Video Of The Day: Coconut A Million Ways

Coconut: Nose to Tail” from The Perennial Plate on Vimeo.

The Perennial Plate folks are always impressing me. This video examines the role the coconut plays in the life and culture of the people of Sri Lanka. After spending the day with a family of eight on a coconut farm just outside of Negombo, an intimate understanding of the coconut and its uses was relayed. It’s for drinking, eating, mixing, drying and cooking. Its leaves are weaved, dried in the sun and later turned into rooftops. The husks are used to make rope. The uses are seemingly limitless for an enterprising family of coconut farmers as illustrated in this video.

How to Open a Coconut for Fresh Coconut Juice

Video Of The Day: Walking Sri Lanka

The folks at The Perennial Plate have done it again, just like they always do. They’ve created another video that manages to pair perfectly suited music against beautiful and intimate shots of a country’s land and people. In this video from their time spent in Sri Lanka, food culture is captured well alongside stunning scenery. If you aren’t already privy to the greatness of The Perennial Plate, change that at once. But enjoy this video first.


Sri Lanka Will Investigate Newly Unearthed Mass Grave

Photo Of The Day: Monks, Monkeys And A Snake Charmer

photo of the day

This Photo of the Day, titled “Monkeys, Monks, and a Snake Charmer is Today’s Virtualvacay #srilanka,” comes from Gadling Flickr pool member and travel photographer Jen Pollack Bianco.

On Flickr as MyLifesATrip, and hosting a website of the same name, Bianco has also graced the pages of Gadling with some helpful tips on travel photography.

This photo is timely right now as Sinhala Ravaya, a Sinhalese Buddhist pressure group, staged a march this week to protest the repeated attacks against Buddhist monks in Tamil Nadu. Here, we see a different scene depicted. Bianco’s work depicts snake charming, the practice of pretending to hypnotize a snake by playing an instrument.

In addition to the Gadling pool, this photo appears in an interesting Flickr set called A Picture Per Day, which we see others mimic on Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram and other photo-sharing venues too.

It’s a way of sharing our lives with, literally, a snapshot of what is going on with us at any given point in time; what we see or do that can bring us closer to friends and family that may be far away.

Sound like a good idea? Your photos don’t have to be of some iconic destination. After all, how many of us are able to do that day in and day out?

My best friend has been doing this for a couple years now. Including photos of a beautiful sunset while stuck in traffic on the way home from work, a flower blooming in her front yard or some other image she captures going about a day.

Some share these with the world or include only family and friends.

Want to be featured? Upload your best shots to the Gadling Group Pool on Flickr. Several times a week we choose our favorite images from the pool as a Photo of the Day.

Tips for being featured: add a caption describing the image and (better yet) your personal experience when capturing it, details of the photography gear used and any tips you might have for others wanting to emulate your work.

Now, you can also submit photos through Instagram; just mention @GadlingTravel and use the hashtag #gadling when posting your images.

[Photo Credits Flickr user MyLifesATrip]

Tourists Arrested For Kissing Buddha Statue In Sri Lanka

buddha It becomes more and more apparent everyday just how much travelers need to research the cultures they are visiting beforehand. Recently in Sri Lanka, three French tourists – two women and a man – were given suspended, six-month prison sentences for kissing a Buddha statue. Additionally, they were fined 1,500 rupees ($10.84) each.

The incident was brought to light when the travelers tried to get their photos printed at a local shop.

“The studio employee saw the images and alerted the Galle police who arrested the tourists on Monday and the case was concluded today because they pleaded guilty,” police spokesman Ajith Rohana told news.com.au.

Along with the woman-kissing-Buddha photo, the man posed for a shot while imitating the statue’s pose. These actions are seen as offense to country’s Buddhist community, and the travelers plead guilty to desecrating a Buddhist shrine in Kandy, Sri Lanka. The tourists were free to go, however, as their sentences are suspended for five years.

As a mostly Buddhist country, locals are very sensitive to foreigners disrespecting Buddha images.

[Image via mckaysavage]

Traveler Q & A: Pavia Rosati

pavia rosatiPavia Rosati is the founder of Fathom, a recently debuted travel website. Fathom is smart and beautifully designed. It’s full of exciting short briefs about various destinations across the globe.

Rosati, as you’ll see from her answers below, is an experienced editor and an avid traveler. Her enthusiasm for Fathom’s subject matter is palpable and infectious. We love Fathom and can’t wait to see how it’s going to develop.

Q: Good day, Pavia Rosati, and welcome. How would you describe your occupation?

A: I am the founder and CEO of Fathom, a new travel website. It’s my job to help connect you to places and experiences you didn’t know you were going to love.

Q: Tell us about Fathom.

A: Fathom cuts through the clutter of the online travel space with stories and destination guides that are as practical as they are inspiring. People typically go to a travel website for one of two reasons: They know they’re going to London, and they need to know where to stay and what to do. Or they think, “I have two weeks off…I like nature…Where should I go?” Fathom addresses both needs through two main sections: Guides and Postcards. Guides have quick information about the basics: hotels, sites, restaurants, and itineraries. Postcards are inspiring travel stories organized around the passion points of travel with a “I Travel for the …” theme: I Travel for the Food, I Travel for the Thrill, I Travel for the Kids. We aren’t motivated by what’s expensive or what’s trendy. We’re interested in what’s special and what’s awesome. Sometimes that’s a three-Michelin star lunch at Le Meurice; sometimes it’s a five-euro falafel at L’As du Fallafel.

Q: What are you trying to do with Fathom that hasn’t been done by other travel sites?

A: I wanted to create the one-stop travel website that I could never find. You know how the best travel guide is the email you get from a friend who lives there, detailing what you need to do and know? That’s the spirit that motivates us. I used to spend 80 hours researching dozens of sites to boil my findings down to an essential nugget of information. Fathom aims to deliver that nugget. I don’t want to wade through a list of 200 shops in Buenos Aires; I want 20 that are amazing. I want to know what locals know. I want pre-edited links to the best articles, websites, and online resources. Perhaps most importantly, Fathom recommendations are not driven by a mega travel agency’s vast and impersonal database; our recommendations are personal and special.

Q: How do you anticipate Fathom developing? For example, will the city guides grow in number?

A: Absolutely. It’s a big world, and we want to get everywhere. Postcards are updated continually, and we will launch several new guides every month. Reader feedback will be critical: We’ve had a lot of requests for Amsterdam since launching, so look for that soon. We want more Postcards from Fathom readers, a community we call the travel-proud. This fall, we’ll launch Boutique, with our favorite travel products; Traveler Profiles, based on the popular Fathom Questionnaires; and My Itineraries, so readers can save the places they want to go.

Q: How did your decade at Daily Candy prepare you for this endeavor?

A: First and foremost, it’s where I met my partner, Jeralyn Gerba, Fathom’s editorial director. We had one priority at DailyCandy: We had to delight our readers every day. To achieve this, we had to be trustworthy, we had to recommend quality places, and we had to deliver information readers wanted in a way they wanted it. And it helped if we had a great time doing it. These are excellent editorial priorities. By the way, before DailyCandy, I spent four years running the Entertainment Channel at AOL. That taught me a thing or two about building and serving a big audience.Q: Enough shop talk. When you’re not traveling, you split your time between New York and London. Care to share a secret hometown place or activity in either metropolis?

A: My life tends to revolve around what’s in front of me at the dinner table. In New York City, the bar at Tocqueville feels like a hidden escape, and breakfast at Balthazar feels like homeroom. At the end of the day, I always want to eat everything on the menu at L’Artusi. In London, I love Del Parc in Tufnell Park (of all places!), where two men cook and serve delicious Spanish/North African small plates from a closet-sized kitchen in the middle of the tiny dining room. And I love Moro, but who doesn’t?

Q: What are your favorite places to travel?

A: Sometimes I travel to feel familiar in a foreign setting. I could spend every weekend at Lo Scoglio on the Amalfi Coast and never tire of it. Similarly, I lived in Paris in college, and going back is like visiting an old friend. Other times, I travel for the difference and the discovery. Recent revelations include desolate and dramatic Salta, in northwest Argentina, and Sri Lanka, where I spent an incredible day on Taprobane Island. I loved Syria, and I hope it can recover from its political tumult and be the great country it should be.

Q: Where are you planning to travel next? And where are you dying to go?

A: Oh, the never-ending list. The wish list for the next few months includes Lake Austin Spa, Bighorn Revelstoke, Cartagena, and Portugal’s Douro Valley. I was married last year and am hoping for an eventual honeymoon in Chile. It’s my great embarrassment that I’ve never been to Southeast Asia — Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia. Zambia. Shanghai and Hong Kong. I’m obsessed with the Canadian Maritime Provinces. And in case my husband reads this, yes, honey, I’m dying to go to Tokyo, too.

Q: Where do you have no interest in ever visiting?

A: Cuba. I think I missed it. Though if an opportunity presented itself, of course I’d go. I’m curious about everything.

Q: Give us a travel tip or secret. Or five.

A: 1. Never eat airplane food. 2. You won’t use 50 percent of the stuff you’re packing, so leave it at home. 3. Find a local market to get a real flavor for a place. 4. It’s easier to go away than you think it is. And it’s always worth it. 5. I watch the sunrise on the last morning of every trip I take. I’m not suggesting that you do this; I am suggesting that you invent a travel ritual that you can share with yourself everywhere you go.

Q: What’s next for Pavia Rosati?

A: More sunrises in new places, and sharing them on Fathom.

Did you enjoy this Q&A? Check out previous Gadling Q&As with travelers like Jodi Ettenberg, Zora O’Neill, and Philippe Sibelly.

[Image: Jimmy Gilroy]