Lanka follows Buddhism, followed by Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.
  • Sri Lanka gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1948 and became a republic in 1972.


FACTS

    • The ‘Na Tree’, botanically known as ‘Mesua Nagassarium’ is the National Tree of Sri Lanka.
    • The National Flower of Sri Lanka is ‘Nil Mahanel’, botanically known as ‘Nympheae Stellata’.
    • UNDP and UNICEF rate Sri Lanka as one of the best among developing countries, on the Human Development Index.
    • There are eleven universities in Sri Lanka.
    • Buddhism arrived in Sri Lanka in 3rd century BC.
    • Sri Lanka finds a mention in the great Indian epic Ramayana, which was, written around 500 BC.
    • Initially, Sri Lanka comprised of Veddha people. Sinhalese and Tamils migrated to the country, from India, between 500 and 300 BC.
    • Tea was introduced to Sri Lanka in 1867, while rubber was brought here in 1876.
    • Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) became the first female Prime Minister of the world in 1960.
    • Sri Lanka has an elephant orphanage and every year, it serves as the venue of an elephant pageant.
    • The spice cinnamon originated in Sri Lanka and was discovered by the Egyptians.
    • Sri Lanka is amongst the leading exporters of tea in the world.
    • The national flag of Sri Lanka, the Lion Flag, is considered to be one of the oldest flags in the world.

Avg. Costs

Kosgoda Beach

  • Taxi Per km – 0.50 USD / Per Day – 40 USD
  • Inexpensive meal – 5.25 US
  • Mid range meal for 2 – 24.25 US
  • Combo at McDonalds – 6 US
  • Beer – 2-3.50 US
  • Coke/Water – 1-1.50 US

 

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Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Sigiriya Rock

  • Violent crime is not a serious problem for tourists in Sri Lanka.
  • Women should not be alone at night on the beach or streets. There has been a slight increase in violent crimes involving tourists in the past few years, but it is still very rare.
  • Although snake bites are extremely rare among tourists (comparable to being struck by lightning), anyone bitten should seek prompt medical care. This is true even if the bite doesn’t result in any pain and swelling.
  • The National Emergency number is 119.
  • In Colombo, dial either 119 or if you want an emergency ambulance – 110.

 

First time travelers to Sri Lanka may find themselves the victim of scams, however seasoned travelers to Sri Lanka are very rarely scammed and it is simple to avoid becoming a victim of scammers by taking precautions:

  • Do not believe anyone who claims to be a professional (e.g. airline pilot), or in charge of a location (like a bus terminal) without proof.
  • Scams involving gemstones are common. Do not buy with the intention of selling them in your home country for a profit.
  • Be on guard for anybody trying to help you by giving you unsolicited directions or travel advice. Take any advice from taxi and auto drivers with a grain of salt, especially if they tell you the place you want to go to is closed, dangerous, non-existent etc. If you are unsure, check a map.
  • Don’t engage in business with people who have to actively approach you for business.

 

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Climate

Sri Lanka Leopard

  • Since Sri Lanka is a tropical country, you can expect the rain anytime of the year in most parts.
  • However, the two major rainy seasons are North-East monsoon (October to January) and South-West monsoon (May to July).
  • Being an island, the climate of Sri Lanka changes dramatically from one part of the country to another. For example at Nuwara Eliya, in the hills of Central Province, has a temperature around 5-20 C throughout the year, whereas Hambanthota, located in the dry zone, has a temperature consistently around 30-35 C.
  • The best & driest seasons are from December to March on the West & South Coasts and in the hill country, and from May to September in the East Coast.

Places to See

Tea Plantation

Sigiriya Rock

  • An ancient rock fortress and palace ruin situated in the central Matale District of Sri Lanka
  • It is surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures
  • It is also renowned for its ancient painting, which are reminiscent of the Ajanta Caves of India
  • It is one of the seven World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka

View Map

 

 

 

Yala National Park

  • The most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka
  • It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province
  • The park covers 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi) and is located about 300 kilometres (190 mi) from Colombo
  • Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900
  • It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan Elephants and aquatic birds
  • Yala harbours 215 bird species including six endemic species of Sri Lanka
  • It has one of the highest leopard densities in the world

View Map

 

 

 

Pigeon Island

  • One of the two marine national parks of Sri Lanka
  • The national park is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, a coastal town in Eastern Province
  • The island’s name derives from the Rock Pigeon which has colonized it
  • The national park contains some of the best remaining coral reefs of Sri Lanka
  • Pigeon Island was designated as a sanctuary in 1963
  • In 2003 it was redesignated as a national park

View Map

 

 

 

Adam’s Peak

  • A 2,243 metres (7,359 ft) tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka
  • It is well-known for the Sri Pada “sacred footprint”, a 1.8 metres (5 ft 11 in) rock formation near the summit
  • In Buddhist tradition it is held to be the footprint of the Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Shiva and in Muslim and Christian tradition that of Adam

View Map

 

 

 

Kandy

  • A city in the center of Sri Lanka
  • It was the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka
  • The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea

View Map

 

 

 

Dambulla Cave Temples

  • Also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla
  • This site is situated 148 km east of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy
  • It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka
  • There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area
  • Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain statues and paintings

Etiquette

.Communication Etiquette:
• Typical greetings vary depending on the ethnic group
– Being a foreigner you will not be expect to know the differences
– Older generations will use the “Namaste” with the palms closed together at chin level
– The Sinhalese say “ayubowan” – may you be blessed with a long life
– Tamils say “vanakkam” – may you be blessed with a long life
– May also hear “kuhomadu” – how do you do
– Younger generations will shake hands
• Use appropriate title and surname when addressing someone
– Wait to be invited to use first names
• Maintaining face is an important concept in Sri Lanka
– They do not like confrontation or to feel awkward
– Watch for long pauses or avoidance of eye contact

Business Etiquette:
• Business etiquette can be formal
– As a guest you will be given some leeway towards appreciation of all the cultural nuances
– Try to show as much respect as possible
– Greetings are given when arriving and leaving
– Handshakes are firm
• Business is a hierarchy
– Titles are used with someone’s surname
– Wait to be invited to use the first name
– Top member will be making the decisions
– Initial meetings will be with a middle ranking personnel
• Business cards are exchanged after the initial greeting and handshake
– Titles should be added to your card as they are valued
– Always present it with two hands
– Treat other people’s business cards with respect
• Relationships are very important
– Spend time developing a good working relationship

Contributions (1)

  • Nikita says...

    Some clients are nervous about taking 2000 and 1000 notes claiming nobody exchanges them. I did have a client who came back a few days ago said she had no problem exchanging the larger notes while they were there. Even cabs and smaller vendors took it. Also they took CAD to exchange for SLR and also had no problem getting SLR. Debit cards worked just fine in the ATM machines as well.

    Posted on Saturday, April 7th 2012 at 10:25 am

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