Handy Information – Sri Lanka

When to travel:
Sri Lanka is a round-the-year destination for the visitors who seek for sun and sea. The ideal time to visit the island is from November to April. The south western coastal area is where the most of the beach resorts are located. Kalpitiya, located in the western (north western) coast has been declared a new tourist attraction.

The central highlands are pleasantly cool and relatively dry from January to April. The peak season is mid-December to mid-January and March-April during Easter.

What to wear:
Lightweight cotton or linen clothing. Higher reaches of the hill country can get a little cold at night so a sweater is recommended.

Safety:
In general the threats to personal security for travelers in Sri Lanka are remarkably small. It is more pleasant to travel with a companion as it is advised not to travel alone especially after dark. If you have anything stolen, report it to the tourist Police, a special tourist police set up to look after the needs of the tourists (open day & night).

Tourist Police: + 94 11 2421451
Police Emergency Services:  119 (from a local phone) Colombo: +94 11 2433333
Community Tsunami Early-warning center: +94 91 4385408-9

Electricity:
230 – 240v 50 Cycles A/C
Round three-pin sockets

Transport:
Island-wide, inexpensive railway and public and private bus services are available. A/c or non a/c car rentals with or without driver is available. Luxury vehicles and three-wheeler auto-rickshaws (tuktuks) are also available.

Trishaws (Tuktuks): Ideal for short journeys within towns and cities, and for short excursions, the country’s many trishaws would be happy to offer you a ride. Most trishaws are not metered. Always agree on a fare beforehand. Most drivers offer a decent fare, charging approximately Rs. 50 per km.

Flight Information Airport katunayake: +94 11 2252861/7

Approximate journey times (in hours and minutes) from Colombo to other major cities/towns in Sri Lanka are listed below

Air Road Rail
Kandy 3.00 3.30
Galle 3.00 3.00
Matara 4.00 4.30
Badulla 9.30 9.00
Anuradhapura 0.45 5.30 6.00
Trincomalee 1.00 6.00 7.00

 

Medical Services:
State owned hospitals in all parts of the country providing medical and surgical attention. In Colombo, there is also a selection of modern, well-equipped private hospitals offering the latest in conventional medical and surgical therapies.Sri Lanka Tourism

St. John Ambulance Service: +94 11 2433756
General Hospital Colombo: +94 11 2691111

Holidays:
Saturday, Sunday and every Full Moon Day (Poya Day) are holidays in Sri Lanka. On Poya Days all public places are closed and selling alcohol is prohibited. However hotels make special arrangements for their in-house guests.

Banks:
Generally open from 0900 to 1300 Monday to Friday. Some city banks close at 1500, while some are open on Saturday mornings. It’s easy to withdraw money across the island at ATMs using international credit cards or debit cards.

Credit Cards:
Most international Credit Cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shopping centers across the island.

Important tourist related telephone numbers

Sri Lanka Tourism Hotline 1912 Police (+94) 11 2433333
Immigration & Emigration 011 2503629,(+94) 11 2597510-3 (visas)
Fire (+94) 11 2422222-3
Travel Information Centre (+94) 11 2503629
Directory Enquires 161 International Enquires 134
Flight Information (+94) 732377, (+94) 732677
Sri Lanka Tourism (+94) 11 2437055, (+94) 11 2437059, (+94) 11 2437060
Travel Agents Association (+94) 11 2421745-47
Sri Lanka Customs (+94) 11 2421141-9, (+94) 11 2470945-9
General Hospital (+94) 11 2691111
General Post office (+94) 11 2326302, (+94) 11 2320722, (+94) 11 2448482
Railway Tourist Office (+94) 11 2435838
Central Bus Stand (+94) 11 2329604-5

 

Important and useful websites

Sri Lanka Tourism http://www.srilankatourism.org
Sri Lanka Visa http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa
Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau http://www.srilanka.travel
Sri Lanka Tea Board http://www.pureceylontea.com
Exchange Rates (Central Bank of Sri Lanka) http://www.cbsl.gov.lk
Weather http://www.meteo.gov.lk