Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Don’t forget to take into account summer-time changes in Europe.)
Sri Lanka has two official languages: Sinhala and Tamil, with English as a link language. Most people have some knowledge of English, and signs are often printed in English.
No vaccinations are compulsory. That said, the following are recommended, particularly if you’re planning a long trip or intend on visiting remote areas: typhoid (monovalent), polio, tetanus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B and rabies. Children should also be protected against diphtheria, whooping cough, mumps, measles and rubella. Remember to plan well ahead with vaccinations. Allow up to six weeks to receive the full course – some vaccinations require more than one dose, and some should not be given together. The risk of malaria exists throughout the whole country apart from the districts of Colombo, Kalutara and Nuwara Eliya. Medication has to start one week prior to travel, continue during the trip, and finish four weeks after your return. Once again, planning is essential; take care to ensure the course is followed.