1. Can I customize a tour?

Of course. Simply send us a message mentioning the places and activities of interest with your budget.

2. Do I need a visa to enter Sri Lanka?

Yes, you will need a visa to enter Sri Lanka. In addition, if you intend to visit Sri Lanka on a short visit, you will need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) prior to arrival.

3. What is an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA)?

The Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is an official authorization for a Short Visit to Sri Lanka and is issued through an on-line system. You need to obtain an ETA if you intend to visit Sri Lanka as a Tourist, on Business or on Transit. No passport copies, documents, or photographs are required to obtain the ETA. ETA holders will be issued a 30 day Short Visit visa at the port of entry in Sri Lanka.

4. Am I required to obtain an ETA?

Nationals of all countries with the exception of citizens of countries mentioned below are required to obtain an ETA to visit Sri Lanka. Nationals of the following countries who visit Sri Lanka for a Short Visit up to 30 days are exempt from obtaining an ETA;
The Republic of Singapore.
The Republic of Maldives.
The Republic of Seychelles.

5. How much does the ETA cost?.

The non-refundable ETA processing fee for a Tourist visa with Double Entry for 30 days for citizens of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries will cost US$ 15, all other countries will cost US$ 30. Children below 12 years of age are exempt from the ETA fee. A complete list of ETA processing fees could be obtained from the ETA website.

6. My holiday is over 30 days, how can I obtain an extension to my visa?

You can either apply and obtain an extended visa from a Sri Lankan Embassy/ Consulate from your country of residence prior to arrival in Sri Lanka or get an extension from the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo 10. This procedure will take about 2-3 hours, and you will have to give a bona fide reason for staying over 30 days. If you are staying in a resort for a long period, the staff will be able to help you with the application.

7. What clothes should I pack?

Comfortable & light clothing is the most suitable for travelling in Sri Lanka.

8. What should I wear when I enter Temples and other religious buildings?

Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or skimpy clothing when visiting temples, religious or official buildings. Shoes must be removed before entering a temple or private house.

9. What else will come in handy when I travel to Sri Lanka?

Sun protection, sunglasses, a hat, and mosquito repellent can be very useful during your stay.

10. WiFi and Data?

WiFi is free in almost every Tourist Hotel. When you arrive you can get a Data Package with a local Sim card at the Airport for you to use when you are not at the Hotel. There are multiple service provider stalls available at the Arrivals Terminal.

11. What is the country code and how do I dial area codes?

Dialling in – Sri Lanka’s country code is 94, (E.g. If you need to call a number in Colombo, dial ++94 11 XXXXXXX). If you are calling a mobile number, you dial the number after the country code (E.g. dialling a Dialog number, dial ++94 77X XXXXXX). Dialling within/ out – If you need to take an overseas call, you’ll have to dial ’00’. However, the area code must be dialled if you want to take an outstation call (e.g. calling within Colombo, dial 2XXXXXX, Calling Kandy from Colombo, dial 081 XXXXXXX).

12. Can I purchase a local mobile connection while on holiday?

It’s a good option to purchase a local SIM card and top-up cards while you are on holiday. The mobile call rates are relatively cheap for both local and IDD calls. There are many mobile operators in the country (E.g. Dialog, Mobitel, Etisalat, Hutch, etc.,). Dialog has a counter at the Colombo Airport and you can obtain a connection on arrival. A Dialog connection will cost about Rupees 1500. Top-up cards are freely available island-wide. You can buy top-up cards for denominations of Rupees 100, 400 & 1000. Be sure that your phone is `dual-band’ and unlocked.

13. What health issues must be concerned with?

Sri Lanka has an effective health care system which is considered a model for most developing countries across the world. However, emergency medical facilities may not be found outside the main cities. You may have to be brought to Colombo for treatment. We recommend you use the private sector hospitals, which are likely to offer better care. It is mandatory for those travelling to Sri Lanka from Africa or Latin America to have a valid certificate of vaccination for Yellow fever and Meningitis prior to arrival in Sri Lanka. You need up-to-date Hepatitis A, Polio, and Tetanus shots. Mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, chikungunya, and malaria are common. It’s advised you take adequate protection against mosquitos. Take some Imodium tablets (just in case you get an upset stomach). Almost every town has pharmacies selling common medicines. However, we advise you to carry any special medication as the availability of medical supplies may vary. You are strongly advised you take adequate health insurance cover when travelling to Sri Lanka.

14. Is it true that liquor is not served on Full Moon days?

True. Liquor is not served on Full Moon Days. Full Moon days (known as Poya days), are of religious significance to Buddhists and devoted to prayer and meditation. In keeping with its significance as religious day abstinence is practised. As such places selling liquor (including hotel bars) and Meat shops closed. Places of entertainment such as cinemas, discos, and casinos are closed as well.

15. Can I smoke in public places?

No. Smoking and consuming liquor in public areas is banned in Sri Lanka. The smoking ban includes enclosed public places such as social clubs. Smoking is not allowed inside Tulip Holidays Sri Lanks’s vehicles while on tour; however, regular comfort stops will be provided.

16. What currency is used in Sri Lanka?

The Sri Lankan currency is the Rupee (Rs), divided into 100 cents. Notes come in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 & 5000. Breakdown larger notes when you change money – it can sometimes be a problem to breakdown a larger note (500, 1000, or 5000). Hotels and other tourist establishments will quote you the price in US$ or Euro and collect in Rupees at the prevailing exchange rate.

17. Why don’t Sri Lankan banks have IBAN account numbers?

The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is a bank account number structured according to the ECBS (European Committee for Banking Standards) standards. The IBAN was originally developed to facilitate payments within the European Union. Apart from most European countries, IBAN has now been adopted by a few other Middle Eastern countries as well. You can download the latest update of countries supporting IBAN from the SWIFT website. Sri Lanka like most other Asian countries, USA and Australia use the current Bank Identifier Code system (BIC or SWIFT code) in conjunction with the BBAN (Basic Bank Account Number).

18. Is Sri Lanka a suitable destination for children?

Sri Lanka is a very child-friendly country. People make a special effort to fuss and entertain children: when it comes to foreign children the effort is doubled. Hotels and guest houses often have family rooms. Children are well-catered for in restaurants. Baby food and nappies are available in supermarkets, though baby bottles are harder to find. Bring mosquito repellent and sunscreen. The main highlight for children is, inevitably, the beaches and all the delights that go with them. However, there are other attractions: A winding train journey into the hill country, the foundation in Pinnawala and the Dehiwela Zoo in Colombo.

19. Is it possible to get an Ayurvedic Treatment?

Yes. Tulip of Ceylon Nature Resort offers Ayurvedic treatment in a small ancient looking authentic Spa by qualified practitioners. Ayurveda is practised in Sri Lanka widely than Western medicine. Many hotels offer Ayurvedic treatment for guests and have qualified practitioners to advise you on how to improve your health or give various types of baths and massages.

20. How to stay healthy in Sri Lanka?

With common-sense precautions, it is easy to stay healthy in Sri Lanka. Minor health problems can be treated by doctors in the country. If you have a serious problem, Colombo and Kandy boast well-equipped private hospitals offering the latest in conventional medical and surgical techniques.
Never drink tap water and avoid ice and juices in places where bottled water isn’t used. Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of safe, clean water, or king coconut, a healthy alternative., Always use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15. Remember you are just 600km from the equator. Do not pet or play with stray dogs – they may have rabies. Mosquito repellent is essential.

21. The best time to Travel Sri Lanka?

Anytime is a great time to visit Sri Lanka! As a year-round destination, it has two monsoons that occur in different halves of the island at different times. The favourable months are usually October – April for the west coast and south coast, and from May – September for the ancient cities and the east coast.

22. What kind of food will I find in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lankan dishes are based on rice, with a large variety of vegetables, fish & fruits. The uniqueness of Sri Lankan food influenced by invaders and traders – Indians, Arabs, Malays, Moors, Portuguese, Dutch and English all who have left a mark on the Sri Lankan diet, will surely make your trip a voyage of culinary discovery!

Sri Lankan food is good, perhaps a little too piquant for foreign palates, but worth trying. The Lankan food served in your hotel is toned down a little bit due to the sensitive stomach of most tourists, but nevertheless is delicious and you should try it.
International food of any kind is found in all major Sri Lankan Restaurants.

Most coastal towns have excellent seafood including prawns & delicious crab. Rates are quite inexpensive. Being a tropical country, Sri Lanka is blessed with a large variety of fruits. Some fruits like mangoes and Bananas (known plantains here) come in over a dozen of sub varieties of shapes, sizes & tastes! Fruits such as Rambutan, Pineapple, Mangosteen, Papaya (Papaw), wood apple, melons, passion fruit, guavas, etc., are but a small sample of the amazing variety of fruits to be discovered and enjoyed.

23. I am a Vegetarian

Most large hotels and restaurants have a ‘vegetarian section’ on the menu. The smaller local ‘rice and curry’ restaurants may say the food is vegetarian but include a serving of fried fish or sprats (anchovies). The ‘South Indian’ vegetarian restaurants are 100% vegetarian.

24. Can I find Halal food?

Yes !!

25. Drinks?

Sri Lanka is famous for its tea, and pride ourselves in producing ‘Ceylon Tea’, the finest tea in the world. There is a local version of coffee, which is a bit strong. But Colombo is the only place that you could get a really good espresso. Highly recommended are the fresh fruit juices. Popular international soft drinks are available even in little village boutiques.

Sri Lanka has it’s own variety of local beer. Sri Lanka also has two extremely popular local varieties of intoxicating beverage – Toddy and Arrack. Toddy is a natural drink, produced from one or other palm trees. Fermented and refined toddy becomes Arrack. Some varieties are real “rocket fuel”! Imported beer and foreign liquors cost almost the same as in most western countries.
Thambili or King Coconut is a sweet, clean and cheap natural drink that you’ll find by the wayside. It’s extremely cooling and refreshing!

We advise not to drink tap water unless it is purified. Bottled water is recommended. Only use water from containers with serrated seal- not tops or corks. Most hotel rooms have boiled water in thermos flasks, which is safe to drink.

26. What is the voltage type in Sri Lanka?

The voltage is Sri Lanka is 220/ 240 volts.

27. Nightlife in Sri Lanka?

The places with some active nightlife are Colombo, Negombo and Hikkaduwa.
Colombo has some decent pubs, night clubs, karaoke lounges and bars. There is a growing pub-culture among the young and old crowd in Colombo. Friday and Saturday nights are the days for all-night partying. The casinos offer a good combination of live entertainment, food and games of chance.

Negombo and Hikkaduwa have some good beach restaurants and bars. Negombo doesn’t have much of a party scene, but you will find regular beach parties in Hikkaduwa and Mirissa.

28. What are the dos and don’ts when interacting with locals?

The Right-Hand rule – Always gives and receives and eats with your right hand. It is extremely bad mannered to use your left hand for eating.

Respect cultural differences – Things are done differently in Asia, and Sri Lanka is no exception. This is why we love it! Please make sure in your dealings with local people you accept these differences and not try to change them for your own benefit or comfort. The traveller who wishes to have a happy and successful trip in Sri Lanka should keep as calm, cheerful and friendly as humanly possible. Patience and courtesy are virtues that open many doors. Demanding tourists do not get smiles, service or respect.

Environmental responsibility – Pollution and waste management is a huge problem throughout the world. Unfortunately in many parts of Asia, disposal systems are inadequate and recycling of plastics is limited. We suggest avoiding plastic packaging where possible and take along your own bag when shopping. Plastic bags will be offered for everything! Collect and dispose of in the next town.

The law protects certain endangered species of flora & fauna. Export & in even possession of these species as well as of wild animals, birds, reptiles etc., is illegal. The production and sale of items made from wild animals and reptiles, e.g.: Leopard skins, crocodile skins, elephant tusks etc., is also illegal.

Never break coral, or brush against it. Coral is basically a colony of living organisms and damaging them, might kill them. If you go out in a Glass-bottom Boat, encourage the pilot to steer well clear from the coral itself. Boats scraping over the top of the reef are doing damage, especially at Hikkaduwa. Never buy coral if it’s offered for sale. Similarly don’t buy sea shells or turtle shells (or eggs). All of Sri Lanka’s five species of Turtle are endangered. If you happen to spot a turtle, when taking out on a boat, discourage the driver from circling it; this sort of harassment is very stressful to the turtle.

29. Are Credit Cards accepted in Sri Lanka?

Credit Cards are widely used and accepted by local establishments (even in small towns). The most widely used card types are Visa and MasterCard, with Amex and Maestro to a lesser extent. It would be a convenient option to use your Credit Card (valid for international use) whenever possible.

Due to currency regulations in Sri Lanka, credit card charges cannot be made in foreign currency. Local tourist establishments (including Tulip Holidays Sri Lanka) will apply the daily exchange rate the day of your payment and convert foreign exchange rate to Sri Lankan Rupees. Please use the exchange rate indicated in the currency converter only as a guideline as we will apply the prevailing bank exchange rate at the time of transaction.

30. How do I obtain information about Excursions?

Simply call Tulip Holidays Sri Lanka on +94 777137778 or send us an email [email protected] and a representative will discuss your requirements with you. We do not recommend freelance tour operators who tout for customers and do not take any responsibility for service, hygiene or safety issues.