Sri Lanka with an abundance of sunshine, balmy rainforests, golden sandy beaches, colorful reefs, religious relics, ancient ruins and local legends is set amidst the Indian Ocean. Seasons and life are created by the Monsoon. Buddhism is the predominant religion in the country with enigmatic stupas, ancient temples, and enshrines relics of Buddha. The majority of the population is Sinhalese and practice Buddhism. The Tamil population practice Hinduism. Christianity with Roman Catholic being the main denomination is practiced by 6 percent of the population, while Islam is practiced by 10 percent.
The usual manner of greeting is to shake hands. When one visits a local home, be prepared to drink plenty of tea. The primary languages are Sinhala and Tamil. Around 10 percent of the population will converse fluently in English.
Weather & Climate
Sri Lanka has a tropical climate and is made up of the wet and dry season. Beginning May to September; the Monsoon brings abundant rainfall to the western and southern parts of the country. Beginning December through March, the country experiences the dry season. Both October and November will see an inter-monsoonal period which consists of rain and thunderstorms scattering across the island. For tourists, the most pleasant climate is the drier season. Christmas and New Year are popular while the festival season is represented in July and August.
With an unpredictable weather, tourists can bring layers of clothing when visiting Sri Lanka. The central highlands tend to be cooler which will require you to wear warmer clothes.
The primary currency is the Sri Lankan Rupee. You will find notes and coins. Master and VisaCard are accepted across the country. American Express is also accepted by certain individual suppliers. The major cities have ATM machines; however, if traveling to rural areas it is advisable you carry cash in hand. Travelers Cheques can be cashed at banks and popular hotels. Banking hours are from 9 AM to 3 PM, with some banks offering nighttime facilities.
While you are here in Sri Lanka, you must travel by a ‘tuk-tuk’ as it will be a unique experience. Three-wheelers are now known as budget taxis. Most foreigners do enjoy this experience, and it is a cost effective way to travel around Sri Lanka.
Traveling by train will also be a memorable experience as it covers most of the scenic landscapes. If you are hoping to go to Nuwara Eliya, you should definitely go by train.
Buses are the cheapest mode of transport to reach your destination. It’s certainly not the most efficient or comfortable way to travel yet if you have time to spare then you should certainly go in a bus during your stay.
Local cuisine mainly includes rice and curry. Other than that food like Kottu, Hoppers, String Hoppers, Pittu and Roti are also some of the famous cuisines among Sri Lankans. Curries are always made to be spicy, which is the preferred way by a lot of natives.
In the case of an emergency call 119. This is the police emergency service established to attend to an emergency of the general public.