Villa on View
Your weekly up-close view of those wow factor extras that make our villas outstanding. After all, attention to detail always makes a difference.
When holidaying on the south coast, don’t miss the chance to visit at least one of the protected wetlands or other animal habitats. Day trips are fun for the whole family and easy to arrange ahead. Road trips around the country require a bit more planning. Why not start now? Here are a few of the most popular animal attractions in Sri Lanka.
1 Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary
Established in 1938, this is one of the oldest protected wildlife parks in Sri Lanka and is celebrated as one of the best eco-birdwatching destinations in the entire world.
Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary
THINGS TO DO Birdwatching, photography, kid-friendly rock climbing, early morning or afternoon paddle boat cruise
ANIMALS Over 150 bird species including Indian Reef Heron, Sri Lankan black-capped purple Kingfisher, Glossy Ibis, Jungle Fowl, Black Bittern, Slatybreasted Crake, Watercock, 20 mammal species, 40 types of fish, 40 exotic reptiles
BEST TIME TO VISIT Kalametiya is home to several local bird species, and more migrant birds come to roost and nest each year between November and March
LOCATION 20 km from Tangalle city, the sanctuary is near the village of Hungama on the south coast of Sri Lanka
GETTING THERE Via train or private transportation, the exit for the sanctuary is clearly marked on the A2 near the 214 and 218 km posts
2 Minneriya National Park
The site of The Gathering, a world-famous elephant spectacle, Minneriya is a protected 8,890-hectare reserve within Sri Lanka’s famed Cultural Triangle. Critical to the biodiversity in this habitat are its natural wetlands, water tanks and irrigation systems.
image by marvelloussrilankalk.blogspot.co.id
THINGS TO DO Jeep tours; Wildlife photography
ANIMALS Approximately 200 wild (Asian) elephants, various migratory and aquatic bird species, wetland mammals
BEST TIME TO VISIT The dry season, usually late August to October is when groups of elephants congregate here
LOCATION Less than 10 km from Habarana on the Colombo Polonnaruwa road
GETTING THERE Entrance requires a permit from the Ambagaswewa wild life conservation office,
“Bow your head. Show them respect. The elephants created this jungle. Where they made furrows with their tusks the rivers ran. Where they blew their trunks the leaves fell. They made all that belongs: the mountains, the trees, the birds in the trees. But they did not make you.” – Disney’s The Jungle Book movie
Growing up in Essex in the UK, my only experience with the majestic beast that is the elephant was on TV. Although I had travelled half the world by my early thirties it wasn’t until I landed on the tropical shores of Phuket, Thailand that I came face to trunk with these huge, intelligent animals.
In the UK I had been used to cats, dogs, and guinea pigs, and there weren’t any elephants in Antigua, Turkey or Greece, so when I first came up close and personal with the largest land mammal in the world it was rather overwhelming. I will admit that I was a little scared, not sure I had pachydermophobia, (the fear of elephants, adding to my word count with that one), but I was definitely nervous.
I have, of course, done what every tourist has done when coming to Phuket – book an elephant ride. So far in the ten years I have been in Phuket I have gone out twice. Both times has been a good experience, although not amazing, it wasn’t until I visited the new pioneering Phuket Elephant Sanctuary that I finally fell in love with Thailand’s national animal.
PHUKET ELEPHANT SANCTUARY
Located in the lush tropical jungles of Phuket’s east coast, bordering the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary offers the most idyllic retirement for sick, injured and old elephants, all of whom have had exhausting lives, either in the logging trade or working in the many elephant trekking companies around Thailand.
Founded in a partnership with Mr. Montri Todtane, ex-owner of an elephant camp in Phuket, world-renowned elephant rescuer and conservationist Lek Chailert, founder of Save Elephant Foundation, and Louise Rogerson, founder of EARS Asia, the Phuket Elephant sanctuary is a tranquil home for these majestic beasts and a place where they can be elephants again.
ELEPHANTS IN TOURISM
After the logging industry declined,
When is a villa not a villa? When you’re booking a luxury Maldives getaway, it can be hard to know exactly what it is you’re booking. Villa, suite, bungalow, residence, condo, resort… everywhere you turn someone is using a different word to describe the same thing, or what you thought you were looking turns out to be something different.
So to help you out, here’s a quick cheat sheet to help you choose.
Being made of up of more than 1,192 islands, the Maldives is rich pickings for private resorts from the big hotel brands. On the larger islands, you’ll find them lining private stretches of beach, only accessible to guests. More exclusive resorts take a smaller island to themselves, so the only people you’ll see on the island are other guests or staff of the resort.
Either way, they’ll offer a full service with restaurants, a bar and facilities for guests, plus a range of rooms, from hotel style blocks to free standing suites.
Bungalows & water villas
This is usually resort-speak for watertop, stilted suites. It’ll usually include a spacious, en-suite room, plus a balcony with stunning views across the Indian Ocean. More premium suites might feature a separate living space or dressing room as well. Some resorts may use this lingo for detached suites on the shore with a private pool.
They’re still part of the resort, so the accompanying dining options will be the resort’s house restaurants and bars.
What you might identify as a villa (if you’re European) or a condo (if you’re from North America). The Amilla Beach Villa Residences are four-, six-, and eight-bedroom properties, with their own stretch of crystal white sand beach and private pools, and fully self-sufficient with kitchen, bar and facilities.
The Amilla Beach Villa Residences are on a tiny swathe of land in the Baa Atoll, to the north of the Maldives archipelago. There are eight villas in the collection: six with four bedrooms, the six-bedroom Amilla Villa Estate, and the eight-bedroom Great Beach Villa Residence. The expansive pool-side terraces lead down directly on to each villa’s private stretch of pristine beach.
Each villa is run by a team of staff, headed up by the katheeb (or housemaster) who’s responsible for overseeing guests’ stay at Amilla’s residences,
Given the choice to suffer cold weather in Europe or bask in the tropics, famous Dutch footballer Thyson Thijs Bouma and model/photographer Ruben Visser ‘t Hooft opted for an escape to a climate almost as hot as them.
// Wat is meer heet? Het klimaat op Bali of deze Nederlandse modellen?
Gezien de keuze was om in het kouden Europa te blijven of de zon op te zoeken, kozen de beroemde Nederlandse voetballer Thyson Thijs Bouma en model/fotograaf Ruben Visser ‘t Hooft voor een ontsnapping naar een klimaat dat zo heet is als de heren zelf.
Thijs is known for his Club Football career with FC Twente, VFL Osnabrück, Almere City and De Graafschap, but after breaking his leg in 2015, he decided to see what else the world has to offer. Hello, modelling.
Fast-forward to November 2017 and this hottie still looks like an avid athlete. We caught up with him at The Layar Designer Villas & Spa in Seminyak, Bali.
// Thijs staat bekend om zijn clubvoetbalcarrière bij FC Twente, VFL Osnabrück, Almere City en De Graafschap, maar nadat hij in 2015 zijn been gebroken had, besloot hij om te kijken wat de rest van de wereld te bieden heeft. Hallo, modelleren.
Snel vooruit naar november 2017 en deze hottie ziet er nog steeds uit als een fervent sporter. We hebben hem bij The Layar Designer Villas & Spa in Seminyak, Bali opgehaald.
If you think one Jacuzzi is enough, it isn’t. We have another one.
// Als je denkt dat een jacuzzi voldoende is, is dat niet het geval. We hebben er nog een.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BALI?
I really liked the food and smoothies (fresh and a lot of herbs), the amazing spots for photography and video content, that everybody is very kind and really wants to help you, the spas and a lovely mix between busy places and relaxed beautiful nature!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT THE LAYAR?
Koh Samui, Thailand is not a big island – it’s just under 230 square kilometres, and much of that is still pristine forest-covered hillside – but it offers a wealth of fun and interesting things to do with kids.
Our list of child-friendly activities in Koh Samui begins with five easy excursions for the whole group. If a relaxed family holiday is what you want, you got it. If you’re up for anything, and looking for the best attractions and accommodation, keep reading ’til the end.
1. Kids will love the Dusit Deva Cultural Centre, a slightly eccentric garden filled with creatures from Buddhist and Hindu myths.
3. Take a trip to the petting zoo at Paradise Park Farm Samui in Lipa Noi, where you’ll also encounter exotic birds and other wildlife.
(IMAGE FROM FACEBOOK)
4. Visit nearby Nathon Walking Street Night Market on Thursdays or the bigger Fisherman’s Village Night Market in Bophut on Fridays.
5. Samui Football Golf is a unique physical activity and all ages can share in the fun.
It’s not a tropical holiday without some wet n’ wild fun for the whole family.
6. Samui has a number of spectacular waterfalls. We love the Na Muang Falls where there’s a an inviting pool. For younger children, Lin Had Waterfall is most child-friendly. Please note both are not recommended during the rain season Oct-Nov.
7. Go island hopping in Ang Thong National Marine Park, which encompasses a cluster of islands. The heavily jungled islands are carefully controlled to keep them in pristine natural condition. A trip to them is a must.
Older kids and athletic teens with energy to burn have an opportunity to experience some thrilling sports in Koh Samui.