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General information about Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an island nation in South Asia in the Indian Ocean. The official name is the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, and previously the state was called Ceylon. It received its new name in 1972, but is still occasionally referred to as the island of Ceylon. The island is located a hundred kilometers from the Hindustan peninsula, separated from it by the Polk Strait and the Gulf of Manar (Sri Lanka Island on the map).
It should immediately point out the typical misconception of tourists who believe that Sri Lanka is part of India. This is completely wrong. At present, Sri Lanka has no relation to India. This is an independent state, and no state of India, even though the people and culture in these countries are very similar. And another thing: the name of the country is pronounced equally correctly as "Sri Lanka" and "Sri Lanka".
Almost the entire territory of the state is located on one island – Sri Lanka. Also, the state includes many more very small islands. The territory of the island and the state is small (119th in the world). The size of the island is 445 by 225 kilometers, and the area is 65,610 square kilometers, which is about one and a half times larger than the area of the Moscow region.
First of all, tourists go to Sri Lanka for exotics. This is one of the oldest states, and there are very rare monuments of culture and history, most of which are somehow connected with Buddhism. Many of the island's attractions are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Usually tourists arriving here do not even imagine how many interesting things this island is fraught with, believing that there is nothing here except Ceylon tea and beaches. However, getting to know the country better, they understand how interesting the world is on the former island of Ceylon.
You should be prepared for the fact that Sri Lanka can not be called a modern and advanced country for active entertainment. There are few night entertainment, modern megacities and shopping centers for shopping. The rest here is calm, thoughtful and, like the whole country, has a touch of Buddhist humility.
Here is a list of resorts and tourist places where you can go to Sri Lanka:
|Quick choice of where to go in Sri Lanka|
|Resort||Beach 🌴||Diving and snorkeling||Attractions 📷||Surfing 🏄||City 🏢|
|Resort||Beach 🌴||Diving and snorkeling||Attractions 📷||Surfing 🏄||City 🏢|
If you need to quickly decide on a place to go on vacation or travel to Sri Lanka, then in order not to study detailed guidebooks about each resort, you can first get acquainted with A list and a brief description of the resorts of Sri Lanka here...
In addition to historical and cultural attractions, Sri Lanka offers a good beach holiday. Beaches around the perimeter of the island-hundreds of kilometers. Many modern resorts with excellent hotels have been built on the beaches. There are also hotel complexes located away from tourist places in the vicinity of the villages of local residents. In such hotels, no one and nothing will interfere with your secluded rest. On the island there is even a mountain resort Nuwara Eliya, located at an altitude of about 2 thousand meters above sea level.
The nature of the island is beautiful. Among the excursions on the island there are many that will acquaint you with its vegetation and Wildlife. Excursions-rafting on mountain rivers stand out. There are simple day trips and multi-day tours. Moreover, acquaintance with natural beauty will certainly be combined with acquaintance with historical sights, since it was in such wonderful places that the ancient inhabitants erected their religious buildings.
Another type of entertainment on the island is diving. Moreover, diving here is interesting not only with a rich and beautiful underwater world, but also with underwater attractions organized specifically for tourists: sunken ships, underwater rocks, grottoes and caves. Among the sunken ships, including old ships. True, diving is not always possible here. The main season for diving is from October to April.
However, travelers and tourists should understand that Sri Lanka is not Thailand. Conditions for tourism and travel here are not at all as developed as in Tae. In general, we can say that Sri Lanka in terms of tourism is still quite a difficult country, and there are plenty of minuses and difficulties, especially for those who travel independently.
One of the main problems here is that so far for most locals, a tourist is a walking wallet. Everyone is trying to get money from tourists here, and not even necessarily for any services, but just like that, for a nice conversation with you. Of course, the number of divorces for money in relation to tourists here is simply countless, and inflated prices for guests are simply the norm.
This is not to say that this is a very cheap resort. If we compare everything with the same Thailand, the prices for hotels here are almost one and a half times higher, or even two, with equal quality. In some places, there may be difficulties in finding normal living conditions for reasonable money. The cost of visiting attractions, especially those included in the UNESCO list, does not lend itself to any reasonable explanation: the price of tickets is clearly inflated at times. Read more about prices in Sri Lanka here.
There are problems with food: unfortunately, street food is not as developed here as in many other Southeast Asian countries, and it is only necessary to deviate from tourist routes, as you can experience some difficulties in order to find something to eat. Although alcohol is sold freely, you can buy it only in special stores, which are very few. In addition, such stores do not work in the evening and on holidays.
All this does not mean that Sri Lanka is a bad country. But every tourist should know not only the positive aspects of the resort, but be prepared for difficulties.
Personal review of Sri Lanka:As first of all a tourist-tourer, my main goal in Sri Lanka I set to go around the most interesting sights, and leave the beaches for a snack. And so it turned out: I managed to swim only twice. But it's not even that there was no time. The second part of my route I made just for a beach holiday, and visited Negombo, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna and other beach resorts. In Negombo, I did not even climb into the water, it was really unpleasant to do this after I saw the locals pissing in the water, and then the slop thrown into the sea. Just played squeamishness, and the water was really dirty. Hikkaduwa Beach and liked the sea but there were big waves at the time of my stay. Unawatuna Beach also did not like, as well as the resort itself. I did not understand why people go there. Cool beaches were in Mirissa and Tangale, there, in fact, I swam. But in Mountlavinia in Colombo, I would not venture into the water at all, although I saw many bathing tourists. Well, I guess I have a radical opinion about the local beaches, but what is...
I saw almost all the sights of Sri Lanka. At least everything that is included in the UNESCO list is 100%, and much more. I was very unpleasantly surprised by the ticket prices, although I knew before the trip that they were high. But I kept hoping for a miracle. Reluctantly gave 30 dollars!!! for a visit to Sigiriya, where she left an hour and a half later terribly disappointed. Yes, the places are interesting, unusual, but they are more expensive than interesting. If you compare with Angkor, which costs about the same, I think that here I paid just for nothing.
In general, during the trip, quite a lot of negativity has accumulated. I really do not like, for example, when you go to some unpopular village temple, with the certainty that you do not have to pay for visiting here. But it was not there. And at the exit, when I looked at everything, a man in a monk's cassock runs to me, and begins to persistently ask for donations. No question, I think, I take out a hundred of their money and throw it in the donation box. Then the scandal begins. The monk demands money in his hands, but not 100, but 200 rupees. I shove a hundred into the hands of this "false demon" and run away, and he scandalizes behind his back and sends curses to my address. Somehow all this is not monastic, not Buddhist.
And such deceptions are innumerable, and the arrogance is simply amazing, even Vietnam is resting. Here's another one. Sitting on the beach. A guy comes up, starts a traditional conversation about the weather, my country, etc. and then, "give me 70 rupees". Just like that, for nothing, or whatever he thinks, for such a nice conversation. Again, such situations are repeated more than once.
And more than once I had to feel for myself here that if a tourist is not of financial interest to a Lankan, he is nothing to him. I do not require special treatment, though I should, for I am a guest and a woman in a foreign land, and could be treated more attentively. Anywhere.
In general, it seems that tourists here have to pay for everyone and everything is equated to national politics. It becomes very insulting when educated tourists, while sightseeing, scour in search of an urn to throw out a candy wrapper, and the locals throw empty bottles right under his feet without a twinge of conscience. Yes, then everything is cleaned, but tourists pay for everything. They shamelessly litter right at the monuments, where they pass for free, and foreigners have to pay $ 20 for admission. "Money for the maintenance of the monument, for its cleaning!!! You pay, and we will trash". It is terribly insulting, and there is a constant feeling that you have been unfairly fucked.
I, Of course, even understand them somewhere. Most recently, the war ended (in 2010), a flood of tourists poured in, and everyone is trying to skim the cream on a quick one. Well, let them take it off, and I think I'll go back to Tai again next time, and I'll come back here only if the Lankans finally come to their senses and start respecting and loving tourists, and not having them and smiling broadly at the same time. Well, I don't like it that way.
Religion Of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a multi-confessional country. At the same time, almost all residents of the country, no matter what religion they profess, are very religious. Sri Lanka is traditionally considered a Buddhist country: Buddhism is practiced here by 76% of the population. There are also Hindus (8%), Muslims (6%). In some regions of the country, for example in Negombo, Catholicism is very popular.
The country is officially a Democratic Socialist Republic. The president of Sri Lanka is elected by universal suffrage every six years.
In 2010, President-elect Mahinda Rajapakse (elected in 2004) dissolved parliament, thus setting a course of departure from the democratic regime. The political situation in the country is not quite stable now, and this in some way affects tourists. Almost everywhere outside the tourist areas there are checkpoints. Everyone, including foreign tourists, has their passports checked. Even tourist buses are subject to inspection and inspection. Therefore, going on excursions or walks outside the recreation area, you should take your passport with you.
Language in Sri Lanka, how to communicate
Sri Lanka has two official languages-Sinhala and Tamil. Sinhala is spoken by 74% of the population, Tamil by 18%, but almost everyone understands both languages. Another 8% of the country's population speaks other languages.
About 10% of Sri Lankans speak English at a conversational level. These are, as a rule, residents of cities, employees of state institutions and working in the tourism sector. Outside of cities, locals usually have no more than a couple of welcome words in English. Almost no one knows Russian.
However, even in the remote villages themselves, there is at least one resident who speaks basic English, and if you need to communicate, they will be found and immediately brought in as an interpreter.
Sri Lanka weather, tourist seasons
Sri Lanka's climate is tropical, hot all year round. To the equator from here is literally at hand, so the temperature during the year almost does not change and is always equal to 28-30 degrees. The highest temperatures are most comfortably tolerated in coastal areas, where the sea breeze always blows, and in the mountainous areas of the island, where the temperature is about 10 degrees lower.
Seasons in Sri Lanka are determined not by changes in temperature but by rainfall. In this regard, the island has a dry season (aka high tourist season) and a rainy season (low tourist season). Moreover, despite the small size of the island, on different coasts of the island the period of the rainy season differs:
- on the northeast coast, the rainy season is from October to January.;
- on the southwest coast, the rainy season is from May to July.
Rainy season features a lot of precipitation, but fortunately, most of it usually passes at night. If the rain starts in the afternoon, it usually passes a powerful downpour, flooding everything around, and quickly ends. So, even the rainy season is not a complete contraindication for rest.
Dry season (high season). At this time, there is almost no precipitation, and the temperature is at least a little, but weakens.
Given this, we can say that the tourist season in Sri Lanka lasts all year round, you just need to choose the right place to stay.
Current weather in Sri Lanka (Colombo) and forecast for the near future:
- 24 Сен15:00+28°C4м/сВлаж. 82%
- 25 Сен0:00+26°C4м/сВлаж. 88%
- 25 Сен9:00+28°C5м/сВлаж. 80%
- 25 Сен18:00+26°C4м/сВлаж. 88%
- 26 Сен3:00+27°C4м/сВлаж. 82%
- 26 Сен12:00+27°C6м/сВлаж. 85%
- 26 Сен21:00+26°C5м/сВлаж. 87%
- 27 Сен6:00+28°C6м/сВлаж. 81%
- 27 Сен15:00+26°C6м/сВлаж. 88%
- 28 Сен0:00+26°C8м/сВлаж. 86%
- 28 Сен9:00+26°C8м/сВлаж. 83%
- 28 Сен18:00+26°C7м/сВлаж. 85%
* - прогноз указан по местному времени. Данные получены с https://openweathermap.org. Если отображаются устаревшие даты, обновите страницу с помощью F5+Ctrl.
Time in Sri Lanka
The time difference in Sri Lanka and Moscow +2.5 (two and a half) hours in winter and summer.
|Москва: +2.5||Самара: +1.5|
|Казань: +2.5||Нижний Новгород: +2.5|
|Екатеринбург: +0.5||Новосибирск: -1.5|
|Иркутск: -2.5||Владивосток: -4.5|
Dutch Fries on arrival. At Colombo airport, immediately after passing through passport control, there are several dry-fries. Prices there are quite reasonable, you can pay with currency and plastic cards. So it is not necessary to carry a bottle of alcohol bought in dutik at home halfway around the world.
Mains voltage, electricity. The mains voltage in Sri Lanka is the same as ours 220 volts, but the sockets are three-pin. To connect "our" two-pin plugs, you need an adapter, which you can buy on the spot or ask at the hotel reception. If there is no adapter, then you need to shove some pin, such as a pencil, into the upper hole on the outlet, and then you can safely plug the plug.
Where is the price lower? In non-tourist areas, prices for everything (souvenirs, food, etc.) are about one and a half to two times lower than in tourist areas.
Documents. due to the instability of the political situation in the country outside the tourist zones, foreign tourists used to often check their documents. Therefore, going on excursions, it is recommended to have a passport with you.
The Feast Of Poya. According to Buddhist rules, each full moon is considered a holiday and a national day off (Poya-Poya). At this time, banks, many shops and government agencies do not work. Be sure to consider this point when planning a trip. These days, the sale and drinking of alcoholic beverages in public places, including in restaurants and hotel bars, is prohibited in the country. The use of alcoholic beverages is possible only in the hotel room.
Ceylon Tea. The famous branded Ceylon Tea is best bought during excursions to tea plantations, in specialized stores or in shops. The cost of tea in duty-free is much higher. If you are not a fan of beautiful branded travel packages, you can buy tea in the supermarket: it is cheaper, and almost the same quality.resorts
Flashlight. Even in the popular resorts of Sri Lanka and Colombo there are problems with street lighting, or rather, it is practically absent. Take a flashlight with you on a trip and on vacation, best of all a forehead, it is very useful.
Alcohol in Sri Lanka. Alcoholic beverages, even beer, are sold only in special stores, which are few in resorts and cities. Find alcohol in supermarkets is unrealistic (except for the largest, where there are special departments), in restaurants and cafes, too, not everywhere. And do not confuse a drink called "Gigner Beer" with alcohol. "Gigner Beer" is just a local ginger lemonade. Read more about alcohol in Sri Lanka and where to buy it here...
Price tags. there are no price tags on goods in Sri Lanka stores, but the price of the goods is always indicated. It is printed in small letters on bottles, bags, packaging. This is the maximum price at which the product is sold. The price may be lower (stock in the store), but not higher. And in most serious stores it happens. However, small private stores sometimes sell goods at their own arbitrary price, but this is rather rare.
Inspection of temples. When inspecting temples, it should be remembered that at the entrance it is necessary to take off shoes and headgear, and also not to go in too open clothes (shorts, T-shirts). To bypass the central sanctuary in Hindu temples, in which the main deity is installed, you need to go clockwise (from left to right). With rare exceptions, almost everywhere you can take pictures without problems, otherwise, you can ask permission or pay (usually no more than 250 rupees for shooting).
Unexpected surcharges. Sri Lankans are very fond of including all sorts of unexpected fees and taxes in the final cost of any service or product, without warning about it in advance. Therefore, it makes sense, where possible (hotel accommodation, rent) to pay in advance. If you refuse to accept money in advance, expect surprises in the form of surcharges at check-out.
Raincoats. For some strange reason, it is not so easy to find raincoats in Sri Lanka. Therefore, if you prefer umbrellas raincoats, it is better to buy them at home.
Repellents. Repellents bought in Russia are not very effective on local insects, while it is almost impossible to find local repellents in Sri Lanka. Alternatively, buy the most expensive and "thermonuclear" repellents at home. Locals offer coconut oil as a protective agent. But, firstly, its effectiveness is questionable, and secondly, you will almost certainly be slipped it at unreasonable speculative prices.
Hotel Signs. Not every "Hotel" sign in Sri Lanka really stands for a hotel. Under such signs there are also small restaurants, so do not be surprised if you ask for a room, and they will look at you incomprehensibly.