Sri Lanka: 5 Tips for First Time Travellers
Sri Lanka is a beautiful island with miles of golden sandy beaches, point and reef breaks just waiting for your next surfing holiday. Here are 5 tips for first-time travellers.
1. What's in the wallet?
One of the best things of Sri Lanka is how cheap everything is! Due tomthe fact that weekly markets and food stands won’t accept card. So keep a plentiful stash of cash in your wallet. Generally it’s pretty easy to find somewhere to take cash out, but be careful with the exchange rate! It’s best to get some cash at the airport ATMs, but there are also several ATMs in bigger towns like Weligama.
2. What to eat?
Sri Lankan food is very cheap and very spicy. It’s much like Southern Indian food, with lots of coconut – and lots of chili if you aren’t careful!
Beware: street food is VERY spicy, so be careful!
3. How to get around
Big busses, small busses, bug trucks and little trucks overtaking all over the streets of Sri Lanka. Tuk Tuks are so readily available and so cheap that they’re not really necessary anywhay – for a few EUR/USD you can get a lift to the surf breaks, and pick your driver’s brains for local knowledge while you’re at it.
4. Phrases you should know
There are several languages spoken in Sri Lanka, but most people speak Sinhalese (~75%) or Tamil. You can normally get by in English in most places, but it always helps to pick up a few phrases before you go!
Yes = Ow
No = Naa
Hello/good day = Ayubowan
Thank you = Istuti
Please = Karunakerara
Please stop here = Metana nawaththanna
Where is the hotel? = Hootale kohedha?
How much (is this)? = (Meeka) kiyadha?
Do you speak English? – Ingirisi dannevada?
5. What boards to bring
Waves are generally more mellow than some other Indian Ocean destinations, so bring something with a little more volume – a fish or longboard could be perfect for the cruisy peeling waves. However if you’re aiming to surf just the bigger and hollower spots then your standard short board will be fine.
Wanna go? Read our Sri Lanka Surf Travel Guide before!