ANANDA is INFORMATION is KNOWLEDGE ist EXPERIENCE

The ANANDA team has collected useful information in order to help you prepare for your journey and to make your stay with us even more relaxed. Many of these pieces of information and advice are based on our personal experiences, which we would like to pass on to you..

Interesting facts about the country and its people
Area: 65,610 km²
Population: about 22,05 million
Capital: Colombo
International code: LK
Language: Sinhalese (Sinhala), Tamil
Foreign languages: English
Religion: 70% Buddhists, 13% Hindus, 10% Muslims, 7% Christians
Currency: 100 Sri Lankan rupees (LKR) = 0.61 cents (May 2016); you can find current conversion rates at www.xe.com/de/currencyconverter
Time difference: CET+03:30 (summer time) and CET+04:30 (winter time)
Area code: 0094

Electricity
230 volts/50 hertz alternating current, 3-pin plug (adapter plug required).  An adapter plug is also available at the hotel. If you need one continuously, it is recommended to bring your own.

Climate
Sri Lanka has a tropical summer rain climate, with nearly consistently high temperatures. There are no seasons in the proper sense, only a change between the rainy and the dry seasons. The best season for swimming on the west coast is from November to March/April. When there are unfavorable currents and after heavy rains, swimming in the ocean can become strongly limited or even dangerous. Especially during the low season, the width of the beach near the hotels changes, or the beach is undermined.

Traffic
In Sri Lanka, there is left-hand traffic. Apart from state and private buses, there are also trains along the coast and through the interior of the country. For short trips, it is recommended to let a tuk-tuk drive you; for longer trips, it is advisable to take a taxi with a driver.

Social manners
Clothes: During extensive walks along the beach, excursions or on individual trips outside the resort, you should abstain from wearing clothes which are too revealing, in order to avoid offending the locals’ sense of shame. Local women, for example, only go swimming wearing clothes; we therefore recommend, especially to the ladies, wearing a wraparound garment or a shirt over your swimwear.

Body language: Couples should abstain from showing their affection in public. Please never stroke a child’s head. Shaking hands as a greeting is common in business circles, in the countryside a smile and a head wobble is a sign of confirmation. The left hand is considered unclean, therefore you should never use it to pass or take something.

Taking photos
If you take photos of people, you should always ask for their permission in advance.

Entry requirements
Visa requirement
You can apply for the visa online (Electronic Travel Authorization, ETA: www.eta.gov.lk).
After the approval, you will be granted a tourist visa for up to 30 days at the entry checkpoint. The visa fee can be paid online by credit card. The fee for a tourist visa, valid for up to 30 days, is USD 35,-. For an extra charge of USD 5,- you can also obtain the visa on arrival (payment in US dollars only).
Travel documents: Passport (valid for at least 6 months on arrival)
Customs regulations: There are allowance thresholds for entry into Sri Lanka: 1.5l of spirits, small presents worth 1,000 LKR.

Vaccinations
If you arrive on a direct flight from Europe, no vaccinations are required.

If you arrive on a direct flight from Europe, no vaccinations are required.

Recommended vaccinations depend on the current risk of infection at your destination, the type and duration of your planned trip, on your medical condition as well as on whether you still have protection from earlier vaccinations. As various aspects have to be taken into account for each individual case, it is always recommended to see a physician or pharmacist with experience in travel medicine for a personal travel health consultation in good time (about 8 weeks) before your trip.

The Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also offers the following useful information:

www.bmeia.gv.at/reise‐aufenthalt/reiseinformation/land/sri‐lanka/

Money
You can exchange cash and withdraw cash with a debit card or credit card at many ATMs in almost all larger towns throughout Sri Lanka. Please make sure before traveling that your debit card is unlocked for withdrawals outside Europe.

Specific provisions
Homosexual relationships are illegal. Even though there is no known case of criminal prosecution under this law, tourists should respect local customs and sensibilities at all times and not attract attention through provocative behavior.

Buddhist temples and statues should be approached respectfully (it is forbidden to have your picture taken with a Buddha statue with your back turned to the statue). Clothes and tattoos with Buddhist motifs should not be shown or revealed, as they can be considered an insult of Buddhism.

Temples or other sanctuaries may only be entered with appropriate clothes and barefoot. When you go swimming, please note that the country’s culture does not permit going “topless”, nude bathing or wearing a thong.

Safety information
Complaints are increasing about fraud cases when shopping, e.g. for jewelry. In addition, tourists repeatedly complain about being sold herbs, spices and cosmetic products at exorbitant prices in herb gardens.

Internet & e-mail
The area around the lobby and the restaurant is a Wi-Fi zone for guests who want to keep in touch with their loved ones at home.

TRAVEL CHECKLIST (download here)

      • Passport (plus copy of the passport, to be kept separately from the original)
      • Plane ticket
      • Insurance certificate and emergency number (if taken out)
      • Sunscreen for skin and lips (high sun protection factor is recommended)
      • Headgear, sunglasses
      • Mosquito spray (“No Bite” or “Anti Insect Deet” is recommendable) and remedies for insect stings
      • Personal hygiene articles
      • Extra clothes for Ayurvedic treatments, since oils and herbal extracts can hardly be removed by washing (bring single-use slips or old pieces of underwear); sarongs are provided by us
      • Light summer clothes, long-sleeved blouses and long trousers as protection against mosquitos
      • Swimwear & flip-flops
      • Comfortable clothes for the yoga sessions
      • Camera, memory cards, charging cable
      • Socket adapter (can also be borrowed locally)
      • Holiday reading material
      • Travel information