Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It’s important to remember that what may be acceptable behavior, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Sri Lanka
> Be considerate of Sri Lanka’s customs, traditions, religions and culture.
> Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
> For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.
> Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
> When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It’s meant to be fun!
> Learn some local language and don’t be afraid to use it – simple greetings will help break the ice.
> Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
> Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
> Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
> When on community visits or home-stays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.
Sri Lanka has two official languages. Sinhala and Tamil – with English as a link language. Most people have some knowledge of English, and signboards are often in English.
Photo Permits & Entrance Charges
Sri Lanka is a photographer’s delight. However, permits are required before you can take photos at certain sites. Entrance tickets to individual sites are available only from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. These tickets cover charges for photography, recording and parking. Rates are quoted in US Dollars and rupee parities are subject to fluctuation.
Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe.)
What to Wear
Cotton clothes are useful at any time of the year but you will need light woolens for the hills and waterproof clothing or an umbrella. Modest dress for women is advisable especially off the beach and when visiting religious sites. Don’t forget comfortable shoes, sandals or trainers and cotton socks. If you are planning to trek and climb go prepared with suitable gear. Water sports enthusiasts would do well to take their snorkels and diving equipment along.
Usually all visitors to Sri Lanka travel by air; flights arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport, 35 km north of Colombo, and 6 km of Negombo. A number of tour operators from UK and some West European cities offer good value package holidays throughout the year
You may sometimes be overwhelmed by crowds of people in public places (railway stations, markets, bus stands, temples or simply busy streets). “Touts” and hawkers may jostle and push and clamor to show you a hotel and sell you things. Taxis and three – wheeler are often there when you do not need them.
Where to Stay
Sri Lank offers visitors an excellent range of accommodation facilities to suit all budgets from luxury hotels to low budget accommodations. In the peak season (mid-January and during Easter) bookings can be heavy so it is best to reserve accommodation well in advance through Tour operators/ travel agents, booking online and through our travel planner.
Sri Lankan ‘Ceylon’ tea is prepared as in the West and coffee too. There are a huge variety of bottled soft drinks, including well-known international brands. Thambili (king coconut water) is a safe and refreshing option. Local beer and spirits are widely available. Bottled mineral water is available in 5 star hotels. Please note: Alcohol is not sold on Poya (full-moon day of the month) days.