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Vaccination is important. You are required to produce your health card for yellow fever vaccination, if you are entering the country from a yellow fever infected point of departure. You will also have to update Hepatitis A, Polio and Tetanus dose. You are also advised to take anti- malarial precaution, if you plan to travel off the beaten track.test


Consider buying a Sri Lankan SIM card and top-up cards for your mobile phone. Sri Lankan mobile phone call rates are relatively cheap, both for local and international calls. There is a Dialog GSM shop outside airport arrivals. Bernard Tours can pre-purchase a SIM card for you if you wish, just let us know in advance.
Most hotels now have WIFI – either free or you have to pay for a scratch card.

customs and cultural differences

Sri Lanka’s genuine hospitality to tourists is renowned. People are usually friendly and helpful. However, take care to avoid religious offence. Do not touch a holy man, do not pose for photographs in front of religious statues and remove shoes and socks when entering temples.
Sri Lankan culture includes a lot of customs and rituals, which date to more than 2000 years and handed down from generation to generation. The most prominent feature of the Sri Lankan is its colourful festivals , which is one of the main tourist attractions.

is the foods always spicy?

No, not really. For those who are more adventurous and don’t mind the delicious spicy flavours of traditional Sri Lankan cooking go ahead and try it! It’s an experience. But you can always order food that is less spicy or not spicy at all. There’s always a good choice of both local and foreign culinary delights and beverages available on request.

travelling options

Chartered helicopters, trains, buses, private cars, taxies, tuk tuks and bicycles! It’s really not difficult to get around the island. But you can enjoy the comforts of a Bernard Tours Private Tourist Coach during your stay. If you want to experience the local Tuk Tuk, check if it is meter taxi and ensure the meter is one and enjoy an exciting short drive in traffic!

internet cafes

Freely available! Just ask your hotel for assistance.

how much should i tip

There isn’t a set value. Some cultures tip very generously while others feel rather awkward and uncomfortable deciding on how much to tip and would prefer a service to be all inclusive. At Bernard Tours, our chauffer’s and our guides are paid well, and we pay them on-time which is far more than can be said about some of our competitors. To us our drivers and guides are important element of a trip.It is true that in Sri Lanka chauffeurs and guides expect to be tipped for good service. However they will accept whatever tip you choose to give them with gratitude. If you hire a car and driver, please also consider tipping your driver for good service. A good tip is anything between 20 USD and 40 USD per day of service. If you prefer that we INCLUDE the tip in the quotation so that you do not have to be involved in the act of tipping as such we can do so.With regards to accommodation please remember that 10% service charge has been included on all your accommodation in Sri Lanka and will be charged for all food and beverages you consume on site. The hotel staff in Sri Lanka receive a share of the Service Charge at the end of each month. In the smaller boutique hotels/villas if you wish to leave something extra we would suggest at the end of your stay you pass this to the General Manager of the hotel/Manager of the villa who will pass it on to the staff – generally this is also equally shared among staff. In the larger hotels it is easier to pass individual staff tips for carrying your bags; etc but really not necessary in the boutique hotels and villas.


Police: 011-2433333. Fire: 011-2422222. Hospital: 2691111. Colombo Tourist Information – 011 225 2411 Kandy Tourist Information – 081 222 2661 Department of Motor Traffic – 011 269 4331 Automobile Association – 011 242 1528-9 Department of Immigration – 011 250 3629

what do i need a travel company?

Sri Lanka is complex and unpredictable in many ways and therein lies its beauty. Someone who knows will help you avoid many potential pitfalls. The navigation system only works if at all in certain main cities whilst your resorts and best sites are most often located interior among scenic locations not available in the navigation systems. If you are a light sleeper you may find yourself wondering why you stayed in a certain place at 5 am when the monks from the local temple start chanting. You may find they gave you a room with no view. You may find your hotel/resort staff recommending a poor quality shop with a personal link in the interested of making a commission than your overall experiences and impressions of the country. Your rooms turned out to be adjoining and not interconnecting.… Need we go on? On the flip side booking with a reputable & experienced travel company can be an interesting and pleasurable experience and need not be expensive. Our local knowledge will prevent the pitfalls, show you the best of Sri Lanka and give you peace of mind. Bernard Tours takes care of all of the special details of your vacation so you can relax and enjoy every minute.

is sri lanka and ceylon the same country?

Yes, it is the same country. Ceylon changed its name to Sri Lanka after it gained independence in the year 1948.
In ancient times, Sri Lanka was known by a variety of names: ancient Greek geographers called it Taprobane and Arabs referred to it as Serendib (the origin of the word ‘serendipity’). Ceilão was the name given to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese when they arrived in 1505, which was transliterated into English as Ceylon. As a British crown colony, the island was known as Ceylon, and achieved independence under the name Dominion of Ceylon in 1948.
In Sinhala the country is known as ශ්රීලංකා Sri Lanka. The name derives from the Sanskrit श्रीलंका śrī (venerable) and lankā (island).