Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is an island in the Indian Ocean, located below India. It is a wonderful country. There are many beaches, vegetation, mountains and jungles to explore. It is also quite easy to communicate with the local population, as English is relatively widely spoken, although Sinhala and Tamil are the official languages. Not many expats are currently living and working in Sri Lanka, although I think it is a destination not to be underestimated.
Living in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a good place to live, the people are friendly and mostly mind their own business. The Sinhalese are generally open, hospitable and helpful. If you need help, all you have to do is ask. Of course, there are racist, homophobic and fundamentalist people here, as in any other country, but these are really only isolated cases.
The lifestyle is relaxed and slow. It is normal to be late, and you should not be surprised if people are an hour late for an appointment. Some say this is the best place in all of Asia to spend your life in relaxation and tranquility, without much entertainment only in the capital: there is a little social life in Colombo (bars, cafes, etc.) and nightlife options outside Colombo are very limited.
The cost of living in Sri Lanka is quite low, with the exception of electronics . This is due to the high import duties. Otherwise, living in Sri Lanka is quite cheap, a maid costs no more than $250 a mounth.
As for services, it should be noted that their quality has increased in recent years, but much remains to be done. Education and health services are free, but given their shortcomings, many people pay for health insurance. Public transportation is not very reliable. It is also not for the faint of heart. Bus, cab and tuk-tuk drivers drive like maniacs, and accidents are frequent. I strongly advise against driving your own vehicle in Sri Lanka. The road conditions and the driving style of the Sinhalese discourage driving.
In terms of security, however, there are no problems. The country is basically quiet and safe for residents and tourists. The local cuisine deserves a mention. Sri Lanka has a decent cuisine. The dishes are prepared with simple ingredients, but are tasty. Another strength of the country is undoubtedly the climate. Sri Lanka has a warm climate all year round.
Living in Sri Lanka, visas
A visa is required to enter Sri Lanka, and there are several types.
- Tourist visa is valid for up to 90 days and can be applied for online
- Work visa, can only be applied for after receiving an offer of employment from an employer or based in Sri Lanka
- Resident visa, if you are married to a Sinhala citizen
- My dream Home visa, if you are over 55 years old you can apply for this visa which allows you to live in Sri Lanka
Working in Sri Lanka
It is not easy to find a job here, and salaries are also low, unless you work for an international company.
It is unlikely that even highly skilled workers will find good opportunities in Sri Lanka. The country’s economy is predominantly agricultural, and large companies seeking qualified personnel are relatively rare. Instead, there may be volunteer opportunities.
Living and working in Sri Lanka – pros and cons
Living in Sri Lanka, pros
- Friendly and talkative people. Most people are helpful and welcoming
- Many speak and understand English quite well
- Reasonable cost of living
- Beautiful landscapes. Beaches, mountains,tropical forests, etc.
- Free education and health (but not very good)
- Warm weather all year round
- Quiet and relaxed life
- Acceptable crime rate
Living in Sri Lanka, cons
- Inadequate public transportation
- Lack of work and low wages
- Poor social life, few meeting places, no shopping centers, etc.
Living in Sri Lanka, conclusion
Sri Lanka is an extremely low-cost country. The cost of health care, education and other services is minimal. The weather is fantastic and crime is kept in check. If you are not a materialistic person, I would say it could be a worthwhile destination.