Category Archives: News

Lanka4Me Wins Top Travel Blog Award

Lanka4Me Wins Top Travel Blog Award

www.Lanka4Me.com has been awarded a special merit as one of the  – Top 30 Sri Lanka Travel blog websites for 2017 by Feedspot.com

We have been chosen from thousands of top Sri Lanka Travel blogs using search and social metrics.

The top blogs are chosen and ranked on following criteria

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts.
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review.

“CONGRATULATIONS to Lanka4Me for making it to the Top Sri Lanka Travel Blogs list! This is the most comprehensive list of best Sri Lanka Travel blogs on the internet and I’m honoured to have you as part of this! I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world”  Anuj Agarwal Founder, Feedspot

Massive Festival in Negombo coming soon

2016-07-30 18.15.34It starts on the Sunday 29th July 2018 and will continue until the 6th August.

St.Anne’s church in Palagathura in Negombo is one of the biggest churches in the area. This one is set close to the Dutch Canal on St. Anns Road.

This is an annual event starting the last Sunday in July.

This is a church festival celebrated all over Negombo, where the streets are decorated and lit up at night. The church grounds host a carnival organised by the church youth group and the local community.

The streets are lined with market stalls selling food, sweets, toys, gifts and there is even a 6D mobile cinema, I dont know how you experience 6D!

Families come from miles and mile around to experience the spectacle and to be blessed. On the first Sunday there is a parade through the streets with lots of music and smiling faces.

This is the biggest festival of its kind in Negombo. Take a look at some of last years photos!

2016-07-30 18.10.21 2016-07-30 18.14.42 2016-07-30 18.15.41 2016-07-30 18.18.33 2016-07-30 18.22.16 2016-07-31 00.29.44 2016-07-31 00.29.53 2016-07-31 00.31.05 2016-07-31 00.33.36 2016-07-31 00.34.03 13615357_1127269107330209_370037570940975436_n 13645165_1127269280663525_1700884844291565356_n 13872685_1127269633996823_2409291847795907814_n 13882138_1127268500663603_1394288182778909135_n 13895132_1127187060671747_304289459917379324_n 13906858_1127269213996865_170852571592947335_n

 

 

Red streets of Sri Lanka

Rambutan2It’s that time of year again  in Sri Lanka where the streets are turned red with many stalls at the side of the road selling the rambutan fruit. In some places it can be such a spectacle!! but what exactly is it?

The Rambutan Fruit

The Rambutan tree grows to about 10 to 20 metres in height. Its alternate leaves are 10 to 30 cm in length and pinnate and have three to eleven leaflets, each with an entire margin about 5 to 15 cm in width and 3 to 10 cm in breadth. Petal-less small flowers which are about 2 1/2 to 5 mm in size are disk-shape and they bloom cluster wise. The shape of the Rambutan fruit is round or oval and it is about three to six cm by three to four cm in dimension.
Rambutan Rambutan_fruit_Sri_Lanka

Rambutan is borne in clusters, and about 10 to 20 Rambutan fruit can be present in a typical cluster. Its leather like skin has pliable thorns. Rambutan fruit is typically red though some are yellow or orange. ‘Rambut’ is a Malay word that means ‘hairs’, hence it gets its name because of the thorn like appearance of its fruits. Its brownish seed is about two to three cm in size and is basally scarred. It is soft and crunchy. Although the raw seeds are poisonous, they may be eaten after cooking.

Open Rambutan fruit by removing one part of its skin. Find the seam across the fruit and pull apart the leathery skin. You can also use the knife, but be careful, only cut through the skin. Then you can hold the fruit with your fingers and enjoy the sweet taste. Rambutan fruit cannot be cooked; it can be eaten raw only.



Thomson Airways now flies from London Gatwick to Sri Lanka

thomson 787 dreamliner 1Thomson Airways now flies their new luxury Boeing 787 Dreamliner weekly to Colombo Sri Lanka from London Gatwick.

This is a direct non stop flight of 11.5 hours and Premium Class is also available.

This is a huge boost for tourism for Sri Lanka and follows the announcements from both Austrian Airlines and KLM who are also offering new services to the island.

The Thomson flight now fills part of the gap left after British Airways pulled out of the service in 2015 due to competition from Sri Lankan Airlines.

Seats are sold on the aircraft as part of package holidays or seat only.

Long haul holidays are fast becoming the preferred choice for many British holidaymakers as new research from holiday brands, Thomson and First Choice reveals that more people than ever before are prepared to go the distance to find their dream destination. Travelling for nine hours or more is now considered par for the course for many Brits (77%) as they seek more adventure and cultural diversity from their holidays.

Whilst two week durations remain the most popular, increasingly British holidaymakers are jetting further afield for just 10 or 11 nights in search of better weather (53%), cultural diversity (52%), beautiful beaches (42%) and more adventure (38%). This combination of factors resulted in 65% of those asked saying their long haul holidays were the most memorable and that they felt more adventurous (36%) than on a short-haul holiday (9%).

Thomson, part of TUI UK & Ireland, is one of the UK’s most well-known holiday brands, delivering unique and modern holiday experiences for its customers every year.

The airline was the first UK operator of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

What’s different about Dreamliner?

thomson dreamliner cabinBigger Windows
The windows on a 787 Dreamliner are about 30% bigger than those on your average plane. What’s more, when you’re ready to sleep, you can dim them at the touch of a button.

Room Overhead
Even at its lowest point, the Dreamliner cabin is over 6-foot high, so there’s a real sense of space.

More Oxygen
You’ll leave the plane feeling fresher when you fly on the Dreamliner. This is because its cabin pressure allows more oxygen to be absorbed into your blood.

Mood Lighting
Your body clock is more in tune wherever you’re heading on the Dreamliner, as the plane features a high-spec mood lighting system that can mimic things like dawn and dusk.

A Quieter Flight
The Dreamliner generates 60 per cent less noise than standard planes during take-off and
landing. It’ll be quieter in the air, too.

Quality Time
You can indulge in some proper ‘me’ time on the Dreamliner. It’s kitted out with state-of-the-art seatback TVs – and you can even plug your camera into them.

More fuel-efficient
Thanks to its composite structure and revolutionary engines, the plane is more fuel-efficient and emits less CO2 – about 20 per cent less carbon on a flight from Britain to America.

A bigger reach
The 787 Dreamliner can fly about 8,000 miles without stopping, which means it can go direct to destinations other planes can’t reach.

thomson 787 dreamliner cabinUpgrade to Premium Club :

For a bigger luggage allowance and seats with a bigger recline and a 38-inch pitch. You’ll also get priority check in and boarding, security fast track and UK airport lounge access, plus luxury extras like a Rituals cosmetics kit, a bigger TV screen, and a complimentary drink before you fly. And if you’re on a night flight, they’ll supply a duvet and pillow, too.


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Sri Lanka is Open for Business

Sri Lanka is Open for Business

Lanka4me.com along with other tour companies has seen a huge decrease in future bookings taken, due to the Sri Lankan government giving incomplete and inacurate press statements to the worldwide media.

We would like to assure all our current guests and future guests that the unrest, which was only in 2 very small villages on the outskirts of Kandy has dispersed and only lasted a few days. Even the main tourist destination of Kandy was not affected even though they had to tolerate a curfew.

Therefore Sri Lanka is SAFE and is OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

On the 6th March 2018 the Sri Lankan government issued the following statement:

“Sri Lanka has declared a state of emergency for 10 days”
A curfew was in place in the central district of Kandy, where crowds from the Buddhist Sinhala majority attacked a mosque, Muslim-owned shops and homes.
The authorities feared retaliation after a young Muslim man’s body was found in a burnt-out building. Tensions flared after the death of a Buddhist man who was said to have been beaten by some Muslims.
“Four mosques, 37 houses, 46 shops and 35 vehicles damaged in the small non tourist towns of Digana and Teldeniya (which are on the outskirts of Kandy) due to the mob attack,”

Social Media

Upon this same day the Sri Lankan government decided to block social media sites such as Faceboook, Whats App and Viber for a period of 72 hours in order to dull the amount of fake news being shared on social media and to halt the communication between the gangs, or rumours that instill a fear psychosis or a threat to communal harmony.

4 days later the Instant Messaging sites we reinstated but at the time of writing, which is 6 days later, Facebook is still blocked within Sri Lanka. Most users of smart phones have installed VPN’s in order to overcome this problem.

So Why Go To Sri Lanka? What’s So Great About It?

The people!

Don’t take our word for it, read a blog post from one of our recent guests who were staying in Hikkaduwa and travelled around the island, this month.

It started on the plane, we flew Sri Lankan Airways.

The cabin crew who greeted us were beautiful smiling ladies in peacock saris proudly displaying luscious, brown, rounded midriffs. You’ve got to love a nation that doesn’t need to hide it.

Sri Lankan women are spectacularly gorgeous, all glossy black wavy hair, tropical colours and lovely smiles furnished with amazing white teeth.

 

It doesn’t stop when you get off the plane. Wherever we go we are greeted by genuine, warm smiles, of greeting. Even the men do it.  After 4 hours on a local bus, with flu, I got off with a song in my heart and just one thought.

 

 

 ” These people are fantastic!!”

I have never seen such concern for strangers. Every time someone less able to stand boarded our bus, chairs would be shuffled. There was a hierarchy of seat-needyness. The elderly were immediately offered seats, so were mothers with babies or children, so were older, and then younger, women. It was a joy to see. If the young woman preferred to stand then a seated gentleman would take her bags on his lap. Total trust, nobody was worrying about theft at all. Call me old fashioned, but it was wonderful to see.

 

Manners aside, the buses themselves are a joy. Glittering lights and music turn every bus ride into a special occasion. No blaring techno or horrible elevator music, just lovely Sri Lankan tunes played at just the right volume to be enjoyable, even to us. Maybe the Sri Lankans are sick to death of the same tunes every day on their way to work, but we think it’s cool.
The bus drivers and conductors are friendly and helpful. They don’t try to rip us off, they take the correct money and tell us when to get off. Sometimes they will go out of their way to drop us exactly where we need to be dropped.

It’s Not Just The People

The natural environment is spectacular. Huge powerful waves pound the pristine shore. Dense rain forests appear just a few meters back from the coast road and there are the cool hill country tea plantations waiting for us to explore.
The wildlife is incredible, so much diversity! Leopards, elephants, ginormous monitor lizards, marine turtles, even blue whales.

 

It’s all here!

Sri Lanka is the only place I have ever seen a wild sea turtle laying her eggs on the shore. It was magical.

You have the co-existence of Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and Buddhist faiths, the historic buildings, temples, forts and markets. Sri Lanka is immensely rich in history and culture.
Then stop and consider the recent past. A war ( 80-100, 000 deaths ) and a tsunami  ( over 30,000 deaths) devastated this country in my living memory and still, these people are the friendliest and most welcoming that I can think of. I’ve travelled so wide and so far, and I really think that this is a good as it gets.

Jan Verspoor and family – The Netherlands – March 2018