Your visit to Sri Lanka does require a VISA in order to enter. You will need to obtain this electronically through the following website: http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/
The following countries are exempt from requiring a VISA for a stay of up to 30 days
The Republic of Singapore
The Republic of Maldives
The Republic of Seychelles
The country code for Si Lanka is 94. Dialing out of Sri Lanka, overseas, you would dial: “OO” then 1, and then the area code and phone number.
Time: GMT plus 5 hours and 30 minutes
Mobile operators support the GSM technology on 900/1800 bands. 3G network and wireless broadband are available in Colombo, major towns and hotels.
Local SIM cards can be purchased at the airport from “Dialog”, one of Sri Lanka’s main mobile operators. You can also purchase top up card sold across the country from Dialog locations, and most grocery and variety stores. Top up cards are available in Rupee denominations from 100 up to 1,000 Rupees. Make sure your phone is unlocked and “dual band”
Most of the larger and boutique style hotels provide WIFI. Connection in smaller towns will be slower. Internet Café’s are in most towns with ASDL connection.
Sinhala and Tamil are the official languages in Sri Lanka. English is generally understood by most of the people in the cities and main towns. The main sight seeing attractions have translation guides on site available for hire Languages most commonly spoken: English, German, Japanese, Russian, French and Italian.
Sri Lanka is considered one of the few unspoiled places in Asia, and is considered a safe country to travel within. Still it is recommended not to travel alone at night especially when traveling through smaller villages or on the beach. Most visitors feel quite at home in Sri Lanka without any safety concerns.
When arriving at your hotel any valuables should be stored in the safe deposit locker in your room. In Sri Lanka, just like most countries, hotels are not responsible for lost personal items left on display in your room. While at the beach do not leave your personal belongings unattended.
Sri Lanka’s private hospitals offer very effective health care. Emergency medical clinics outside of the major cities and towns can be harder to find. We recommend that if you do fall quite ill make your way to a medical clinic or a hospital in Colombo. Almost every town has a pharmacy and walk in clinics should you have any health concerns.
Dengue and yellow fever both Mosquito borne diseases found in Sri Lanka and most tropical countries. Mosquito repellant, coils and citronella are available throughout Sri Lanka. Keep some citronella or mosquito repellant with you if you plan on eating at an outdoor restaurant in the early evening as this when they tend to be around the most.
Emergency: Dial 119
Accident Service, National Hospital Colombo: Dial 011 269 1111
- Private Luxury Rooms and Bathrooms
- Wifi and Air Conditioning
- Laundry Service
- Bar Fridge and Safe
- Verandah with full or partial view of the beach.
- Swimming Pool
- Daily Yoga (November – April)
- Ayurvedic Massage (by appointment, available at Sapphire Seas or our Ayurvedic Massage Nature Centre)
- Airport Pick Up and Drop Off
- Currency Exchange (best/preferred rates for our guests)
- Security Guard on Duty 24 hours.
- A front desk opened and staffed 24/7
- Daily housekeeping included in the room rate
- Private bathroom for each unit
Do not drink the tap water in Sri Lanka unless it has been boiled or purified. Bottled water is available everywhere.
King Coconut Water directly from the coconut is perfectly safe to drink. It’s extremely thirst quenching and balances your electrolytes.
This is a Buddhist holiday in Sri Lanka. Visiting Buddhist temples on this day especially in the evening is very auspicious and beautiful with all the incense and butter lamps lit.
Stores selling liquor are closed on this religious holiday, and hotel bars are prohibited from selling liquor. Places of entertainment such as discos, casinos and cinemas are also closed.
The currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee, divided into 100 cents. Notes come in: 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2000, and 5,000. This will be the only currency accepted in shops, hotels, and restaurants throughout Sri Lanka. Make sure when you change your money you get some smaller notes as you can run into problems breaking down the larger notes in some shops.
Establishments usually give pricing in US dollar, but the payment will have to be made in Rupee.
Sapphire Seas offers does accept US dollar for payment. Change would be given in Rupee. Currency exchange is something we offer to our guests at a very good exchange rate.
Credit Cards and Debit Cards are widely accepted throughout Sri Lanka especially in the larger establishments. VISA and Mastercard and Debit are the most widely accepted.
ATM’s can be found throughout Sri Lanka’s larger towns and cities. You can take cash advance against your VISA or Mastercard at most ATM’s. Different banks accept different cards. Check with your bank to make sure your credit cards are accepted in Sri Lanka.
Banks, Post offices and Government office are open Monday – Friday. Some banks will open Saturdays for just the morning. Poya day is observed as a holiday and are closed on this day.
The voltage is Sri Lanka is 220/240 volt. Our hotel does have an adapter in your room. We also recommend you travel with an adapter. Do not insert a 110V-120V directly into a Sri Lankan 240V base as this will burn the motor and could cause fire.
We ask you to be mindful of your water and electricity consumption in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka does go through water shortage periods and power cuts occasionally.
Hand carved masks, batiks, and wood carvings make beautiful keep sakes and gifts. They represent the heritage and fine artisan skills found locally in Sri Lanka.
Some of the finest sapphires in the world are from Sri Lanka. Precious and Semi Precious Gem stones are in abundance here. Make sure you know a bit about gems and only purchase from an accredited source.
Three wheelers/rickshaw taxis also called “Tuk Tuks” can be hailed anywhere. Negotiate a price in Rupee before stepping in if there is no meter.
There is the main bus and railway station in Hikkaduwa Town. Should you wish to be adventurous and make your own way across Sri Lanka.
The Train System in Sri Lanka serves 164 stations and 155 sub-stations throughout the country. The trains offer 1st Class, 2nd Class and Economy.
Air condition luxury long distance buses and city point to point non A/C buses operate throughout Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan’s are known for their hospitality with tourists. Here are some simple guidelines to make your holiday a positive experience.
- If you are visiting religious places remove your shoes and hats. Shoulders and knees should be covered.
- Religious statues at temples or around the country are greatly revered. For this reason do not climb on them, sit on them or pose with them.
- Show respect to the locals by listening patiently and keeping calm, you will achieve a lot more this way.
- If eating with a local family without spoon or fork, always use the right hand, never the left hand.
Colombo, Hikkaduwa and the larger towns and cities do have, pubs, nightclubs and discos. On the weekend the discos can operate until the morning. You’re always sure to be able to find a beach party on the weekend in Hikkaduwa (2.5 km) from Sapphire Seas.