When to go
December and January. It won’t be too rainy, or too hot. The other end of the year can be oppressively hot and humid.
Culture shock: 8/10
Language difficulty: 6/10
Quality of food: 8/10
Physical demand: 7/10
Advice and warnings
The usual precautions apply – no walking alone at night if you can help it, keep a close eye on your valuables, etc. Be aware of pickpockets, especially in crowded places.
Before visiting Sri Lanka, all nationalities (except for Singaporeans, Maldivians and Seychellois) must complete an online ‘Electronic Travel Authorization’, or ETA. This can be done through this website. Indians, Pakistanis and other SAARC nationals pay US$15, while Australians and others pay US$30.
Getting there and around
From Chennai, Sri Lankan Airlines flies to Colombo daily. Flights start from INR 11,093 return.
From Melbourne and Sydney, Malaysia Airlines flies to Colombo via Kuala Lumpur.
Melbourne (from $1437 return)
Sydney (from $1455 return)
Since direct flights between Pakistan and Sri Lanka ended, Emirates provide the best connections from Lahore to Colombo. (Although not direct, other options would involve an Indian transit visa, along with all the hassles that would entail for a Pakistani citizen). Return flights start from PKR 97,179.
From Colombo, a buses cost around 300 Sri Lankan Rupees for the one way trip to Kandy, and a private taxi would be around 6000 Sri Lankan Rupees for the day.