What to wear in Sri Lanka

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What to wear in Sri Lanka

Avatar for Hrharkin
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Can anyone help me with this? I know I need to be fairly modest - covering shoulders, etc. But is this all the time? Or just in temples and religious areas? Would I be able to wear a vesttop and carry a scarf with me for these times? What about on the beach, is normal beach wear allowed?

Any help would be useful!
Thanks!

     
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I haven’t been but from what I know about Sri Lanka is that it is best to be conservative. I’d avoid wearing vest tops or anything that shows your shoulders when walking out and about. Stick to t-shirts and linen trousers or loose skirts to be on the safe side and avoid attracting unwanted attention. Or use a scarf over a vest top to cover your shoulders/chest.
At the beach or pool, I googled around and it seems that when you’re swimming a bikini/swimsuit is fine but wear a sarong when you walk around the beach.
Lexi

     
Avatar for James1985
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Its the British to blame for the people on the subcontinent and Sri Lanka for being so conservative. When the empire arrived all the locals were walking round ball and boobs out. And the British made them cover up. It stuck. I say try to roll back the years abit. Wear what you want.

     
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Hrharkin - 09 November 2012 07:37 PM

Can anyone help me with this? I know I need to be fairly modest - covering shoulders, etc. But is this all the time? Or just in temples and religious areas? Would I be able to wear a vesttop and carry a scarf with me for these times? What about on the beach, is normal beach wear allowed?

Any help would be useful!
Thanks!

The only way to give a definite answer is to see some pics modelling said beach wear.

     
Avatar for Emmay
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Hello, Hope I am not too late.

I went to sri lanka in 2010 and wore a mixture of shorts, long trousers and vest tops. At any Major tourist/religious sites I would cover up a bit more, probably cover the shoulders and for religious sites definitely cover the legs too. on the beach we were in Bikinis and swim suits and that was fine, no issue there. Always take a sarong/scarf with you though just in case.

Another tip with sri lanka definitely visit yala national park if you can and the hill country. Loved it!

Good luck!!

     
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On popular beaches such as Unawatuna, it’s fine to lounge around wearing a bikini, but like Lexi said, take a sarong to wrap around yourself if you head to a cafe or go for a stroll.

Men in Sri Lanka in general are reeeeeally pervy - I travelled there on my own and was constantly hassled. I didn’t feel threatened, but it was annoying, particularly when I just wanted to walk around in peace but instead had guys falling into step with me and asking if I was married etc. So, I would recommend covering up and not wearing anything too low cut, purely to avoid them staring at you!

At temples you definitely have to cover up your shoulders and your legs - they might not let you in otherwise. When just going around other touristy sites, I would say strappy tops are okay as long as you have something with you to cover your shoulders if necessary, and don’t have too much cleavage on show. Common sense etc.

In my opinion I’d say the whole covering yourself thing is a good idea not just because it’s important to respect local traditions, but mainly because you’ll probably feel more comfortable without all the Sri Lankan men ogling your breasts. Of course, if you don’t mind that, then wear whatever you want ... they definitely won’t complain! tongue wink

     
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I’m currently deciding between Sri Lanka and Indonesia for a 2/3 week trip. It would be great if you could tell me your experiences in Sri Lanka and what you made of it.

Gary

     
Avatar for Hrharkin
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It’s taken me a while to get back to reading this, but thanks guys! It sounds like it’s not a strict as I imagined, at least now I know I actually pack some vests. I was worried I’d melt to death otherwise, ha.

I don’t go until March but I’ll report back on how it went!

Thanks again.