local customs and etiquette

Asia has its own set of rules, and Sri Lanka is no exception. This is what makes it so unique and lovable! Remember that everything moves slower in Sri Lanka, and that you should try to adjust to the local mode rather than demand change. Sri Lankans are generally friendly and helpful and respond very well to patience, calmness, and kindness. If you are impatient or demanding, you probably will not get good service. 

Using your right hand

Always give and accept items (e.g. money, gifts) with your right hand. It is considered bad manners to use your left hand.

Respecting the environment

Pollution and disrespect for the environment is a common problem throughout the world. Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka, and much of Asia, disposal facilities are inadequate and disposal of plastics and glass limited. We ask that you bear this in mind and carry your trash with you until you can properly dispose of it.

The beautiful beaches are Sri Lanka’s major attractions. Unfortunately, locals and tourists sometimes do not give due care and respect to this natural resource. Refrain from breaking or touching coral and never buy coral that is on sale. Also discourage your guides or boat drivers from damaging the surrounding or harassing wildlife just so that you can get a closer look.


Certain endangered species of wild animals, flora, and fauna are illegal by law. Possession or export of these species, or any parts of them, is a punishable offense. Items made from wild animals and reptiles (elephant tusks, leopard skin, crocodile skin) are also illegal.

Wearing slippers/shoes inside a Hindu temple,Buddhist temple or a Mosque is prohibited. Also avoid wearing short clothes or sleeve less clothes when you visit any religious temple.

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