Sri Lanka FAQs | The Dragon Trip

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about bookings, flights, discounts, getting in, health, where you’ll stay, how you’ll get around, with whom, dressed in what, eating what, we’ve got you covered!

Sri Lanka Adventures

Who are we?

We made a whole page to answer just this question. Click here to read about us.

Why should you travel with us?

You’re choosing pretty much the best value in Sri Lanka backpacker travel…

  • We take you to see the absolute best of Sri Lanka. All-encompassing, packed itineraries give you access to the top must-see sites you’ve read about, as well as all the hidden, off-the-beaten-track destinations you haven’t.
  • Experience travelling with an amazing group of like-minded people – not just those travelling with you, but our expert, fun-loving guides too! They’ll show you their part of Sri Lanka their way.
  • We are committed to giving back to local communities which is why we use local suppliers, vendors, and staff wherever possible.
  • We have an excellent commitment to safety – we do the hard work keeping you safe, so you can enjoy yourself to the full.
  • We like to think of ourselves as open-minded people, and our tours are for open-minded people too. We welcome travellers of any nationality, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, gender and sexual orientation.
  • We are a LGBT-friendly travel operator, so you’ll feel safe travelling with us, whatever your way of life – that means no judging and no harassing!
  • Our Sri Lanka trips are most suitable for travellers aged 18 to 55, however, we do occasionally make exceptions outside of this on an individual basis.

Who travels with us?

On first glance, our ‘Dragons’ look like a disparate group of people. We’re young, old, long-time travellers, career-breakers, gap year-takers, families, students, teachers, explorers, history buffs, foodies, nomads, fitness freaks, anime-lovers, Brits, Europeans, Kiwis, Aussies, Americans and a whole lot more. However, whilst appearing very different at first glance, our travellers are more united than first appearances might suggest…

Just like our fantastic team, our customers share a thirst for knowledge, a taste for adventure and a genuine interest in discovering new cultures.

What’s included?

  • Each group will be accompanied by English-speaking Adventure Leaders throughout their trip – all who have the passion and knowledge to ensure that they can help you have a great time in Sri Lanka
  • 9 nights’ accommodation in individual hostel beds (shared dorms)
  • 3 nights’ accommodation in twin rooms (Dambulla & Udawalawe)
  • 11 breakfasts, 2 lunches
  • All transport as per itinerary in a private car, van, or coach depending on size of group) – plus the train from Hatton to Ella
  • Entry to a whole range of places plus a vast number of included activities as per itinerary
  • Government taxes and service charges

What’s not included?

  • Flights to and from Sri Lanka
  • Visa
  • Insurance
  • Aside from the many free unmissable activities The Dragon Trip offers you, we also offer some extra activities which are great value for money, safe and fun
  • Unless specified – food and drink are not included
  • Any taxi/train/bus tickets for journeys made after the trip
  • Any hostels/hotels for after your trip has ended

Who will guide the tours?

You will always have extremely knowledgeable, English-speaking guides! For more info about our awesome team, click here.

How can I book my trip?

All you have to do is email us with your full name at and send in your deposit (10% of trip cost), or book online via our website to guarantee a place in the tour of your choosing. The full amount will be due 70 days before your trip departure date. Once we have confirmed your deposit or full payment, then we will need your correct passport name, birthdate and passport number so that we can issue you your visa invitation letters and booking pack.

What is the payment policy?

For all trips, a deposit of 10% of trip cost is required in order to confirm your booking, and the remaining amount is due 70 days prior to your departure. If you book on to our Japan tours less than 70 days prior to departure, the full balance will be due within 3 days of booking.

How do I pay?

After making a booking on our website, depending on whether you are paying in British pounds or US dollars, you will need to send your payment to our British account, or US account. If you are paying to our US dollar account please make sure to let your bank know that you do not want them to use an intermediary bank and instead send it directly to the US dollar account at HSBC UK – otherwise you may be charged with a $25 intermediary bank usage fee! As soon as we see your payment come through we will issue you a receipt confirming it.

British (GBP) bank account details:
HSBC Account Name: The Dragon Trip Pte. Ltd.
Account Number: 8153 1115
Sort Code: 40 02 08
Branch Address: HSBC Bank Plc, 455 Strand, London, WC2R 0RH
Swift Code: MIDLGB22 IBAN: GB82MIDL40020881531115

US$ (USD) bank account details (for customers based in the USA):

Account Name: The Dragon Trip LLC

Account Number: 601396242

Routing No: 0113 01798

Swift Code: EASRUS3B

Send checks to: The Dragon Trip, 51 Melcher Street – First Floor, Boston, MA 02210, USA

US$ (USD) bank account details (for customers based outside of the USA, including Canada):
Account Name: The Dragon Trip PTE LTD
Swift Code: CMFGUS33
Account Number: 8310305569
Address: TransferWise, 19 W 24th Street, New York NY 10010, United States

Canadian Dollar (CAD) bank account details:
Bank Name: Digital Commerce Bank
Financial Institution Number: 352
Transit Number: 10009
Bank Account Number: 940591852
Bank Address: 736 Meridian Road NE, Calgary, Alberta, T2A 2N7 Canada

Euro € (EUR) bank account details:
Bank Name: AS LHV PANK
IBAN: EE547777000091791801
Bank address: Tartu mnt 2, Tallinn 10145, Estonia

Australian Dollar (AUD) bank account details:
BSB Number: 013943
Account Number: 612518329
Account Type: Current
Bank Name: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (AN)
Bank Address: 833 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

What happens if there is an unforeseen emergency?

Examples of this would include:

– Terrorist attack
– Civil unrest
– Earthquake/Tsunami
– Bad Weather
– Flooding

The Dragon Trip will only pay up to the original costs outlined in the itinerary, but will not pay any additional costs*. Our official policy is to charge customers for any extra costs and advise them to request reimbursement from their travel insurance provider. Payment to The Dragon Trip should be made before the company makes additional purchases whenever possible.

*Additional costs may include (but are not limited to) arranging new transportation or booking new accommodation for the group.

Please note:

Because this policy involves emergency situations, it is always on a case by case basis. Adventure tour managers reserve the right to make an exception to this rule if the group’s safety is in danger or a decision needs to be made immediately (i.e. the next train is about to depart and we need to quickly buy new tickets without consulting the group). In these cases, it is acceptable for the company to make purchases without receiving payment from customers in advance.

After their tour, customers can request reimbursement from travel insurance. Many travel insurance providers offer some form of “Bad Weather or Natural Disaster Coverage” which covers unexpected inclement weather or unexpected natural disasters. These are examples of relevant coverages included in most policies:

• Trip Delay – generally from bad weather or carrier-caused delays. Trip Delay is reimbursement for meals and accommodations that you might incur if your trip is delayed for a covered reason. Trip Delay can happen at any time throughout the trip. For example, you’ll be reimbursed up to the daily limit for meals and accommodations (to the policy maximum) if your departure is delayed for more than the number of hours required for a covered reason during your trip.

• Trip Interruption – you unexpectedly return home early from your trip. This reimburses you for your unused prepaid trip costs and one

If The Dragon Trip goes out of business, would I still be able to get a refund?

Yes, as stated below:

Total Payment Protection (topp) Policy cover.
In compliance with the UK Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 an insurance policy has been arranged with Travel & General Insurance Services Limited (tagis), to protect customers’ prepayments in the unlikely event of our financial failure and paid in respect of

  • non-flight inclusive packages commencing and returning to the UK
  • the ground handling aspects of packages where the customer is responsible for arranging travel to the destination offered in this brochure/literature/document/on this website (subject to the terms of the insurance policy), for:
  • a refund of such prepayments if customers have not yet travelled, or
  • making arrangements to enable the holiday to continue if customers have already travelled, or
    Customers’ prepayments are protected by a topp policy.
    In the unlikely event of financial failure please contact the claims helpline on 0870 0137 965. A copy of the policy is available on request.
    This policy is provided by Travel & General Insurance Services plc (tagis), registered number 02527363 and underwritten by International Insurance Company of Hannover plc (Inter Hannover), registered number 01453123. tagis and Inter Hannover are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

What if I miss the booking deadline for a trip?

Unfortunately, registration for our backpacker tours is closed 18 days before the departure date.

How do I get my Sri Lanka Visa?

Nice and easy! The Sri Lanka government now offers e-Visas (ETA) with Double Entry for 30 days which you can apply and pay for online and receive confirmation via email.

PLEASE NOTE: Although the application is quick and easy, you should apply for your visa within two months of your travel start date to avoid any issues. For a full list of countries, more details and to apply, click

How do I get a VISA if I’m away (abroad) from home?

So long as you have access to the internet, and the required documentation, you can apply for an e-Visa online as usual.

What travel insurance do I need for Sri Lanka?

We require all our customers to have backpackers travel insurance when coming on the trip. We recommend purchasing a travel insurance that offers ‘Bad Weather or Natural Disaster Coverage’.

Please bring details of your travel insurance along with you. In the event of an accident, we may need to contact your insurance company on your behalf, so we will need the insurance company’s name and phone number and your policy number. When it comes to who to choose, we’re big fans of World Nomads as a travel insurance provider.

Do I need any special vaccinations for Sri Lanka?

The Dragon Trip aims to enter areas without tropical diseases. However, as with any backpacking trip, we urge you to seek advice from a travel nurse before departing your home country.

All travellers should be up to date with a full course of vaccination and boosters recommended by their governments. For UK regulations, click here.

It is recommended you have Hepatitis A, B, Tetanus, Typhoid, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis, Tuberculosis – plus malaria tablets. Drinking bottled water is also heavily advised.

I have a medical condition – is this OK?

Generally yes, but please do inform us of your specific requirements at the point of booking.

If you have a prescription, you may want to check the rules regarding bringing it into Sri Lanka before you travel.

I’m not very physically fit – is the trip suitable for me?

At its heart, the Dragon Trip is an adventure tour of Sri Lanka, but you can make your Dragon Trip as physically active (or inactive) as you want. If there is an activity you’d like to give a miss, you could ask your Adventure Leader for a more relaxing activity!

Do I need a first aid kit?

All of our Adventure Leaders have a fully equipped first aid kit with them at all times, but of course there is no harm in bringing your own small one along. We also advise that you bring your own antihistamine, anti-diarrhoea, and painkillers if you think you’ll need them.

If something happens, will I be able to get necessary medical attention?

Yes, our Adventure Leaders will take you to places with effective medical equipment. In the major cities, there are good quality hospitals.

Which hostels do we use?

We use a variety of hostels en-route and so we will send over a full list before you travel.

What is the standard of accommodation?

The standard of accommodation is dorm rooms but these do vary. All of the accommodations are clean, air-conditioned and/or have fans – but, most importantly, are safe. People who stay at hostels are usually young people aged 18-35 who are travelling on a smaller budget than people staying in hotels. So, it is easy to make friends and fun to hang out in the communal areas.

Please note: If you would like to stay in a private room, that is absolutely possible as long as we have rooms upgrades available at the time of purchase.

Do the hostels have WiFi?

There is Wi-Fi available for use in all hostels you stay in during The Dragon Trip. We also recommend you purchase a SIM card before leaving the airport to stay in touch.

Can I upgrade to private room?

Yes! If you’d like to upgrade to a private room, please contact us at and our team will help you to arrange it at an extra cost. The private room will be in another hotel, within short walking distance to the hostel.

What time are the transport links?

  • Colombo – Negombo: 30 minutes
  • Negombo – Dambulla: 3.5 hours
  • Dambulla – Knuckles Mountain Range: 1.5 hours
  • Knuckles Mountain Range – Kandy: 2 hours
  • Kandy – Kitulgala: 2 hours
  • Kitulgala – Hatton – Ella: 1.5 hours by road, 3 hrs by train
  • Ella – Udawalawe: 1.5 hours
  • Udawalawe – Handunugoda: 2 hours
  • Handunugoda – Unawatuna: 30 mins
  • Unawatuna – Colombo: 2 hours

What is it like on public transport?

Throughout your time in Sri Lanka, you’ll be using private transfers. However, transfer between Hatton to Ella will be completed by train.

Do you offer an airport transfer service?

Upon request, The Dragon Trip provides airport transfers for our Sri Lanka group tour – available from and to Colombo. Please email if you would like to enquire about this service.

Do I need to bring power converters?

In Sri Lanka, type D and type G power plugs and sockets are used. The standard voltage is 230 V at a frequency of 50 Hz. This means if your country uses 110-volt outlets- i.e. the US – you need a converter for your devices.

Make sure you pick up adapters for Sri Lanka before you travel! For more details, click here: .

Do I need a sleeping bag or is linen supplied in the hostels?

All bedding is provided.

Who looks after our bags when we’re on transport and/or day excursions?

The bags will be stored at the hostels where they are tagged and recorded. We have never had a case of anyone losing their luggage or having their luggage stolen so you can focus on having fun.

What should I pack for my trip?

We strongly recommend packing very light for The Dragon Trip. The cities all have places you can wash your clothes or pick up some supplies. Ensure that you research the time of year you are travelling, so your clothing is appropriate for the climate.

Suitcase or backpack?

Customers should be considerate of their amount of luggage when travelling. Please keep luggage to one check-in bag and to a size convenient for easily moving between locations, and for storage in hostel dormitory/shared rooms. We highly recommend a large backpack (50-70L). Laundry facilities are available throughout the trip to make packing lighter possible.

Packing suggestions

  • Passport
  • Local currency or credit/debit card
  • Visa
  • First Aid Kit (with medicine for diarrhea, paracetamol, disinfectant etc)
  • Certificate of vaccination(s) if applicable
  • Camera and charger
  • A big bag and a small rucksack. We sometimes get separated from our big bags, so you’ll need to keep your valuables with you in a small bag.
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts/Skirts
  • Long pants (for hiking)
  • Long trousers and sleeved shirts (when visiting temples and some of the local villages)
  • Swimming costume
  • Flipflops
  • Sensible walking shoes/hiking boots
  • Towel
  • Washbag
  • Flashlight/torch
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Lightweight waterproof
  • Earplugs (for better sleep in the dorms)
  • Warm clothes for campsite or hostels in the mountainous regions
  • Moneybelt (pickpocketing and motorbike snatching is common in some cities)
  • Locks for bags
  • Waterproof backpack cover
  • Bring electronic products at your own risk. Some customers choose to travel with iPhone, tablets and laptops, but although theft is extremely rare on the Dragon Trip there is petty crime in some areas we visit.

Will my phone’s sim card work?

International travellers often face expensive roaming charges when using their mobile phones abroad, when using voice calls and data access. However, there are several alternatives available to ensure convenient and affordable internet connectivity without incurring charges.

How do I get money in Sri Lanka?

ATMs are available at the airport and in most towns.

How much should I budget for food and drink on the Dragon Trip?

It really varies depending on your taste and budget. You can get a simple meal for £2-4. Generally, we take travellers to affordable restaurants and recommend budgeting £10-15 a day for food and drink.

Do I need to tip in Sri Lanka?

Tipping is not compulsory, but expected. Consider tipping based on quality of service.

What kind of restaurants will we go to?

Your Adventure Leader will take you to small local cafes/shops serving Sri Lankan food.

I’m a vegetarian/have allergies – will I be able to get the right food?

Yes! Vegetarian food is a part of the Sri Lankan diet, and with so many food choices available, even individuals with allergies and/or special dietary needs can get food. Just tell your Adventure Leader and they can help you find something suitable. You will probably discover a new dish that you love!

I have an emergency on my trip, who should I contact?

If you encounter an emergency on your Dragon Trip in Sri Lanka, you can call our 24-hour emergency line on +84 284 458 1410. Please note, this number should only be used in real emergencies related to someone being in danger or encountering an incident during their trip.

  • If you can’t find what you’re after, email us:
  • Any promotional code used must be presented and used at the time of paying your deposit and thereby confirming your booking. No special offers can be used on bookings which have already been submitted and confirmed.
  • Our prices are set in GBP £, prices listed in American Dollars and Euros are for reference only, and although we update these regularly, they are occasionally inaccurate. If paying for your tour in a currency other than GBP £, we do need to have received an amount which converts to the cost of your specific trip at the point of purchase. For currency conversion rates please check
  • Maximum group size is 20, and minimum is 4 people.
  • Accommodation is not provided the night before Day 1 of your trip or for the night of the last day of your trip.
  • Please bring details of your travel insurance along with you to the meeting. In the event of an accident, we may need contact your insurance company on your behalf, so we will need the insurance company’s name and phone number and your policy number
  • Please note, we work hard to keep our published itineraries as up to date as possible. However, as we are constantly striving to improve our trips, sometime the itineraries may change slightly between the time you make a booking and the time you go on The Dragon Trip.
  • The use of Drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is prohibited during activities organized by The Dragon Trip. If you are in possession of a drone when entering the country it is your responsibility to be informed of and follow all local laws. This may include registering your drone with authorities. If you violate this policy or operate a drone illegally you are subject to removal from the tour as per our terms & conditions.

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