Sri Lanka


General information

Sri Lanka is unique in its way island which is located 800 km from the equatorial line. This is a region always ready to surprise and please the visitors who came here, both tourists and businessmen, because here you can have a very diverse holiday. Also in Sri Lanka you can come for a holiday at any time - all year round on the islands there is a warm and joyous summer, welcoming the guests with an explosion of colors and lush green nature. Three primary colors can be distinguished from the surrounding splendor: blue of the sea and the sky, yellow of the pure sand and green of the paddy fields, palm trees and shrubs of the local tea. On this green carpet spread incredibly beautiful flowers of all possible colors.

Geographically Sri Lanka is located in the waters of the Indian Ocean, to the south of India. The island is more than 65 500 sq km, while from north to south it stretches for 445km and about 225km from east to west. The central part of the island is occupied by a mountain range where the mountains rise in an average height of one to two thousand meters above the sea level. The highest is Mount Pidurutalagala, towering over the island at 2524 meters. But this is not the most famous peak; Adam's Peak is more popular with a height of 2243 m.

The capital of Sri Lanka is Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, here is the Supreme Court. But in fact, the capital is the city of Colombo where are the presidential residences and the government.

Speaking of monuments in Sri Lanka, you can define a kind of cultural triangle which includes the following attractions:

- Sigiriya (the city is located on the hill with the same name, situated in the picturesque setting of fountains and pools);

- Dambulla (temple in the caves, located inside a cliff at an altitude of 350 meters);

- Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka's first capital);

- Polonnaruwa (Sri Lanka's capital of the Middle Ages);

- Kandy (the seat of the famous Sinhala rulers of the state, located in the central part of the island.

The nature of the island is maintained in its initial state, aided by the Buddhist tradition adopted in Sri Lanka. Therefore the tourists are free to enjoy the lush greenery and exotic flowers, as well as the unusual fauna of the island. A highlight of Sri Lanka is the long line of forests where a wide variety of trees grows in one place; their roots are not located only underground but also hanging in the air right in front of your eyes. Almost all trees are twined with vines which are a haven for numerous species of monkeys and lemurs. Downwards wild deer roam and between the trees are flying colorful birds and butterflies. At night the animal world changes dramatically when the predators of the tropics go out for hunting - swift leopards which the locals often refer to as tigers. If you're lucky you can find even wild elephants in the woods.

The existence of such a rich and diverse fauna is possible thanks to the policy of environmental conservation which first documents were signed in the 3rd century BC. During those times the first reserve on the island appeared. At present Sri Lanka have 12 parks and 3 reserves.


The fans of spa and relaxation can enjoy Ayurveda treatments which will eliminate the fatigue and help you rejuvenate and clean your body. All of them are based on natural ingredients, so that the nature itself gives you extraordinary feelings and takes care of you. For newlyweds and people in love there is an exotic island wedding ceremony conducted by the local canons and leaving unforgettable impressions. The golf fans can visit one of the many golf clubs with fields of international standards.

Night Life

This version of leisure is mainly held in the hotels. Most discos and clubs open their doors at 22:00 and finish operation only in the morning. Here are some of the most fashionable: Blue Elefant (next to the Hilton hotel in Colombo), My Kind Of Place (Taj Samudra Hotel), Library (Trans Asia Hotel), Rock Café (Hotel Colombo-3) and others. If your hotel does not have disco or club, it certainly offers other entertainment activities that will not let you get bored until dawn. For the tourists in Colombo who gamble there are more than 20 casinos where are mostly offered cards and roulette. Mainly such facilities are open 24 hours a day.


When traveling to Sri Lanka the tourists do not need to get vaccinated but you should beware of biting insects. The best protection is a repellent.
- If you are going into the jungle take malaria tablets (available at the drugstores).
- Beware of wild wasps, the most common in the forests of Sri Lanka.
- Drink only bottled water where the bottle has a factory cover. Do not risk taking water from the tap or the sold on the streets ice.
- Wash with soap and water not only the arms but also the fruits and vegetables, even better douse them with boiling water before eating.
- Outside the hotel it is best to eat fruits and vegetables in their skin or after they have been cooked. In the hotel you can eat everything you can but better get introduced to the local dishes gradually (Sri Lankan cuisine is very spicy).
- Do not buy from sellers in the street unknown leaves - they may be drugs.

National Holidays

New Year's Eve (Avurudu) - celebrated on 1 January;
Thai Pongal - festival of the god of sun;
Duruthu Perahera - the day when Buddha first visited Sri Lanka;
Independence Day - falls on February 4th;
Eid-Ul-Allha - a holiday dedicated to the Muslims pilgrims;
Navam Perahera - a holiday devoted to important events for the Buddhism;
Maha Sivarathri - the most important Hindu festival which marks the connecting of Shiva and Parvati;
Sinhala and Tamil New Year - falls on April 14th;
Vesak - Buddhist feast of the full moon accounting for the birthday, enlightenment and death of Buddha;
Poson Poya - arrival of Buddhism to Sri Lanka;
Esala Perahera - Buddhist Festival which is held in Kandy, celebrated for two weeks;
Nikini - first gathering of the Buddhist elite;
Binara - the day when Buddha visited the Heaven;
Val - the end of the sermon of Buddha in the Heaven;
Deepavail - «festival of light» for the Indians, the good triumphs over the evil;
Il Perahera - the students of Buddha decided to spread his teachings in Asia;
Ramadan - the end of fasting for the Muslims;
Unduvap Poya - Bo tree seedlings arrive in Sri Lanka;
Christmas Day - falls on December 25th.


The scuba diving in the coastal waters is an amazing adventure, during a dive can be seen not only corals but even whole wrecks. The rich underwater world will allow the tourists to witness fish-bowl, angelfish, groupers, clownfish, sea horse, a ruff, as well as other fish and marine animals. The best time for diving is from November to February. Equally popular are other sports too: windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling and much more. Activities recreation is possible on land too: the tourists can go to the mountains or jungles to do climbing, trekking accompanied by an instructor or even rafting on complex routes. For a more relaxed holiday we recommend tours over rough terrain where breathtaking views of the local nature will open in front of your eyes.


As a rule the shops open from 10.00 to 20.00, on Saturday they open at 9.30 and at 13.00 the majority of them are already closed. If you decide to do shopping in the resort area, the local shops are open much longer, including during the weekends. In the suburbs each store operates on a random schedule depending exclusively on the owner.
The best places for shopping in Sri Lanka:
Here you can mainly buy jewelry and gems and you can see not only the ready products but also how to extract and process the natural stones.
House of Fashion
A large shopping mall in the city of Colombo, mainly offering clothes.
Office clothes at very low prices, both formal and casual options.
Duplication Road
This is one of the streets in Colombo where in the local shops you can buy clothes, shoes and more. There is also discount centers where clothing from leading designers are sold at lower prices.
Utuwankanda 25 (Mr. Mawanella)
Here are sold herbs, oils and other natural ingredients for cosmetics and massage.
The shopping center is located in a luxurious mansion. There are not only shops but also restaurants and bars.
Majestic City
Another shopping center in the city of Colombo.
Street vendors
The cheapest option for shopping- suitable for shoppers on a budget.


The island of Sri Lanka is a home for over 15 million people. The ethnic composition of the population is quite diverse; here you can find Tamils, Sinhalese, Burghers and even Moors. Official languages are considered English, Tamil and Sinhalese.


On the territory of Sri Lanka the following religions are adopted: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam.


The national currency on the island is the rupee; its rate is about 96 rupees for a dollar.


Those who arrive to the country up to March 31, 2012, receive a visa upon arrival.


The cuisine of Sri Lanka is based on rice and beans which are involved in the majority of local dishes. The rice is used for preparing bread or pancakes where coconut milk is added too. You can also try unusual pasta, risotto or a local delicacy - a mixture of rice and coconut in a bamboo stalk. Here are a few meat dishes. Pork is absolutely forbidden to serve as the pig according the religious views of the local people is sacred. But there are a lot of seafood - smoked or dried fish, tuna, lobster, squid and more. The local cuisine in one way or another spicy and sprinkled with pepper, garlic, nutmeg, saffron, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and other spices. The salads serve as a traditional garnish and tea can be found in the menu of any cafe. If you want something more exotic, try fresh juice or coconut milk. The local alcohol is also made on the basis of coconut milk. The best restaurants in the country are generally located in the hotels, so for example the best seafood restaurant is located in the Taj Exotica Hotel 5 *.


Scuba diving in the coastal waters is an amazing adventure; during the dive you can see not only corals but even whole wrecks. The rich underwater world will allow the tourists to witness the fish-bowl, angelfish, groupers, clownfish, sea horse, ruff, as well as other fish and marine animals. The best time for diving is from November to February.

Tourist Areas

Speaking of monuments in Sri Lanka you can define a kind of cultural triangle including the following attractions:
- Sigiriya (the city is located on the hill of the same name, situated in the picturesque setting of fountains and pools);
- Dambulla (temple in the caves, located inside a cliff at an altitude of 350 meters);
- Polonnaruwa (Sri Lanka capital of the Middle Ages);
- Kandy (the seat of the famous Sinhala rulers of the state, located in the central part of the island.
Sri Lanka has 12 parks and 3 reserves. The largest parks of Sri Lanka:
Bundala National Park
This natural attraction is located 260 km to the south of the city of Colombo, the park is known for the many aquatic birds, observed by bird watchers coming from around the world. Here you can see storks, flamingos, pelicans and many others.
Udavalave National Park.
This wonderful place is located a total of 170 km from Colombo where water meadows in miraculous way alternate with intact groves of trees of valuable species. The fauna is also diverse- in the park can be seen porcupines, jackals, water buffalos, wild boars, deer and many other amazing animals in the wild.
Yallya National Park
This park is located on the south-eastern coast of the island, in total three hundred kilometers from the city of Colombo. Here you can watch many animals going to drink water from the local pond. The variety of species is stunning: lizards, crocodiles, buffalos, deer, elephants and many others, not to mention the significant array of birds.
Nursery for elephants in Pinnavela
For the first time this unique place has been open to visitors on February 17, 1975. It's here that young elephants who were left without parents or affected by the actions of poachers find their home. When the small elephants grow up many of them are sent to zoos and some- go to Ceylon to work. The youngest residents of the reserve have recently celebrated their 4 months birthday. All the elephants can be observed here at close range and if you're lucky you will witness how the very young elephants have milk from a bottle.


The climate in Sri Lanka is warm and tropical. The average temperature is around 28-32C, while there is relatively high humidity on the island. In June and September the monsoon rains take place. The water temperature is stable- at an average of about 26C, which allows you to swim in all year round.

When it is the best to visit

In Sri Lanka you can relax at any time - all year round there is a warm and joyous summer on the islands welcoming the guests with an explosion of colors and lush green nature. During the period from March to November in the north-eastern and south-west coast it's the dry season. This is the best time for those who like to swim. At any time of the year there may be short rains in the afternoon. The great advantage of Sri Lanka is that even if you come here out of season you can still enjoy the holiday, swimming and attending a variety of tours.

Getting there

Getting to Sri Lanka can only be done by plane. The previous ferry between Sri Lanka and India has been stopped more than 20 years ago because the tourists are invited to take advantage of the entire comfort of the air transportation. There are not regular direct flights from Russia to this country; however the travel companies often book charter flights (the flight time is about 9hrs, landing at Male). You can also use regular connecting flights. The cheapest and most convenient way offers Qatar Airways with a stopover in Doha.


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