Your most frequently asked Sri Lanka travel questions
Now that you have set your heart on immersing yourself in colourful Sri Lanka, we bet you have lots of practical questions about travelling around. Well, we have put together some questions we regularly get asked by our customers before they go to help you out.
What are the entrance fees in Sri Lanka?
Not all of the entrance fees are included with our trips (see specific bite-sized trip for exact details) but are payable locally instead. This is so you are free to choose on the day whether or not to visit certain sites. To help you budget here is a handy list of the entrance fees to the main sites of interest.
All prices are per person, and children under 6 are usually free. There is often 50% discount for those under 12. These prices are quoted in dollars which are widely accepted, although it can be cheaper to pay in rupees. We have given the approximate rate in pounds to help you budget.
• Anuradhapura – US$ 25 – £19
• Polonnaurwa – US$ 25 – £19
• Sigiriya – US$ 30 – £23
• Aukana – Rs. 1000 (Approx. US$ 8) – £6
• Dambulla Rock Cave Temple – Rs. 1,500 (Approx. US$ 12) – £9
• Cultural Show in Kandy – Rs. 1,000 (Approx US$ 8) – £6
• Dalada Maligawa – Rs. 1,500 (Approx US$ 12) – £9
• Royal Botanical Garden – Rs 1,500 (Approx. US$ 12) – £9
• Horton Plains Park – US$ 15 per person + Service charge of US$ 8 in total + VAT 16% – £20
• Udawalawe National Park – US$ 15 per person + Service charge of US$ 8 in total amount + VAT 16% – £20
• Kataragama Temple – No Fees (A donation is appreciated)
• Turtle Hatchery – Rs. 250 per person (Approx. US$ 2) – £1.5
• Colombo Museum – Rs. 800 per person (Approx. US$ 6) – £4.5
• Sinharaja – Entrance fee $10 & Naturalist fee $10 – £17
• Elephant Transit home- Rs. 500 per person (Approx. US$ 4.5) – £3.5
• Mirissa – Whale watching permit fee – US$ 18 per person – £14
What kind of food and drink do they have in Sri Lanka?
You will find a huge selection of delicious food in Sri Lanka, mostly using a ‘local dish’ that consists of ‘rice and curry’ in countless variations, a wonderful destination for vegetarians with a delicious aubergine curry topping the list! You usually get a number of small curries along with your rice so always plenty to try each time until you discover your own favourite!
In most hotels the curries are tailored towards Western tourists, less spicy but still delicious! You can eat good food in Sri Lanka for around £2 – £4 per person. There is also an abundance of mouthwatering fresh fruit for you to try, including papaya, pineapple, mango and fresh coconut.
Coconut Arrack whiskey is a popular national beverage and is served both “on the rocks” or mixed with juice or cola. Lion Beer is a good local brew but beer is relatively expensive in Sri Lanka but soft drinks are very cheap. Not forgetting the tea of course, which is some of the best you can get in the world. You can even pluck your own tea leaves on our Tea Hills trip. Local speciality tea also makes a fantastic gift for those back home.
When and how much should I tip?
In Sri Lanka waiters, maids, porters, drivers and guides will expect a tip. Chambermaids expect around R20 per day or R100 per week. Porters and bellboys in the hotels count on around R20 per piece of luggage. The better restaurants usually add 10% service to the bill. Your driver during your trip will expect a tip of $5 per day and you can give this at the end of your trip, although this amount is of course at your discretion.
What should I pack?
Packing for Sri Lanka depends a lot on the season that you are travelling in. In the spring and summer, light cotton clothes are a good idea. However, if you are planning a trip to the mountains you will need to bring some warm clothes because the temperature – especially above 2000 meters – can get quite cold.
It is worth noting that when you visit religious buildings, neat clothing is essential and in the Buddhist and Hindu temples, you must not wear any hats or headwear. Also do bear in mind that you must have knees and shoulders covered so it’s a good idea to have light scarves and sarongs to throw on quickly when visiting temples.
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