Archive for the ‘Sri Lanka Travel’ Category

Govt. invites bids for ferry transport system in Colombo

The Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLRDC), under the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, has called for tenders for the first leg of the proposed ferry transport system in Colombo.

The project will be implemented as a public-private partnership.

As detailed in the 2016 Megapolis transport master plan, several of Colombo’s inland waterways will be utilized for passenger ferries whereby commuters and recreational users may travel across various parts of Colombo, avoiding the traffic and enjoying the scenic views.

The first phase will be a service from Wellawatte to Battaramulla.

A ferry service from Colombo Fort to Union Place in the Beira Lake, as well as from Mattakkuliya to Hanwella, along the Kelani River, is also in the pipeline, as are potential other routes such as the Hamilton Canal towards Negombo.

The tender process—which is open to both international and local investors—is being supported by PPP advisors from the Netherlands government, under a government-togovernment technical assistance initiative.

SLLRDC will be the lead agency for the project.

The service along the Wellawatte-battaramulla canal is expected to be operational in early 2018, and the Beira Lake ferry to be operational within the year as well.


Sri Lanka-Nepal discuss direct flights between Colombo and Kathmandu



A meeting between Ambassador of Nepal to Sri Lanka Professor Bishwambher Pyakuryal and Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.

Attention was drawn to widen diplomatic ties between the two countries during this meeting. Discussions were also focused on reintroducing direct flights between Colombo and Kathmandu.

Foreign Minister Karunanayake and Ambassador Bishwambher further discussed about widening commercial activities between the two countries and way and means to strengthen the exchange of cultural programs.

The Ambassador of Nepal who congratulated Karunanayake on his new appointment stated that his country would extend assistance for the future development of Sri Lanka.

In responding to the Nepali Ambassador, Karunanayake stated Sri Lanka always praises the diplomatic cooperation extended by Nepal Government to Sri Lanka.

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SriLankan Airlines adds three Indian destinations

New services to Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Coimbatore

SriLankan Airlines will further strengthen its position as the largest foreign carrier into India with the launch of services to three more cities – Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Coimbatore – in July 2017, increasing to 14 the number of cities in the vast Indian market.

Accordingly services to Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Coimbatore commence on July 8, 12 and 16, respectively.

SriLankan currently operates 108 flights per week to Chennai, Trichy, Trivandrum, Mumbai, New Delhi, Gaya, Madurai, Varanasi, Kochi, Bangalore and Kolkata.

SriLankan Airlines’ Chief Commercial Officer Siva Ramachandran said, “We are leveraging on our vast network in India to offer travellers to and from India increased opportunities to connect to our destinations throughout the Middle East, the Far East and the Indian Ocean region.The new routes would allow more Indian travelers to enjoy the experience of Sri Lanka’s many tourist attractions.”

“The island’s tourism industry has witnessed a tremendous rate of growth in recent years, with over two million visitors in 2016, a growth of 14% over the previous year. India, the largest tourism market to Sri Lanka, accounted for 356,729 visitors to the island in 2016, and 110,891 in the first four months of 2017.”

“We are also commencing daily nonstop services to Melbourne from October 29th this year, which will provide rapid connectivity between Australia and key Indian cities in our network.”

Indian travellers would also be able to enjoy seamless connections to the popular island resort nation of the Maldives, where SriLankan is also the largest airline. It is also the only airline operating to Gan Island in the southern part of the island chain, as well as to the capital Male.

The addition of Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Coimbatore will increase SriLankan’s global route network to 104 cities in 48 countries.

Coimbatore will be SriLankan’s fourth major destination in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, where it already serves Chennai, Madurai and Trichy.

Hyderabad is the capital of southern India’s state of Telangana and is a major centre for the country’s technology industry; while Visakhapatnam is a port city and industrial centre in the state of Andhra Pradesh, on the Bay of Bengal.

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30 reasons to visit Sri Lanka

My lifetime dream of visiting Sri Lanka had finally come true. Last month, my photographer and I were on the island, for one magical week. I have a lot of memories, photos and stories, and more important, I have more reasons to come back. Because one week is not enough to explore and discover the fabulous universe of Sri Lanka.

If you never intended to visit Sri Lanka, you should think to travel to this wonderful, tropical island from the South of India. Why? Let’s see… 1. We had two perfect flights with SriLankan Airlines, from KL to Colombo, and then to Dubai. The airline’s team spoiled us with amazing traditional food, cocktails, Ceylon tea, beers and fruit juices and we took some great pics with them. 2. Colombo is a colonial-exotic city, with crazy traffic and generous people. We choose Cinnamon Lakeside, a 5-star hotel in the center of the city, with a beautiful apartment and a stunning terrace with lake views. Every morning I watched a dozen of pelicans flying and landing on the water – a picture that is not easily to forget. 3. Sri Lanka has the most friendly people in the world. Lots and lots of smiles on the streets, spontaneous conversations, and a magical sense of pride and love for their country. I love that! 4. In Sri Lanka, you became a kid again

and enjoy every moment. 5. The sunsets are from soft pink to purple, and the air is full of sea and Frangipani scents. Magic! 6. Local food and chefs are surprising. From fresh seafood to the elegant cocktails at the club, and to the traditional (comfort) dishes at the restaurants. 7. The Ceylon Tea is one of the best in

the world! 8. The nights are magical, and we enjoyed a boat trip on the lake with food, drinks, and music. 9. Near our hotel we found the largest Casino from Sri Lanka, where you can play even small sums of money, just for fun! 10. Colombo is a hot, mesmerizing city. From the craziness of tuk-tuks, to the kindness of people, from the amazing food to the wonderful colonial hotels, from the heat of the days to the starry nights, we loved everything in the capital of Sri Lanka. 11. If you travel by car, like we did, please ask the driver to stop along the way, to see these wonderful statues and temples of Sri Lanka. 12. From Colombo to Bentota is an easy ride of 2 hours. Here, we stopped at the Bentota Beach by Cinnamon, to refresh and drink a traditional fruit juice. 13. Bentota beach is absolutely spectacu

lar! 14. The hotel (and the island) is children friendly, you will find in here everything you need, very kind people and a lot of activities for little ones. 15. When we left, we found out from our driver – Jagath Chandra (an amazing storyteller) that it was a holiday, so we stopped at a beautiful temple and participated in a Buddhist ceremony. 16. Meditating a couple of minutes under this magical sky is the best thing you can do for your mind and body. The island has a strong healing energy. 17. Back on the road, we saw along the way some out- of- this- world beaches, with white soft sand and turquoise waves. 18. We arrived in Hikkaduwa at noon, and we checked- in at Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon, a wonderful all-inclusive resort, on the beach. 19. For three days, we relaxed in this magical garden, we fed the squirrels, and we listened to the ocean. 20. In our morning strolls, we’ve discovered amazing white beaches. No tourists, just the sound of the waves. Magic! 21. We ate a lot of fresh seafood and other

traditional dishes. 22. In the evening, we went to the Pool Bar to have a drink ( ok, maybe two:) or stood inside, on our sea-view terrace. 23. The nights were for fun, at the

Tranzcend – the main bar of the hotel. 24. After 3 days on the beach, we were just not ready to go. We wanted more of this 🙂 25. If you have a long holiday, I recommend you visit Kandy, Mirissa Beach, Sigiriya and Dambulla Cave Temple. 26. Try the divine fruits of the island, the coffee, and the tea. And, please, visit a tea and a cinnamon plantation. The scents are amazing! 27. In the south, you will find the Yala National Park. Take a jeep safari to the park, you will have the adventure of your life. 28. Sri Lanka is a well-known destination for weddings and honeymoons. You can have a ceremony on the beach, in the mountains or a wedding in the wilderness. 29. Before your flight, try the Serendib Lounge at the Bandaranaike International Airport – it’s an exotic, relaxing space with kind and smiling people. You can have food and drinks and even a shower. 30. After an amazing week on the island, we took off into the sunset, had a wonderful dinner in the sky and landing safely in Dubai with memories for a lifetime. (Courtesy The Huffington Post,

pics by Vlad Semen

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Sri Lanka named Asia’s Leading Destination 2017

Adventure-seekers and intrepid globetrotters looking to blaze new trails in Southeast Asia will want to consider adding Sri Lanka to their travel bucket list, after the country claimed the title of leading destination and leading adventure tourism destination for Asia over the weekend.

At the World Travel Awards Asia and Australasia 2017, which were held in Shanghai, Sri Lanka claimed the title of leading destination for the region, an award that reflects a country’s range of tourism products and services.

The country was also named the leading adventure tourism destination.


Winners are based on an online voting process cast by industry leaders and travel professionals.

Sri Lanka has been emerging as an interesting travel alternative to Thailand, for its beaches, wildlife safaris and adventure tours.

Along with its native land mammals – elephants, leopards and wild buffalos – the island and its marine surroundings make the destination one of the best for whale and dolphin watching.

Sri Lanka is also known among thrill-seekers for offering top-notch surfing and diving experiences, jungle treks, hikes and elephant-riding and rock-climbing adventures.

Other big winners of the night include The Oberoi Udaivilas in India, which took home the title of Asia’s leading hotel 2017 and The Peninsula Hong Kong, which was named Asia’s leading luxury hotel 2017.

For Australasia, the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park in Australia was named the leading hotel, and Yasawa Islands in Fiji Australasia’s leading destination.

Here are some of the big winners from the gala event:


Leading airline: Hainan Airlines

Leading airline economy class: Cathay Pacific

Leading beach destination: Thailand

Leading boutique hotel: Casa Del Mar Langkawi, Malaysia

Leading city break destination: Hong Kong

Leading cruise line: Star Cruises

Leading fine dining and hotel restaurant: La Maison 1888 InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Vietnam

Leading low-cost airline: AirAsia


Leading airline: Air New Zealand

Leading private island resort: Laucala Island, Fiji

Most romantic resort: The Remort Resort, Fiji Islands (Source:

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SriLankan Airlines to fly to Australia from Oct

SriLankan Airlines will resume flights to Australia, operating daily, non- stop services to Melbourne from October 29 this year, a move which was exclusively reported in the Business Times on May 7.

In a media release last weekend, the national carrier said the non- stop services will also facilitate passengers from the Middle East and South Asia seeking onward connectivity via Colombo to/ from Australia. This service is being resumed after the national carrier suspended services in August 2001.

Australia is home to one of the largest Sri Lankan expatriate communities, many of whom reside in and around Melbourne, the capital of Australia’s ‘ Garden State’, Victoria. This factor, together with the tremendous potential for business travel and Victoria’s growing student population convinced the airline to plan for the launch of nonstop daily services to Melbourne, the release said. The airline will be operating Airbus 330- 200 aircraft on the route.

SriLankan Airlines’ Chief Commercial Officer, Siva Ramachandran said, “Despite the absence of direct connections, we have witnessed a steady increase in passengers travelling between Colombo and

SriLankan Airlines has expanded its network to Yangon, capital of Myanmar, from June 1 with the commencement of a codeshare partnership with Myanmar Airways International (MAI), one of Myanmar’s best-known airlines.

In a media release, SriLankan said it will codeshare on flights operated by MAI between Bangkok and Yangon; and also Singapore and Yangon; while MAI will codeshare on flights operated by SriLankan between Colombo and Bangkok, and Colombo and Singapore. Passengers will enjoy the conveniences of the partnership, such as a single ticket itinerary and interlined luggage. Melbourne via various Asian connecting points such as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Our direct services will give us a definite advantage as SriLankan is the only carrier that is able to offer connectivity of this nature at this time. With the launch of the new services, SriLankan Airlines’ passengers will also have the choice of flying to other Australian cities such as Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide as well as Auckland, New Zealand”.

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Krrish Square’s ‘Transworks House’ to be ready by August

Transworks House construction in progress Pix by Shirajiv Sirimane

The piling of the US$ 650 million Indian developed Krrish Square has now been completed. The first phase of the project which would be the opening of the resurrected Transworks House Colombo would be unveiled end of August.

The first stage would see the entry of some of the worlds famed global retail marketing companies opening up its branches in the large retail mall at the Krrish Transworks House. In addition the venue will also have several other entertainment facilities.

An official from the Board of Investment said that the opening up of Krrish Transworks House would result in some of the global luxury retailers showing up in Sri Lanka for the first time and this would be a major tourist attraction for shopping as well.

He said that the government has allowed tax free imports of some luxury items and this was the reason that the world’s top luxury brands want to open up in Sri Lanka.The second stage of the project includes the building of two towers for which the piling has already been completed by Walkers Piling. The building contract has been awarded to Zhongtian Construction of China one of the biggest developers in China. One of the towers would consist of 73 floors and the second 60 floors.

The Krrish Transworks Colombo (Pvt) Ltd has already contracted with one of the world’s leading hotel chain, Ritz Carlton to have a hotel in one of the towers which will consist of 200 rooms, several swimming pools, conference halls and additional shopping and entertainment centres. The second tower would consist of 400 apartments.

The Indian developer is also planning to build a third tower. This would consist of 80 floors making it the tallest building in Sri Lanka and one of the tallest towers in the region. When all three projects were completed it would be the single biggest Indian investment in Sri Lanka.

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