Useful information when you travel to Sri Lanka on your own
In this section you can find frequently asked questions about the stay in Tropical Garden and essential Sri Lanka travel tips.
If you want to know more about this beautiful island we recommend the guidebooks Lonely Planet and Rough Guide. Up-to-date traveler reviews can be found on TripAdvisor.
You can send us your questions by the contact form as well.
Currency and banks
What is the currency in Sri Lanka?
The currency used in Sri Lanka is Srilankan rupee (abbreviation LKR, usually Rs. as well), the up-to-date exchange rate is to be found here.
It is possible to exchange euros and dollars in all banks as well as at the airport after arrival. ATMs are operating without problems in bigger cities including Tangalle. Credit cards can be used in many places as well.
In Tangalle you can exchange currency in a few banks and withdraw money from your card at the counter or ATM.
What kind of wall plugs are there in Sri Lanka? Can I use own hair dryer, chargers, etc.?
Electricity voltage in Sri Lanka is 240 V. Electricity is available everywhere, although power cuts may occur.
Wall plugs have three inputs such as in the Maledives for instance. Adaptors can be bought almost in all shops with electronics, however a pen can be used instead as well. In Tropical Garden adaptors are at your disposal.
When do the biggest feasts and celebrations take place in Sri Lanka?
There is a number of feasts in Sri Lanka, feasts of all four religons are celebrated (Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim as well as Christian). The most common feast and public holiday is so called poya – full moon day celebrated each month. We recommend to visit Kataragama where you can watch traditional celebrations in temples, ritual coconuts breaking as well as decorating the dogobas (shrines).
The most important feast is the Buddhist Vesakh in May. Big celebrations take place during the Buddhist New Year as well, celebrated in Sri Lanka on April 14th. In July and August fascinating Esala Perahera celebrations with colourful elephant processions take place in Kandy.
What is Srilankan cuisine like?
Srilankan cuisine is spicy in the first place but in all tourist restaurants you can get non-spicy food on request. However in this case you will miss the chance to taste delicious local food with a variety of choices. Traditional meal is called rice&curry, rice with various kinds of vegetable and meat sauces.
In the surroundings of Tropical Garden there are many restaurants with the choice of international as well as local cuisine and rich offer of fish and sea food (we recommend especially jumbo prawns and lobsters). Tropical Garden offers unique possibility to use outside kitchenette on the groundfloor of the houses. You can take the advantage of using a small fridge with freezer, which will be useful to cool drinks in a hot tropical climate. Further equipment contains electric cooker, kettle and utensils.
Lovers of tropical fruits can taste sweet pineapples, bananas, mangos as well as less common kinds which can be bought on local market for a few rupees.
Safe drinking water in bottles is available in all shops. Tropical Garden offers drinking water for free.
How can I communicate in Sri Lanka?
The languages spoken in Sri Lanka are Sinhalese and Tamil. Thanks to the history most people speak some English as well, in hotel and tourist services English is common. In Tropical Garden you can communicate in English or German (our caretaker, Anke, is of German origin).
Is it possible to get my laundry washed during the holiday?
Bed linen and towels are at your disposal in Tropical Garden and are changed every 3 days. In case you request more frequent change please contact Anke. You can have your clothes washed by Anke for a fee (pricelist on the spot).
Medical care and insurance
What is the quality of medical care in Sri Lanka?
The quality of medical care varies, from public hospitals on the development country level to very good clinics in Colombo and bigger cities. Private facilities offer much better quality than public hospitals. There is a newly reconstructed hospital in Tangalle.
It is important to have a good travel insurance which covers the costs related to medical treatment if needed.
What are the prices of common goods in Sri Lanka?
Travelling is not expensive in Sri Lanka, especially if you visit local restaurants, shops and if you travel by local transport. The only somewhat expensive item are the entrance fees to national parks and sights. Even in luxury tourist centres and restaurants the prices are lower as compared to Europe.
How is the safety situation in Sri Lanka?
For years Sri Lanka was tormented by a war conflict which however took place on the northern and eastern coast only. Also in those years Sri Lanka was visited by tourists, mainly during the few years of ceasefire. Since May 2009 there has been peace in Sri Lanka and the safety situation is without problems.
In comparison with other countries (South America, Africa) Sri Lanka is a safe country for tourists, thefts are not common and people are friendly, smiling and willing to help.
Season and weather
When is the best time to go to Sri Lanka?
You can visit Sri Lanka during the whole year as the temperatures are year-round high, about 30°C. The climate in Sri Lanka is influenced by two monsoons, each of which hits another part of the island. In the southern part of Sri Lanka, where Tangalle is situated, the monsoon comes in May and October but the time can vary by a few weeks. The best months to visit Tropical Garden are December-March and June-September. You can find current weather information here.
Can I get all I need in the shops in Sri Lanka?
You needn´t worry that you leave something important at home and will miss it throughout all holiday. You can get all common goods in Sri Lanka at present. In Tangalle there is a Food City supermarket where you can find everything from butter to plasters, not mentioning a number of local small shops and traditional market. However always take the medicines you use regularly.
Swimmimg and diving
Is swimming on the beaches safe?
Tangalle offers miles of white sand beaches where you meet just a few tourists and natives during the whole day. You have to bear in mind that Sri Lanka is surrounded by the Indian Ocean, which means that the sea is very rough and with dangerous currents. However you will find suitable places for swimming in a few minutes walk distance from Tropical Garden. We recommend a safer place at the breakwater, 10-15 min. walk on the beach from the Tropical Garden bungalows, Gayambokka and Pallikudawa beaches or places at Rekawa rocks (all places reachable by tuk-tuk). There are three swimming pools in nearby resorts.
There is a diving centre in Tangalle as well.
Is communication via internet common in Sri Lanka?
Internet is a common means of communiccation in Sri Lanka nowadays, if speaking about tourist centres, hotels and internet cafes. You can connect to free wifi almost in every restaurant. The quality of internet connection is improving every year. Mobile internet connectivity is very good, 4G. If you buy local SIM card, data is very cheap, as well as telephone calls and SMS.
How do I get from the airport to Tropical Garden?
We arrange transport from the airport by air-conditioned vans (max. 7 persons). Upon agreement a driver will be expecting you and will take you right to the bungalows. The journey from the airport to Tangalle takes approx. 2,5 hours (depending on the traffic). You can also spend one night in Negombo or Colombo near the airport as you might be tired after the long flight. We will arrange the transport for the following day then.
It is possible to travel by local transport to Tangalle as well – by bus or by combined transport (train and bus).
How can I travel on the island?
There is a functioning bus as well as railway network in Sri Lanka. You cannot rely on the schedules much, on the other hand a bus will stop wherever you wish. The most popular transport for tourists is taxi however. Renting a car without driver is not very common in Sri Lanka but taxis (vans with driver/guide for more people) is not expensive.
In Tangalle you can use tuk-tuks (motorised three-wheelers) or rent a motorbike.
Travelling with children
Can I travel to Sri Lanka with small children?
Traveling with children is not recommended before they have completed common vaccination process against children and other diseases (approx. after 15. month of age). However it is not rare to see travelers with smaller children and babies in Sri Lanka as well. In any case we recommend to seak advise from you paediatrician.
Tropical Garden history
What is the history of Czech „tropical garden“ in Sri Lanka?
In 2001 we traveled with backpacks through this beautiful island and in the end enjoyed some rest on the Indian ocean coast, on a marvellous lonely beach. This was the place where our plan began – to build a place to go for holiday, to escape from rush and stress of our working duties and hectic life.
Sri Lanka was not visited by many tourist for years due to the civil war in the north of the island. We were one of the first Czech tourists coming. Now the war is over, the island survived the devastating tsunami as well and became a popular place for exotic holiday. After a few years of construction we finished our dream in 2010 – two bungalows Tropical Garden for unusual holiday.
In the period when we are not present in Sri Lanka, we offer the bungalows for rent.
Do I have to take vaccination and antimalarics when going to Sri Lanka?
Vaccination is not compulsory although vaccination against typhus and A and B hepatitis is recommended. Sri Lanka is certified as a malaria-free country by WHO but anyway it is essential to protect against mosquitos consistently because of other diseases. You can do so by wearing long clothing in the evenings, using mosquito nets (at your disposal for free in Tropical Garden), insect sprays or local means (mosquito coils).
If you have any other questions, kindly use the contact form bellow. Thank you.