Shouldn’t Do If You’re Traveling to Sri Lanka

15 Things You Shouldn’t Do If You’re Traveling to Sri Lanka

While Sri Lankans are a friendly bunch, their culture and belief systems are not too different from other South Asian countries in the region. So when looking for villas for rent in South Sri Lanka, be mindful of the cultural practices in the country. Like many of its counterparts, it is a conservative society that respects those who revere its traditions and history. Read on for things you should be mindful of not doing when travelling to the island.

Don’t Ride an Elephant, Be a Responsible Visitor

Some elephants are held in captivity for use in religious processions and riding. These elephants are “broken in” by traditional methods to train them and may not take too kindly to visitors. Witness elephants in the national parks. Keep a respectful distance. If visiting turtle ‘sanctuaries’, check to see if it’s an ethical institution. This is especially true of those who are looking for things to do in Koggala, Sri Lanka which has quite a few sanctuaries.

Don’t Touch Dogs

Most dogs are vaccinated against Rabies. But you can never be too safe – street dogs in Sri Lanka are adorable, but avoid touching them. However, if you are accommodated at  Villas For Rent In South Sri Lanka, be mindful not to feed dogs within the premises.

Road Safety

You are in Asia, but you can and will be fined by Police if you ride a scooter or motorcycle without a helmet. Drivers in Sri Lanka often drive crazy so always be vigilant. Most tuk tuks have a meter, make sure to stop one that has a working meter before you get in. Sri Lanka is not large, but it takes hours to travel as roads are congested. For those heading out for some things to do in Koggala, make sure the tuk tuk meter is working otherwise you could be spending a lot on transport.

Don’t Walk Around Half Naked, Respect Religion

Bikinis are fine when you’re on the beach, but outside wear modest clothing. Mind your attire when visiting temples. Don’t be disrespectful in religious shrines and monuments, take off shoes and hats when entering Buddhist temples. You can be arrested if you abuse Buddhist images, statues or other artefacts, mock the Buddha, or pose for photographs backing the Buddha. Tourists have been arrested for sporting a Buddha tattoo, and wearing a dress with an image resembling a Buddhist religious icon.

Don’t snap photos freely

Sri Lanka is recovering from a recent terrorist attack, so taking pictures of military bases, government buildings or VIP’s vehicles is not advised. Ask someone before you take pictures of them. Some people, like stilt fishermen, may charge a fee. Also don’t use drones to take video footage as you can be arrested as the country has reinforced its security checks.

Don’t forget to learn Sinhala

If you are looking for Villas For Rent In South Sri Lanka, it might help to know some Sinhala phrases:

  • Istuti = thank you
  • Kohomadha = how?
  • Hari = okay, got it, fine 
  • Hondayi = good
  • Narakai = bad
  • Keeyada = how much?