The land
The island Ceylon, today Sri Lanka, lays in the Indian Ocean and means translated the “shining”. It looks like a trop at the South end of the Indian subcontinent and is separated only 36 kilometres from the mainland at the narrowest point. The island is situated between the longitude 80. and 82. degrees east ( 79.42 and 81.52) and between latitude 5.55 and 9.5 degrees north. It is 434 kilometres long, 225 kilometres wide and is 65610 square kilometres big. That is approximately the size of Bavaria.
Most areas of the island, especially in the north and southeast, are low-land.
The mountains are subdivided in three regions: the low mountain range in the north is 500 to 1000 metres high; the mountain range in the interior of the land is up to 2000 metres high and is protruded by the Adam’s Peak with 2240 metres and the Pidurutalagala with 2528 meters. These two are a watershed and a meteorological divide. The wet zone is found in the south west with seven high rainfall months and tropical constantly green rain forest and in the central mountain range with tea plantations and fog forest. You find a dry or frequent changing humidity zone in the north and the east of the island. Sri Lanka has to offer a lot more than beaches which are not overcrowded and full of palms. A 2500 years old history, a tremendous culture, a beautiful nature, unique tropical vegetation, tea plantations, gentle mountain slopes, a large amount of rice fields and a lot more. In addition there is the overwhelming hospitality of the people in Sri Lanka.
This variety makes the “Perl of the Indian ocean” to the ideal destination where the visitor can experience new surprises almost every day.
Sri Lanka’s climate is a monsoon climate because of the equator closeness. In the winter time the average temperature lays around 30 degrees Celsius and in the summer time around 35 degrees Celsius and a humidity of 80 to 90 %. In the mountains where it can be much colder at night with 10 to 16 degrees Celsius it is also during the day colder. This makes the climate much nicer. There can be ground frost too. The hottest months are March and April when the sun stands vertical.
official name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
previous name: Ceylon
population: approx. 19,5 million
area: 65610 square kilometres
capital: Colombo
currency: Sri Lanka Rupee
language: Sinhala, Tamil, English
internet id: LK
There are no vaccinations necessary. Recommended are tetanus/diphtheria, polio, hepatitis A, maybe typhoid, hepatitis B. Malaria is rare to find so that most of the tourists do without this vaccination. Besides the natives know best where malaria cases have appeared and avoid this area.
Arrival and departure
The passport has to be valid at least 6 months after the departure time. Germans, Austrian and Swiss persons need a visa only when they stay longer than 30 days. The visa can be expended up to half a year. Only 250 Rs are allowed to take with you and to export.
Please confirm your departure flight at least 72 hours ahead.
Please do not take a lot of Rs with you in the airport complex because there is hardly a chance to pay with Rs once you passed the passport control.
We recommend Euros or US $ travel checks or cash so that you can exchange money into Rupees. Credit cards are accepted in almost every shop nowadays. But it is very complicated to find a money machine which accepts a credit card. It is possible to exchange money in a bank but it takes a lot of time and is laborious (at least half an hour).
Do not pay everything with your credit card. You will get a worthwhile discount in most shops when you pay cash.
In restaurants and hotels it is normal to give 10 to 15 %.
The local kitchen can be recommended very much. Rice is a staple food in Sri Lanka. Different kinds of curries are served with vegetables, fish and meat which are improved by other spices of the island Ceylon. The term “curry” has nothing to do with the spice we know. Spices in general play an important role. It is possible to create a large variety of dishes with different taste using these spices. The dishes can be very spicy but after some time you get used to it. And the Asian spices are much more digestible than the European ones.
The island offers in addition a whole variety of tasty fruits, like mangos, pineapple, papaya, bananas, passion fruit…. The taste is much more intensive because the fruit can ripen peacefully until the end.
Shopping and Souvenirs
Very popular as a souvenir are jewels, precious stones, masks, wood carvings, batiks, handmade silver and brass objects. People who love jewels will be enthusiastic about the low prices of the jewels. The reason lays in the low wage costs and the fact that the stones are found in Sri Lanka. Your own creations will be taken into account. There do exist black sheep among the jewellery traders like everywhere. Therefore we recommend not to buy at a small trader even if he makes you a special price. Large jewellery shopkeepers may do not have the lowest price but offer high quality to a fair price.
You can get help at the State Gem Office, where jewellery and stones are controlled of genuineness. This governmental office is a kind of control authority for the jeweller’s. The prices are fair and constant there. It helps for comparison.
The Gemmological Museum and the Nilani Gem Museum, both in Ratnapura, exhibit a valuable collection of minerals and jewels and show the processing.
For recommendation the “Aida Gems & Jewellery” in Bentota is a good address. In the new built workshop you can watch the workers how they work, and everyone finds definitely the right thing at the big, air-conditioned sales area. With it comes a tailor’s who has a large variety on beautiful things and a restaurant with a lovely view over the river. The export of any kind of souvenir is almost unlimited allowed, included jewelleries, as long as the exchange of money accordingly to the value can be proved and the receipts are there. The same circumstances are valid for the post mailing if the articles are not meant to be sold. When someone receives a gift which have are valuables, he needs an export approval of the Controller of Exchange, Central Bank, Colombo-Fort or the Controller of Imports and Exports, National Mutual Building, Chatham Street, Colombo-Fort, or the State Gem Corporation, Colombo-Fort.
The export of antiques which are older than 50 years is prohibited. Antiques like manuscripts of palm leaves or animal skins or ivory as well as some kinds of orchids.
Tea drinker should bring an extra bag with them because you will get the famous good Ceylon tea to an incomparable price (4-10 € per kilo, depending on the quality). Since there is no import weight limitation any more in the European Community, you can easily recover the price for the ticket with the appropriate amount of tea. Please do not forget the luggage weight!
The water of the Indian Ocean has a temperature of approx. 27 degrees Celsius during the whole year. It is recommended to wear light swimming clothes. Women should always wear top clothes at the beach (no naked swimming please!).
Please respect the foreign culture with its rules as a guest.
Exclusive airlines of the United Arab Emirates.
Both lines fly daily with modern airplanes (several times a week) from Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf and Hamburg (Frankfurt and Munich) over Dubai (Abu Dhabi) to Colombo.
Stopover at the Emirates is possible and very recommendable!

Qatar often has the best prices, but the quality of the planes and the crew varies very much.

Sri Lankan:
The national airline of Sri Lanka, in the past called Air Lanka, flies from Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich to Colombo. The modern airbus A 340 is used among other airplanes for these flights. Partly in connection with the Emirates. Sri Lankan is one of the best airline in Asia since several years

Condor (not year-round):
The vacation airplane of the German Lufthansa flies from Frankfurt and Munich non-stop to Colombo. Connection flights from every other German airport is possible

airberlin (not year-round):
Airberlin approaches Colombo from Düsseldorf and Munich.

The list is not complete of course. The best is to ask your travel agency for flights to Colombo. I recommend first hand scheduled flights. The comfort is much better.

The shuttle service in buses from the airport is organized and costs approx. 40,00 €. Public transportation-buses and subway- is good and extremely inexpensive. But you need faith in God because the natives have an adventurous way to drive. You can also take a taxi which costs about the same as the shuttle.

Further information
Sri Lanka lays only 1000 kilometres far from the equator. Therefore the insolation is very strong. Please spend the first days of your vacation mainly in the shadow or penumbra than in the sun. Do not forget sun lotion, sun glasses and maybe a hat.
The electric power supply in Sri Lanka is not as good as in Germany. Therefore it is possible that in a storm the supply will be diconnected. It is good to carry a flashlight with you.
Light clothes and clothes for casual wear made out of cotton or linen are sufficed. In the evening a long trousers protects you from the mosquitoes. The men should buy themselves a sarong in Sri Lanka. It helps too, can be worn the whole day, is comfortable and breezily and makes a great impression on the natives when you adapt their culture and their way of living. When you plan tour into the high lands of Sri Lanka do not forget the pullover. It can get cold there.

You see and meet begging adults and children. They ask for candy or pens or money. Sri Lanka is one of the poorest countries on earth but not that poor so that the people have to beg. There is enough work on the island. If factories had to close because the workers earn more money by begging then something goes wrong. So please do not give anything to the adults or the children. Thank you. If you want to give something anyway talk to Kuma on location. Simple things like pens or lighters are very popular. You can give pens directly to a school for example. No responsibility is taken for the correctness of these information.

No responsibility is taken for the correctness of these information.