About Sri Lanka
Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and un-spoilt.
Few places in the world can offer the traveller such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage and unique experiences within such a compact location. Within a mere area of 65, 610 km lie 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1,330 km of coastline – much of it pristine beach – 15 national parks showcasing an abundance of wildlife, nearly 500,000 acres of lush tea estates, 250 acres of botanical gardens, 350 waterfalls, 25,000 water bodies, to a culture that extends back to over 2,500 years.
This is an island of magical proportions, once known as Serendib, Taprobane, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, and Ceylon. Discover refreshingly Sri Lanka!
A single line of footprints crosses the golden sand towards the Indian Ocean, which spills softly onto the beach. Beyond the stretch of calm, indigo-blue sea, a line of breaking waves marks the coral reef where recreational divers discover vividly coloured tropical fish and living corals.
Sri Lanka offers over 1,300 km of idyllic sandy beaches. With its year-round summer and two different weather systems, whatever the time of year, there’s always a beach with sunshine and a choice of calm seas or steady surf depending on what you feel like. There’s a beach for all tastes, budgets and seasons in the lovely island of Sri Lanka.
The adventure seeker is spoilt for choice in Sri Lanka. The thrills on offer are endless and range along the spectrum – from an enjoyable day of golf or cricket to the adrenaline rush of wave riding or paragliding. The waterfalls in the hill country provide ample kayaking and canoeing opportunities whilst the great Mahaweli River – Sri Lanka’s longest – provide ample rapids for those seeking the adrenaline rush of white water rafting. Camping and trekking in the Central Highlands is of the most earthy, real experiences for those who are looking to go back to nature.
Backpacking and cycling are great ways to discover this mysterious island and allow for travelers to feel, taste and hear Sri Lanka, untainted. Hot Air Ballooning above Sigiriya or over the cultural triangle gives an ethereal perspective to the kingdoms of yore.
Sri Lanka wasn’t called Serendib by coincidence. As the Persians scoured the seas in search of
Oriental treasures, they happened upon a mystical island in the Indian Ocean. This island, a land of great treasures and surprises was named Serendib. Latterly, in modern day English the term Serendipity denotes the property of making fortunate discoveries while looking for something unrelated. Today, Sri Lanka is no different. It is a land of serendipity, one where as you search for one moment of bliss you discover a thousand more.
The health risks are very low. In some parts of the country, and in some seasons, malaria-carrying mosquitos are present. Standard malaria treatments guard against this risk, but actual cases of malaria are very rare.
In recent years a few cases of dengue fever have occurred in the Colombo area, though none on the (eastern) side of the island. Dengue fever is also spread my mosquitos, so basic precautions against insect bite should be taken.
Standards of hygiene are generally high, though of course you should exercise caution, as you would in any hot country, when drinking water or eating foods rinsed in water which may not have been treated against possible infection. When staying at the Stardust, please drink the cooled and filtered water which they provide, rather than the tap water!
Almost every village has a dispensary, usually staffed by one or more doctors trained to western standards. Important drugs and medicines are fairly readily obtainable everywhere. In Pottuvil there is a hospital and four very competent doctors. Private treatment is available at very moderate rates.
There is also a pharmacy, which will supply you with treatments for common ailments, antibiotics etc., though if you have requirements for specialized drugs it is probably wisest to bring them with you. (This doesn’t, of course, include illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine, cannabis etc. – penalties for importation of these drugs are potentially very severe.
Pottuvil has two banks, the Peoples Bank and the Bank of Ceylon.
You will be able to exchange foreign currency, travelers cheques for Sri Lanka Rupees at the Bank of Ceylon, though you will need to produce your passport, and you should also retain the exchange docket they provide as you will not be able to exchange Rupees back to another currency without it.
The Bank of Ceylon accepts NO Visa cards and no other type of credit card. Please note that Stardust Beach Hotel accept credit cards (Visa and MasterCard).
No ATM facilities are available in Pottuvil – the nearest ATM machine is in Monaragala, about 70 kms away.
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