Is it necessary to get a Visa when traveling to Sri Lanka
All nationalities except those from Singapore and Maldives will need to apply for Visas. This is how it works. There are several types of Visa for which different costs apply – If you happen to visit Sri Lanka on transit (up to 48hrs) and this is offered free at the moment – 7 days Visa which is cheaper – 30 days visa
The Visa procedure is pretty much simple and straightforward. All you need to do is visit the website www.eta.gov.lk which is a secure website maintained by the Department of Immigration and Emigration of Sri Lanka.
You will need to apply online and make payments using your Credit Card details. Costs depend on the type of visa you apply for. You will get a confirmation within 36 hrs with a reference and you need to print this out and bring it along when traveling to Sri Lanka. Visa is valid for a period of 30 days from the date of arrival. The other option is to obtain your visa on arrival but we dont recommend this, as there can be delays.
What does Sri Lanka offer to a tourist
We at Authenticities believe Sri Lanka has 4 unique features. Our rich culture and history, Buddhism, Ceylon Tea and Elephants.
Within these verticals we bring you a range of experiences and emotions, depending on your profile and expectations. This is the essence of Authenticities.
What do you recommend that I bring along with me when I travel to Sri Lanka
Bring along comfortable clothing preferably cotton, linen clothes. Scarves for ladies, which can be used when visiting religious sites. Comfortable shoes are required especially when climbing sites such as Sigiriya, Mihinthale, and Dambulla etc. Mosquito repellents, sunshades, sun blocks if you are staying at the beach.
Pack for humidity, as it can be quite hot during the day especially during the months of April, July and August. Dont forget to bring along your swimwear and cameras.
How about changing currencies
The easiest is to change your currencies at the arrival lounge when you arrive at the Airport. There are many local banks offering this service. Most Hotels and restaurants too offer this service but the rates at the Airport and at banks would be slightly favourable.
ATMs are located at all major cities and many tourist destinations around the country.Guest also can use the ATM machines to withdraw cash.All major credit cards (Visa, Master, American Express) are accepted at all hotels, restaurants and tourist shops.
How can I get a mobile connection when I arrive in Sri Lanka
This too is possible at the arrival lounge at the Airport.There are many service providers offering attractive rates and packages which you can choose from depending on your preferences and usage.
SIM cards are also available for iPads and table PCs along with the data packages
How do visitors usually manage transport and traveling within the country
We describe traveling within the country as adventurous and the best way to experience the destination. Public transport is very affordable but timing can be a challenge. Train rides in Sri Lanka through the hill country offers an amazing experience and the Tuk Tuk rides in any part of the Island is simply exciting and is sure to put a smile on your face.
Concerning train rides, few sectors such as Colombo – (Kandy,Nuwara Eliya,Ella,Galle), needs prior reservations on first class and observations coach.Tickets can be purchased only 14 days prior to travel dates.It is also possible to purchase tickets online.Second class travel needs no prior reservations or cannot book seats in advance.Please note that trains can be crowded on some sectors or experience slight delays.
Sri Lankas road infrastructure has seen a significant improvement since 2009, the government is spending on infrastructure to improve productivity and reduce travel times. The southern and the Airport expressway has surely helped tourist to reach their destination is shorter times.
Should I be conscious when I visit Cultural and religious sites
Sri Lanka could be described as a conservative country when it comes to visiting religious and cultural sites. It is important that you respect the formalities when entering temples and other religious sites
Covering your elbows and knees is important and white/ light coloured clothing is preferred. You will also need to take off your shoes when entering temples. There are always shoe care services which is dependable
I hear that Srilankan food is pretty spicy, any tips
Srilankan food is rich with spices and sometimes can be real dynamite. Dont panic, this only happens in local restaurants serving spicy food to locals. But restaurants serving food to tourists are pretty much accustomed to the palate of Westerners and not so spicy even though they serve rice and curry.
Most restaurants do serve a western menu and also offer a la carte menu from which you can choose from if you feel that the hot stuff outweighs the western choices
What about tipping in Sri Lanka
When using restaurants, transport services, staff serving you will expect a decent tip, which is usually 10% of the billing value. A subject topic but this is appreciated especially when are satisfied with the level of service
What if I decide on optional activities
The most reliable mode would be to contact your Chauffeur Guide or Tour guide who will accompany you. Avoid those who offer services on the beaches