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Jaffna

10 not to do at Jaffna, Sri Lanka

So while you’re in the town of Jaffna, it’s important to keep in mind a few key points which will help you have an enriching experience without any blemishes.

Don’t stay along the outskirts of Jaffna

Sri Lanka

Jaffna is the second largest civilisation in Sri Lanka after the capital Colombo. At first glimpse, the city will seem massive and most backpackers in search of pocket-friendly accommodation end up booking a room along the outskirts of the town. This then makes travel around the place costly and time-consuming. Always look for one around the city centre.

Avoid late-night walks

Post the civil war, tourism is still in its initial stage and going out for night walks is not the best idea. You’ll always come across a drunk or a speeding vehicle.

Dress decently

Jaffna Sri Lanka

If you don’t want the locals staring at you, then the best is to dress decently. This includes avoiding shorts, tank tops and sleeveless for girls. Just remember, don’t be a tourist while in Jaffna.

Don’t hire a scooter

Every place is honestly within walking distance or you can take the bus. So hiring a scooter and then having to ride it in the extreme heat is honestly not worth it.

Don’t discuss the civil war

This is easily the most secretive topic while in this part of the country. The civil war was fought around this city and has left bitter and sad memories for nearly everyone who hails from Jaffna. Hence, just don’t get into any kind of discussions regarding the same.

Don’t expect things to be open too late

Jaffna is a bustling place, but nearly everything shuts by 8 pm local time. Even the medical stores and restaurants shut early. So keep in mind to stock up before things shut.

Don’t go swimming during high tide

Jaffna Sri Lanka water pond

The waves in this part of the country can tend to be a bit too strong during high tide. The current has claimed the lives of many over the last few years.  One piece of advice is don’t enter the water without proper advice from locals.

Don’t take the overnight bus to Jaffna

Sri Lanka local bus

If you’re travelling to Jaffna from Colombo, Kandy or any of the southern towns, then it’s important to remember that all these overnight buses are good on paper. But when you end up taking one, you’ll reach Jaffna in the middle of the night by 2:30-3 am.

Skip KFC and have the local food

While you’re here, it’s an absolute must to try out the local cuisine. The crab curry and kottu are surely worth eating. The food is a lot spicer in this part of Lanka.

Don’t be a tourist

Rio ice cream Jaffna

Avoid acting like a typical tourist and try to blend into the place, very similar to how you would live life back and home. This will actually help you interact with the locals better and in doing so you’ll get a better understanding of the place and the difference in culture of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka as they are known.

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