One of the many problems of being a woman with the heart of a traveller is finding the right companion. Of all the people we know, not all would want to travel at the same time or to the same destination. But that should be the last cue to suppress your wanderlust. If a place is calling you, you might as well go ahead alone and greet it. This is especially true if the place you are eyeing is as exotic as the island nation of Sri Lanka. But with a solo trip comes a lot of responsibility and preparation.
Sri Lanka happens to be one of the safest countries for solo female travellers, but unwanted attention and pesky stares are sure a cause for concern. So being alert, thus safe, at all places has to be a priority. Read on to know a few tips that’ll help you enjoy your Sri Lankan excursion safely.
Tuks-tuks are very popular amongst Sri Lankans for going around the city or for shorter distances. Chances are you’ll be approached by a tuk-tuk driver every few steps. But before you hop on one, ensure that your ride has a meter. If not, fix a certain price in advance.
While it’s an incredible experience to travel in a British colonial train, make sure you book a 1st class/AC for more comfort and safety. This is especially advised when you undertake long journeys. Also, luxury AC buses are a great way to commute from or in the direction to Colombo.
Learn some Sinhala
The most widely spoken languages in Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil. South Coast is an essential part of every traveller’s list, and the people residing there speak Sinhalese. Learn a few key phrases, and greet people with the same. It makes you look less naive.
If your accent is not on point, at least your confidence should be. People will be kind enough to teach you the right way. Additionally, when people are unsure around you about how much can you understand, the chances of exploiting your vulnerability go down tremendously.
Stay vigilant and alert
Always trust your gut. When you feel something or someone around you is not right, take action. A good way to feel safe while travelling is to sit close to families.
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Dress according to the occasion
Anyone should wear whatever he/she feels like. But it’s always wise to dress according to the occasion. In a culturally sensitive country like Sri Lanka, one must cover their heads and knees while visiting the temples. Keep a scarf handy and the day there’s a temple on your visit list, skip the shorts pal.
Do not book a random hotel with no online presence
You’ll be handed multiple pamphlets advertising X, Y, or Manoj’s house. If there’s no online presence, skip the deal no matter how good it sounds. Instead, book a Yoho Bed hotels in Bambalapitiya or anywhere in Sri Lanka and redefine your hotel-bed experience.
Buy a local sim card
It will help you make local and international calls when in an emergency or otherwise. Not just that, you can use your data to ensure that the taxi/ tuk-tuk driver is driving you in the right location. The Dialog sim card has great network coverage around the country, so buy it as soon as you land in the country. Consult the concerned person at hotels in Kotahena or any other city to guide you through the sim-procuring process.
Don’t let these tips scare you. People from the island are warm and friendly, and Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Follow these tips, ladies, and have the time of your life in Sri Lanka.