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Sri Lanka Facts

 

This fascinating island, steeped with history is only 270 miles long and 140 miles across at its widest point. And what makes this land truly breathtaking is the contrasting scenery from the beautiful beaches, to the rainforests, to the cool hill country where tea is grown.

The Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka during the 6th century B.C., probably from northern India.

Buddhism was introduced around the mid-third century B.C., and a great civilization developed at the cities of Anuradhapura (kingdom from circa 200 B.C. to circa 1000 A.D.) and Polonnaruwa (from about 1070 to 1200).

In the 14th century, a south Indian dynasty seized power in the north and established a Tamil kingdom.

Sri Lanka was occupied by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century. The island was then ceded to the British in 1796, and became a crown colony in 1802.

Sri Lanka was united under British rule by 1815.

Known as Ceylon , it became independent in 1948; and its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972.

Climate

 

Sri Lanka is a year round destination boasting bright sunny days even during the wet season.

There are two main climatic zones.

The North East region: May to October is dry season. The rest of the time rain is likely.

The South West region (most of our villas are located in this region): November to April is dry season. The rest of the time, rain is likely.

As with most tropical countries, a monsoon shower lasts a few minutes followed by glorious sun-shine. We personally find this weather refreshing.

The highest temperatures are from March to June (averaging 35C), with April becoming very humid. The cooler months (averaging 27C) are from November to January.

In contrast, the Hill Country region (where tea is grown) can be chilly year round, especially in the evenings.

Cuisine

The staple diet in Sri Lanka is Rice & Curry. The main ingredient in a curry is coconut milk, which gives Sri Lankan curries a distinct taste. A wide array of vegetables and seafood are available and some wonderful curries are served.

 

For variety, there are Chinese, Indian and Muslim restaurants in main centres, along with European cuisines and Fast Food establishments in Colombo . Imported wines, spirits and beers are taxed and can be quite expensive. We recommend you purchase some alchohol from duty free. For the adventurous guests, why not try the lethal local brew, Arrack, made from coconut.

Lastly, the fruit in Sri Lanka is heavenly! Musts are, mangoes, pineapple (great with a little salt sprinkled on top!), Rabuttan, Pau Pau (Papaya), Bananas and Passion Fruit drink… the list is endless. As with most fruit, they are seasonal.

 

Currency

The currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR), divided into 100 cents. Major Credit Cards (e.g. Visa and Mastercard) are widely accepted in larger stores. Please note, most of the villas do not have the facilities to accept credit cards. So please ensure you have sufficient cash with you.

 

It is possible to exchange major currencies at any bank or money changer. Do keep an eye out for exchange rate fluctuations.

 

 

Health Requirements

In the first instance, please check with your GP. However, we do recommend that you are up to date with the following vaccinations: Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Polio. You should also consider malaria tablets.

 

We recommend you take the following items for your comfort and safety:

Relief for Diarrohea (e.g. Immodium, Dioralyte etc);

Citronella based Mosquito Repellents (we use ‘Mosiguard’ which is free of Deet);

Antiseptic cream or wipes;

Insect bite cream;

relief for heat rash (Aloe Vera gel is great for heat rash and sun burns);

After sun cream and High Factor sun creams

 

Children have very delicate and sensitive skin, so please make sure they wear sun cream at all times and keep topping up during the day. The mid-day sun (until about 3:00pm ) is very strong, and we recommend you take a break from this heat and enjoy a siesta!

 

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