Be prepared for a 101 questuions
Favorite thing: What is your age? In most countries this is considered really rude and whats even worse is they guess its never 5-10 years less no quite the opposite.
Are you married? Do you have children? This is really important to especially village Sri Lankan’s and if you are married they cannot comprehend why you would have no children. If you have no children after a year of marriage in Sri Lanka its considered something to gossip about.
Sri Lanka Good? They love their cricket so if you come from a cricketing nation as I do, South Africa they will spout you a list of their favourite players in fact a lot of older players legends in my time
Where are you going? What is your country? Geez after a while you just want to be left alone with the shouts of Tuk Tuk Madame? You can reply something pleasant but untrue. In general I hate being ripped off by tuktuks so I walk rather but if I do get a 3 wheeler I approach them with the price rather then having the masses come to me. Rather get a decent person and stick with them the whole time you are in that area the hotel can contact them for you or send a text.
Etiquette on affectionate behaviour in sri lanka
Favorite thing: The local couples hide behind umbrellas, public displays of affection are taboo and in some areas like Colombo Galle face strip the police patrol the area and break up kissing lovers. In Colombo the girls are more liberated and this is where you can find some great nightclubs.
Watch out for random locals trying to kiss you I have experienced this on occasions and a drunk father of the bride at a wedding lunged at me outside the toilets making my then bf very angry.
It is not uncommon for men to hold hands and its always been bizzare to witness the police taking the hand of my ex and it was not for a bribe, in fact he hated the touchy feely concept.
Sri Lankan's sniff .... yes thats right they take a good old whiff, I am not sure where that comes from mum's checking to see if they have washed? Anyway I can assure you it is an affectionate thing just run with it.
Etiquette on behaviour on beaches in sri lanka
Favorite thing: Showing too much flesh can be frowned upon on the beach its ok to wear a bikini but when you go back to the restaurant covering up with a sarong is a good idea if you don’t want the waiters to ogle you.
None of Sri Lanka beaches have topless or naked areas the local ladies go swimming fully clothed if that gives you an idea.
Favorite thing: In Sri Lanka it is easy to find a lot of medicines which would not normally be available to people living in Europe over the counter. Antibiotics usually are prescribed but I know from experience if you ask for them in a chemist they will usually hand it over if you say the name & you are normally prescribed them. A bit scary actually but they are less keen on dishing out antibiotics to the locals then to tourists.
When you are prescribed medication ask for the doctor to write the name clearly on the packet so you can google it most times they just like to give the dosage.
To be honest I even saw them selling a sort of Viagra type tablet over the counter
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Cows they are everywhere
Favorite thing: Cows in Sri Lanka are everywhere and if you have not travelled to asia before this will probably be amusing for you it was for me when I first saw them on the road. Ok travelling on the road is one thing but sun bathing on the beach I mean come on! Cows are considered holy by the Tamil people and they seem to keep the as pets. One man brought his cow along to a job he was doing only to have me chase the cow away for eating the grass which is so hard to grow in Trinco sandy soil.
The cows are also so skinny that you cannot imagine they are good for dairy farming which is why probably there is not much fresh milk around in sri lanka. The beef however is extremely lean the cows should be killed in the traditional halal way.
They also used to brand them by carving their inials into the hide not very nice at all, these days there is supposed to be a more humane way of tattooing them. There is often fights between the locals over diputes about cows on their territory or if someone has knocked a cow down it can be rather ugly domestic.
Favorite thing: If your guest house offers this service ask if its machine wash or hand wash. If its hand wash please don’t give your delicate items or jumpers which may be ruined by pounding on a stone. Remember to always give it to a person in charge not just the cleaner. If there are any items that could run you need to let the reception in charge know and separate the item for handwashing. It may be normal practice for us to separate whites and colours but it is not necessarily for the staff.
When I was working in trinco we took laundry from an outside guest she handed it to the cleaner directly these were dirty backpacker clothes the kind you hold at arms length befor loading into the machine. Well one of these 4 girls had a pair of red trousers newly brought from india that ran over her entire white clothes. Actually I thought her top looked nicer pink but she screamed and performed saying I owed her Eur200 uhm the tops were from primark and h&m. Anyway she was not charged for those items but it was her own fault. She was very aggressive in the end and disruptive which I thought perculiar as it was ok that her friend’s undergarments had pink splotches cause it was from a festival where you through dye on each other.
Anyway I digress the charge could be per item we used to charge LKR20 for smalls, LKR40 for shirts etc and LKR60-100 for large or heavy items towels, jeans, duvet cover etc. They were not ironed just folded. Some places charge by the kg but I am not sure of prices. Obviously the more expensive the hotel the more their charges may be.
You can ask for a bucket and handwash yourself with sunlight soap or tide detergent powder.
Favorite thing: Most shower and tap water will be sourced from either wells or ground water. Hotels should be cleaning their wells regularly and you should have no problems brushing your teeth with this water. Every tourist board approved hotel should have a government tap onsite which is treated water and safe for drinking (this is what the locals drink) bear in mind at smaller hotels there is just one servicing the whole hotel.
Purchasing bottled water from the smaller store you will pay a Rs5-10 cooling charge on top of the marked price unless of course it is keels or food city. In a guesthouse, hotel or big restaurant expect to pay rs100-150 for a bottle sometimes 1L or 1.5L. My favourite is cristal or mount spring make sure the seal is in tact.
- Budget Travel
Favorite thing: Wifi is available at most hotels in Sri Lanka although some may not offer this free of charge. Dialog offer a pay per usage Rs50 card will give you approx 2hrs surf time.
Most hotels password protect their wifi and is for customer or guest use only. If wifi is given free of charge to restaurant customers please be generous to have more then just one drink whilst downloading and uploading.
I have been in a situation where customers have sat for half a day using the internet as well as the restaurant seating area, plugging in and charging their laptops and then only ordering one fruit juice, this just ruins the owners view on giving out free wifi and spoils it for the next customer.
You could just buy an internet card if you are using a sri lankan sim for Rs99 it will give you 500MB, 20min Dialog to Dialog calls and 100 dialog sms for 21 days. You can hotspot your phone to a pc or tab as well
- Budget Travel
donation to Dedunu
Favorite thing: if you feel like donating money you can visit this place ! also see www.dedunu.org
very nice children and they need it !