Sri Lankan rupee (LKR). The best exchange rate with euros or US dollars,
which we recommend to include in the travelling cash. Major shops accept Visa
and MasterCard. ATMs accepting foreign-issued cards are available in Colombo
Vaccination: It is adequate for an ordinary traveller visiting
districts of Colombo, Galle and Hikkaduwa to have valid tetanus and polio vaccination, and either
gammaglobuline or Hepatitis A vaccination. Malaria is not known to appear in Hikkaduwa
coastal area but epidemics exist inland so medication against malaria is
recommended. For travellers staying for a longer period, especially when visiting
rural areas or spending much time outdoors, vaccination against Japanese
encephalitis is recommended.
Two main languages spoken in Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil,
but English is commonly spoken, as well.
Traffic: Traffic is left-sided
and notoriously slow in Colombo and surrounds.
The condition of roads can be poor. If
you wish to move independently in the island, it is possible to rent a bicycle
or a motorbike, or even a car, with or without a driver.
Travelling on a bus or train is cheap and offers an excellent
way to get into the Sri Lankan way of life.
Communication: Mobile telephone coverage is
available throughout the country as part of roaming agreements with some
international mobile phone companies, however the coverage can be sporadic.
Internet coverage in Sri Lanka is far from extensive. Although internet cafes
are available in most major towns and resorts, the services can be extremely
slow, with high-speed internet almost non-existent. In Hikkaduwa
and in major cities, sending and receiving SMS messages should be no problem.