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What to avoid when in Sri Lanka 

While Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with a rich culture and friendly locals, there are a few things that tourists should avoid doing to ensure a respectful and safe experience. Here are some things not to do in Sri Lanka:

1. Disrespect religious sites:

St Sebastian church Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is home to numerous sacred temples, shrines, and other religious sites. It is important to dress modestly, remove shoes when required, and follow any rules or restrictions in these places. Do not act disrespectful, take inappropriate photographs, or touch religious objects without permission.

2. Disregard dress code:

Sri Lanka has a conservative culture, especially in rural areas. It is advisable to dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites and interacting with locals. Avoid wearing revealing or suggestive clothing to maintain respect and avoid any unwanted attention.

3. Public displays of affection:

Sri Lanka Kandy couple moment

Sri Lanka is a beautiful island nation located in the Indian Ocean, known for its diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. From stunning beaches to lush tea plantations, ancient temples to bustling markets, this country wide range of experiences for visitors.

When it comes to social norms and customs, Sri Lanka has a more conservative attitude towards public displays of affection. It is advisable to exercise a certain level of discretion, particularly in more traditional and local areas. While it is acceptable to express affection within private spaces or in tourist-friendly areas, it’s best to avoid excessive hugging, kissing, or other intimate gestures in public.

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However, it’s important to note that Sri Lankans are generally warm, friendly, and hospitable people. They take pride in their traditions, which include a strong emphasis on respect and modesty. By being mindful of the cultural norms and showing respect for local customs, visitors can have a memorable and harmonious experience in this stunning tropical paradise.

Whether you are exploring the ancient UNESCO World Heritage sites of Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa, enjoying a scenic train ride through the picturesque hill country, or indulging in the mouthwatering local cuisine, Sri Lanka is sure to leave you enchanted with its beauty and charm. So pack your bags, immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the teardrop-shaped island of Sri Lanka.

4. Disrespect wildlife and nature:

Ella hill view Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is known for its biodiversity and stunning natural landscapes. However, it is important not to disturb or harm the wildlife or environment. Avoid littering, feeding wild animals, or engaging in any activities that harm or disrupt the delicate ecosystems.

5. Neglect local customs and traditions:

Buddha statue in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has a unique blend of customs and traditions that should be respected. Familiarise yourself with basic etiquette, such as greeting with “ayubowan,” removing footwear when entering homes or certain establishments, and asking permission before taking photographs of locals.

Sri Lanka Mirissa town

Sri Lanka has strict drug laws, and engaging in any drug-related activities can lead to severe penalties, including imprisonment or even the death penalty. Avoid all involvement with illegal drugs to maintain your safety and comply with the law.

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7. Disregard safety precautions:

Mirissa beach Sri Lanka feb 2018

It is essential to take necessary precautions while traveling in Sri Lanka. Avoid walking alone in remote areas at night, keep an eye on your belongings, and be cautious of scams or hustlers targeting tourists. Also, pay attention to local warnings, especially during monsoon seasons or if venturing into wildlife reserves.

8. Discussing the LTT past: 

Negombo beach life

Don’t even try to dig into the past civil war which ripped Sri Lanka into two parts for over three decades. The northern part of Sri Lanka also referred to as the Tamil tigers was based in Jaffna and if you head up north you will still see remain of the bloody past. But avoid discussing this dark era. 

9. Don’t be rude to the locals:

Negombo canal village life

This is one thing which you should avoid doing at all cost. No one anywhere likes outsiders being rude to them and the people of Sri Lanka are no different. So be polite and keep in mind that people will treat you as you treat them. 

Remember to always be respectful, open-minded, and mindful of local customs and laws while exploring Sri Lanka.

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