Russia To Resume Flights To Sri Lanka

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Island is becoming a haven for digital nomads able to work from home in tropical surroundings

Air traffic between Russia and Sri Lanka is planned to be restored by mid-October, according to Bandula Gunawardana, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Transport. Flights will be operated by Sri Lankan airlines and will depart initially from Moscow direct to Colombo and later followed by direct flights from St. Petersburg. Flights will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Confirmation from Aeroflot on September 23 said that flights would start from October 9th.

Sri Lanka has introduced a specialist visa scheme where foreign nationals can obtain visa extensions valid for up to 5 years. This can be arranged after arrival in Sri Lanka, where visas are typically granted for either 30, 60 or 90 days. An official government online portal is available to apply for an electronic visa and can be accessed here.

The country is becoming a home for digital nomads able to work from home, and is getting over its recent economic crisis – partially due to assistance from Russia who has been supplying oil.

Sri Lanka has a long history with Russia, the Tsarevitch Nicholas visited the island and extended his stay he enjoyed it so much, taking in visits to Colombo, Hatton, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya as part of his Grand Asian Tour in 1891. The capital city, Colombo, also has a Russian Cultural Centre while an increasing number of outlets have Russian-speaking facilities, especially on the south coast beaches. The island has a growing Russian resident diaspora.

Sri Lanka is deceptively large, with a common mistake being to rush too much travel into a short time. We recommend the Galle, Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa areas for southern beaches, which are two hours drive from the Yala national park, where safaris can be arranged to see leopard, elephant, crocodiles, monkeys and over 350 species of birds.

Kandy is part of the cultural triangle and famous for Buddhist relics, however, can get hot and dusty, while Nuwara Eliya is 2km above sea level and is reminiscent of Russia with forest cover. It can get cool, in the evenings, with hotels having log fires, however, has beautiful surroundings.

To enjoy nature, we recommend the Flamboyant Estate in Naula, two hours from Kandy and one hour from the Sigiriya Rock, meaning it is centrally located and can be used as a base to reach other areas. Individual villas are available, while the owners are Russian-friendly and happy to introduce you to Sri Lanka’s varied nature and wildlife.

The 1980’s English new wave band Duran Duran shot a video for one of their hits in Sri Lanka, that can be seen here. The views haven’t changed at all.

For enquiries about a Sri Lanka vacation, Simon Lazenbatt is a mine of helpful local information, can assist with planning a visit and can be contacted here to help you plan an itinerary and answer any questions.

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During these uncertain times, we must stress that our firm does not approve of the Ukraine conflict. We do not entertain business with sanctioned Russian companies or individuals. However, we are well aware of the new emerging supply chains, can advise on strategic analysis and new logistics corridors, and may assist in non-sanctioned areas. We can help, for example, Russian companies develop operations throughout Asia, including banking advisory services, and trade compliance issues, and have done since 1992.

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