Any advice on shopping?
Sri Lanka has a wide variety of very attractive handicrafts on sale. Sri Lankan masks are a very popular collector’s item. Other recommendations are batiks, wood carvings, gemstones, semi- precious stones, lacquer-ware, hand made Silver- and Brass objects and don’t forget the famous ‘Ceylon Tea’. Please avoid ornaments made from tortoise shells & ivory. Never buy turtle shell, we even suggest you not to purchase any woodcarving made from ebony, in order to preserve this scarce hardwood.
Sri Lanka is a major garment manufacturer and exporter of all kinds of clothing. There is an excellent selection of children’s and casual clothing for men & women, beach wear and even warm padded jackets at extremely attractive prices. Colombo is fast becoming an attraction for garment hunters.
How is the nightlife in Sri Lanka?
The places with some active night life are Colombo, Negombo and Hikkaduwa.
Colombo has some decent pubs, night clubs, karaoke lounges and bars. There is a growing pub-culture among the young crowd in Colombo. Friday and Saturday nights are the days for all night partying. The casinos offer a good combination of live entertainment, food and games of chance.
Negombo and Hikkaduwa have some good beach restaurants and bars. Negombo doesn’t have much of a party scene, but you will find regular beach parties in Hikkaduwa.
Is tipping accepted and how do I tip?
Tipping is accepted. Although a 10% service charge is included in bills for food and accommodation, tipping is a customary way of showing your appreciation for services rendered. A rule of thumb is to tip 10% of the total amount due. Your housekeeping staff, doorman, bellboy all expect a little tip. A tip between 100 – 200 rupees for each service is considered sufficient. You guide or driver on tour will expect something between US$ 5 to 15 a day (depending on your level of satisfaction with his service). A 1 US$ bill is roughly equal to Rs. 100, so giving this as a tip is also well received by the locals.