This tear-shaped island in the cerulean Indian Ocean is a colourful potpourri of ancient monuments, exotic wildlife, awe-inspiring scenery, welcoming locals and British colonial heritage, and is slowing but surely blooming into a vacation hotspot. Below are some some helpful things you need to know before you visit Sri Lanka; vacations to this splendid island is always going to be more rewarding when you go prepared:
Dress for the occasion
When you plan a trip to Sri Lanka and pack for a holiday in the sunny tropics, it is tempting to ditch those long dresses but Sri Lanka is a conservative country so it’s best if you pack a few of those long dresses and pants too. Just make sure you go for something cotton and loose. The hill country region can get rather cool and rainy, so make sure you pack a light jacket as well. The easiest and cheapest thing you can do is buy a sarong. Sarongs are very common in many parts of Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands so these colourful wraps can come in handy for future travels too.
#YohoTip What to know what exactly to pack for your Sri Lankan holiday? You may want to read this then.
Take your socks everywhere
Sri Lanka can become very warm so walking around in socks is, understandably, not an option. That said, it’s always a good idea to always carry a pair with you, especially when visiting temples that call for no footwear. While the stones of some religious sites like the Dambulla Cave Temples are pleasantly cool on the feet, others are so burning hot you can barely walk on them. Some temples are also part of a larger area surrounded by trees, shrubs and sand so it’s easier to tread the ground if you have some sort of foot protection.
Watch out for leeches
If exploring the countryside is part of your travel plan, then, beware because chances are that there are plenty of leeches lying in wait for you. They are quick to cling to clothing as you go by innocently and then they bite you through your socks or wriggle into your shoes. Oftentimes, a spreading red stain is the first sign that you’re under attack. Don’t worry though; leech bites are harmless and don’t spread any diseases but it can be an unpleasant experience so having some sort of repellent or leech socks is a pretty good idea.
Monkey See, Monkey Take
Monkeys are everywhere in Sri Lanka – from graceful grey langurs to the reddish brown toque macaques. Monkeys in rural areas are quite shy but their counterparts living in monkey groups around temples and other tourists sites are anything but. If you don’t watch out for your food, they’ll snatch it right out of you hands. Ice cream, sandwiches, biscuits, fruits – anything goes for them.
Think about your accommodation
We’re all for booking accommodation as you go, especially since it gives more wiggle room in an itinerary. However, it’s always best if you have the first few nights sorted out in advance. Yoho Bed is you answer if you’re looking for great rates on amazing accommodation options.
Have a plan
Sri Lanka may be pint-sized but there is a gazillion things to do and see. Sometimes, it feels like Sri Lanka’s big brother – India has been squished down into this small island. Sri Lanka is a destination where even those who usually wing it will want some kind of a plan going in or risk missing out a ton of good stuff and then find themselves having to pull off a mad rush to get to the airport at last. So, do your research, come up with a plan and stick to it if possible.
We have quite a few posts here to help get you started. Perhaps the ones listed here, might be of great use.