Planning on visiting Sri Lanka? It would seem wise to be aware of a few, general facts about Sri Lanka in order to avoid any surprises and be more familiar with the new and exotic environment that you will find yourself in. Read through to find out a little about the beautiful island nation.
Coins: Rs1, Rs2, Rs5, Rs10.
Notes: Rs20, Rs50, Rs100, Rs500,
Rs1,000, Rs2,000, Rs5,000.
Electricity: 230 volts AC
Time: GMT plus 5 hours 30 minutes
International Dialing Code: + 94
Official name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Area: 65,525 sqkm
Location: Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bay of Bengal.
Ethnic groups: Sinhalese 74.5%, Sri Lankan Tamils 11.9%, Indian Tamils 4.6%, Moors 7.2%, other 1.8%
Time zone: GMT +5 1/2. Daylight saving time is not observed
Climate: No marked seasons—two monsoons; Northeast monsoon occurs from December to March and Southwest monsoon occurs from June to October. A tropical climate is observed throughout most of the island, whereas the hill country is cooler
Languages: Sinhala, Tamil and English (English is widely spoken throughout Sri Lanka)
Capital: Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte
Commercial capital: Colombo
Administrative divisions: Nine Provinces; Central, North Central, North, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western and Eastern Province
Religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam
Independence day: February 4
Holidays: Saturdays and Sundays are generally non working days. Shops and restaurants are open on weekends. Poya is a religious holiday in the Buddhist calendar and is a monthly public, bank and mercantile holiday for all. Most places (all liquor outlets including hotel bars)are closed on Poya Days
Major exports: Tea, textiles, gems, rubber, and coconut products
Highest peak: Pidurutalagala (Mt Pedro) at 2,524m
National bird: Jungle Fowl (Gallus)
National tree: Ironwood - Na tree (Mesua nagassarium)
National flower: Blue water lily (Nymphaea stellata)
Voltage requirements: 230/240 volts AC, 50Hz (Round three-pin plugs are common, with bayonet lamp fittings)
Keep in Mind;
Credit cards: Accepted in main cities
ATM: Common in larger towns
Tipping: A service charge of 10% is included in restaurant and hotel bills. A tip above that is appreciated, but it is not compulsory and when tipping drivers use your discretion