Thought I would share my personal tips when travelling to Sri Lanka:
1. Make sure Suresh is there to greet you at the airport. The best driver ever....avoids swooping eagles and wildlife like a pro!
2. Choose a flight with one stop rather than direct - Doha or Dubai is rather cool, thanks to the ultra luxurious airport and relaxing loungers!
You not only get the chance to stretch your legs, and freshen up in the spacious, clean rest rooms, but the flight is cheaper
3. Change your currency at Colombo airport on arrival. Ignore what everyone tells you because the rates are actually the best at the airport. And remember Sri Lankan rupees can only be bought in Sri Lanka, so be sensible with how much you change because unless you are thinking of returning (and you more than likely will be thinking this way after one of my retreats!) you will be stuck with the rupees in the UK.
4. Remember to remove your shoes when you enter a shop, home, hotel room and particularly when visiting temples.
5. I like to bring an all white outfit to wear when visiting a temple. It makes you feel calm, serene, it reflects and projects, and enhances the entire experience.
6. Look a tuk tuk driver in the eyes first before deciding to jump in. One crazy journey, narrowly missing on-coming lorries and buses by inches, with a very-high-on-something-driver, taught me this lesson.
7. Chant this mantra for protection: aad guray nameh, jugaad guray nameh, sat guray nameh, siri guru deyv-ay nameh if you forget to do point 5 and the trip turns into a white-knuckle dodgem ride.
8. Avoid ice cubes in your drinks, unless you know for certain they have been made with mineral water!
9. Some useful phrases:
Ayubowan - hello
Bohoma istuti - thank you very much
Karunakara - please
Mata Terinneh neh - I don't understand
Meeka Kiyadha - how much is it?
Kohomadhe - How are you?
10. You don't need to worry about any of the above if you let Ranjan and I take care of you at Thambapanni Retreat.