Planning a trip to Sri Lanka? Learn from our guide about key rules and customs to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience. From cultural sensitivities to safety precautions, discover the top things to avoid when visiting this stunning island nation.


Moving Train Snaps – Danger Zone


While the Kandy to Ella train ride offers breathtaking views, capturing photos while hanging out of the moving train is risky. Influencers’ dangerous trend of snapping on-the-go can lead to accidents. Enjoy the scenery safely from your seat.


Drone Do’s and Don’ts


Drone photography is captivating, but respect regulations. Obtain permission from Civil Aviation Authority. Avoid flying drones over high-security zones, archaeological sites, and wildlife areas. Carefully follow laws to avoid legal issues.


Respect Religious Symbols


Refrain from displaying Buddha tattoos or wearing clothes with Buddha images. Entering temples with inappropriate attire is disrespectful. Show reverence for Buddha statues and sacred sites.


Avoid Elephant Riding


Elephant rides may seem fun, but they often involve animal cruelty. Riding causes harm and discomfort to elephants. Support ethical tourism and choose alternatives that prioritize animal welfare.


Mind Street Dogs


Adorable as they are, refrain from touching street dogs. They might carry rabies. Protect yourself from potential infections.


Guided Waterfall Hunts


Exploring hidden waterfalls can be risky. Trekking through jungles without local guidance can lead to accidents. Consult local guides to ensure a safe adventure.


Responsible Beach Swimming


Not all beaches are safe for swimming. Heed local advice and flags indicating safe areas. Respect the ocean’s power and protect yourself and your family.


Cultural Sensitivities 


Show respect by not turning your back on Buddha statues and adhering to dress codes in religious places. Avoid public displays of affection.



Wildlife Interaction


Avoid feeding wild elephants to prevent habituation to humans and potential aggression. Follow regulations and prioritize wildlife safety.


Documentary Respect


Capture Sri Lanka’s beauty with care. Seek permission before filming or photographing locals, respecting their privacy and dignity.


 Avoid comparing Sri Lanka & India


Both Sri Lanka and India follows some of the same traditions and have similar cultures. Therefore making comparisons between the two countries would make the locals angry.


 Avoid taking Photographs with Religious Statue or a Sculpture & Avoid turning your back on Religious Statues


Sri Lanka holds a proud history associated with Buddhism therefore avoid taunting Buddha and modeling leaning your back on religious statues in Sri Lanka.


 Do not Mistake Nod Head for an Answer


Locals tend to shake their head or nod for both yes and no therefore, do not mistake nod head or waggle for an answer.


 Avoid Drinking Tap Water


Water could be contaminated due to waste from agricultural industry, other factories and hotels. So, it is recommended to drink bottled water. Tap water can be used  for bathing, washing clothes.


 Avoid Public Nudity


Sri Lanka is a traditional country and public nudity is illegal in the country. Swimsuits and bikinis can be worn at beaches but do cover yourself when your walking on the roads.



By being mindful of these guidelines, you’ll not only have a smooth journey but also contribute to the preservation of Sri Lanka’s rich culture and stunning natural wonders. Travel responsibly and embrace the beauty and warmth of this captivating island!