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Prior To Arrival

Sri Lanka Prior to Arrival Check List Monday 23rd December  2019

Your hosts Judy & Jude Ranatunga 

Ayubowan: Sinhalese greeting or goodbye (use it !) Bring the palms of your hands together in front of your chest.  Look the other person in their eyes, no need to bend or bow and say AYUBOWAN. Then watch thereaction and returning smile!!  

Alcohol: easily available and consumed in moderation.Once a month Poya (full moon) day no alcohol, not even in restaurants/hotels 
ATMs: everywhere  
Beach everywhere, nearest to Diaz Square: Negombo (9km) with large international hotels. 
Cigarettes Smoking: not liked, very little in public.  Expensive
Clothing Textile: good choice of good quality fashion, a big fashion store (Kandy fashion) nearby Diaz Square.  Odell store in Colombo.  

Computer IT Mobile Phones, accessories: good supply & repair stores (cheap) 
Credit Cards: widely in use, watch out/learn about DCC
Cuisine: wow, nice &spicy and healthy natural 

Currency exchange LKR/Rupee (conversion: easy rule: take two zeroes away, divide by two = EUR).  Banks & money changers.  Change first on arrival at airport.  NO import/export LKRs.  LKR leftovers: donate to Judy or exchange and take back.  
Customs Control (mostly invisible):friendly easy generous

Diaz Square (30 min from airport and Colombo) address:  370 Wewalduwa Road, Diaz Square, Hunupitiya, Wattala 11300, Sri Lanka (LK) South Asia, GPS  06.9836 N  79.9097 E,  Tel +94  (0)11 2 934 734

Dress Code: casual cotton, linen, Bermuda’s, covered shoulders, tropical 
Drugs/pharmacy: plenty, bring your own prescription, also important for possible customs inspection.  
Duty-free at airport on arrival before customs: import alcohol cigarettes.  Alcohol 2 btls cigarettes: none
Electricity: 220V adapter plugs provided.  
English language taught from first grade in school, widely spoken 
Excess baggage weight, warning: airlines getting stricter &expensive NO batteries in checked luggage, only hand-carry. 
Fruits & Vegetables: variety & Plenty & cheap, enjoy.  Ever had real fresh bananas? NOT 30-day import. 
Health Sports: Cricket, National sport
Holidays (Public) SL has more than 25 per year. 
Humidity: medium high good for the skin (natural moisturizer) 
Immigration Passport Control get arrival card on board or in arrivals halls, must present at immigration officer.  Be prepared. 

Laundry/dry cleaning: three-day service
Monsoon/Rainy season WHEN???  
Passport/visa (official) EU Nationals free on arrival:  : arrival card on board.

Passport/visa (official) EU Nationals free on arrival: arrival card on board. 
Passports & credit cards: make one copy for home PLUS one in your hand-carry and deposit/leave at Diaz Square, do not carry around.  
Photography be respectful, ask  
Press & TV plenty  
Religion multi: Buddhism, Hindu, Muslim, Christian and others, well tolerated, respected among each other.  
Shopping: prepare for textile shopping.  
SIM with local number available (bring passport) can buy on arrival  
Sinhalese = Sri Lankan National.  Also, the National language.  
Super Markets & Western Shopping: Plenty & reasonable prices.  Keells, Cargills, etc.
Tailors & material plenty good fast (7 days) Cheap.  Bring originals/samples.  
Temperatures: 28-33C  
Tipping: less than 10%.  
Transport taxi, tuk tuk (mostly metered) call by SmartPhone mob app, and do tip. 

Travel Insurance: health & luggage & accidents & cancellation &&&.  Must have!  
Water drinking: Do Sinhalese drink tap water?Depends on location, ask your host 

Weather forecast

Wi-Fi free at Diaz Square, widely avail elsewhere.  Bring your tablet or laptop as hand carry luggage.  Most airlines do not allow any battery equipment in checked luggage.  


Airport to Diaz square - 30km 
Duration 34 minutes 

Diaz Square to Colombo

Diaz Square to Colombo City - 11km
Duration 21 minutes 

Diaz Square to Kalaniya Temple

Diaz Square to Kalaniya Temple - 4.8km
Duration 11 minutes 

Diaz Square to Hemas Hospital

Diaz Square to Hemas Hospital - 3.1km
Duration 7 minutes