As a traveller, you must know that…
Adaptors - Sri Lanka uses a range of sockets, so your full range of travel adaptors may come in useful. Specialised Sri Lankan adaptors can be bought in major hotels and many shops. US sockets tend to be used, although older hotels, especially in the hill country, may use UK sockets.
Airport tax - All airport tax is built into the price of your flight tickets. Sri Lankan departure tax is no longer paid on departure.
Cameras - Please ask permission before taking photographs of people and respect their wishes if they refuse. Photographing Buddhist Monks is not taboo but can create awkwardness so assess the situation and if in doubt ask. You should be sensitive to the fact that a tip may sometimes be expected by locals.
Climate - Sri Lanka generally offers warmth and sunshine throughout the year. Temperatures average between 27-30C. The north-east monsoon (Maha) affects the north and east between December and February. Rainfall is becoming increasingly unpredictable. Key advice: Protect yourself from the sun with creams, hats and sunglasses, drink plentiful bottled water to avoid dehydration and stay safe in the event of a thunderstorm.
Clothing - Pack for heat and humidity. Long-sleeve shirts might be advisable after dusk because of mosquitoes. Daytime coastal temperatures generally range from 27-32C, slightly cooler in the hill country, especially Nuwara Eliya, where a light sweater is frequently required at night. Topless sunbathing is officially illegal. The use of bikinis is generally considered acceptable while on the beach. Be especially careful about modest dress when visiting religious sites.
Communications - Consider buying a Sri Lankan SIM card and top-up cards for your mobile phone - Sri Lankan mobile phone call rates are relatively cheap, both for local and international calls. Sri Lanka Telecom shops (Eg: Colombo World Trade Center) sell scratch cards for immediate Internet access - they are good value and simple to use. IDD facilities are available in the vast majority of tourist hotels. Hotels increasingly offer Internet Wi-Fi, and cyber cafes exist in Colombo and some tourist areas, although connection speeds can be slow outside Colombo.
Health - Malaria tablets, plus inoculations for tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis A and polio are all recommended. Top hotels can advise on reputable local doctors, or private hospitals in the event of serious illness. In case of diarrhea, pack body-salt replenishment powder, such as Dioralyte, as well as Immodium or a similar product. Malaria tablets are also advised if visiting jungle areas.
Passport and visas - Holders of passports from the vast majority of countries, including UK, Ireland, United States, Germany, France, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and India, can holiday in Sri Lanka and Maldives as tourists for up to 30 days.
Time zone - GMT/UTC +5.30
International Dialling Code – 94
Electricity - 220V, 50Hz
Weights & measures – Metric
Currency - Sri Lankan Rupee