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Kandy, Sri Lanka – Travel Guide

Kandy, Sri Lanka – Travel Guide

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Kandy is located at the center of Sri Lanka and is generally recognized as the island nation’s cultural capital. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Understand[edit]

Kandy was the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka. Since the Kandyan kingdom came under the British only around 1815, the city still retains the living traditions of its sovereign kingdom era. Kandyans are usually proud of their heritage and most Kandyans subscribe to Buddhist values. Kandy is home to The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most venerable places for the Buddhist community of Sri Lanka and all around the world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.
In recent years, the city’s cultural landscape has undergone some transformation with the influx of immigrants from other parts of the country. Locals bemoan the gradual disappearance of the ‘honest Kandyan’ as portrayed in colonial literature and visitors are advised to be careful with their belongings. Nevertheless, Kandy remains a peaceful city compared to most other parts of this island country, with a remarkably lower crime rate and refreshing climate.

Get in[edit]

  • Buses are the best option and serve almost all destinations. From Bandaranaike International Airport take the free shuttle bus to the bus terminal, where the friendly locals will direct you to the bus to Kandy (3 h, Rs 136 as of January 2013). From Colombo public buses start from the CBT or private ones from the bus terminal opposite the CBT (3 h, about Rs 130).
  • Train (from Colombo or Badula) – Intercity express train are hassle free and scenic. Reservation are needed for these trains, it can be done just before the departure depending on the period but is best done in advance especially if you are traveling on a weekend or holiday. There is a decent observation saloon (1st class) in this particular train. Normal trains are slower and 3rd/2nd class unreserved tends to be crowded. The trip from Colombo to Kandy costs Rs 220 in second class, reservation however will set you back another Rs 600, but apparently the first class is just Rs 750 wherever you get off (Kandy, Badula, Ella, etc.).
  • Taxi. If you’re just arriving in Sri Lanka, heading for Kandy, you can hire a taxi from one of the stalls in the arrivals hall at Colombo airport for about Rs 6,000. The journey takes about 3 hours. This saves the hassle of going into Colombo, and is a lot quicker.
  • Hired mini-vans with a driver are available from Colombo through travel agencies and hotel concierges, e.g. [1]. The road to Kandy is astonishingly chaotic and frightening even for seasoned travelers. Be prepared for a long slow slog in traffic, or, if your driver decides to make the journey at a more practical speed, a hair-raising adventure replete with passing around blind corners and games of chicken with the ubiquitous intercity buses. A day trip from Mt. Lavinia (Colombo) to Kandy, including seeing the sights in Kandy, costs around Rs 10,000 [May 2011].
  • Intercity air-conditioned bus (from Colombo) is the next best option to the hired taxis. If you are female and traveling alone it is best to either sit next to another female or try to sit as close to the conductor as possible (i.e. up front) to avoid any unnecessary surprise.
  • Air Taxi [2] (from Colombo) is the latest option to travel to Kandy. The De Havilland Twin Otter float planes operated by Sri Lankan Airlines leave Colombo at 9 am (currently from Kelani River) and touch down at Mahaweli River in Polgolla, Kandy at 9:30 am. The travel time between Colombo and Kandy is just 30 minutes. It costs Rs 4,900 for a one-way fare and Rs 9,800 for a return fare.

Get around[edit]

  • Walking is recommended as the center is not that large. It is a good way of seeing temples, shops, shopping area and other sights around the lake.
  • Local buses can be used to visit nearby places (< 10 km). They start from the Clock Tower bus stop just west of the city center coming down from the lake on Dalada Vidiya Rd.
  • Three-Wheelers/Tuk-Tuks are cheap compared to European prices and a hassle-free way of seeing the greater city. They run virtually all night long.

See[edit][add listing]

The Temple of the Tooth Relic

  • The Temple of the Tooth, +94812234226 (, fax: +948112236201), [3]. The temple is open from dawn to dusk. It houses a tooth relic of the Lord Buddha, and is consequently considered one of Sri Lanka’s most holy shrines. Although you may not view the actual tooth itself, the casket within which it is said to be is displayed twice a day. The best time to view this ornate casket is around 6.30PM. Foreigner entrance: Rs 1,000.  edit
  • The Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage has about 70 semi-tame elephants roaming freely around this wonderful sanctuary. You can either hire a taxi or tuk-tuk to take you there directly or, if traveling on a budget (by bus), on the Kegalle Kandy road, 4-5 km from Kegalle at the Karandunpona junction take the road north heading towards Rambukkana for about 6 km – the bus price from Kandy to the junction is about Rs 40, ask the bus driver to drop you off at the turn for Pinnewala. Alternatively, take a train to Rambukkana and walk from there. Follow the road through the village back in the direction the train has just come from and then turn right at the large sign for the Elephant Orphanage – it’s about 2 km. Rambukkana is on the main line to Colombo and the journey is quite scenic, passing through jungle drenched mountains – definitely worth the trip especially if you have children. The best time to visit is the feeding time from 09:30-10:00AM and 01:30-02:00PM, and the bathing time from 10:00-10:30AM and 02:00-02:30PM when all the elephants are taken to the river close by. Entrance: Rs 2,500 (January 2014).
  • Alternatively but slightly different, the Millenium Elephant Foundation is right next to Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage. On the Kegalle Kandy road, 4-5 km from Kegalle at the Karandunpona junction take the road north by bus heading towards Rambukkana for about 3-4 km. The foundation is on the eastern side of the road. Entrance: Rs 1,000.
  • The Royal Botanical Garden in Peradeniya [4]

    Peradeniya Botanical Gardens

    is the best botanical garden in Sri Lanka and one of the best in the region. It dates back to the ancient kings of the country although the British changed the look of it. The British are said to have used the gardens to grow trees that could not be grown at Kew gardens. The large banyan tree, the orchid house, the suspension bridge, and the bats are some of the main attractions. Foreigner entrance: Rs 1,100. Drive there through the University of Peradeniya [5] the most scenic and the largest university in the country.

  • New Ranweli Spice Garden [6] located in close proximity to Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden (2 km back from the garden to the round-about towards Kandy and from there head north west for about 1.5 km where the a road on the eastern side leads to the garden after another 1 to 2 km) is a place to see and learn about Sri Lankan spices and herbs. It is a fun place to guess the spices. After seeing around the “garden” (which is actually just about 10 spice plants), spices can also be purchased as a souvenir, but there is no obligation to buy. However, be reminded that here the spices sell at a steep premium, and you can get them easily at the market or even supermarket for 50% less. Also prepare yourself for a 20 minutes lesson in the shady and mosquito ridden backyard on the products for sale there – just skip this part. Entrance free and free pick up service from any destination within Kandy and Peradeniya for foreigners, but prepare to buy something to compensate for the tuk-tuk. Fon: +94 77 1351931.
  • Bahirawakanda temple. The ominipresent Buddha statue seen from everywhere in Kandy city. Take a tuk tuk ride to the Temple or walk, just 1 km away from the Kandy city. The way to the temple may not be easy to locate, you might have to take a three wheeler or ask a local, when in doubt just walk up and follow the colorful Buddhist flags over the road. Entrance fee Rs 200. This Buddha statue is best viewed from far away. Once you get onto the premises it is no longer easy to see. Plus it is not a very peaceful place as temples go.
  • The Tea Museum, Hantane, Kandy. The ancient Tea Factory of Hantana Estate is converted into a Museum dedicated to the history of Sri Lankan Tea. Run by the Sri Lanka Tea Board.
  • Udawattakele Royal Forest Sanctuary, the forest located “in the Kandy city”, was planned and maintained as the part of the Royal palace complex of the Sinhala Kings. A patch of tropical rain forest still survives and if you don’t come across it it is still a wonderful walk. You are guaranteed to come across plenty of monkeys and some tranquil ponds. Wear long trousers after rain, and take some salt as there are lots of leeches about.
  • Temples situated around Kandy are some other popular tourist attractions. The most famous temples are: Gadaladeniya, Lankathilaka Viharaya, Embekke Devalaya, Dodanwala Devalaya, Degaldoruwa, Hindagala Viharaya, Madawala Viharaya and Galmaduwa Viharaya.
  • Visit Athur’s seat for a panoramic view of the Kandy city.
  • Commonwealth War Cemetery is located at Deveni (2nd) Rajasinghe mawatha down by the Mahaweli riverside. Formerly known as Pitakande Military Cemetery, it is one of the most beautifully landscaped and maintained war cemeteries in the world. There is one Commonwealth burial of the World War I and a further 196 Commonwealth burials of the World War II commemorated in the cemetery. In addition there are four Foreign National and two non world war burials. The range of nationalities laid to rest comes from the records of the War cemetery, and include 107 Britons, 35 East Africans, 26 Sri Lankans, 23 Indians, six Canadians, three Italians and one Frenchman.
  • Kandyan Art Association., No. 72, Sangaraja Mawatha, Kandy (almost at the rear end of the Maligawa – Temple of the Tooth Relic and can be reached by walking along the lake road from the “Ulpenge” situated at the Southern entrance.Only five minutes walk from the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. (Sinhala: ශ්‍රී දළදා මාළිගාව)), 094 81 2223100, [7]. from 9. 00 a. m. to 5. 00 p. m.. A center for traditional arts and crafts with a government-sponsored sales room and fixed prices. The building in which the Kandyan Art Association is currently housed is over 175 years old. Despite its varied uses over the years, the building has retained its unique character over the last two centuries and today serves not only as the Association’s art gallery and sales outlet, but also a site for the demonstration of a range of production activities, including hand loom weaving, dumbara mat weaving, and wood carving. Entrance free.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

The Kandy district has large number of known treks. Within the Kandy city the short walk of Asgiri Maha Viharaya via Bahirawakande hill is an interesting. Udawattakelle forest reserve in within the city limit, gives valuable walking in nature. The secret Walkers Forest upper Hantane trek is on special permission from the Municipal Council of Kandy. The famous Western Shrines of Kandy Gadaladeniya, Lankathilake temples and Embakke shrine are connected by a very scenic footpath. Other part of the west of Kandy, a part of Portuguese War Route, via Ihalakotte railway station to Dodanwala Devale shrine is passing forest reserves, Alagalle Mountain, tea estates and kandyan traditional villages. East of Kandy city the temples Gangaramaya, Galmaduwa, Degaldoruwa temple are well known for paintings, sculptures and architectural techniques.Knuckles mountain range and its forest trails are the most suitable for trekking in Sri Lanka. It has many nature trails cleared trough the forest by forest department with campsites. For example Mini world’s end trails in the west and east, Pitawala pathena trail, Ash cave trail, Nitre cave trail, Knuckles summit trail are very exciting. Also there are interconnected footpaths of cardamom planters, toddy tappers, tea plantation workers, farmers and villages. Traditional villages of the Knuckles foothills with so mach of treks and short walks such as Last King of Kandy, Sri Wikrama Rajasinhe’s (1798-1815) hideout place, Rathna water fall trek, Sitakotuwa limestone cave and waterfall trek, etc.South of Kandy the longest rice field scenery of the island, Lamasuriyagama the rice field was belonging to royal court of Kandy a very spectacular trek. It is undisturbed from electricity wires for photographs and with terrace rice fields by a Loggaloya river with watch huts of farmers. Loggaloya riverine forest trail to Victoria – Randenigala – Rantambe sanctuary is also a very interesting trekking.

  • Perahera is the most famous festival in Kandy usually in August. It’s a pageant where many elephants participate. You can buy expensive seats or can see it with the crowd. Buy a seat from the Queens hotel. This will be around $40. Buy the tickets from the officials or otherwise through middlemen you will be paying exorbitant prizes.
  • Kandyan dancing you can see this traditional form of dancing in the “Kandyan Cultural Center” near the Kandy lake. But prepare to be harassed by the guys with umbrellas, for what reason ever – you can easily spot them. Just try your way around them. Generally, only tourists go there, so there must be a reason for that. Maybe just avoid the whole thing.
  • Buddhist Publication Society this is located near the lake. You can participate in discussions about Buddhism, meditation or you can buy some introductory materials about Buddhism.
  • Nilambe meditation center, [8]. This is a Buddhist retreat which offers experiences of a monastic lifestyle. You can engage in daily activities which involves yoga classes, meditation and discussions. Take a “Galaha” bus passing Peradeniya and get down from Nilambe “office junction”. Costs are about Rs 1,000 per day including lunch.
  • If there’s a cricket match on, spend a day at the Asgiriya Stadium, possibly the world’s prettiest test match venue, and certainly the only one that for most of the year is simply a school sports ground (Trinity College).

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Laksala is the somewhat overpriced state owned handicraft shop, with many of the items sold here easily found for much cheaper prices in other stores throughout the country. Laksala is located by the lake.
  • Kandy City Centre opened up in January 29, 2009. It is an ultra modern shopping complex with space for over 400 shops. By the time of its opening it is the country’s most modern and biggest shopping complex.
  • Waruna Antiques, 761 Peradeniya Road (10 minutes from Kandy, Old Peradeniya Road), 0094777710013. 9AM. Kandyan masks, jewellery, coins, plates, textiles, etc.  edit
  • Jayamali Batiks Studio, No.196, 1st Floor, Central Market, Kandy, 094777833938, [9]. Exclusive Batiks By Upali Jaykody. You will be able to buy high quality, uncommon, artistic, modern batiks.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Bakehouse, for snacks or traditional Sri Lankan meals. Scenic view of the City, from its first floor balcony, where they serve a Sri Lankan buffet, but this tends to sell out by about 7:30PM
  • Devon Restaurant is famous for quality snacks. Captain’s table is at Upstairs of Devons. Good Sri Lankan and South Indian food.
  • Avanhala, is just in front of the Kandy lake. Good food and best scenery.
  • SRIRAM Indian Restaurant located in the Colombo Street offers nice south Indian food.
  • The Flower Song Chinese Restaurant on Kotugodelle Vidaya is just north of the town centre, is to be avoided. It sells really overpriced, foul tasting “Chinese” food. On the plus side, the bill is a print out so you can clearly see what you’ve ordered including the 20% taxes (not mentioned in the menu) added on top of the mandatory 10% service charge. It is relatively clean, air-conditioned and serves alcohol (beer and wine). (Updated July 2013)
  • Dinemore , just opposite to the Anniewatta tunnel. On the top of Nihal’s Super. Quality Mid-Eastern and South-Indian food for affordable prices.
  • Lyons restaurant located in front of the Hindu Kovil. Serves quality food, both Western and Eastern.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • There are two popular bars on the main street (Dalada Vidaya), The Pub and The Pub Royale. The former serves quite good (but pricey, perhaps Rs 700) meals, has a large screen for sports inside and a 1st floor outside verandah.
  • There are a number of cheap bars (Rs 100 or less for a 650ml bottle of beer) scattered throughout the side streets near the town center. They can be rather seedy and the kind of place where unaccompanied women could be made to feel very uncomfortable.
  • Victory Hotel, 79 Colombo Road This bar is a great way to see real Sri Lankans and what they do, downstairs is full of locals knocking back Arrack the atmosphere may be less than salubrious, in fact it gives the Sidney Hotel, Galle a run for its money, but the people are friendly. Upstairs is slightly less dingy as it serves food, Arrack starts at Rs 700, beer Rs 195 and a cigarette from a waiter Rs 30l.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

There are lots of cheapish guest houses to the south and east of the lake, all only a short walk from the town center, and generally clean and friendly. If you walk along/up Saranankara Rd. south of the lake you will find many different options (budget and mid-range) and can choose the one that fits you best.

  • No.31 Kandy Guest House, 31 Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe Mw., Kandy (Newly built Kandy Guest House is just steps away from the city’s numerous attractions such as Temple of the Tooth Relic, Royal Wales Park, Malwatte Maha Vihara & the Kandy Lake), 0094-778-048-210, 0094-774-142-154, [10]. Guest House has four well furnished luxary bedrooms, perfect for families, groups of friends or tourist travelers. $30-$60.  edit
  • No.44 Guest House, 44 Saranankara Rd., Kandy. Three simple but clean double rooms and a small lounge area. Serves juice and meals. Rs 1,200-1,500.  edit
  • Kandy Downtown Hostel, 93 Aniwatta Road, Kandy, +94 077-106988, [11]. Walking distance (1.3km) to the bus/train station. Rooms start at Rs 1,200.  edit
  • Olde Empire, Temple st. Situated next to the Temple of the Tooth — very central. Basic, clean rooms. Nice ancient wood building, w. polished wood floors and good hangout balcony overlooking the temple. Free 5:30am wakeup call by temple puja. Friendly staff. Some combo of charming, funky and rundown. Restaurant is above-average. Cheapest rate starts from Rs 880. Aug 2014: single, shared bath: Rs 1100. Double, shared bath: Rs. 1500.  edit
  • YMCA, 116A Kotugodella Veediya. One of the cheapest options in town. Common bathroom, cold water. Rates start from Rs 600 per person.  edit
  • Kandy City Mission, 125 DS Sennanayake Veediya, +94 77 2 203040 (Contact Tobi) (). Cheap, the safest & best en suite accommodation in the center of Kandy. All rooms have bathroom inside. Rates start from Rs 900 per person..  edit
  • Peace Haven Guest House, 47/10 Louis Pieris lane and other entrance 44 firstlane Dharmaraja mawatta (Near the north-east corner of Kandy Lake), +94 812232584, [12]. Located a pleasant 20 minutes stroll by the lakeside from the center of town. The owners, Mr & Mrs Atapattu, are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Breakfasts include heaps of fresh fruit, all the toast you can eat, and good rich tea. US$35.  edit
  • Gami Seva Sevana, Office Junction, Galaha (25 km towards Galaha on the Galaha Rd), +94 814920790. Located just at the foot of the hill of the Nilambe meditation center. One bungalow with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms one living room and a kitchen at 2 floors. Several simpler rooms. Gami Seva Sevana is a cooperative which is into organic agriculture and education. Recently it started to rent out its facilities and also offers a scheme to explore local places and sights that otherwise wouldn’t likely show up on a tourist radar. From Rs 2,000.  edit
  • Golden View Rest, Saranankara Rd., +94 81 2239418 (). View on the lake and a part of the city. Hot water and very clean rooms. A/C and non-A/C rooms. The breakfast is not included in the price if not asked. CAUTION: Beware of the owner’s free tuk-tuk scam – your driver will demand an extortionate sum of money once you arrive at your destination. Rooms from Rs 1,500.  edit
  • McLeod Inn, 65A Rajapihilla Mawatha, +94 81 222 2832 (). The couple who run the place are all smiles and very helpful. Rooms are sparkling clean, comfy beds, en suite with hot and cold water. Some beautiful views across Kandy from their balcony and from a couple of rooms, room 6 especially has floor to ceiling windows. No A/C, but you do not need it. Rs 2500.  edit

Mid-range and Splurge[edit]

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  • Amaya Hills, Heerassagala, Kandy, Central Region 20000, Sri Lanka, +94 114 767 842/800, +94 814 474 022, [13]. Amaya Hills in Kandy, Sri Lanka presents guests a breathtaking retreat that offers a glimpse of the verdant Hanthana mountain range. It offers Deluxe Rooms, Superior Rooms, and Suites all equipped with Plasma TV with satellite channels, Mini-bar, coffee/ tea maker, Daily supply of bottled water, Wi-Fi Internet access. Some of its facilities and services are Swimming pool, Spa and fitness facilities, Sports equipment – table tennis, squash, billiards, board games, Business services. While at Amaya Hills, complete your vacation by exploring the following points of interest in Kandy – Temple of the Tooth Relic – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Embekka Devalaya (Embekka Temple), Kandy Museum – within the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Horton Plains National Park.  edit
  • Rosendale Villa, 85/A Upul Mawatha, Primrose Gardens, Kandy, 0094771015665 (). Located in a secluded area of Kandy, Rosendale Villa offers a unique experience where you can relax, in true up country style! The climate which is cool mornings and evenings, with fairly warm day times offer a splendid environment to enjoy the calm ambiance at the Villa and explore the surrounding sites and other places of interest. Ideally located on the Primrose Hill with a panoramic view of the famous Mahaveli River with close proximity to the Historic Kandy City. Facilities offered are Clean Rooms with Breakfast or Lunch & Dinner, WiFi, Laundry, Tuk Tuk rides, Telephone, Hot Water etc.. Rooms from Rs 4,500.  edit
  • Chaaya Citadel Kandy, 124 Srimath Kuda Ratwatte Mawatha, +94 81 2234365, [14]. Offers a stay that takes you back in time. The four star hotel is away from the hustle and bustle of the city but near enough to access the cultural marvels that Kandy has to offer.  edit
  • Earl’s Regency, 84 Tenna Kumbura (4km from Kandy), +94 81 5873305 7, [15]. This 100 room five star luxury hotel has restaurants with a variety of international cuisine, 24 hour room service, a coffee shop, Ayurvedic health center, shopping arcade, a sauna and wedding, conference and banquets facilities. Evening entertainment includes disco, karaoke, live bands, oriental bands, bingo and cultural shows.  edit
  • Kandy Cottage, 160 Lady Gordon Drive, +94 77 2 203040 (Contact Tobi) (), [16]. Eco-friendly retreat for writers and artists, but it also welcomes regular holiday makers with facilities from laundry to laser printing. Although it nestles in a little hollow adjoining a tiny virgin forest ‘Udawatta Kele Royal Forest Sanctuary’ – it is only ten minutes’ walk from the city center. It has two double rooms and one family suite, all of them enabled with broadband internet. Rates from USD 22-40 per person, accompanying children free if under 12. Half rate after the second week..  edit
  • Forest Villa, 185B Rajapihilla Mawatha, +94 81 2234107 (), [17]. checkin: 12:00PM; checkout: 12:00PM. Forest Villa provides the comfortable amenities of an urban lifestyle. It offers rooms equipped with bathroom amenities, Welcome pack (water, tea, coffee or juice) and Coffee/tea maker. Some of its facilities and services are Restaurant, dining areas, business center, housekeeping and 24-hours back-up power supply. USD 35.  edit
  • Hill Top Hotel, 200/21, Bahirawakande Peradeniya Rd (About 2 km to the city center), +94 81 2224162, [18]. Two star hotel. The onsite restaurant serves a variety of local and international dishes.  edit
  • Hunas Falls by Amaya, Elkaduwa (About 26 km away from Kandy), +94 81 4940320, [19]. The hotel is in a breathtaking setting overlooking the Hunas Falls. The hotel has nine superior rooms, 19 deluxe rooms and suites. Room facilities include a mini bar, satellite TV and IDD telephone. All rooms are centrally air conditioned. The hotel offers conferencing and banqueting facilities.  edit
  • The Kandy Samadhicentre, Kukuloya Rd Narampanawa (passing Digana), +94 777710013, [20]. Nature resort. Double room with hot water B&B USD 80.  edit
  • Mahaweli Reach Hotel, 35, P.B.A. Weerakoon Mawatha (a few minutes away from the city), +94 81 4472727, [21]. Five star hotel.  edit
  • Queen’s Hotel, 124 Srimath Kuda Ratwatte Mawatha (in the middle of the city beside the Temple of the Tooth Relic and the Kandy Lake), +94 81 81 2233026 / 81 5627620-4, [22]. One of the oldest hotels in Kandy. Offers ideal getaway spots to watch the Maligawa Perahera (the procession).  edit
  • Randholee Resort, +94 81 2217741, [23]. The panoramic view from this resort is one of the better ones in the area, decked in Kandyan decor, all rooms do not have its own private balcony and bathrooms. Best rates on official website start at USD 68.  edit
  • Riverdale Hotel, 32, Aniwatte Road, Kandy, Sri Lanka.  edit
  • Suisse Hotel, 30, Sangarajah Mawatha (right beside the historic Kandy Lake), +94 81 81 2233024-5, [24]. Colonial hotel.  edit
  • Swiss Residence Kandy Hotel, 23 Bahirawakanda Lane (1 km to the city center). 40 rooms.  edit
  • Hotel Topaz, Aniwatte, Kandy, Central 20967, Sri Lanka, +94 817 389000 6, [25]. Hotel Topaz in Kandy, Sri Lanka offers its stylish and comfortable accommodation with its guestrooms fitted with modern comforts like air-conditioning, minibar, safety deposit box, coffee/tea making facilities and satellite TV. Aside from basking in Hotel Topaz’s stylish comfort, you can also take pleasure in a selection of its prime facilities and services like room services, 24-hour front desk, meeting/banquet facilities, airport shuttle, laundry, ironing services, currency exchange, shuttle services (free), restaurant, bar, spa and wellness center, massage, children’s playground, outdoor pool, free private parking, free WiFi in public areas.  edit
  • The Tourmaline, Aniwatte, Kandy, Sri Lanka, +94 817 389000 6, [26]. Experience a very refreshing and invigorating relaxation with sense of royalty. Indulge yourself in a luxurious private getaway with The Tourmaline Hotel Kandy. With a complete hotel facilities consist of Restaurant, Poolside bar, Garden,Business center,Bar/pub, The Tourmaline Hotel also offers services such as Spa, Laundry and Dry cleaning, Airport transfer, Shuttle service and Massage.  edit
  • Tourmaline Hotel, 55, 2nd Lane, Pushpadana Mawatha, +94 81 4473551 5. The hotel has 29 furnished rooms with modern amenities.  edit
  • Holiday Bungalow, Haragama, Kandy (11km’s on Rajamawatha), +94-777-426321, [27]. 06 deluxe rooms,Ideal for family holidays who like to stay in a relaxed and peaceful area  edit

Cope[edit]

Dangers and annoyances[edit]

Kandy is a very safe place and more relaxed than the east and north of Sri Lanka. Women however should be cautious (especially at night) and kindly deny help when approached by someone. When seeking advice, address your question to local women, which generally are happy to help.

  • Tuk-tuk driver – Beware of the usual suspects that offer you to take you to the “best thing in town”, which is “too far away to walk” or an alternative to where you want to go because “today yours is closed”. Generally, all such advice is wrong and must be consider critically. Most things in town can be reached by foot. If you want to get out, the local buses are a good option – just go to the bus station and ask at the counter or one of the bus guys.
  • Touts – There are many guys strolling around and offering their help to tourist. Often they approach you by saying “You remember me?” or by telling you they work at the guest house or hotel you stay in. Of course the usual “Which country?” is also very common. This is of course all bushwa and just a conversion starter to trick you into buying something or taking an overpriced tour with them.

Hospitals[edit]

List of Major Hospitals and health care centers:

  • General Hospital Kandy, +94 81 2222261.  edit
  • Teaching Hospital – Peradeniya, +94 81 2388001.  edit
  • Suwasewana Hospital, 532, Peradeniya Road Kandy, +94 81 2222404 (fax: +94 81 4476763).  edit

Consulates[edit]

  • In-flag.png India, High Commission of India, No. 31, Rajapihilla Mawatha, PO Box 47, Kandy, Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka, (94) 81 2222652 / 2223786 (fax: (94) (81) 2232479), [28].  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Buses are usually the best option and serve almost all destinations. Favorite destinations from Kandy are Dambulla, Sigiryia, Hatton (for Adam’s Peak), Nuwara Eliya or Ella. Short distance buses start from the clock tower in the center. For the long distance buses go to Good Shed Bus Station south west of the town next to the train station. Prices are Rs 50-150 for a 1 or 3 hours trip respectively. Dambulla costs about Rs 150.
  • Train is the best option if you are heading further into the mountains towards Hatton (Adam’s Peak), Nanu Oya (Train Station for Nuwara Eliya), Haputale (Lipton’s Seat, Horton Plains National Park), Ella (Ella Rock) or Badulla. There is an observation saloon (1st class) in some trains. 3rd and 2nd class unreserved tend to be crowded but tickets can be bought right before the train departs. Best check the train times and situation one day before departure – you can always opt for the bus. The train station is located south west of the town next to the Good Shed Bus Station. The trip to Haputale is about Rs 200 for 2nd class, reservation however will set you back another Rs 600.



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Sri Lanka, Asia – Travel Guide

Sri Lanka, Asia – Travel Guide

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Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka
Location
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Flag
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Quick Facts
Capital Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, but Colombo is the commercial capital
Government Republic
Currency Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)
Area total: 65,610 km2
water: 870 km2
land: 64,740 km2
Population 20,064,776 (July 2006 est.)
Language Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (official and national language) 18%, other 8%
note: English is commonly used in government and is spoken competently by about 10% of the population
Religion Buddhist 70%, Hindu 15%, Christian 8%, Muslim 8% (1999)
Electricity 230V/50Hz (British BS 1363 type plug is most common with fewer (older) installations of BS 546, the circular plug used in India, being present).
Country code +94
Internet TLD .lk
Time Zone UTC+5:30

Sri Lanka, [1] formerly known as Ceylon, is in Southern Asia. It is an island country in the Indian Ocean, south of India.

Understand[edit]

History[edit]

Sri Lanka has more than 3,500 years of continuous written history by means of the Mahawansha, and was also mentioned in several ancient Indian texts. One of the most famous is the Ramayana, in which the island, which was referred to as Lanka, was the island fortress of the king Ravana, who captured the wife of Rama an incarnation of the Hindu God, Vishnu. Legend has it that Hanuman the monkey god flew over to Lanka and destroyed the capital by setting it on fire, while Rama and his remaining troops later crossed over from the mainland by building a land bridge across the sea.

The Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century BC, probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced beginning in about the mid-3rd century BC, and a great civilization developed at such cities as Anuradhapura (kingdom from c.200 BC to c.1000 AD) and Polonnaruwa (c.1070 to 1200). Other notable but relatively more recent kingdoms are Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa, Gampola, Kandy and Jaffna Kingdoms.

Occupied by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century, the island was ceded to the British in 1796, and became a crown colony in 1802. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; the name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972.

In May, 2009 Sri Lankan military forces defeated the Tamil Tigers’ separatist movement and ended a brutal 26 year-long war that began in 1983, thus opening up a new chapter in its history.

Climate[edit]

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 Sri Lanka, 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.

Terrain[edit]

Mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior.

Highest point: Pidurutalagala 2,524 m


Talk[edit]

Sinhala, spoken by the majority Sinhalese, and Tamil, spoken by the minority Tamil and Muslim groups, are Sri Lanka’s two official languages. English is commonly used in most cities, especially Colombo, Kandy and Galle, and by government and tourism officials. But while most of the people in Colombo can speak English, don’t expect everyone, everywhere to be able to speak it fluently. In the beach and tourist areas you will have no problem with English. Most people in rural villages, however, cannot speak any English, beyond a few simple words.

  • Sinhala Language The greeting in Sinhala is “ayubowan”. It means “May you live longer”; ‘Thank you’ is “Bohoma sthuthi” and “how are you” is “kohomada”, pronounced “Ko homede””
  • Tamil Language: The greeting in Tamil is “Vanakkam”; ‘Thank you’ is “Nandri”

Sinhala writing is much more curved than Tamil. After a while, you’ll learn how to distinguish between the two.

Regions[edit]

Map of Sri Lanka with provincial regions colour-coded

Central Province (Kandy, Matale, Nuwara Eliya)
This is the higlands of the country with a lot of beautiful tea plantations, waterfals, valleys and streams. Highest mountain piduruthalagala and the famous worlds end are situated in Nuwaraeliya.
Northern Province (Jaffna)
After end of the 30 year civil war this region is slowly returning to its status as an important tourist attraction. Some areas remain unsafe and have yet to be cleared from mines.
North Central Province (Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla)
The ancient kingdoms of Sri Lanka dating back over 2500 years. Rich in history, the area is known as the cultural triangle.
Eastern Province (Trincomalee, Arugam Bay)
North Western Province (Kurunegala)
Sabaragamuwa (Ratnapura)
Southern Province (Galle, Weligama, Matara, Tangalle, Unawatuna, Yala National Park)
the historic city of Galle and national parks
Uva (Badulla, Haputale, Bandarawela)
cool highland hill retreats
Western Province (Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, Beruwela, Colombo, Gampaha, Negombo)
the administrative capital and the largest city plus some popular beach resorts

Cities[edit]

  • Anuradhapura — ruins of ancient capitals (partially restored)
  • Colombo — the commercial capital of Sri Lanka
  • Galle — a home for a Dutch fort, and a a gathering point for travelers from the nearby beach resort villages
  • Jaffna — the northern Capital of Sri Lanka
  • Kandy — the spiritual heart of the country, home to a tooth of the Buddha
  • Kurunegala
  • Nuwara Eliya – has the coolest climate in Sri Lanka
  • Polonnaruwa — ruins of ancient capitals (partially restored)
  • Ratnapura – City Of Gems


Other destinations[edit]

See also: Sacred sites of the Indian sub-continent

Get in[edit]

If you are planing to visit Sri Lanka, take care those people who have God’s images as tattoo on their bodies specially Buddha images may be turned away. Even a passenger on a transit flight had bad experience for having such a tattoo on his body.
This is nearly smoke free country and smoking in public places is prohibited including inside of bus and trains. Violators can be prosecuted.
Photographing next to God’s status or posing inappropriate manner next to them are prohibited.
Violators will be booked under the country’s law.


Visa rules[edit]

New visa rules have been imposed with effect from 1st January 2012 where online visa must be applied for countries except Singapore and Maldives before entering the country. This “Tourist ETA visa” is valid for 3 months, starting from the day it has been approved and can be applied for here: [2]. The visa is double entry which means you can enter the country twice during the three months’ time. In each entry, your maximum length of stay is 30 days.A visitor wishing to stay more than 30 days in Sri Lanka may apply for an extension. The short visit visa may be extended up to 90 days from the date of arrival at the first instance and further 90 days at the second instance.

Visa charges are US$ 15 for SAARC countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan) and US$ 30 for others (50% price increase starting on 1 Jan 2013 [3]).

IMPORTANT: As of May 2014, immigration authorities at Colombo airport are very demanding with respect to the accuracy of the passport number on your electronic travel authorization obtained online. A single digit mistake is taken as a reason to force you to buy a new visa and refer you to some obscure government office in Colombo for refunds of your online payments. Be careful about 1 vs. I and zero vs. O. The number should exactly match the machine-readable section of your passport, and not anything else (for example, Russian passports have a non-alphanumeric number sign that should be completely excluded).

Extensions can be made at the Department of Immigration (011-532 9300; www.immigration.gov.lk; 41 Ananda Rajakaruna Mw, Col 10; 9am-4.30pm Mon-Fri), in Punchi Borella, Colombo. The last payments are received at 3.30pm. The department sets the cost in US dollars, but you pay in rupees. A visa extension gives you a full three months in the country and you can apply for your extension almost as soon as you arrive (the 30-day visa given upon entry is included in the three months). A further three-month extension is possible, but you must again pay the extension fee plus another Rs 10, 000. Extensions beyond this are at the discretion of the department, and incur a Rs 15, 000 fee plus the extension fee.

See above for fees for the first 90-day extension.

The whole process takes about an hour. First, go to the 1st-floor office and pick up a visa-extension application form from the person closest to the door. You then work your way along the counter, through six or seven stages of stamps and receipts. Then you wait 30 minutes or so while your passport works its way back down the counter and is returned to you.

You will need your passport, an onward ticket and either a credit card or foreign exchange receipts.

Tourist visas for India can be obtained at the High Commission of India (242 1605; info.colombo@mea.gov.in; 36-38 Galle Rd, Col 3). The cost of a six-month visa depends on your nationality, and you’ll need to supply two photos. It takes at least five days to process a tourist visa, but only one day if you are a foreign resident in Sri Lanka. Lines tend to be very long. You can also obtain an Indian visa in Kandy at the Assistant High Commission of India (081-222 4563; ahciknd@mailandnews.com; Box 47, 31 Rajapihilla Mawatha). Kandy makes a good alternative to Colombo because it’s not as busy.

In the event of a rejection, the system will send a referral notification to the applicant and he/she needs to contact the nearest Sri Lanka Overseas Mission for necessary assistance. If your country doesn’t have a Sri Lanka overseas mission please contact the 24 hour emigration hotline on 0094 719 967 888. However, The Department maintains a no refund policy on your visa application fees, [4] .

By plane[edit]

SriLankan Airlines [5] (flight code UL) is the national flagship carrier operating to and from Colombo-Bandaranayake International Airport (ICAO: VCBI, IATA: CMB) [6]. Flights are available from cities throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, China, Japan, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan. SriLankan Air also flies to the nearby destinations such as Chennai, Trivandrum, Mumbai, Delhi, Cochin, Bangalore and the Maldives.

Emirates Airlines [7] connects many major European cities and others worldwide to Colombo with several flights daily from Dubai and Singapore to Colombo. The airline operates 777-300ER wide body aircraft on these routes.

Other options are Jet Airways or its offshoot Jetlite.

Mihin Lanka [8], Sri Lanka’s first (and only) low-cost airline started operating in 2007. They fly to Dubai in United Arab Emirates and Tiruchirapalli and Buddhagaya in India. Mihin Lanka now has non-stop services from Colombo to Dhaka, Medan and Jakarta.

Qatar Airways has 3 daily non-stop flights from Doha to Colombo.

Jet Airways has many flights a day to Colombo from Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai.

SpiceJet have one flight a day to Colombo from Madurai and Chennai.

Tiger Airways [9], the Singapore-based LCC, flies four times a week (Mon-Wed-Fri-Sun) between Colombo and Singapore.

    • TigerAir has ceased operation from Singapore to Colombo.

Air Asia [10] now operates from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Colombo, Sri Lanka. This opens ups cheap flight for visitors from South East Asia as well as those who are visiting South Asia and then heading to South-East Asia (or vice-versa).

Singapore Airlines flies daily between Colombo and Singapore

Oman Air [11] has announced flights to Colombo via Muscat and Male, they seem to have special prices for their new destinations’ start (Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Male, colombo)

Royal Jordanian [12] has a daily flight from Amman to Colombo.

Ukrainian International Airlines now has a flight from Kiev to Colombo via Dubai.

Other airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Thai International Airways, Cathay Pacific, Saudi Arabian, Condor (Germany), Spicejet (India), Meridiana (Italy), and JetAirFly (Belgium) operate to Colombo-Bandaranayake from their respective home bases.

An Airport Express Luxury Train Service operates between Airport Station (Bandaranayake International Airport) and Colombo Secretariat Station (Near Colombo Hilton) [13]. Currently the ticket is prices at Rs 500 for a journey.

THY- Turkish Airlines / Direct flight from Istanbul to Colombo

From Canada/USA[edit]

There are no direct flights that reach Sri Lanka from cities outside Asia, the Middle East and Europe. From the American West Coast, the distance is almost half the globe. Depending on your preferences and how much spare time you have, you can consider a stopover in Europe or SE Asia or take a non-stop flight over the North Pole to New Delhi or Mumbai from Chicago, Newark, New York City (JFK), or Toronto. In many cases, this may be the fastest route, but check if an Indian transit visa is required. Another fast and easy idea is to use Middle Eastern Airlines from the US with stopovers in either Qatar, Bahrain, or the UAE (no transit visa required). For example Dubai based airline Emirates offers daily flights from SFO, LAX, Houston (IAH),SEA (Seattle) and Toronto (YYZ) with a very short stopover before the short flight to Colombo. Emirates Airlines offer non-stop service to Colombo two to three times daily from Dubai. In 2013, SriLankan Airlines joins the Oneworld alliance which will allow through passage with American Airlines, as well as several Asian, European, and Middle East airlines.

By ship[edit]

The Tuticorin-Colombo passenger ferry service, suspended for years due to the civil war, commenced services in June 2011, but this service is currently suspended. The Scotia Prince ran twice a week until November 2011 when the ferry was discontinued indefinitely.[14] The company has yet to announce an official date for resumption of the service.
[15]

If you would like to travel via cargo ship, please note that according to the customs office in Tuticorin it is considered illegal for a cargo ship to transport passengers from the Tuticorin Port to Sri Lanka.

Cruise Ship[edit]

Sri Lanka has been included in its destinations list for 2011 by American cruise operator Zegrahm Expeditions [16]. The line plans four voyages that stop in Sri Lanka in 2011.

Get around[edit]

Three-wheeler[edit]

The most common mode of transport in Sri Lanka is via a three-wheeled automobile appropriately referred to as a three-wheeler (Tri-Shaw). Also known as Tuk-Tuks from the noise of their motors. These operate in a manner similar to taxis, and in many situations are a convenient and highly cost-efficient way to get around. Safety is a concern however, as none of them have seat belts and they are open to the sides.

Three-wheelers are ubiquitous in Sri Lanka. On any given street, you’ll hardly have to wait more than a couple of minutes without one going by that you can wave down. If you’re travelling with luggage, there are slightly larger three-wheelers with more space for your bags that you can look for.

While it may be the most novel way to get around, it may not be the most cost efficient in every situation. Public transport is cheaper by far, and most Three-wheel drivers tend to over-price foreigners, so never agree to the first estimate. The best price you can get is about Rs. 50 – 75 per Km for short jouneys and about Rs. 30 – 50 for long journeys ( more than 15 km). If you do come across a metered Tri-Shaw make sure the meter is switched on. Taxis are slightly more expensive but surely a lot safer. Having said that, you probably have not experienced everything Sri Lanka has to offer until you travel in one.

By car[edit]

Rented cars usually turn out cheaper than three-wheelers, and are less prone to road accidents–and are recommended by most hotels.

Rented cars often come with their own drivers. Often the automobile itself is free, whereas the driver will charge a fee for his services. Some drivers/guides are government-licensed; some are extremely knowledgeable and multi-lingual, specializing in historical and cultural knowledge, and environment/natural history for your visits to the ancient sites and the natural reserves. Some of them may charge extra money, if you want switch on the A/C.
You can book good cars from most of the Colombo hotel reception counters or from special counters located next to it. They will provide hotel Logo marked cars for rental with their own drivers. They are good for airport drops or moving within the city. Check the price first before you book it.
Now in Colombo Airport you can get your temporary Sri Lanka diving license by showing your own valid driving license within 10 minutes for a small fee. You can rent self drive cars from the airport from car rental service[17] providers on daily or monthly basis. You must need third party insurance policy too. Sri Lanka uses Left hand driving.

By motorbike[edit]

You can rent motorbikes or join a motorbike tour from several places in Negombo. The roads are generally good, the distances not too far and you have the freedom to go where you want to. The locals are always helpful with directions. Its better to have an existing motorbike license for insurance. [18] offers good bikes in Negombo. If you want to ride motorbike in Sri Lanka, you must have a valid motorbike driving license along with valid third party insurance and must wear helmet including the pillion passenger. It is against the law to ride more than 250 cc capacity motorcycles on the public roads. Also local police requires you to switch on the head light even on day time. Don’t give your passport to the rental service providers, just give them the photocopy of it.

Another cheap and good idea to go around Sri Lanka is to ride a Scooter, if you are familiar to ride it and have a license to ride it. It is available for rent in Negombo [19] and mount Lavania areas. It can be rented on daily basis with unlimited kilometers.

Tour operators[edit]

Tour Operators are happy to get you a van and a driver who will take you all over the island but beware, the roads are bumpy and slow. If you book off-the-cuff when you arrive, ask to be shown on a map where you are going before agreeing to any ‘tour’ of the island and research before you arrive so that you have a clear idea of where you might like to travel. Senseless backtracking to lengthen the trip and increase the cost is a real danger, as is a driver’s wish to take you on unwanted shopping expeditions in an effort to gain commission. Travel websites specializing in Sri Lanka are easily found and have greatly increased the choice that is readily available to independent travelers seeking tailor-made tours. The best of them will produce clearly-stated travel itineraries and some are flexible enough to make late changes to itineraries. Ask to see their Booking Conditions and anti-fraud policies.


Fun Travels is a highly reliable tour guide. They are renowned for their all-in-one packages, which allows you to cover all the hotspots of Sri Lanka in one trip.

Also check the prices from http://www.lankacardriver.com, http://www.spineltravels.com, http://www.lankantours.com or http://www.journeylankaholidays.co.uk from united kingdom where you can get reasonable price for your Sri Lanka Holidays.
Recently the Sri Lanka Government’s Tourism Promotion Bureau had unveiled their official tourism website [20] with lot of information on local destinations, tour operators and tour guide information.

Responsible Travel[edit]

Ecotourism is a form of alternative travel that aims to tackle social and environmental issues thanks to national and international tourism. As Sri Lanka is a developing country, many communities are glad to benefit from the tourism incomes.

The Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation is a national non-profit organization that is creating a very complete and trustworthy ecotourism network throughout Sri Lanka. They provide ecotourism certifications for local companies and make sure the environment conservation issues and respect for the cultural heritage are managed efficiently.
The foundation has received Presidential Tourism Awards For Sri Lanka Tourism 2010 ‘Outstanding Contribution for Tourism Sri Lanka’. That is possible to make affordable ecotours with the foundation, but also to make “voluntourism” projects (traveling throughout the island while directly helping the local communities).

Several tourism websites such as Responsible Travel, which was established with Body Shop Founder Anita Roddick’s support, also promote responsible trips to various countries including Sri Lanka. Several villas and hotels are listed on the site, for example, Templeberg Villa and Sigiriya EcoLodge Tree Houses and Fair Trade and Wildlife Conservation Tours.

Taxi companies[edit]

Taxis are a better way of getting around Colombo than three wheelers as, due to the metering, they often turn out to be cheaper. Rates are about USD0.55 and they have full day packages (approx 8 hours and 80km) for around USD 40.

They will also take you outstation for around USD 0.30-0.35 per km with no waiting charges. You can also set up your own itenary and travel around that way as opposed to whatever the tour operator tells you.

By bus[edit]

For those on a budget, buses are everywhere. They’re sometimes crowded and uncomfortable, but they get you around for almost nothing; it costs about a dollar to get half-way across the island. If you’re planning on splashing out, AC buses run most routes for twice the price, which offer air-conditioning and a guaranteed seat. However, they’re still uncomfortable. Bus stations are confusing places, especially the big ones, but almost everyone will be delighted to practice their English and help you. Also, when travelling by bus, it is local etiquette in most buses to provide or give up the very front passenger seats to members of the clergy such as monks or priests if they are present.

By train[edit]

Sri Lanka has an extensive railway system serving all major towns and cities in the island except for the North. There are special Observation cars for tourists that like to take in the scenery.

Trains can be slower than buses, depending if you are on a line that offers an express train or not, but more comfortable and even less expensive than buses.

You can look up train schedules on the official site: [21] or using one of the two Android Apps available: [22] [23]. Be advised, however, that these will only give you results for direct connections between stations.

There are 3 classes of railway cars, although 1st and 2nd class are only available on some Intercity and Express trains. Travelling 3rd class is not as bad as it may sound. Often the difference between 3rd and 2nd class is only a missing arm rest between seats.

Trains are sometimes crowded, especially in the morning and late afternoon. Also, observation car seats for the lines popular with tourists (like the Colombo-Kandy line) are often booked out several days in advance in the high season. So whenever possible you should get a reservation beforehand: see [24] and [25] for more information

The Railway system in Sri Lanka is very picturesque when entering the hill country because of the winding tracks along the mountains especially on the Badullu-Nanu Oya line. Make sure, if you can, to sit on the right side of the train, as it offers the better view.

Travel by Train is itself a journey to remember, be it traveling to Central Sri Lanka or traveling on the coastal line is just amazing.Highly recommended to travel by train if you are traveling outside Colombo. The Hill train to Badulla is a amazing journey. Preferably choose the express trains, and try to get a reservation beforehand, if you can.
The newly renovated Jaffna railway line is expanded up to Palai station in the North. So you can travel in comfort over to the Jaffna town by booking a seat from Colombo Fort. A second class seat can be reserved for just Rs.600/- in the 6.50am Intercity train and it will reach Palai around 13.00pm same day. Palai to Jaffna by bus nearly one hour journey will cost Rs 70/-. Return journey you have to book at Mobitel office in Jaffna town and it is not available from Colombo Fort. A fully A/C journey in the luxury Express train between Palai and Colombo Fort is priced at Rs 1,400/-. Colombo – Jaffna bound train service is expected to commence from 15th September 2014.

By plane[edit]

Sri Lankan Airlines operates small Seaplane service to destinations such as Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Galle and many more locations. This is perfect for Photography trips because you can get a bird’s eye view of the island and takes less time to get to a destination than using the road. Also the seaplanes land on picturesque lakes and tanks around the island.

Aero Lanka operates domestic flights between Colombo City Airport – Ratmalana, Jaffna and Trincomalee

See[edit][add listing]

  • Please be aware that to get into many of the tourist sites in Sri Lanka, you, as a foreigner will be charged up to x10 more than locals. But still those charges are not so high relative to USD($). For members of SAARC countries, the price is lesser than for “foreigners”.

Go to Kandy to see the Sri Dhalada Maligawa and Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Also don’t miss out on the traditional Sri Lanka dance performance held every day at 5.00 pm in the city hall.

Go to Matale and climb the Sigiriya Rock , see the ancient frescoes and enjoy a panoramic view of the area.

Go to Raththota,Matale and climb Riverstone, see the Mini Worlds’ End and directly travel to Wasgamuwa.
Go to Battaramulla and enjoy evening in waters edge park and have your dinner from Broadwalk restaurant.

Go to Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to see ancient temples,ruins which are very beautiful.

Go to Nuwara Eliya to see beautiful villages which look like England. There are many tea estates and Hakgala botanical gardens too.

Go to Unawatuna, Galle, Trincomalee(Nilaweli Beach),Pasikuda and north areas to see extremely beautiful beaches.

Go to Mirissa and Kalpitiya and watch whales and dolphins with privately operated boat tours.

Go to Jaffna to see the Portuguese built Fort (1618) it was later expanded by the Dutch (1795), Nallur Temple, Keerimalai natural fresh water pond just 10 feet from the sea and the islands in the Northern Province (Delft, Kayts, Leyden, Middlburg and many more) to see unexplored Sri Lanka.

Go to Yala National Park , Wilpattu , Wasgamuwa for the best wildlife Safari experience. Udawalawe to see elephants and Kumana (Yala East) for birdwatching.

Go to Kithulgala for white water rafting in the Keliniya River.

Go to Dehiwala Zoo. Located in the Colombo district. It will take nearly 8 – 10 hours to view all the animals, Aquarium, butterfly park, elephant Show, sea lion show and the snake farm. You have to purchase entrance ticket. Also has to pay for your camera/video.Ticket prices may vary for foreigners and SARC citizens from the locals. When you get in side the compound follow the guide number posted there, starting 1 and it is nearly 60 routes there. 176 route bus pass this place or on the Galle road, get down at the Dehiwala junction. Agree for Rs 100 and Jump in a Trishaw to get in front of the entrance (10 Km from Colombo Fort). It is strictly prohibited to take polythene bags with you. Good restaurant available inside the compound. Sundays are crowded day specially on school holidays there may be around 5,000 visitors in a day.

Go to Galle Face Terrace. It is located next to Colombo center and next to the old parliament complex on the Galle road near to the sea. It is a place for locals to gather to spend their evening. At the end of the terrace is 150 years old Galle face hotel. In the morning it is a place for walking and jogging. (0.18Km). In the evening it is a place for to see the fantastic sun setting with different colors. Street vendors sale local food, Coca Cola, Pepsi and mineral water. During season you can view different kinds of kites being flown over there. Also you can purchase one of them and can fly it. There is a viewing stage built in to the ocean you can walk up to the guard railing at the end. Also there is a flag post and in the sun rising and setting time you can watch colorful flag ceremony by the armed force. t is a nice place to capture different kinds of images.

Go to Independence square arcade, Colombo. Fine dining, entertainment and shopping for International brands.

Go to Floating market at the Bastian Mawatha (Close to Fort Railway Station), for local products shopping and dining on a floating restaurant.

Do[edit][add listing]

There is nothing that you “”Can’t Do”” in Sri Lanka and there is variety of things that you can do depending on your preference.

Surfing from November to April you can surf in the western and southern coast. Best place for the beginners is Weligama on the southern coast. You can rent a board for 1500 Rupee per day or 400 Rupee per hour. Lesson costs 2500 Rupee for 1 h, but bargain.

Kitesurfing from April to September and from December to March you can kitesurf eastern coast. Best place for the beginners is Kalpitiya (Sethawadi and Kappaladi lagoons), where you can find kite schools: Wind4Love KiteSurfing center Sri Lanka and best conditions in Asia.

Diving
Scuba Diving can be carried out in Sri Lanka’s South coast from Nov – April and April till October in the East coast.There are many diving stations and schools that offer equipment hire and lessons. Divers can explore many sites with ship wrecks, marine life, coral garden and caves.

Hot air ballooning
Hot air ballooning is available in the Dambulla area. It is seasonal one. Certified pilots operates them during the morning time.

Bentota beach is famous for its sea turtles farm and hatchery along with lot of water sports activities.

Buy[edit][add listing]

The currency is the Sri Lankan Rupee. The exchange rates are approximately 130Rs/ USD, 177Rs/ EUR or 220Rs/GBP(The exchange rate for dollar everywhere is 110LR/USD, hotels its 109/USD and only in casinos they give 115/USD which generally they give in the form of chips in the play tables). There are coins for 25 and 50 cents (bronze), 1 rupee (old version is big and silver, new version is small and gold,) 2 rupees (silver,) and 5 rupees (gold,) as well as banknotes ranging from 10- 5000 rupees. Coins that are more than a few years old are typically in quite bad condition.

List of Banks in Sri Lanka

Handicrafts Of Sri Lanka. For reed, cane, cotton, paper, leather, wood, clay, metal, and gemstones have been transformed and re-expressed in a array of batiks, toys, curios and jewelery, all exquisite hand made treasures.

Credit cards and ATMs, banking services[edit]

ATMs are located in many places (especially at bank branches) in the cities and suburbs, less so in the countryside. Be careful of using credit cards, as fraud is on the rise in Sri Lanka. You can withdraw from debit cards too (Cirrus, Maestro, Visa Electron etc) where the logos are displayed. Mostly your card will be replaced by your bank once you go back to your country. Not every ATM accepts international cards, try Commercial Bank they accept international cards. NOTE ! You can’t send money by Western Union or Money Gram from Sri Lanka abroad. One can only receive money via international money transfer while in Sri Lanka.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Sri Lanka and South Indian food share a lot in common, and many local restaurants will describe their menus as Sri Lankan & South Indian. There are a number of regional variations though, the different types of hopper, devilled prawns/cuttlefish/chicken/etc. and the common fiery addition to any curry, pol sambol made of grated coconut, red chilli powder and lime juice.

The food is very cheap generally, with a cheap meal costing about a dollar. The most expensive, tourist-orientated places seldom charge more than ten dollars. The staple food of Sri Lankans is rice and curry – a massive mound of rice surrounded by various curries and delicacies. If you want to eat a cheap lunch you can follow the Sri Lankan crowds and duck into any of a million small cafes, confusingly called ‘Hotels’. These normally sell a rice and curry packet, as well as ‘short eats’, a collection of spicy rolls. This is ideal for backpackers and those who want to get past the touristy hotels selling burnt chicken and chips – you’re charged by how much you eat, and unless you’re absolutely ravenous it probably won’t cost over a dollar.

If you are taking road trips outside Colombo, there are endless options for places to stop on the road for lunch. Rest houses and hotels along major roads throughout Sri Lanka have good restaurants, and will offer both Sri Lankan and Western menus. If you are less adventurous, you can easily get good sandwiches and soups at these restaurants. These places have excellent rice and curry plates, and you will be served many different types of curries over an extremely generous portion of rice. These meals are extremely delicious and will leave you full and happy at the end of the meal. Eating will definitely be a memorable experience in Sri Lanka.


Kottu (Kothu) Roti (a medley of chopped roti, vegetables and your choice of meat) is a must-have for anyone – tourist or otherwise – in Sri Lanka. It is uniquely Sri Lankan and tastes best when made fresh by street vendors. However, several kottu roti restaurants have been closed down due to their use of stale and old roti, which made some patrons sick. Use caution, and even better, talk with the locals to figure out where the best kottu roti restaurants are.

Sri Lankan food is generally spicy. But you can always ask for less spicy options when you are ordering your food.

Other food that you should try are String Hoppers , Hoppers, Pittu & Kiribath.

Note that Sri Lankans eat with their right hands – this isn’t a major problem, because everywhere will be able to provide cutlery if you can’t eat otherwise. But try the Sri Lankan way (tips of fingers only!), it’s harder than it looks but strangely liberating.

There are many upscale restaurants to choose from in the city of Colombo. There are several fine dining restaurants at the 5 star hotels which offer both Local and International cuisine. These establishments are found largely in western Colombo (along Galle Road), though more are located around Colombo and other major cities.

Fast-food outlets such as KFC, Pizza Hut etc. can be found in major cities.

Drink[edit][add listing]

In Sri Lanka Water from the tap is considered to be safe to drink in the country as tap water is supplied after proper water treatment. However if you are using bottled water (1.5 litre for 60-70 LKR in March 2012) please make sure (essentially) Health Ministry registration number which would not have a date of registration more than 3 years or SLS (Sri Lanka Standard Institute) label is present. Also in some parts of the country you’ll find hard water due to the high presence of lime in the soil.
Fresh milk, due to the climate, spoils easily, and so is often very expensive. Powdered milk, however, is safe and is often substituted.

Thambili the juice from King Coconut, is very refreshing. It’s sold at the side of streets throughout the island, you know it’s clean as the coconut is cut open in front of you and it’s cheaper than bottled drinks at about R30/- each.

Soft drinks are available almost everywhere, normally in dusty-looking glass bottles. The local producer, Elephant, make a range of interesting drinks – try the ginger beer and cream soda.

“Coca Cola” and “Pepsi” also available in large and small sizes (plastic bottles) including several local soft drink brands – all available at rapidly multiplying supermarkets all across the country and grocery shops.

The most common local beer is Lion Lager (140 LKR in “wine shops” or 200-300 LKR in restaurants in March 2012). For something a bit different try Lion Stout. It is characterized by it’s tar-like oiliness of body and chocolate finish. Other brews include Three Coins, which is brewed by the Mt Lavinia hotel chain, allegedly to a Belgian recipe.

The traditional spirit is Arrack, which costs about 4 USD for a bottle, and is often drunk with club soda. The quality can vary depending on how much you want to pay. However, widely recommended brand would be “Old Reserve” and worth paying 7.5 USD for it.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Accommodation in Sri Lanka has been transformed in recent years. What would be recognized as the modern tourist industry began in the 1960s with traditional beach hotels built on the west coast which were aimed primarily at the package holiday crowd and traditional travel operators. But the past decade has brought a major change, with the growth of villas, boutique hotels, and small independent and individualistic properties offering a huge array of choice.
If you are a backpacker, don’t try to sleep in the railway stations or parks. Some time you may loose your belongings. Ask the station master to provide a cheaper room for you to sleep or find a youth hostel or private hostel. In Colombo Fort YMCA is a good place.

With the end of the civil war and the defeat of the LTTE separatists in May 2009, tourist arrivals have been going up,and as there still aren’t a great many decent hotels it’s probably better to book early.

The Elephant Corridor Hotel[26] is located in Sigiriya in the cultural triangle, 4 hours from Colombo. It offers Deluxe Suite, Super Deluxe Suite and Romantic Suite. Some of its facilities and services are OM Wellness Spa, Gym, Hammocks, Private terrace and garden. Guests of Elephant Corridor Sigiriya will find many interesting nearby places to explore: Pothana Lake, Kandalama Hills, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Elephant Safari, Minneriya elephant watching, Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Dambulla Rock.

  • Living Heritage Koslanda, Egodawatte Estate, Naulla, +94 (0) 779 355 785, [27]. Their bed and breakfast accommodation in Sri Lanka offers rooms equipped with air conditioning, cable television, Wi-Fi access, sitting area, private toilet and bath. Some of its facilities and services are swimming pool, garden, restaurant, coffee shop, parking, WiFi in public areas, laundry service and 24-hour room service.  edit
  • The Residence (The Residence Nilaveli), Nilaveli Beach, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka (just off Pulmoddai Road, Nilaveli Beach), +94765404846, [28]. checkin: flexable; checkout: flexable. Situated a stone’s throw away from the infamous Nilaveli Beach right in the middle of the peninsula between the ocean and the lagoon, for years Nilaveli has been considered one of Sri Lanka’s most perfect beaches. It certainly has that feeling of paradise-island remoteness, with plenty of bending palms swaying over the golden sand. Owing to Sri Lanka’s volatile past, this beach and the area is relatively untouched and mostly yet undiscovered making it even more attractive to exploring travellers and those who truly wish to get away from the madding crowds for an abundant dose of relaxation, sun and mesmerising sights at every turn. $16 to $27 per night. (8°41’33.8N,81°11’18.7E) edit


Learn[edit]

  • Buddhist Studies and Pali Language. The universities of Peradeniya [29] and Kelaniya [30] offer variety of Buddhist studies, and Pali language courses in English.
  • Meditation. You may find monasteries and meditation centres that offer meditation courses (generally free of charge) in the Buddhist Publication Society guide Lanka_monasteries_2008_jan.pdf.
  • Mahamevnawa Meditation Monastery is a good place to learn true Buddhism.[31]
  • Dancing There are many foreign enthusiasts to learn Sri Lankan traditional dance under three categories which are Udarata, Pahatharata and Sabaragamu. And there are distinguished drumming for those categories.



In recent years, many home owners rent their rooms and host guests under home-stay category. This popular house is located in Bentota beach area under the name of “Mihin Villa”. This area is popular for the golden sandy beach and the busy period is from October to April. There is a famous sea turtles farm is located few minutes from Mihin Villa.

Stay safe[edit]

Sri Lanka’s lengthy and bloody civil war ended in May 2009, when the government forces finally wiped out the Tamil Tigers. However, there might be one or two land mines, which can be troublesome, and the facilities in northern (and some parts of the east) cities and towns are war torn. These were the areas where the Tamils lived. The Sri Lanka Army is currently engaged in rapidly clearing landmines laid out by LTTE separatists. It’s a long and difficult process.

Bombings and assassinations were a firm part of both sides in the conflict, and there is heavy security in all sensitive locations. While the separatists have never targeted tourists there have been deaths, notably in a landmine explosion at Wilpattu National Wild Park in 2006, and some have been wounded by terrorist actions. War is, after all, dangerous. In general, though, traffic accidents kill more people than terrorism.

Violent crime is not usually any more serious a problem for tourists in Sri Lanka than it is anywhere. There has been an increase in violent crimes involving tourists in the past few years, but it is still very rare. Tourists should exercise the same care and attention as they would at home.

Rape/Sexual assault against female tourists is sharply increasing.

Con artists and touts are a serious problem throughout all tourist areas. Using the services of a tout for accommodation, local travel, etc. will most likely increase the price. 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.
  • If you have been told your hotel is closed or full, give them a call. If you are a first time visitor to Sri Lanka, don’t admit it as it will make you a target for the scam artists.

Also, beware of single males who wish you to accompany them after a religious service. First, ask other members if the person is honest and reliable. Dishonest Sri Lankans, although rare, (mostly male) are very adept at talking tourists out of their money, and generally prefer this method over violence. They frequent the Galle Face Road area surrounding the tourist hotels, Galle Face Hotel and the Holiday Inn. Their “modus operandi” is to tell you upfront that they don’t want anything from you, only to talk. There may be an auspicious day occurring in Sri Lanka and they will use this to coerce you to accompany them to a temple or church. They will wine, dine, and pay for everything, and then, after two days, will begin to extort money from you. This does not happen commonly, but there have been a few cases – so beware.

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.

In June of 2009, the Sri Lankan government lifted travel alerts after the military defeat of rebel insurgents in the north of the country, though it is advisable to check with the local travel advisory bureau in your country if there is any doubt.

There are tiny little flies that live in the sand. Any contact with the dry sand usually results in bites and subsequent painful scratch. So avoid even a little sand on your skin, including legs.

Warning[edit]

Sri Lankan police will arrest and may deport people sporting tattoo of Buddha or any other tattoos which can be interpreted as having religious significance.

Solo females traveling in the island frequently face harassment from tuk tuk drivers,on public transport and near beach areas and solo female travel is not recommended .

Scams[edit]

  • e-visa scams

Many websites offer e-visa to sri lanka at exorbitant prices.Make it sure that you are applying at the original government website ,which is http://www.eta.gov.lk.

  • Tuk tuk scams

Tell the driver where you want to go and agree on the price before the journey and make sure he understands it. Do not allow any stranger(s) to sit at the passenger seat along with you . Many tuk tuk drivers overcharge tourists by collecting entire trip cost from each passenger, just like in a passenger bus.

  • Gem,jewelery shop scams.

Tuk tuk drivers take tourists to gem and jewelery shops while on the way to the requested destination ,they will encourage you to take a look because they are paid by the owners of the shop, You may be taken to the workshop to view the process of grinding and polishing . Unless you are expert on gems don’t consider buying . There is a possibility of color altered or heated treated gemstones being sold to you.

  • Credit card scams

Be very careful when you use credit cards in hotels and stores, Always pay in cash if possible
and use credit cards only in emergency,Withdrawing cash at ATM is much safer and cash can be withdrawn from ATMs in all major towns.

  • Con men,Touts & pretenders

Ignore all unnecessary approaches from strangers.Locals may approach you and introduce themselves as police or some high official. Don’t give away money to people on the street.Con men using children to beg for cash from tourists is prevalent in some tourist spots.Some people may approach by saying they have a grievance and ask for monetary help.


 * Do not take unsolicited advice from strangers at face value.
 * Don't entertain unnecessary questions and offers,and just ignore them without making any eye contact.


  • Safari scams

Many international tourist operators rely on the freelance safari tour operators at the national parks,Sometimes tourists are coerced into paying a larger amount upon arrival at the park gates.

  • Spice garden scam

You may be taken around for visit to a spice garden and after wards to a shop selling natural products ,most of the shops sell these products at inflated prices.

  • Fake ticket scams

Tickets for visiting cultural attraction sites should only be purchased from the authorized selling counters ,do not give your tickets to your guide ,driver or anyone else after exiting the sites,these tickets may be resold to other gullible tourists with the connivance of corrupt officials.

Stay healthy[edit]

  • Vaccination are recommended for Hepatitis A+B and Tetanus. Also, the Typhus vaccination outside of tourist areas especially in the wet season. The CDC also recommends vaccination against Japanese encephalitis[32]. Note the qualification that the CDC recommendation contains and decide accordingly:

“The overall incidence of JE among people from nonendemic countries traveling to Asia is estimated to be less than 1 case per 1 million travelers. However, expatriates and travelers who stay for prolonged periods in rural areas with active JEV transmission are likely at similar risk as the susceptible resident population (5–50 cases per 100,000 children per year). Travelers on even brief trips might be at increased risk if they have extensive outdoor or nighttime exposure in rural areas during periods of active transmission. Short-term (<1 month) travelers whose visits are restricted to major urban areas are at minimal risk for JE. In endemic areas there are few human cases among residents because of vaccination or natural immunity. JEV is often still maintained in an enzootic cycle between animal and mosquitoes. Therefore, susceptible visitors may be at risk for infection.”

  • Dengue fever: During the rainy season use mosquito repellent. When head and joint aches occur get a blood check. There is no vaccination yet.
  • Malaria : Gampaha (e.g. Negombo), Colombo, Kalutara, Galle, and Nuwara Eliya districts are considered malaria free, as is the city (but not the entire district) of Kandy. Elsewhere, malaria exists and is most likely in Anuradhapura. In the dry season, using DEET repellent for a mid-day road or train trip to Kandy (including visits to the Peradeniya Gardens) or Nuwara Eliya should suffice. Risk increases after sunset. Malaria prophylaxis (anti-malarials) are warranted for trips to the north (especially Anuradhapura), east, and southeast (however some types are not available locally, and it may not be as effective as what you could obtain back home.)
  • Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas.
  • Filaria: Sri Lanka is the first country in the South Asia region to eradicate Filaria [33].
  • Polio: Sri Lanka is considered Polio free.

Visitors should avoid drinking water from the tap. It is best to stick to bottled water for both drinking and teeth brushing.

Respect[edit]

There are several customs that (for Westerners) take a bit of getting used to.

  • It is customary to remove shoes and wear conservative attire (i.e. no miniskirts, tank tops, short pants etc.) when visiting temples. It is also the custom to remove shoes before entering a home, though this is not as strictly followed as in places such as Japan.
  • Never touch or pat the top of the head of Buddhist monks, including children who practice at a temple.
  • Do not turn your back to (or be alongside) a Buddha statue when within a reasonable distance (observe what others are doing). This includes posing for photos. It’s OK to photograph a statue, but all persons should be facing it.
  • Public nudity is illegal in Sri Lanka – nude/topless sunbathing and skinny dipping should be avoided, except in the private beach resorts which allow it.
  • Although much latitude is given to tourists, it is more polite to use your right hand when shaking hands, handing money and small objects, etc. Of course you can use both hands for something big and/or heavy.
  • Be respectful to monks. There’s no particular etiquette for Westerners – just be polite. Always give them a seat on a crowded bus (unless you’re disabled or very elderly).
  • It is highly controversial to discuss politics, particularly the Sinhalese/Tamil divide or the LTTE. The 26 year old civil war which ended in 2009 has seen thousands of attacks throughout the country, including suicide bombings and massacres which have killed scores of politicians and civilians on both sides alike.
  • No photography of sensitive locations (inside and outside), and inside of shopping malls and tea factories (outside OK). Be especially careful in Fort, Colombo (except on the beach). If soldiers are guarding something, it probably shouldn’t be photographed. Don’t rely on signs alone, as sometimes they are old or missing. For example, one end of a bridge may have a “No Photography” sign, but not the other.
  • Seemingly innocuous public displays of affection between lovers such as kissing and/or hugging may be culturally frowned upon as it is considered to be private behaviour but it is acceptable in functions and establishments designated for adults such as nightclubs, casinos and beach parties. Much lenience is given to foreigners and holding hands and public affection between parents and their children is not frowned upon.
  • Tattoos or other images of religious figures may be considered disrespectful or even illegal. Tourists have recently been deported for displaying tattoos of the Buddha.

Contact[edit]

Phone[edit]

The country code for Sri Lanka is 94. Remove the intercity prefix (0) before the area code when dialling internationally into the country (ie, 0112 688 688 becomes +94 112 688 688) when dialling from abroad). The two next numbers after 94 represents the area code, they are different for every district for more information see Telephone numbers in Sri Lanka.

Mobile[edit]

The use of GSM/3G/HSPA/4G LTE cellphones is widespread and the coverage is good.

Dialog, Mobitel, Etisalat and Airtel are four operators that have sales offices at the airport inside the arrivals lounge. Dialog Mobile (Market Leader) has the widest coverage in the country including rural areas and has the best quality GSM / 3G / HSPA + / 4G LTE network. Mobitel has 3G/HSPA+/ 4G LTE network where Etisalat,Airtel,Hutch also has 3G/HSPA networks. Sri Lankan networks use 900 MHz/1800 MHz for GSM while 2100 MHz for UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSPA+ networks. All the mobile operators are having same call rates due to floor rate tariffs. Therefore it is advisable to go to the network which offers you the best quality. All Mobile Operators offers cheap IDD Call rates.

If you want to surf internet, best way is to buy a HSPA dongle and a Mobile Broadband connection. Dialog Mobile, Mobitel and Airtel offers prepaid Mobile Broadband services which can be activated and used immediately. Internet access is also available with 4G LTE networks including Dialog(Mobile),Mobitel on FD-LTE 1800 MHz band 3 and Dialog(Fixed),SLT,Lanka Bell on TD-LTE 2300 MHz band 40.

Dialog is the Vodafone Roaming Network in Sri Lanka and offers the best range of Value added services for Roamers and the rates are cheaper. Etisalat and Airtel also provide cheap roaming rates specially to India.

Mobile Phones are cheaper and widely available.

Embassies, high commissions and consulates[edit]

  • As-flag.png Australia, Australian High Commission 21, Gregory’s Road, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka, (94) 11 2463200 (fax: (94) (11) 2686453), [34].  edit
  • Ca-flag.png Canada, Canadian High Commission 33A, 5th Lane, Colpetty, Colombo -03, Sri Lanka, (94) 11 5226232 (fax: (94) (11) 522 6296), [35].  edit
  • Ch-flag.png China, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, 381-A Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka, (94) 11 2688610 (fax: (94) (11) 2693799), [36].  edit
  • Fr-flag.png France, French Embassy, 89, Rosmead Place, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka, (94) 11 2639400 (fax: (94) (11) 2639402), [37].  edit
  • Gm-flag.png Germany, German Embassy, 40 Alfred House Avenue Colombo 3, Sri Lanka, (94) 11 2580431 (fax: (94) (11) 258 0440), [38].  edit
  • In-flag.png India, High Commission of India 36-38, Galle Road, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka, (94) 11 2327587 / 2422788 / 2421605 (fax: (94) (11) 2446403 / 2448166), [39].  edit
  • It-flag.png Italy, Embassy of Italy, 55, Jawatta Road Colombo 5, Sri Lanka, (94) 11 2588388 (fax: (94) (11) 2596344), [40].  edit
  • Ja-flag.png Japan, Embassy of Japan, No. 20, Gregory’s Road, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka, (94) 11 2693831 /2/3 (fax: (94) (11) 2698629), [41].  edit
  • My-flag.png Malaysia, High Commission of Malaysia, No. 33, Bagatalle Road, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka, (94) 11 7557711/ 7557712 / 7557713 (fax: (94) (11) 7557714), [42].  edit
  • Ru-flag.png Russia, Embassy of the Russian Federaration, 62, Sir Ernest de Silva Mawatha, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka, (94) 11 2573555 / 2574959 (fax: (94) (11) 2574957), [43].  edit
  • No-flag.png Norway, Royal Norwegian Embassy, 34 Ward Place, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka, (94) 11 2469611 (fax: (94) (11) 2695009), [44].  edit
  • Th-flag.png Thailand, Royal Thai Embassy, 46/46 Nawam Mawatha, 9th Floor, Green lanka Towers, Colombo 2, Sri Lanka, (94) (11) 2302500-3 (fax: (94) (11) 2304511-2), [45].  edit
  • Uk-flag.png United Kingdom, British High Commission 389 Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo – 7, Sri Lanka, (94) (11) 5390639 (fax: (94) (11) 5390694), [46].  edit
  • Nl-flag.png The Netherlands, 25, Torrington Avenue , Colombo – 7, Sri Lanka, (94) (11) 2510200 (fax: (94) (11) 2502855), [47].  edit
  • Us-flag.png United States, American Embassy 210 Galle Road, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka, (94) (11) 249-8500 (fax: (94) (11) 249-8590), [48].  edit




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source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Sri_Lanka

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