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Sri Lanka

Formerly known as Ceylon, the captivating jewel-shaped ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ offers golden beaches, tropical jungles and mountain peaks – and arguably the finest cuppa in the world.

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Located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, the Club Palm Bay Hotel is an ideal choice for a secluded and leisurely holiday. Stay in one of the bungalows set amid landscaped grounds and enjoy the hotel’s excellent facilities.

Located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, the Club Palm Bay Hotel is an ideal choice for a secluded and leisurely all-inclusive holiday. Stay in one of the bungalows set amid landscaped grounds and enjoy the hotel’s excellent facilities.

The cultural heart and sparkling south west coast of Sri Lanka await you on this all-inclusive two-centre holiday at two 4Q+ hotels.

Sri Lanka Revealed

Escorted Tour Pace 2

Discover Sri Lanka's tropical white sand beaches, varied wildlife and ancient Buddhist temples on this luxurious tour.

Sri Lankan Adventure

Escorted Tour Pace 3

Discover Sri Lanka's cultural heritage of ancient cities and temples, and its magnificent wildlife on this thrilling tour.

Colonial Ceylon

Escorted Tour Pace 2

Sri Lanka's colonial past is revealed in its palatial mansions, mountainous tea plantations and winding railway. Experience this bygone era with stays in four heritage properties.

Visit a host of beautiful and exotic treasures on this spectacular fly-cruise to the Far East, Egypt and the Mediterranean aboard Fred. Olsen's Balmoral.

Contrast lively Mumbai, Goa and Kochi in India with Sri Lanka’s incredible natural beauty and dynamic Kuala Lumpur.

The Spice Route

Cruise World

Immerse yourself in the tropical splendour and breathtaking heritage of Thailand and Indonesia.

Around the World

Cruise World

For the ultimate cruise, join this full circumnavigation of the globe to discover a world of variety and contrasts...

Language

Sinhala, Sinhalese -

There are two official languages in Sri Lanka, Sinhala and Tamil. However, you’ll usually be able to find someone who speaks English.

Tipping

Tipping is part of life in Sri Lanka and most people offering a service will expect a gratuity.

Many hotels and restaurants will automatically add a service charge but it is worth bearing in mind that this will not necessarily find its way to the person who served you.

When visiting temples, you will normally be shown around by a resident monk or priest, who will expect a dollar or two at the end of the tour. Drivers will expect a tip of around $5-10 per day.

Population and size

More than 20 million people live on Sri Lanka, just three million less than the population of Australia.

Around the same size as Ireland, you could fit Sri Lanka into Australia an incredible 117 times.

Currency

Rupee -

The rupee is the currency in Sri Lanka but you will not be able to obtain any until you arrive and will not be able to take any home.

We therefore suggest you don’t change too much money at one time and also beware of confusing the 500 rupee note with the rather similar 100 rupee one – it could be a costly mistake!

Culture

According to Muslim and Christians folklore, Adam took refuge on Sri Lanka when God booted him and Eve out of the Garden of Eden (hence the mountain in the centre of the island being named ‘Adam’s Peak’).

Around 70% of Sri Lankans are Buddhist with Hinduism as the second most prevalent religion, largely in the northern Tamil region.

The Sri Lankans are important producers of coffee, gemstones, coconut, rubber, a range of spices including the native cinnamon and, of course, tea, which is considered to be the ‘cleanest’ in the world.

Traditional drum-based is music performed in outlandish costumes and the colourful Kandyan dancers are an emblem of ‘the nation of smiling people’.

Although the national sport in volleyball, by far the most popular game in the country is cricket and Sri Lanka won the World T20 in 2014 for the third time in five years.

Phrases

Impress the locals with a few words of Sinhala and Tamil…

Sinhala

Yes – ow

No – naa

Hello – ayubowan

Thank you – istuti

OK/very good – hari hondai

Do you speak English? – ingirisi dannevada?

Tamil

Yes – amam

No – Illai

Hello – vanakkam

Thank you – nandri

That is very expensive – anda vilai mikavum adikum

Timezone

Sri Lanka is five-and-a-half hours ahead of GMT.

Electricity

Mains sockets are generally the British-style 13-amp with three square holes, so you shouldn’t need an adaptor. Mains voltage is 230-250 volts, 50 cycles.

Climate

The high temperatures and humidity that come with a tropical climate are tempered by afternoon breezes on the coast and by altitude in the central highlands.

The south-western coast and mountains receive the greatest rainfall, especially from April to June and October to November.

Health

Tap water is not safe to drink so stick to bottled mineral water. Fruit bought in local markets should be peeled or rinsed well in boiled water before eating.

As health information can change at any time, we’d advise you to consult your GP at least 12 weeks before departure.

Country-specific information and advice on possible health risks is also published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre – see www.nathnac.org, and The British Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit provides important health and safety information for British nationals travelling abroad at www.fco.gov.uk/travel.

Passports and visas

It’s a good idea to carry a photocopy of your passport with you on holiday.

You will need a visa to enter Sri Lanka which can be applied for online before departure at the Electronic Travel Authority. If you wait until your arrival to apply, you will face a delay at the airport.

Smoking

Smoking is banned in all public places but many hotels and restaurants allocate separate areas for those who like a puff.

Flight time

You’ll have time to take in a couple of films and a snooze – it takes around eleven-and-a-half hours to fly from London to Colombo.



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