If the quaint island of Sri Lanka has ever since been on the back burner of your travel wish list, it’s time to bring it to the forefront. Believe it or not, a trip to this tropical island can be an absolute revelation of sorts. Be it history, culture, gastronomy or nature’s bounty, it is all on offer here.
Tour agencies in Singapore have customized plans for Sri Lanka vacations. You need to pick one that suits your interests and budget. Here are a few tips for first time travelers.
Language Barriers and Communication
English is the most preferred language for tourists here. Starting from street vendors, to local auto or tuktuk drivers to the staff members of high class resorts, every soul can communicate well in English. Besides, Sri Lankans are an overtly friendly lot. In case you are lost on the street or are looking for a vehicle to take you somewhere, you can use English to communicate your woes. You will happy to see how readily the locals respond and how eager they are to extend a helping hand. In fact, they might try to strike a conversation with you on their own as well. Don’t be scared. This is nothing more than a friendly gesture.
Cost of Travel and Modes of Payment
Sri Lanka is considerably expensive compared to other South East Asian destinations like Vietnam and Thailand. Most of the stuff available here is imported. This hikes prices. However, if you are planning a budget Sri Lanka travel, steer clear of plush high end resorts and restaurants. Sticking to local eateries and brews served at countless food stalls, would be befitting. And the curries served here are delectable too! Just dig in.
Also remember, cash is the preferred mode of payment for most transactions. Carry plenty of notes and do not rely too much on plastic money. Carrying a little extra is always advisable.
Transport and Renting a Car: If you wish to explore the island on a self drive, renting a car is an option here. However, as tour agencies would inform, you need to possess a local driving license issued by your home country and an international driving permit or IDP for Sri Lanka.
Driving conditions however, are pretty stressful. Therefore, going with a hired personal chauffeur is the best bet. In fact, most tour companies will have a driver included in their scheme of offerings. Hiring a car along with a driver is a great way to explore the island and covering your choice of stopovers. In most cases, these drivers possess excellent interpersonal skills and become your true travel friend and tour guide, during the course of the trip.
Health and Hygiene Standards: It is important to understand that the hygiene and sanitation prevailing in the kitchens here will hardly match up to western standards. In fact, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention advocates a Hepatitis A shot before heading to Sri Lanka. So, if you are particularly squeamish about where your food is being prepared, eating out at local food joints might not be a pleasurable experience.
The coastal island of Lanka is a great place to explore, especially for those with a love for beaches and seafood. Just make sure your travel is well planned one.
To read our previous article, please click here.