Sri Lanka is one of the safest countries in Asia for travelers and criminal rates are very low. Of course some attitudes must be considered, like avoiding walking alone at night (specially women) in dark areas/beaches or opening the wallet with a lot of cash in it in public spaces; also, one must pay attention to scams and research about the prices for tours, tuktuk rides and small shops in advance. But in general, the country is considered very safe and it’s rare to hear news of theft or muggings.
As an equatorial country, Sri Lanka is an island with relatively good weather all year-round, never too cold or too hot. On the other hand, one should keep an eye on the monsoon seasons that may hit the country. Best time to visit the southwest coast and the hill stations are from November to March; while the northeast is mainly dry from April to October. It should always be possible to reach somewhere with good weather in Sri Lanka.
No, Sri Lanka is currently war-free for almost ten years. The country faced a 25-year brutal civil war that put in danger many lives, but since 2009, the peace agreement was accepted and has been respected by all parts. Mostly of the country can be traveled without restrictions, except for a few no-entry zones that should be avoided, located specially in the north of the island.
India is for sure a huge country with many different landscapes and cultures around its territory. If taking in consideration the southern states, though, it’s possible to find a lot of similarities with Sri Lanka in general, but some cities in the north specially. The hot weather, sunny beaches, coconut trees, backwaters and millennial temples make most of the scenic scenarios in both countries, together with the similar looks of the population and some similar traditional dishes.
Since more than half of the population in Sri Lanka is considered Buddhist, Christmas is not one of the most celebrated holidays in the country. But with the increasing of tourists, especially during the season, and some percentage of the population being Christian, it is possible to see Christmas decorations around and find places and families who celebrate it. Big cities and tourist destinations are the main spots to have the Christmas feelings in Sri Lanka.
The online e-visa for staying as a tourist in the country is valid for 30 days upon arrival and can be extended at the Visa Office in Colombo for 60 more days and then again for 90 more days, each extension to be charged a fee depending on one’s nationality. Maximum stay of 6 months as a tourist.
Even though they normally don’t ask for a return ticket at the immigration stands in the airport or at the Visa Office, it’s possible that the airlines coming to Sri Lanka ask for a way out of the country ticket before boarding the airplane.
Written by Maria Clara