SRI LANKA: Second-largest island of the Indian Ocean, 50 miles south of India, and a parliamentary republic.
AREA: 25,322 square miles
BANKS: Banks are normally open 9 am - 1 pm or 3 pm Mondays - Fridays. Bank of Ceylon Tourist Bank (York Street, Colombo) open 9 am - 6 pm daily
CLIMATE (Colombo): Average temperatures are: January/March 22° - 28°C; April/June 27° - 30°C; July/September 25° - 28°C; October/December 20° - 25°C. Temperatures in the highlands are normally some 7° - 9° cooler. The main High Season is November/April, when the weather is normally settled and sea conditions permit watersports. May/August is the usual monsoon period on the west coast.
CLOTHING: Light cottons, lightweight suits and loose clothing, hats, sunglasses, high-factor sunscreen lotion, insect repellent, etc. The hill towns require warmer evening wear.
CREDIT CARDS: Main hotels, restaurants and shopping centres honour all major credit cards
CURRENCY: Sri Lanka Rupee. There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency that visitors may bring in
ELECTRICITY: Voltage is 220/240 50 cycles AC (plugs are 3-round pin and adaptors should be taken where relevant)
HEALTH: There are currently no compulsory vaccinations for travel to Sri Lanka, although it is strongly recommended that you are protected against the following: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Cholera, Hepatitis A and Malaria. Vaccination against Yellow Fever is required if arriving from an infected country. Please contact your doctor or MASTA (Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (Tel 0891 224 100 for the latest details.
LANGUAGE: Sinhala, Tamil, with English widely-spoken
LOCAL TIME: GMT + 6 hours
PASSPORTS/VISAS: British passport holders travelling to Sri Lanka must be in possession of a 10-year British Passport, valid for at least six months after your intended return date. 30-day visas are issued at entry for most nationalities.
RELIGION: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam & Christianity
TRAVEL ADVICE: For further information about Sri Lanka please contact the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, Clareville House, 26-27 Oxendon Street, London SW1Y 4EL. Tel: 020 7930 2627 Fax: 020 7930 9070. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.srilankatourism.org.
GETTING TO SRI LANKA: Sri Lankan Airways operate direct flights daily from the United Kingdom to Colombo. Emirates also offer daily services from London and Manchester via Dubai. Sri Lankan Airways operate three flights weekly between Colombo and Cochin in Kerala, and Colombo is also linked by air with Trivandrum (both of these make two-country itineraries easy to arrange).