DO Try to master the local head-wobble. You won’t succeed, but simply trying will bring you closer to comprehending its exact meaning.
DON’T Photograph the soldiers. Sure the war is over, but they’re not quite ready to have things pointed at them like that yet.
DO Keep a handkerchief in your pocket. How a country that primarily eats with its hands can have a napkin crisis is just another one of travel’s great mysteries.
DON’T Overestimate your spicy-food capacity. You can always add more, but those taste buds may never recover.
DO Take three-wheelers as much as possible. You’ll be that much closer to the travel experience (and death).
DON’T Underestimate the power of wildlife. An average of 40 to 50 people are killed by elephants every year.
DO Try the tea. Visit a spice market. And play some cricket. Participating in Sri Lanka’s sources of national pride brings you closer to the locals.
DON’T Just travel the south. All the tourism information will point you in this direction because the civil-war conflict was in the north. But the war is long over, and the real untapped travel destinations await your discovery. Just, um, make sure you don’t wander into any fields unless you’re sure they’ve been properly de-land-mined.
DO Ignore what I said about land mines and wars and elephants and tsunamis. Wait, did I forget to mention … never mind? You’re going to be just fine. Don’t be scared. Get out there and explore. Sri Lanka is awesome.