In Sri Lanka, Buddhism is the dominant religion, with Hinduism, Islam and Christianity making up about 25% of the population
Sinhala is the official language. Tamil and Sinhala are both national languages. English is commonly spoken in tourist areas.
Area (sq. km):
65,610 square meters
GMT + 5
The Island is tropical with very distinct dry and wet seasons and there are two monsoon periods each year. The Yala monsoon affects the south-west parts of the country between May and August whilst the dry season here lasts from December to March. The northern and eastern areas receive their rain between October and January from the Maha monsoon and are dry from May to September. During October & November rain and thunderstorms can occur in many parts of the island. Low lying areas including Colombo have an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius.
The international dialling code for Sri Lanka is +94.
In Sri Lanka, voltage is 230v/50 cycles. Round three-pin plugs are the most common types.
The markets and boutiques have an excellent range of colourful clothing, fabrics and gems on offer and painted masks and handicrafts are very popular souvenirs.
Visa: Please note that visa requirements can and do change. It is essential that you confirm requirements with the nearest relevant embassy or check with your travel agent before you travel. From 1 January 2012, all foreign passport holders are required to obtain a visa prior to entry into Sri Lanka. The process is simple and the cost is US$20 as a standard for all countries for processing the visa prior to arrival. Those who arrive at the airport without a prior visa can also obtain one at your port of arrival. The fee for obtaining your visa on arrival is US$5 higher than obtaining it online. Note that free visa on arrival will continue until 31 March 2012 if you planned your trip prior to 31 December 2011. However, Singaporeans and Maldivians are not required to have a visa prior to arrival. The visa can be obtained as follows: Online by logging on to www.eta.gov.lk (detailed information and the visa forms are provided through this site). The information is available in many of key languages (English, Arabic, Russian, Japanese, German, Spanish, Chinese etc). The visa is provided within a day; On arrival (extra $5); or through your travel agent or local visa service such as www.visalink.com.au
Sri Lanka-Lonely Planet Sri Lanka-Tim Page Running in the Family-Michael Ondaatje