Travel guide Sri Lanka, with useful information and all the things to know to organize your holidays in this state of South Asia with the capital Colombo.
Sri Lanka in short
- Capital: Colombo
- Area in sq km: 65,610
- Population: 19,299,189 (2006)
- Religion: mainly Buddhist with minorities of Hindus, Muslims and Christians
Where is it
Sri Lanka is a state of southern Asia, formed by the island of the same name located in the Indian Ocean south east of the southern end of the Indian Peninsula. At the center of the island a plateau covered with forests culminates with Mount Pidurutalagala (2527 m), the highest peak in Sri Lanka. The plateau slopes down with a series of terraces towards the sea from which, to the north east, a wide flat belt separates it. In the central mountainous area of the island the main rivers are born: Mahaweli, Kalu, Walawe and Kelani, which radiate down to the sea, often forming waterfalls in the passage from one terrace to another on the plateau. Among the highest peaks of the country stand out Mount Kirigalpotta and Mount Picco di Adam (Sri Pada), which is a pilgrimage destination for Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and Christians.
The climate of Sri Lanka, subject to the influence of monsoons, is hot and humid with abundant rains. It dominates the tropical climate without dry season on the whole island, except the north-eastern part characterized by a tropical climate with periodic rainfall, with the dry season in the months from February / March to August, a period in which, in the rest of the country the rainiest season prevails. The average annual temperature is around 32.3 ° C in the plains and 21.1 ° C on the hills.
The population is mostly composed of Sinhalese (75%). For the rest, the most consistent group is Tamil, a population of Dravidian lineage, divided into two groups: the Tamils who arrived in Sri Lanka in remote times and the Tamils brought from India at the end of the 19th century by the British to work in the tea plantations. Smaller groups are the veddahs, the Aboriginal people of Sri Lanka of Dravidian lineage; the burghers, descendants of ancient European colonists; the Moors, descendants of ancient Arab merchants and settlers and the Malaysians.
In Sri Lanka it is necessary to move the clock hands 5.30 hours ahead of Italy, 4.30 hours ahead when daylight saving time is in effect in Italy.
The official languages of Sri Lanka are Sinhalese and Tamil. English is widely spoken and understood.
Various factors, including the ongoing ethnic conflict in the country, help slow down the development of Sri Lanka's economy and maintain poverty for the population. The agricultural sector however has a fundamental importance and among the main crops we find products intended for export such as tea, rubber, coconuts, spices (especially cinnamon) and rice which is used for internal consumption. Precious timber is also exported. The mineral resources of precious stones and graphite are noteworthy. The industrial sector is not very developed but is still present with industries for the transformation of agricultural products, rubber, paper, iron and steel and chemicals. Remittances from workers who have emigrated abroad and tourism are very important resources for the country's economy.
When to go
To visit the imperial cities within the country and the resorts on the west coast, the best period is from January to March. For the places on the north east coast, the months from February to September are preferable.
To enter Sri Lanka, Italian citizens are required to have a passport with a validity of not less than six months from the date of departure. A tourist visa is required, which is issued free of charge at the airport of the country, for a period not exceeding 30 days, which cannot be extended. For a stay longer than 30 days up to a maximum limit of 90 days, a paid visa must be requested from the Sri Lankan representations abroad.
- The international prefix for calling from Italy to Sri Lanka is: 0094
- The international prefix for calling from Sri Lanka to Italy is: 0039
It is possible to use mobile phones enabled for international roaming.Recommended readings
- Thailand: useful information
- Bangkok (Thailand): what to see in the capital
- Oman: what to see between beaches, desert and palm trees
- Hong Kong: useful tourist information
- Tokyo (Japan): what to see in the capital
The electric current is 230 V 50 Hz. Most electrical outlets have 3 polarities, so an adapter is required.
The official currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). ATMs are mainly located in the cities of Colombo and Kandy, in the rest of the country they are spreading but it is unlikely that they will accept international cards.The main credit cards (Visa and Master Card) are generally accepted in the most important hotels, shops and restaurants. In the main banks you can change travelers checks, make withdrawals with credit cards and exchange currency (euros are fine).
How to get
- The national airline Srilankan Airlines offers direct flights from Rome Fiumicino to Colombo.
- Various airlines organize non-direct flights from Italy to Colombo: Emirates (via Dubai), Qatar Airways (via Doha), Royal Jordanian Airlines (via Amman).
- With Meridiana fly direct flights from Milan Malpensa to Colombo.
To move within the country there are no domestic flights, the most used means are buses and trains.
To visit Sri Lanka there are no mandatory vaccinations to be made, vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory only for travelers from infected areas. However, vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, anti-tetanus, anti-tetanus, anti-cholera and antimalarial prophylaxis are recommended (all rural areas of the country are at risk of malaria infection, excluding the districts of Colombo, Kalutara, Nuwara Eliya and Galle). In addition, it is good to comply with some hygiene rules, since running water is not drinkable: drink only bottled water and drinks without adding ice, do not eat raw food and eat fruit only if it is peeled personally.