What to expect on arrival in Sri Lanka

Although Sri Lanka’s infrastructure and accommodation have improved greatly over the last few years you are still likely to feel a sense of culture shock as you arrive. Here are some important things to keep in mind as you travel through this fascinating country.

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  • Sri Lanka is a developing country and things that we take for granted in the West may not be present here.
  • There is extreme poverty in Sri Lanka which can be shocking, and the living conditions of some local villagers are very basic.
  • In remote areas the hotel choices will be limited, and the general standards in these areas may be more basic than you are used to.
  • Government action, weather and local conditions can sometimes disrupt itineraries and it helps to be flexible and patient if such situations arise.
  • Never drink tap water, bottled water is available everywhere. Ice is generally safe.
  • Use an insect repellent for mosquitoes and be careful to protect yourself against dehydration, heat exhaustion and sunburn.
  • Wearing shorts and T-shirts is accepted in most places in Sri Lanka. However please note that visitors to the Buddhist relics and temples in the Cultural Triangle and beyond will require you to dress more formally (covered shoulders and knees).
  • Shoes should always be removed at the entrance to temples.