TRAVEL TIPS

ORGANIZING YOUR TOUR

When you plan your tour think about the time that you arrive in Sri Lanka. If you arrive in the morning you can continue your journey from there or if you come in the evening then you will have to stay overnight at a hotel near to the airport and continue your tour from following day. Therefore it is important to think about your flight time to make maximum use of your stay.
Upon arrival in Sri Lanka, be sure that you meet the correct person - representative from Ganiru Tours who will be expecting you and no others as the chances that you may be misled are high.

TIME

Think about time difference.
Sri Lanka time zone is plus 5 1/2hours from the Greenwich Mean Time. (GMT)

CLIMATE

Sri Lanka is a tropical country with the average temperature between 25 to 35 Celsius at low country and coastal areas and the temperature falls down with the altitude and the mid country like Kandy average temperature about 20 Celsius and hill country like Nuwara Eliya is average 10 to 15 Celsius. Sri Lanka has two raining monsoons and two inter monsoons.
First Inter-Monsoon Season - March - April
Southwest Monsoon Season - May – September- Southern and central regions
Second Inter-Monsoon Season - October - November
Northeast Monsoon Season - December – February - Eastern and Northern regions.

CLOTHING

Sri Lanka is a warm country and ideal to wear light weight cotton clothes in low country and light jackets and sweaters for hill country. There are some dress restrictions at sacred places where people worship and not allowed to wear shorts or partly open tops and need to remove foot wear before enter the place.

LANGUAGE

Sri Lanka has two official languages Sinhala and Tamil. English is the common language and most of the people can understand and speak English to a certain level. Most of the sign boards are in English.

TELEPHONE

Land line telephone, telephone booths and mobile telephone networks available throughout the country with international dialling facility and international code in Sri Lanka is 0094. Mobile phone rentals with SIM cards are available with pay as you go plan and monthly plan. Cyber cafes can be found in all towns and free WI-FI is available in the airport and the reputed hotels.

HEALTH

It is recommended to drink bottled mineral water or boiled water. Water and ice from reputed hotels are safe. Government hospitals and private hospitals are available in the major cities of the country to attend any emergencies and they provide specialist assistance 24/7 with modern medical facilities. If you need a doctor please contacts hotel reception and on call doctors are available in reputed hotels. Pharmacies generally can be found in all cities.

ELECTRICITY

210 - 230V and 50 Hz Alternating Current (AC) available in Sri Lanka and round pins plugs are commonly used. It is advisable to carry a travel adaptor with you.

CURRENCY

Sri Lankan currency is Rupee and the value is fluctuating as per current world market rate. Main commercial banks are available at the arrival lounge of the airport and the major cities of the country where you can change the money. Star class hotels also have this facility. Converting Sri Lankan Rupees back to selected foreign denominations could be done on providing of money changing receipts at the airport bank, open 24 hours of the day.
Currency notes are in 10s, 20s, 50s, 100s, 200s, 500s, 1000s, 2000s, and 5000s.
American express, Master cards and Visa cards are also widely accepted.

Please visit following web site to convert your currency in to Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR)

http://www.xe.com

FOREIGN CURRENCY REGULATION

Visitors arriving to Sri Lanka caring more than US$10,000 need to declare the amount to the Customs on arrival. All unspent rupees can be re-converted to the original currency on departure as long as encashment receipts can be produced.

SRI LANKA VISA

Sri Lanka has introduced an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) since 01 January 2012 and who intend to visit Sri Lanka needs to complete ETA prior to arrival at the airport. You need to provide details as per the passport that you travelling with and it is advisable to have a copy with your ETA when you present passport to the immigration officer at the airport. If you want to stay longer than 30 days you need to apply visa From Immigration and Emigration Department.

To apply ETA please visit Sri Lanka Visa.

http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/

Address of passport control:
Department of immigration and Emigration
Amanda Rajakaruna Mawatha
Maradana
Colombo 10

Tel - 0094 11 5359000
        0094 11 5329316 /20/31/25

For more information please visit
www.immigration.gov.lk

EMBASSIES / CONSULATES

You can find list of embassies in the local telephone directory which is provided in the most hotel rooms. If not it can be obtained from hotel reception or from our representative.

CUSTOMS PROCEDURE

IMPORTS

Foreign passport holders are allowed to bring three 1.5 litres of spirits and two bottles of wine. Perfume and jewellery for personal use not exceeding US Dollar 250/=. Personal equipment like laptops, cameras are allowed but must be declared at arrival. Import of illegal drugs of any form is strictly prohibited and is a criminal offence.
Please visit www.customs.gov.lk for more information.

EXPORTS

It is allowed to take 10kg of tea without duty. No antiques are allowed which means that any item more than 50 years old with historical and cultural value. Permission need to be obtained from following authorities to export above items:

Director
National Archives,
7 Reid Avenue,
Colombo 7.
Tel: +94-11-2694523, +94-11-2696917
www.archives.gov.lk

Director General
Department of Archaeology,
Sir Marcus Fernando Mw,
Colombo
+94 11 2692840/1 Tel: +94-11-2694727,
+94-11-2667155
www.archaeology.gov.lk

Purchase and export of any animal, bird or reptile, dead or alive also parts of animals, birds, or reptiles such as skins, horns, feathers are prohibited. It is prohibited to export coral or any other maritime products. Approval to export fauna to be obtained from the

Director
Department of Wild Life Conservation
382, New Kandy road, Malambe
Tel- 0094 11 25060380
www.dwic.lk

For flora
Director
Forest Department
82 Rajamwatta Road
Battaramulla
Tel: 0094 11 2866616
0094 2866632
www.environmentlanka.com

PHOTO PERMITS AND ENTRANCE CHARGES

Sri Lanka is a photographer’s delight. However, permits are required before you take photos at certain sites. Entrance tickets to individual sites are available only from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. These tickets cover charges for photography, recording and parking. Rates are quoted in US Dollars and rupee prices are subject to fluctuation.

PERMITS

Tourists who wish to visit and or photograph the principal ancient monuments in Sri Lanka are required to purchase a ticket from the
Central Cultural Fund,
212/1, Bauddhaloka Mawatha,
Colombo-07
Tel: +94-11 2587912 /2500733 /2581944
gen_ccf@sri.lanka.net

Central Cultural Fund offices are available at Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Kandy.

A single round ticket for two months validity costs US$50 and will entitle you to visit and photograph historic monuments such as Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Nalanda, Ritigala, Medirigiriya. There are separate charges at each site for those who do not obtain round tickets: Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya US$25, Nalanda US$5, Ritigala US$8, Medirigiriya US$5.

RESTRICTIONS

There are some important restrictions that apply to photography regarding Buddhist imagery. When you visit a temple or other religious site, remember that photography should not be carried out in a manner causing disrespect. For instance, it is strictly forbidden to be photographed in front of or beside any statues and murals. Note that flash photography can damage old murals.

TIPPING

It is customary to tip drivers, guides and hotel housekeepers /restaurant staff if the service is satisfactory. This is solely at your discretion. The average tip is Rs- 100/= for house keepers and 10 percent of your meal bill for restaurant staff.

We wish you a safe and wonderful holiday in Sri Lanka.

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