Tag Archives: Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Travel Tips and Advice

Sri Lanka, the beautiful island country in the Indian Ocean is a paradise on earth. The country is rich in everything be it culture, heritage, traditions, food, sunsets, golden beaches, lush green tea estates, thick jungles, Buddhist temples and Monasteries, the calm vibes, peace, and serenity. We must admit, the teardrop-shaped country won our heart completely in a single visit and now rate in the chart of must-visit beautiful destinations. Moreover, flying and getting a Sri Lanka visa is a super easy and stress-free process. In this post, we will be listing 5 Sri Lanka travel tips for a wonderful memorable trip

Sri Lanka Travel Tips

Sri Lanka Travel Tips

1. Sri Lanka Visa

The first and foremost thing is the Sri Lanka visa and in the country, there is NO option of visa – on arrival. So, it can be booked by the Embassy or online. The process of applying online is referred to as ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization).

Book Through Embassy

We feel booking a visa through embassy is a multistep, tedious and quite a time consuming process. First reach Embassy, wait for your token number, fill an ETA form available there, submit the filled form along with the relevant fee and documents to the embassy officer. The officer will further send it to Sri Lanka’s Emigration & Immigration department. Then an acknowledgment and ETA reference number will be sent to you.

Book online Sri Lanka eVisa

The easiest way is to apply for eVisa Sri Lanka online. Open the website, fill in the required personal details, the details of your passport, transit details, and pay through paypal, American Express, or the master cards.

Sri Lanka ETA are basically issued for short stays (business, tourist and transit purposes) and are valid for 30 days. It is a double entry visa (i.e. 2 entries are allowed per visa) with a fee being USD 35 except for the SAARC countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), which is USD 20.  The only thing to note while applying online is to be very careful while filling the details – a single digit mistake can stop your entry at the airport or can make you pay again. We advise, in case one is not confident or have any issues in filling the form, apply by clicking E-visums.co.uk.

After application, you will receive your e-visa by email in 24-48 hours.

Note: The citizens of Maldives, Singapore, and Seychelles don’t need a visa to enter Sri Lanka

2. Travel internally through public transport (buses and trains), Tuk Tuks and Scooty’s

Hiring a cab for hopping from one place to another is an expensive affair in Sri Lanka. So, we suggest to go local via bus, tuk-tuks or rent a scooter. In Sri Lanka too the Tuk Tuk drivers will try to con you by quoting high prices as it happens in India. So, check with the locals for the correct amount and then bargain. Buses too are good options for local movement but be prepared to walk extra miles to catch one.  The scooty worked best for us as we could stop wherever we wanted and go wherever we can. Indeed, we covered Galle, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Ahangama, Handunugoda all on our rented two-wheelers.

South Coast of Sri Lanka Travel Tips

For hoping from one city to another like from Kandy to Ella use the train services. This train trail is considered to be the most scenic ride in the world as it passes through the bewitching landscapes, lush green tea estates, waterfalls, bridges, etc. 

In Sri Lanka, the cab apps system was not very popular earlier but now it’s picking especially in COLOMBO and currently the players like UBER have started intercity service too

3. Respect the culture, religion and hide the Buddha Tattoos, if you have

About 70% of the people in Sri Lanka are Buddhist and the religion in their constitution holds the foremost position. So, the people here don’t tolerate any kind of disrespect to religion. Indeed, they consider a Buddha tattoo also an insult to Lord Buddha. Earlier, there are cases of several people deported and arrested who had a Buddha tattoo. So, keep them cover if you have one.

The view from Shanti Stupa - Sri Lanka Travel Tips
The view from Shanti Stupa – Sri Lanka Travel Tips

Also, remember to take off your shoes and hats, cover legs and arms and bow while entering the Buddhist Temples. Never point a finger at the Buddha statue and obey the no photo signage. There is a zero-tolerance for the selfies with Lord Buddha statues.

4. Food, water and Drinks

Sri Lankan food is super rich and is considered as one of the delicious cuisines in the world.  The most common dish is Rice and curry. The other ones include chopped flatbread stir-fried with eggs and vegetables (Kotu Potty); string hoppers; shredded coconut with red chilies, curry leaves, and herbs; spicy Egg Samosas; Egg Hoppers; and the fresh seafood.

Fish & Chips - Sri Lanka Travel Tips
Fish & Chips – Sri Lanka Travel Tips

Locals prefer drinking tap water in Sri Lanka but we stick to the bottled water and advise you to do the same. Coming on to the drinks do try the local brews like Lion (Beer) and Arrack (prepared from coconut flowers).

5. Currency and ATM

On conversion, Sri Lankan currency seems quite cheaper than Indian currency (1 Rs. = 2.50 LKR) and makes you look super-rich but actually it is not. While spending you will realize the price of the products in the supermarkets or at a good restaurant goes equal to that in India itself. And we found, especially the beach towns and the famous places are far more expensive.

Don’t completely rely on ATM for the cash withdrawal, you will find many of them in a non-working state. We carried USD with us and would advise you also to carry USD/LKR while heading to Sri Lanka. Credit cards too are accepted widely.

Best Time to visit – Sri Lanka Travel Tips

Sri Lanka, being a tropical country is blessed with good sunshine and blue skies throughout the year. The temperature remains constant between 18-22 degree Celsius in the coastal areas whereas goes a bit lower with the drop in altitude.

Sunset at Beach- Sri Lanka Travel tips
Sunset at Beach- Sri Lanka Travel tips

Sri Lanka can be visited at any time of the year. It also has two monsoon seasons from December to March and June to October. So, the best time recommended for South and West Coast is from December to March whereas for East Coast it is April to September.

Must Carry for Sri Lanka

The packing list for Sri Lanka will completely depend upon the places you will be visiting. But one must keep cotton T-shirts, cotton/ linen dresses, track pants, raincoat, windcheater, lightweight jacket, scarf, sun hat, mosquito repellant, sunscreen, and universal adapter.

Must visit places in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has plenty of places to explore but these are the ones you must check in a 2 week SriLanka Itinerary.

  • Colombo city for its bustling markets, temples, and restaurants
  • Galle the gorgeous colonial walled town on the ocean with amazing cafeterias
  • South West Coast for beautiful beaches and sunsets
  • Yala Safari Park to see the acts of wildlife and for natural beautiful scenery
  • Tea towns like Hatton, Ella, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Handunugoda
  • Cultural triangle -To see ancient cities and beautiful temples around Dambulla, Anuradhapura and Sigiriya

So, Sri Lanka is perfect for every type of traveler or tourist, adventurer, or backpacker or photographer. The destination has a variety of accommodation options too, from luxury resorts to budget hotels to hostels. We stayed at one of the heritage property Apa Villa Illuketia, located among the greens.

Prviate Lotus Pool at Apa Villa Illuketia - Sri Lanka Travel tips
Prviate Lotus Pool at Apa Villa Illuketia – Sri Lanka Travel tips

Apart this, be polite and humble to the locals, respect their culture and traditions and be smart, confident and keep your eyes ear open to avoid getting into any unwanted traps.

Would you like to add anything more to these travel tips? Please leave in the comment and we will be happy to include them.

Sri Lanka Travel Tips

5 tips before finalising the exclusive honeymoon trip

The wedding is the biggest event in everyone’s life and as soon as the wedding dates are decided we start working on our never-ending to-do list. We start planning for every single event to make it exclusive especially honeymoon trip. It is right to be thoughtful and plan these holidays well with your fiancé as it is surely going to be once in a lifetime trip.

Honeymoon Trip
Source -www.naturehillstation.in

I still remember when we had to plan ours; my husband asked me to do some research. Then he asked me few questions and my choices, to make it easier for choosing the final place among the shortlisted destinations. All this helped us in short listing and planning our holidays.

Now, these tips along with research can help newly hitched or to be hitched couples in narrowing and deciding  on their honeymoon trip.

  1. Determine how far and how much time you both can spare for your holidays

Discuss with your spouse openly how far you both can travel? How much time you both can spare for honeymoon trip? How many leaves you both have or can avail? Is travelling extensively comfortable with you and your fiancé? A destination like Europe and America require lot many hours of travelling and sometimes connecting flights. Throw in the fact of time zone too, to get mentally prepared to get acclimatised. Some of the places may be your dream destinations. But don’t panic or push on each other for that destination! You can plan a trip to your dream destination some other time.

Apa Villa Thalpe, Sri Lanka- Honeymoon Trip

  1. Choose a theme

Choose with your fiancé what type of trip you both want to take – relaxing, adventurous, romantic, peaceful, road trip, cultural or nature. A romantic relaxing honeymoon trip on the beach resort, getting suntanned and sipping wine can be on many couples list. So, one can consider Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali, Bora-Bora etc from the long list. Streets of Paris and Gondola ride of Venice; dressed up like a princess are on the list of others. So, one can opt for them too, if looking for romantic, cultural spots.

Phi Phi Island, Thailand, Honeymoon Trip

  1. Fix up your budget

After short listing destinations according to the theme, next is to set up the budget for the decided number of days. This is where you and your partner need to sit and discuss frankly how much you should spend. There is no limit to spending but budgets always help. The other option can be to collect funding through honeymoon wedding registry . Some of the links for honeymoon holidays registry are: (https://www.honeyfund.com/; http://www.zankyou.com/us/honeymoon-wedding-registry )

Ranikhet Uttrakhand, India - Honeymoon Trip

  1. Decide on when to leave for honeymoon trip

Sometimes, leaving immediately for honeymoon trip after wedding doesn’t go well with your schedules or with the weather conditions of that place. So, do a quick research to know the weather conditions of the chosen destinations at the time of your travel. Also check for the local festivals, crowds at the time of your travel. For e.g. – If you are travelling to Europe in August, many of the towns are closed for vacations that time and in January, February it will be very cold. So, this all can change your decision. You can also consider travelling during off season to cut off the costs and experience more.

Honeymoon Trip
Source – www.destinationweddingmag.com

  1. Get Bookings done early 

Honeymoon holidays are not the time to experiment. Everything needs to be perfect. Don’t wait till last moment. At last moment, flights, hotels, everything will cost you much more than the actual amount. Look for the honeymoon packages, deals and check the hotel’s reviews and recommendations before booking. Read some travel blogs to get more insights.

Inform hotel about your honeymoon. They may charge you more but you will also get the room with better view and sometimes a complimentary dinner too.

So, planning honeymoon trip in not a big task. Talking everything candidly and planning together will act as a catalyst to your new married life. And I say travel solves every couple’s problem and it can save your marriage.

What all I learnt traveling around the world

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page” 

– Saint Augustine

Wow! What a quote on travel. Saint Augustine said everything in a phrase for which I need paragraphs to explain. Travel is my life and it is beyond everything. I had been traveling around the world not for a break to relax my mind but to explore and learn what I couldn’t learn through my books or under the guidance and to spend the qualitative time with my husband.

Traveling Around the world

Travel has polished and enriched me in every sense from being kind, patient and philosophical. I see the whole world with a different perspective and vision. So, now my life philosophy has changed and I repeatedly say “Invest in a book called – Travel. Get as many stamps in your passport as you can. Build up your own catalog of pictures and memories. Tomorrow there should be no regret of missing on anything”.

There is no end to what traveling around the world gave and taught me. I still want to quit rest and learn more. So, I have listed few lessons which travel around the world had already taught me so far.

  1. You explore new things what you haven’t done till today

Travel compels you to come out of your comfort zone and experience what is real life. It makes you realize that grass is not always green on the other side and sometimes it is the most challenging role to perform. The conversations with locals tell you how different lives can be with the common shared commonalities. Travel also makes you learn how you have to manage each penny when you have budgeted amounts.

Traveling Around the World

  1. Learn about new culture

While traveling around the world, you explore small towns, villages and of course big cities.  You meet different people; see different things, foods, different cultures, and traditions from yours. All this can’t be explored on the internet or taught by anyone but  all this can only be experienced. Might be some of the cuisines or cultures becomes your favorite and you imbibe that in yourself.

Thailand - Traveling Around the world

  1. The whole World is not that advance and every Human just wants to be happy

Traveling around the world will make you realize that the whole world is not that advanced as you think.  Every child is not spending time playing Xbox or teenager is not going to club. Still, children play in the puddles and enjoy making toys with the waste. But they are happy. They have cultivated their happiness in their surroundings. So, happiness is immaterial and comes from inside and thoughts. One can be happy in mountains, beaches, mansions, villas or just in a small house. But the prime goal for all human in all countries everywhere in the globe is just Happiness.

Happy Humans- Traveling Around the world

  1. Travel gives a new perspective to life

I stated in the second point that you learn about new cultures, new people, new cuisines etc. But in depth, all of these are some or more related. All the humans have same needs and same desires. It is just in the name of religion and politics people and countries are pulled apart. Still, there is a feeling of brotherhood and kindness for tourists and travelers.

Your family, your friends, and your job everything is important but there is much more in life. You learn to prioritize what is important and what is not. Travel around the world really helps you to broaden your horizons and think out of the box.

Jaipur - Traveling around the world

  1. Talking to strangers is not always bad

During travel, conversation with a stranger especially locals help you in learning more about that place. They guide you on what needs to be explored and what cannot be missed on. Locals actually help you to experience and live in that culture. And your fellow travelers on the move can help you with their travel guides and tips. Simultaneously you will have a new bunch of friends to go on the adventures together.

  1. You don’t need to plan everything in your life

Sometimes unplanned things and destinations lead you to beautiful experiences. I agree that planning is good but sometimes it can make you miss the awesome things you could have experienced otherwise. So, let the things go with their own flow especially with travel. You might fall in love with the place and want to embrace their culture and traditions. It is cool to get lost in unknown places to experience the most random and amazing things.

Sr Lanka - Traveling Around the world

  1. Certain things cannot be changed

There is no point of taking stress about the certain small things like missed bus or hotel booking or flight. Breathe with the situation and accept it. Instead, stress will dampen your morale and ruin your day. Traveling is all about fun, learning, exploring and seeing new good things. Learn from every mistake and situation so you organize the things better next time.

Overall traveling around the world had made me much more patient, knowledgeable and kind. And these are just a few lessons which I have learned till today. There is so much more to learn and explore. Life is short so enjoy and live every moment, whatever makes you happy.

Read the related post – 7 life lessons Himalayan trek taught me

Sri Lanka South Coast – where the sea sings its own song

South coast of Sri Lanka is undoubtedly beautiful and the most rewarding place to visit. The island is a small world in itself with gorgeous beaches, colonial townscapes, UNESCO heritage buildings, wildlife parks, fishing pyramids, Buddhist Shrines, temples, and lots of good cafes to munch on. There is a never-ending list to do and see things around the south coast Sri Lanka despite the piecemeal development in the area.

South Coast Sri Lanka

The place has maintained its charm and delicacy. There are several comatose villages nested in the shadow of the palm trees. Galle, a Dutch colonial town located on the south cost of Sri Lanka, offers you beautiful resorts and villas for slothful days and evenings.

How to reach?

From Colombo, Galle is about 120 kilometers. There are regular buses, trains and cabs to reach south coast of Sri Lanka.  Trains are bit crowded and buses are slow. Recently they have started with expressway service or you can hire a direct personal cab. There are two main ways to reach Galle by road – using the highway or riding through the small hidden villages. The former is faster and take almost 3 hours, while the latter will take a bit longer but the scenic views of this ride will be always memorable.

South Coast Sri Lanka

Where to stay?

If you want to take long strolls and explore Galle fort on foot then make a stay inside the Galle Fort. Because of the few accommodation spaces within the walled fort and high tourist demand, prices are doubled then outside.

South Coast Sri Lanka Apa Villa Illuketia

To experience bliss and essence, you can stay outside the fort. One of the historical and luxuries villas to stay is Apa Villa Illuketia. It offers you a mix of modernization while retaining the ancient flavor. They also have another beachside property Apa Villa Thalpe which too is a must visit.

Also, check Sri Lanka Travel Guide.

What to do on the south coast of Sri Lanka?

There is a lot to do and experience on the south coast of Sri Lanka.

    • Walk and admire the architectural beauty of colonial buildings, Church, Temples, and Mosque at Galle Fort. Also, check out the picturesque cricket stadium and lighthouse anchoring the Galle city. Read also, how to spend a complete day on the cobbled stone streets of Galle, Sri Lanka.


  • Hire a bike and ride it along the shores to feel the cool and earthy spicy smell of breeze.

South Coast Sri Lanka

    • Drive to the Japanese Peace Pagoda and get fascinated with 360-degree views – the town on one side and eternal ocean on the other


    • Explore the golden sandy beaches and party in the nearby sea towns at Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna


  • Watch corals and sun taking a dip in the sea

South Coast Sri Lanka

    • Do Scuba diving and snorkeling in the fresh turquoise water of the ocean


    • Snack on fresh seafood along with great cocktails and mocktails at shacks


    • Cycle till the nearby sleepy villages


    • Watch magnificent night fire shows at night at the beaches


  • Hop over to the nearby 300 yr old tea factory and delve into the traditional mechanism used for producing green and white tea

Sri Lanka is full of adventures. So, don’t forget to read what to expect on a Sri Lankan Safari.

Also check the Sri Lanka East Coast Itinerary.