It's in the South-east region of Asia. Just below India a tear drop shaped island is Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka lies between the northern latitudes 5° 55. and 9° 55. and the eastern longitudes 79° 42. and 81° 52., 650km north of the equator.
It is the same country, the name Ceylon was given by the British and was used until 1972 after which Sri Lanka was and still is used.
Yes, you will need a visa to enter Sri Lanka. In addition, if you intend visiting Sri Lanka on a short visit,you will need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) prior to arrival.
Sri Lanka is a tropical country with almost the same season all year long except for monsoon seasons kicking off at different times during the year, despite showers a warm sunny climate is always guaranteed.
Whatever accommodation-type you seek is available in Sri Lanka. Five-star hotels, resort hotels, boutique properties, villas, guest houses and home stays can be found, especially along the western and southern coasts and Kandy and the hill country. In a category of their own are government-run rest houses, originally used by British colonists. As a result, many are colonial buildings, set in peaceful locations.
Sri Lanka is a very child-friendly country. People make a special effort to fuss and entertain children: when it comes to foreign children the effort is doubled. Hotels and guest houses often have family rooms. Children are well-catered for in restaurants. Baby food and nappies are available in supermarkets, though baby bottles are harder to find. Bring mosquito repellent and sunscreen. The main highlight for children is, inevitably, the beaches and all the delights that go with them. However, there are other attractions: A winding train journey into the hill country, the elephant orphanage in Pinnawela and the Dehiwela Zoo in Colombo. If you want your children to play safely while you eat or shop in Colombo, there are play areas in Odel, Urban Kitchen, and Cheers Pub, Cinnamon Grand.
With common sense precautions it is easy to stay healthy in Sri Lanka. Minor health problems can be treated by doctors with practices in the resorts and elsewhere in the country. If you have a serious problem, Colombo boasts well-equipped private hospitals offering the latest in conventional medical and surgical techniques.
- Never drink tap water and avoid ice and juices in places where bottled water isn’t used.
- Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of safe, clean water, or king coconut
- a cheap, healthy alternative.
- Always use sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15. Remember you are just 600km from the equator.
- Do not pet or play with stray dogs – they may have rabies.
- Mosquito repellent is essential since malaria exists throughout the country apart from the districts of Colombo, Kalutara and Nuwara-Eliya.
Rice is consumed with curries (eggplant, potato, green banana, chicken, and fish) that range from delicately-spiced to near-dynamite. There are also hoppers (a pancake-like snack), string hoppers (steamed rice noodles) and pittu (four and coconut mixture). Lamprais- rice and accompaniments baked in plantain leaves – is a legacy of the Dutch. Fresh fish, prawns, crab, squid and crayfish are readily available. Desserts include buffalo curd topped with palm-honey, and the caramel-like Wattalapam. Tasty snacks known as short eats are excellent for trips. Fruit includes mango, pineapple, banana and papaya, and the lesser-known but distinctive sapodilla, Mangosteen, Rambuttan, Woodapple custard apple and beli. Colombo has an impressive range of restaurants specializing in international cuisine.
Souvenirs often combine traditional designs such as makara (a mythical animal, lion, swan, elephant and lotus), evident in brass work (boxes, trays, vases) and silverware (ornately carved and filigree jewellery, tea-sets). In addition, ritual masks, lacquer ware, batik and handloom textiles, lace, and wood carvings are popular. More importantly, Sri Lanka has the widest variety of precious stones among the world’s gem producing countries – blue sapphires, star sapphires, rubies, cat’s eye, garnets, moonstones, aquamarines and topazes being just a dazzling handful that can be purchased – with care.