Sri Lanka is a land of picturesque beauty. This island nation houses most types of elegant beauties that you can witness in the world. Because of that, Sri Lanka is a hotspot for anyone who has a keen interest in travelling. Whatever your interest is in, you can find that on this splendid island. No doubt, you can let your eyes feast on for hours and hours if you visit Sri Lanks. Yet, you might have certain doubts about visiting Sri Lanka. And now, we are going to answer all your doubts with a set of frequently asked questions. You will be crystal clear. We assure you.
For your convenience, we have classified the most popular frequently asked questions about Sri Lanka into several categories. They are as follows.
- Cost of Living
- Time to Visit
- Covid-19 Pandemic Situation
- What you should Avoid
We hope to provide comprehensive coverage for each of the frequently asked questions that you may have under the above categories. Let us go ahead!
1. Frequently Asked Questions about the Location of Sri Lanka
Of course, Sri Lanka has a significant location. As it is an island in the middle of many international shipping lanes, it has been getting international attention since then. However, still, there are many frequently asked questions about the locations of Sri Lanka. Some of them are as follows.
Where is Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is an island country in the Indian Ocean belonging to Southern Asia. The Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait separate Sri Lanka from the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka is located southeast of the Arabian Sea and southwest of the Bay of Bengal.
Which country does Sri Lanka belong to?
In fact, Sri Lanka does not belong to any country. You may tend to think that Sri Lanka is not a separate country for some reason. As a matter of fact, Sri Lanka is a separate territory. It has a separate constitution and a separate head of state.
Is Sri Lanka a Part of India?
The simple answer to this question is a no! Sri Lanka is not part of India and Sri Lanka was not part of India in the past as well. Nevertheless, one might think that Sri Lanka is part of India due to the fact that Sri Lanka being a small country just very close to the massive Indian territory which is about 50 times bigger than Sri Lanka. Hence, a justifiable notion that Sri Lanka is an island belonging to India may arise. But the truth is Sri Lanka is a separate country.
2. Frequently Asked Questions about the Safety of Sri Lanka
There have been concerns and frequently asked questions about Sri Lanka’s safety during certain time periods. So, it is our duty to give you a good understanding of the safety situation of Sri Lanka.
Is Sri Lanka a Safe Country?
The straightforward answer that we have for you in this regard is that Sri Lanka is a safe country. But obviously, there are particular reasons for you to raise this question. We will take a look at them as well. However, currently, there is no threat in terms of the security condition of Sri Lanka. It is a safe place to visit. It is regarding the precautionary measures set out as a result of the pandemic situation that you would have to be vigilant about. We hope to discuss that later in this article as well. Anyway, there is no menace to the safety of any traveller.
Yet, we would like to tell you a little bit about why tourists were hesitant to visit Sri Lanka at certain times. That would be important for you just to get a bit of information.
The Sri Lankan Civil War
This is one reason why tourists were reluctant to visit Sri Lanka some time ago. But this matter was there a long time ago. The civil war remained in Sri Lanka for about 3 decades. And it, fortunately, came to an end in 2009. Therefore, there is not even a trace of the civil war right now.
Sri Lankan was a British colony until 1948. Sri Lanka gained independence from the British empire in that year. There are different ethnic communities in Sri Lanka such as the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, and Burghers. Things being such, Sri Lanka’s unity at present is indeed commendable. However, the LTTE organization was in view of getting a separate territory for the Northern region of Sri Lanka. Most people consider the LTTE one of the most brutal terrorist groups ever. This paved the path for a deadly civil war in the country. And as a result, many innocent people also had to die in vain.
However, due to this fact, the tourism industry in Sri Lanka was at a standstill. No tourist was in a mindset to visit a war-torn country. Because of this, Sri Lanka did not have tourists arriving in Sri Lanka.
Nonetheless, everything has become normal as of now. Rehabilitation programs have also taken place. Thanks to Sri Lanka’s post-war measures, this type of racial riots will not occur again.
Another reason why tourists were afraid to visit Sri Lanka some time ago, was the Easter attack that happened on 21st April 2019. Just like a nightmare, a series of bombings occurred in and around the capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo. Consequently, about 300 people lost their lives due to this incident. And there are many more who are still surviving under critical conditions.
The reason for this Easter attack was the result of extremist religious ideologies. But anyway, the ultimate impact it created is massively devastating in all ways.
Several tourists also had to pay with their lives due to this. It is not unfair to say that Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was at a peak during this time. Hence, this incident unarguably created a staggering impact on Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
However, Sri Lanka took all the safety measures thereafter. And Sri Lanka took a move to forbid the institutions that can pave the path for extremist ideologies to emanate. Of course, Sri Lanka has put a stop to all other possibilities as well. Due to the above facts, Sri Lanka is safe once again. You need not worry about the security condition of Sri Lanka currently. Yet, you need to take care of yourself in adherence to the safety precautions that the government has taken in order to reduce the spread of Covid-19. In the next parts of this article, we hope to tell you about those safety precautions as well.
3. Frequently Asked Questions about the Economy of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a developing country. Yes, it is still emerging. There are many initiatives to uplift its current standard. Of course, you can read further and get to know more.
Is Sri Lanka Rich or Poor?
According to the World Bank in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka is a lower-middle-income country. It has a GDP per capita of 3852 as of 2019.
Sri Lanka could not gain significant economic growth during the past years as Sri Lanks had to suffer from the brutal civil war as we told you. However, after the war, Sri Lanka could focus on building the economy to compete with other emerging economies.
Besides, due to the pandemic situation, Sri Lanka’s economic growth has been suspended. No doubt, the entire world’s economic growth has been suspended. And of course, the vast drop in terms of the tourism industry is a reason for this. Further, the reduction in exports also has affected the country’s economy. Needless to say, the employees who have employed abroad, especially the ones who brought money to the country have also lost their jobs on a broad note. All these have affected its economic sustainability.
Nevertheless, the government has decided to limit certain imports. And now, there are procedures to allow tourists to visit Sri Lanka in bio bubbles. Therefore, Sri Lanka’s economy would start to grow when the situation gets normal.
What is the Currency of Sri Lanka?
The Sri Lankan Rupee is the currency of Sri Lanka. The ISO code for the Sri Lankan Rupee is LKR. And a rupee can be divided into 100 cents.
Are Indian and Sri Lankan Rupees the Same?
No, Indian Rupees and Sri Lankan Rupees are not the same. Therefore, you cannot use Indian Rupees in Sri Lanka and vice versa. If you wish to travel to Sri Lanka, you must exchange the currency that you have for Sri Lankan Rupees. You can possibly do that from the Bandaranaike International Airport. Keep in mind that Sri Lankan Rupee is the official and only currency that you can use in Sri Lanka. You cannot travel in Sri Lanka without having Sri Lankan Rupees.
4. Frequently Asked Questions about the Cost of Living in Sri Lanka
When we compare Sri Lanka with other countries in the region, Sri Lanka has a low cost of living. Anyway, it is pretty important to know the expenses that you would have to make during the time that you live in Sri Lanka. Otherwise, you would not be able to plan your travels properly and strategically.
Is Sri Lanka Cheap or Expensive?
Comparatively, Sri Lanka is a cheap country. If you are a budget traveller, do not worry, Sri Lanka is an ideal location for someone like you. But anyway, what we can say is that it depends. There are lots of choices.
On a rough scale, if you are on a budget, you may be able to manage by spending just about $30 per day. Yet, if you enjoy all the contemporary amenities, you can freely spend about $500 per day for a luxurious and glamorous experience.
Besides, if you need to run on a budget, you would have to choose public transport. But this might cause certain troubles for you. Unlike hiring a separate car, you would have to know which bus or train exactly to take. And you may have to take care of your personal belongings. Of course, you would have to travel amid a bunch of locals. And that might sometimes make you feel uneasy because most of them would not be travellers. In fact, you would have to stick to cheap guesthouses. This way, you can save your money big time.
However, if you need to embrace all the comforts and luxuries that are available in Sri Lanka, indeed you would have to spend for all that. You have the ability to accommodate yourself in a star-class restaurant. And you can enjoy a separate car with a driver. But all these costs a lot. Most places like archaeological sites and historical places have entrance fees for foreigners that are way higher than that for locals. Hence, visiting such places also is expensive. So, you have to decide on your cost of living.
Is Sri Lanka Expensive to Eat?
Generally, Sri Lanka is inexpensive to eat. You can find a number of delicious Sri Lankan dishes, including cultural food items, seafood, and street food for considerably low amounts. But again, we have to tell you the same thing. It is that there are very expensive places to dine as well. However, Sri Lanka is suitable for budget dining. So, you would not have to worry much about this.
Averagely, you would have to spend less than LKR1500 for all three meals of the day. And it would even be less than LKR1000 if you choose cheap places. Yet, keep in mind that the price of sit-down restaurants is way higher than street food.
Ultimately the expenses that you would have to make depends on your budget. Whatever the way that you would like to spend, there are places that you can enjoy Sri Lankan cuisine.
How much Money do you Need Per Day in Sri Lanka?
Averagely, you would have to spend between LKR 6000 and LKR 7000 per day. And this is to spend your day in an average way without choosing either end.
If you are on a budget tour, you are perfectly capable of limiting your expenses to far below the rate that we told you. And if you want a superior level of experience, you may still be able to spend more and get that experience. There is no restriction to all the comforts.
However, it would be best to know how much you would have to spend in Sri Lanka. Then, you would be able to make a rough estimate on how much you would have to spend.
5. Frequently Asked Questions about the Climate of Sri Lanka
You would like to know about Sri Lanka’s climate and you should be ready for your tour. We are going to guide you on this now.
Is Sri Lanka Hot or Cold?
This is a common question. In fact, Sri Lanka is a tropical country. So, it consists of both wet and dry seasons. However, although Sri Lanka is an island nation, it compromises a fluctuation of all sorts of climatic conditions. However, temperatures of various regions are almost constant. Therefore, most foreigners love the adorable weather and climate of Sri Lanka.
The temperature of the coastal areas of Sri Lanka averages from 25-30 degrees Celsius. And the temperature of the highlands in Sri Lanka averages from 15-18 degrees Celsius. You can experience high temperatures especially in the Northern and South-Eastern regions of the island. And if you visit Nuwara-Eliya, you can obviously get the feeling of cold Europe. That is why we call it ‘Little England’.
Yet, the most outstanding fact out of all is that you can travel to a place with a different climate within just 2 hours. And certainly, you would not be able to get an experience of this sort from any other place in the world other than Sri Lanka. Of course, this is something that is so special about Sri Lanka.
Does it Rain a lot in Sri Lanka?
It rains a lot only during the monsoon seasons in Sri Lanka. During other times also, there can be convectional and depressional rains in Sri Lanka.
But we thought of telling you about the monsoon seasons of Sri Lanka. That would be helpful for you to understand at what times you would be able to expect rain doubtlessly. According to the Department of Meteorology of Sri Lanka, there are four main climatic seasons in Sri Lanka.
- First Inter-monsoon Season
- Southwest-monsoon Season
- Second Inter-monsoon Season
- Northeast-monsoon Season
First Inter-monsoon Season
The first inter-monsoon season is from March to April. The rainfall is mainly for the Southwestern parts of the country. Typically, we can expect heavy rains and thunderstorms in the evening times due to this monsoon season.
The rainfall due to the Southwest-monsoon Season is also prominent in the Southwestern parts of the country. And we can expect rain due to this monsoon mainly from May to September. Rain can occur in this region during any part of the day during this period.
Second Inter-monsoon Season
The second inter-monsoon season is from October to November. Thunderstorms may occur during this period specifically during afternoon and evening times. However, floods and landslides are quite common during this period of time.
In terms of the Northeast-monsoon season, this is usually from December to February. And rainfall is mainly for the Northeastern parts of the island.
What is the Coldest Month in Sri Lanka?
January is the month that is coldest in Sri Lanka. In the central highlands, especially in Nuwara-Eliya, the temperature drops to about 16 degrees Celsius.
However, when it comes to the warmest months in the country, they are generally April and August.
6. Frequently Asked Questions about the Time to Visit Sri Lanka
Of course, there are frequently asked questions about when to visit Sri Lanka as well. Do not worry. We will clear all your doubts and tell you all that you need to know.
What is the Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka?
Of course, we cannot specifically mention any time period to be the best. It is because Sri Lanka is a tourist destination that gives you the best comforts throughout the entire year. Yet, it is much better to visit Sri Lanka between December and April. It is the peak season for tourism in Sri Lanka.
To visit the hill country, it is best to choose the season from December to May. That is the peak season. And of course, it is during this season that you would be able to experience the best of the destinations. Hence, it would be best to visit the upcountry during these months. When it comes to visiting the coastlines, October to March is probably a fine season for that. And if you would like to feel the festive season, you can choose April because it is the Sinhala and Tamil New Year Season. During this season, many guesthouses in the country also arrange special functions to offer the guests a splendid experience of the festival. Further, if you plan to witness the glamour of the Esala Perahera, you would have to visit Sri Lanka during the month of July.
However, our piece of advice for you is to visit Sri Lanka at the right time. Otherwise, you would not be able to indulge in the beauty and elegance of the country.
What is the Tourist Season of Sri Lanka?
As you may have understood by reading the above description, the winter season is obviously the best season for tourism in Sri Lanka. Most people from cold countries would love to visit Sri Lanka because it is a tropical country. So, the climate during this time of the year is indeed heavenly.
7. Frequently Asked Questions about Sri Lankan Visa
No matter how much we tell you about the beauty and uniqueness of Sri Lanka, if we do not tell you about the legal procedures, that is a mistake we make. So, we thought of telling you about that.
Do you Need a Visa for Sri Lanka?
Of course, you need a visa to enter Sri Lanka. In terms of visas, there are basically three types of visas. There are tourist visas, transit visas, and visas for business trips.
If you are on a short business trip or a holiday for less than a month, then you would be able to apply for an e-visa. All you have to do is to access the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) System by the Sri Lanka Immigration and Emigration Department, and then apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization ( ETA). If so, you would get the visa by email when you finish the procedure of completing the application and making the payment. You can find a full guide with all the required details and costs, over there on their website.
The visa is valid for 30 days. Still, you can apply for a visa extension before the expiry date of your current visa. The Department of Immigration Emigration Head Office at Colombo will grant you an extension of two months beyond 30 days. Extensions that exceed that limit shall only be considered for valid reasons.
However, there is happy news for the travellers of Europe. As of 1st August 2019, European travellers can get a visa-free of charge on arrival. But this creates a bit of a queue. Therefore, the best is to apply for a visa online. That would save your time plentily.
8. Frequently Asked Questions about the Covid-19 Pandemic Situation in Sri Lanka
You may well be pretty interested to know how tourists can come to the country following the health guidelines during the prevailing pandemic situation. We are going to tell you what you would have to do.
What are the Travel Restrictions in Sri Lanka?
The government of Sri Lanka has not granted permission for the tourists to enter Sri Lanka completely. There are plenty of restrictions.
In fact, there is only limited access given to tourists to visit Sri Lanka. And you would have to arrive in Sri Lanka with a PCR report that is negative. Further, you would have to take part in a PCR test right on your arrival to Sri Lanka. Anyway, a tourist’s period of quarantine and its nature varies upon a number of reasons. Our article on Sri Lanka’s Latest Quarantine Measures for the Travellers Arriving from Overseas! Will provide you with a full overview with regard. And, for the safety of everybody, you would definitely have to follow those guidelines.
In terms of the local restrictions, the government imposes lockdowns partially to the places that need them. Other than that, there are no active lockdowns as of now. However, certain events are still restricted and others are not allowed to be held with full capacity. There are certain restrictions for transport as well. However, you can do shopping as well. Bars and restaurants are also open with restrictions.
9. Frequently Asked Questions about the Culture of Sri Lanka
Now, you can get to know about the Sri Lankan culture a little bit. Of course, Sri Lanka has a diverse and vivid culture. Perhaps, you may have a little idea. But get to know better.
What is the Nationality of Sri Lanka?
People living in Sri Lanka are known as Sri Lankans. However, there are mainly a few ethnic groups living in Sri Lanka. Therefore, it is fair to call Sri Lanka a multicultural country. However, when it comes to race, the majority of Sri Lankans are Sinhalese people. It is about 75 per cent of the country’s population. But there are other ethnic groups as well. Mainly, the percentage of Sri Lankan Tamils is about 10 per cent. And Indian Tamils make up a percentage of about 4 per cent. Other than this, there are Muslims and Burghers in Sri Lanka as well. Anyway, the speciality of Sri Lanka is that although there are many races living in Sri Lanka, there is an unwavering unity too.
What is the Religion of Sri Lanka?
As we told, due to the fact that Sri Lanka is a multicultural country, there is a variety even in the beliefs of Sri Lanka. But Buddhism is the main religion that is practised in Sri Lanka. About 70 per cent of the country are Buddhists. All the same, about 13 per cent of the country are Hindus. And about 10 per cent of the population are Islamists. Further, about 8 per cent of the population are Christians. The majority of Christians are Roman Catholics. And the majority of Muslims are Sunni Muslims.
10. Frequently Asked Questions about What should you Avoid in Sri Lanka
This would be an interesting part of the article to focus on. You need to have a pretty good idea of the things that you should not do in Sri Lanka. Otherwise, both you and the locals would be in trouble.
What should I Avoid in Sri Lanka?
Here we are, at a very important point. We are going to tell you what you must avoid during your stay in Sri Lanka. And we think it would be convenient for you if we point them out.
Do Not Disrespect their Religion
As you would know, the majority of Sri Lankans are Buddhists. You must never do anything that is disrespectful to Buddhism. Mainly, do not show your back to Buddha statues. And do not take photos like that. Also, make sure that you show respect to the monks. Do not try to touch them or do such a thing that is disrespectful. Be mindful not to wear attires that feature religious slogans, or religious images. That might make the locals become upset about you. Further, make sure that you dress in an attire that covers from your shoulders to knees, and remove your footwear and caps or hats when you enter a temple.
Do Not Take Snaps where it is Prohibited
There are certain places, especially cultural and religious places that do not allow you to take snaps. On most occasions, there is a signboard asking you not to take photographs. So, be mindful of that when you are visiting Sri Lanka.
Do Not Drink Tap Water
It is always better not to drink tap water. Tap water might not always be contaminated. But perhaps, it can be. So, it is always best to consume drinking water without consuming tap water.
Do Not Touch Stray Dogs
Sometimes, rabies can be there among the stray dogs in Sri Lanka. They might not be vaccinated. Therefore, the best practice is not to touch or cuddle stray dogs. This is the same even with monkeys. There can be lots of monkeys mainly in cultural places because they usually get food from the visitors. But there is a possibility that they might bite you. On any such occasion, the best thing to do is to go to a hospital. Do not take it for granted at all. Let it be a dog or a monkey, if you get a bite, go to a hospital right away.
Do Not Ride a Motorbike without a Helmet
In Sri Lanka, it is the law that you must wear helmets when you are riding a motorbike or a scooter. Of course, you are capable of hiring one. But do remember to wear helmets. Otherwise, you would have to pay a fine ultimately.
Do Not Forget to be Modest in your Clothing
Modesty is something that you must consider at great length due to the prevailing tradition and culture of Sri Lanka. Do remember to cover up yourself when you are walking in the town or a village. In a temple, you should cover up your shoulders as well. However, it is alright to be in your swimwear and bikinis when you are on the beach or a pool. But cover yourself to and from the places.
Do Not Think Sri Lanka is the Same as India
Just because Sri Lanka is in close proximity to India, you might think that most things in Sri Lanka are just like how they are in India. But in actual fact, it is not like that. Obviously, Sri Lanka has a different culture and different tradition. Many things are different. So, do not compare Sri Lanka to India.
Do Not Use a Tuk Tuk unless you Agree to a price
There are some people who might try to get big amounts from the tourists. Be careful about those people. And do agree to a rate before you start your ride. Then, there is no chance for them to cheat you.
Conclusion | Frequently Asked Questions about Sri Lanka
We answered a number of frequently asked questions about Sri Lanka. And we hope that you have got answers to all your doubts. Of course, Sri Lanka is a land like no other. It is a place where you can experience plenty of fabulous and delightful things. And eventually, there is just one more ‘do not’. That is, do not forget to enjoy Sri Lanka. Happy and Safe Travelling!