Life in Sri Lanka

No TV, No problem

No televisions, no problem

No Televisions, No Problem!

No Televisions, No Problem

I don’t know about you, but I really didn’t enjoy watching television when I was away on holiday.

Whenever we would get to our hotel room my wife and I would flick through the channels to find something that we would like.

No TV, No problem

There is something about watching television when you are in your own country. 

You know what you like, you know when the program is on and you know where to find your favourite programme.

I can't find it, there are too many advertisement breaks.

We tended to watch a lot fo BBC programmes in the UK and therefore didn’t to have to deal with advertisement breaks. 

There is something about the rhythm of the programme, even when you watch commercial tv, that is quite comforting. You are used to the timing and the length of the advert break. Years of programming our brains makes it alright.

BBC Masterchef - select your channel

Television abroad - no thanks

However, I used to get frustrated watching television on holiday as the rhythm wasn’t comfortable for me.

It was a real turnoff.

So, I didn’t watch any television programmes when I went on holiday.

The world has changed

Since moving to Sri Lanka in 2016 the world has been through some incredible changes.

Sitting down in front of the television to relax after a stressful day in the office is no longer the norm.

The global pandemic left lots of people stuck at home looking for entertainment to while away the hours.

Netflix and other streaming services became the go to place for entertainment. Binge watching box sets was what everyone was talking about.

When we were in the UK we only watched a few programmes when they were being broadcasted. Most if what we viewed was on catch up.

 

The importance of internet speed on holiday.

No televisions at GlenMyu Estate, no problem

Since living in Sri Lanka we have been weaned off television.

I could see from our first six months on the island that we really craved our favourite programmes that we enjoyed together. 

However, as we couldn’t get our usual BBC programmes, we used to buy the occasional DVD and watch them together.

The environment in the Sri Lankan Hill Country has changed our requirements in life. It’s hard not to be affected by the surrounding nature. Whether it’s the noise from the birds, the ever changing view from the lounges or spending time on the five acre estate, sitting in front of a square box does not seem to be important now. If we don’t know who is in Masterchef, the Bake Off or Strictly, it really doesn’t matter.

The views around the Estate

Immersed in nature

Living in London for many years we were really out of touch with nature. So many people living in big cities must be in the same position.

I don’t know what happened to me.

In the UK I wasn’t interested in birds and trees. My inquisitiveness appears to have been injected into my veins since living here. Planting trees and watching them grow, getting up early to catch the birdsong or making sure I catch the sunset sky.

It’s hard to get the feeling over to you. You really need to come and experience this for yourself.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate to explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

No televisions, no problem Read More »

Free WiFi is important on holiday

Internet Speed in Sri Lanka

Internet Speed in Sri Lanka

Internet speed in Sri Lanka.

How good is it?
Is there free WiFi?
Will I be able to work online when I am in Sri Lanka?

We try to answer your questions.

Free WiFi is important on holiday

Why is it important?

You are on holiday. Surely, you want to leave your life back home behind!

We realise that we are living in the real world, and being connected is very important.

One of the important things on my list when we check guests in at GlenMyu Estate  is to provide the WiFi password.

It's great being off -grid but.......

Ben Fogles’ New Lives in the Wild visited the unique off grid clamping experience at Cliff Lodge, Haputale. The programme  was aired in February 2024 and both Anke and Naveen won the hearts of viewers. 

Being off grid, with no internet or phone connection is an excellent experience where you can really connect with nature.

We didn't go down that route.

When we originally planned GlenMyu Estate, which is also near Haputale, some of our friends suggested that we didn’t provide an internet connection.

We provide a different experience from that to an off grid holiday. However, we do find that our guests do connect with nature and are abler to switch off. 

WiFi is an important service that we provide to our guests and we leave it up to them on how much they use it.

Keeping in touch
Keeping in touch
Working with a view
Working away from home with a view

Keeping connected with family and friends

If you are travelling to Sri Lanka for the first time your family and friends will be happier to know that you are safe and enjoying your holiday.

Keeping in touch with friends

Sharing your experiences

It’s really important to share your experiences with others when you are on holiday. Perhaps it will inspire your friends and family to do a similar trip.

We love it when our guests share pictures and videos of their stay at GlenMyu Estate.

Sharing your experiences on holiday

Those important work calls

Making that work call

No one likes taking work calls when they are on holiday, however sometimes it is really important. We have hosted several business owners at GlenMyu Estate and we realise that some information or decisions have to be made by the boss, whatever country they are in

Working on holiday - Digital Nomads

Working love has changed since I left the UK in 2016.

The global pandemic changed the view on working from home and now it is the norm. I would have even loved hybrid working when I was in London. Imagine all those tube journeys that I would not have needed to take!

Nomads
A break for surfing

Here are some videos that will provide some additional information about being a digital nomad in Sri Lanka.

Lots of our guests work and play

At GlenMyu Estate, many of our guests have had to do some work whilst they have been on holiday. 

 

Working on holiday
Working while you are away

Is there free WIFi in Sri Lanka?

We provide free WiFi to our guest at GlenMyu Estate. This would be a normal offering when you stay in a hotel in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately you cannot guarantee that you will have a fast enough connection to do what you plan.

We had an unfortunate experience when staying at a hotel in the south of the island recently. The WiFi speed was dire. We also could not connect using our own data   on our Sri Lankan SIM as there was no coverage there.

Clearly, some hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes have good internet speed. However, you may have to look for them.

Buying a local SIM card

Many of our friends and guests buy a SIM card at the airport when they arrive.

If you are on a vacation for two or three weeks this is a good way to keep connected around the island. You can manage your data package by using free WiFi when you are at your accommodation.

For a longer stay, it is worth buying a local SIM card from a Communication Shop around the island. This will work out a bit cheaper as you will be able to buy a monthly data package.

Internet providers in Sri Lanka

There are lots of internet providers in Sri Lanka. You will see the vendors at the airport after you collect your bags. 

Dialog and SLT Mobitel would be considered the main providers. However, Airtel, Hutch and Lanka Bell are others to consider.

Improving Wifi speed for our guests

We are looking to improve our offering to our guests and plan to put in a fibre line which will improve internet speed.

A word of warning - no guarantees

I am writing this article after 36 hours of using a WiFi router rather than the fibre line we have at GlenMyu Estate.

The internet connection stopped working yesterday and we send a message to Sri Lanka Telecom to alert them to the problem.

It turned out that a bees nest had been made at the cable line at the main road which had broken the connection. The brave souls from the repair team managed to move the bees on and repair the line.

So, a word of warning. We will do our best to provide a good, fast and secure internet connection for our guests. However, sometimes nature gets in the way!

Stay at GlenMyu Estate to explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country.

Hopefully, you will not need to work too much!

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

Internet Speed in Sri Lanka Read More »

Practice Friluftsliv

Practice Friluftsliv in Sri Lanka in 2024

Practice Friluftsliv in Sri Lanka in 2024.

Why you should practice Friluftsliv in Sri Lanka in 2024.

The Swedish concept of friluftsliv (open-air living) is something we aspire to do at GlenMyu Estate.

It’s not just Sweden, this practice is also a common philosophy in Denmark, and Norway. 

Unwinding outdoors is engrained in the culture in Norway.
Some firms make it part of their working week.
Going for a jog or a walk during your lunchtime, despite plunging temperatures is a common sight.

What is Friluftsliv?

Frilufstliv was first popularised in the 1850s by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen in his 1859 poem “On the Heights”.

The concept is much older.
Its literal translation is “free-air life”, but Ibsen used it to convey a spiritual connection with nature.

To modern Norwegians, it means participating in outdoor activities, but also has a deeper sense of de-stressing in nature and sharing in a common culture. Could this outdoor life hold the key to Norwegians’ health and happiness?

Friluftsliv is not a specific activity.

Hiking in the forest, kayaking along the fjords and skiing in the mountains could all be part of it, but so could picking cloudberries or simply sitting in the woods.

How do I practice Friluftsliv?

Unwinding in the open air is so ingrained in the culture, some companies build it into the working week.

I make sure that I take some time out every day to spend time on the five acres we have at GlenMyu Estate. As the land is in the Sri Lankan hill country walking up and down the inclines can increase the heart rate. The lowest part of the land is around 90 metres lower than height at the entrance gate.

Walking around the pathways and surveying what grass cutting and weeding needs to be done. I get ideas on what we should plant or whether we should put in another seat to enjoy the surrounding nature.

Swimming in the natural spring fed swimming pool surrounded by the hills and the birds providing a musical backdrop is another way that I practice Frilutftsliv. 

Friluftsliv and GlenMyu Estate

An outdoor culture is a bit easier in the tropics due to the climate.

Unless you really suffer from the heat or sunburn, being outdoors is the natural place to spend your time in Sri Lanka.  

Spending time at the beach or hiking through the rainforests or the tea estate of the Pekoe Trail all reflect friluftsliv.

In our opinion, swimming at the pools at Upper Diyaluma Waterfall is the perfect way yo practice Friluftliv.
After the twenty minute hike to the top of Sri Lanka’s 2nd tallest waterfall you will enjoy the cold water pools.

Being out in an unspoilt natural environment will make this a memorable experience. 

We normally send guests off after breakfast from GlenMyu Estate so that they can enjoy the nature before the larger crowds arrive later in the day.

Horton Plains National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of our favourite places in the Sri Lankan Hill Country.

Walking through the fresh air, at an elevation of 2,200 metres is exhilarating. The beauty of the flora and fauna in this montane cloud forest is amazing. 

It is certainly a place where you can practice friluftsliv.

Even our staff at GlenMyu Estate practice Friluftsliv.

One of our staff members at GlenMyu Estate always takes the long way round to the house rather than a direct approach.
When asked why, he said that it was beautiful walking on the far side of the land.
It’s something we encourage him to do as we know that it is good for him.

Enjoy the outdoors at GlenMyu Estate.

Average annual temperature in Beragala is 21.3 °C / 70.4 °F.

The temperature range in at Beragala is a maximum of 26.4 °C/(79.5) °F in July.
Minimum night time temperature is 16.5 °C
(61.7) °F. 

This means that you can enjoy the temperatures during the day and get a good nights sleep.

Garden tours around GlenMyu Estate

Connect with nature

As you walk around the five acres at GlenMyu Estate you will come across some animals, birds and insects.

There is a large variety of birds that visit the estate. We also have to types of monkey that regularly visit the trees to forage (and annoy our dogs!).

Connecting with nature is an important part of the enjoyment when you stay at GlenMyu Estate.

A Hill Swallow Gathering Twigs

Spend time with our dogs, ducks, chickens and cows.

Guests love the connection that they make with the rescue dogs that we have on the estate. Clove will give you a great welcome. The other dogs will say hello and them leave you alone as they go about their day (or sleep!).

The ducks forage around the estate and swim in the ponds that are scattered around the estate. 

One of my favourite images of 2023 was seeing a French executive lying on the ground, looking upwards to the trees whilst petting one of the dogs.

He really loved the dogs whilst he was here and really connected with them. 

We really enjoy guests that connect with our animals.

 

A Swiss lady arrived in early 2024 and had a passion for cows. I suppose that Switzerland has an abundance of the animals eating lush grass in the mountains. 

Whilst showing the couple around the garden at the estate we had to wait for a while. It was the time for the cows to be put to bed in the cowshed. We waited for our new bull calf to arrive.
He was petted by his new admirer before heading to his bed.

It was a beautiful sight and a great memory for both the guest and also myself.

A walk around the garden

Ru normally does the garden tour.

I also do to but I miss quite a few plants of interest because Ru designed and planted most of the grounds.
Of course, I am very proud of how my Jackfruit, Mango and Avocado trees are coming on, but there is much more to see.

It’s a delight when guests smell the leaves of the mandarin and lemon trees trying to guess what it is.
The curry leaf gets a variety of reactions.
If someone bites onto one of the pepper pods they are normally seeking some water to cool them down

You walk, you see, you learn.

I love it when guests discover that a pepper is grown as a vine.
The amazement that green coffee on the tree becomes a breakfast drink.

Seeing a Jackfruit on the tree and then eating a Jackfruit Burger later on is an experience.

Harvesting sap from the Kithul Tree becomes the syrup that they pour over their breakfast for sweetness.

Some people are a little embarrassed that they didn’t know where some of the food they eat comes from. I was the same.

I used to enjoy cloves in my mulled wine over the festive period when living in the UK. I didn’t have a clue about where a clove comes from . 

Here, at GlenMyu Estate, we have planted thirty clove trees. In around five years we will be harvesting our own cloves from the trees we have planted.

When I was living in London, I had no idea about where my food come from and how much work went into producing it.
I thought that peanut grew on a tree.
I’m sure that I got this belief from an advert I saw in television as a child. 

They are grown on the ground. I was amazed when we grew them and how delicious they tasted.

Removing the shells however, is another story and I appreciate the work that went into producing the packet of peanuts that I enjoy with a Lion lager! 

Are you ready to practice friluftsliv?

We think that everyone should be able to practice Friluftsliv. 

GlenMyu Estate and the places you can visit on a day trip are ways that you  can get closer to nature on holiday in Sri Lanka.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate and practice friluftsliv.

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

Practice Friluftsliv in Sri Lanka in 2024 Read More »

Podcasts that I like

Podcasts that I love, enjoy and tolerate.

Podcasts that I love, enjoy and tolerate.

Podcasts that I love, enjoy and tolerate.

Life on a paradise island in the Indian ocean. Passing time, learning & amusing myself in Sri Lanka in the Sri Lankan Hills.

When the rest of the world is watching Netflix, my preference it to listen to a podcast.

I was addicted to TV when I was living in the UK. However, I have now eased myself off the screen and I feel that I have a lot more time my hands. 

Listening to podcasts as I work around the estate is so much better  and healthier than sitting and watching the square screen.

You can subscribe to Netflix in Sri Lanka, and many of my neighbours do. However, after a taste of Netflix in Melbourne, we were put off and look at other options to pass the time.

Of course some of what we listen to is educational, motivational, emotional and sometimes shocking.

Variety is the spice of life and we think that to is important to have a wide range of podcasts which have differing views, so we can make our minds up ourselves.

We are trying to baulk the algorithms so we are not fed the same old same old and things that Big Brother assumes we will like.

Educational podcasts - ones to help me grow.

As I was a Banker in the UK, educational podcasts are swayed towards business topics.

Since living in Sri Lanka, I have become more interested in the environment, growing plants for the garden and 

One of my favourite television programmes when I was in the UK was Dragons Den.
Nowadays I only see clips on Facebook of some of the pitches which is enough to keep may interest.

One of the newer dragons, Steven Bartlett, has a podcast called “Diary of a CEO”. It’s really interesting learning business techniques from a range of different people.

One particular thing that I learnt from one of the episodes is that you should also listen to people that you don’t agree with.
I have taken this on board and it gives me an insight of someone  else’s view that I may not have ordinarily heard.

When I want to catch up on the news, I make sure that I read a wide range of online newspapers to get writing from different standpoints.

It's not about the money - but it is.

The Rest is Money is hosted by business journalist Steph McGovern and economics guru Robert Peston. 
I enjoy the relationship that the two hosts have, which helps listening to a subject, that could easily be a little boring.

Newspaper podcasts

Following the theme of getting different perspectives I regularly listen to the Guardian and the Times podcasts.

The Guardian is historically a more left leaning newspaper whilst the Times is part of Rupert Murdoch’s empire. I enjoy both the Guardian Podcast “Today in Focus” and also the Times Podcast “Stories of our Times”.

A step to the left.

For a proper left wing view from a legendary comedian, I listen to the Alexei Sayle Podcast. This really does show me a view from the other side and it is quite enlightening.

On a completely different theme, I love his BBC Podcast “Strangers on a Train”. I find this such a comforting Podcast, especially when I live so far way from the UK. It is a gentle and interesting podcast where Alexei interviews random passengers on train journeys in the UK. It is one of my favourite podcasts.

A bit of politics

The Rest is Politics with the former Downing Street Director of Communications and Strategy Alastair Campbell and cabinet minister Rory Stewart

I like to keep up to date with both UK and World politics. Having hosts who are from the opposite sides of the spectrum makes it interesting and enjoyable listen.

Food and Drink

Out to Lunch was hosted by food critic Jay Rayner and now is hosted by Ade Edmonson. 

Accompanying the host is a famous celebrity and the mix of conversation and discussion about food works well. It’s a good advert for the restaurant and I keep adding them to my wish list.

Sport

I love sport and don’t get to watch much in Sri Lanka due to the time difference to the UK.

Rugby

Rugby was my sport when I was in the UK. I used to play, catch and support my local team. Twickenham was a regular event in the calendar during the six nations. 

The BBC Rugby Weekly has a good vibe and the hosts, a broadcaster and ex rugby players are a good mix.  

My favourite rugby Podcast however, is Flats and Shanks. I love this because it is more about book and tv recommendations rather than rugby.

Rugby in Sri Lanka

Football

My New Football Club is my favourite football podcast. It is hosted by comedian David Earl and Jon Beer who support Exeter City FC. The 49 year old and 22 year old make a good team and have created a funny and interesting podcast.

I listen to the BBC Daily Football Podcast to keep myself up to date with the drama and the theatre of the English Football league. 

Radio 5’s 606 phone in podcast is hosted by ex football players Robbie Savage and Chris Sutton. A good combination of (I’d better not says as I will get in trouble!).

Gardening

Roots and All podcast is the only gardening podcast that I regularly listen to. Hosted by horticulturist, Sarah Wilson, there are interviews with guests from all areas of gardening and around the world.

Ones that I dip in and out off

There are lots of Podcasts that I have listened got regularly in the past but have taken a break. 

As much as I enjoyed them, sometimes you need a little variety. I do dip back into them from times to time.

Distraction Pieces with Scroobius Pip.
Reasons to be Cheerful with Geoff Lloyd and Ed Milliband.
Full Disclosure with  James O’Brien
The Political Party with comedian Matt Forde
The High Performance Podcast with Jake Humphrey and Damian Hughes.

Just for Laughs

I’m not a parent but during the pandemic I started listening to Lockdown Parenting Hell with Josh Widdicome and Rob Beckett. 

The name has now changed to Parenting Hell and I still love listening to the podcast. They have interesting, funny guests and also give an insight to their own parenting challenges weekly.

Their section Boomer Parenting stories is a must listen. 

I also listen to The Wolf and Owl Podcast with Romesh Ranganathan and Tom Davis. It is bizarre, and passes the time making me laugh.

Awkward but funny

I have listened to Geoff Lloyd and Annabel Ports’ podcast “Adrift” from the start. A podcast titled “A comic tragedy for anyone flailing in the sea of their own inadequacy”.

I find that listening to podcasts like this help my empathy levels for others and make me more accepting of the uncomfortable moments in my life.

How do you find the time?

There are some podcasts that are a must listen to and some that I can miss and not feel guilty.

If you scan the amount of podcast that are available to listen to, you would never be able to skim the surface.

It really depends on what I feel like at the time and this determines what I will listen to.

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Stay at GlenMyu Estate to explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

Podcasts that I love, enjoy and tolerate. Read More »

An inspirational landscape to paint in Sri Lanka.

An inspirational landscape to paint

An inspirational landscape to paint in Sri Lanka

An inspirational landscape to paint in the Sri Lankan Hill Country.

This landscape need painting and photographing!

The continual changing view from GlenMyu Estate really needs to be captured in paint or by camera.

Using painting a stress relief.

Focusing on painting allows mne’ mind to relax and let go of all the problems and demands that may have led to stress.
Creating something beautiful through painting stimulates the creative mind while also relieving mental strain.

A comfortable temperature in an inspirational landscape

The temperature in the hill country means that it is easy to paint outdoors for a long part of day.

It’s worth bringing a hat as the sun can be intense at midday.

The best light is in the early morning an mid to late afternoon.

Whether a portrait, landscape, cloudscape, flora or fauna, there is something to fit most interests at GlenMyu Estate.

The elevation delivers a unique and inspirational landscape

GlenMyu Estate is around 1,000 metres above sea level. Sometimes the clouds are above a below the house. At certain times of the year the mist touches the glass windows for a while providing a unique atmosphere. 

The colours in the sky change throughout the year providing an array of colours or shades of grey during the rainier months.

Whatever the weather, this inspirational landscape is inspiring and needs to be captured.

There are lots of opportunities around the five acre estate to find yourself a quiet place to practice your art. 

The changes in light in the Sri Lankan Hill Country and the array of colours provide you with a varying landscape.

Looking for the best light

Capturing the colours as the light goes down, especially the we have a beautiful sunset sky would be a good way to record your stay at GlenMyu Estate .

A distraction to everyday life

Painting on holiday serves as a distraction to everyday life and gives some balance in your life.

It allows you to get into a flow and focus your attention on the job at hand. It gives you time to disconnect from the real world and have time for yourself.

An inspirational landscape - Surrounded by nature.

Our natural spring fed swimming pool is a place to relax and get some inspiration.

One of our guests spent time with her pencils and sketchpad and spent some hours drawing next to the pool. It was a relaxing experience whilst carrying out her passion which she couldn’t do in her busy workalike at home.

Animal and bird photography

There are lots of opportunities for bird and animal photography around the estate. We can’t guarantee what visitors we will have but you are likely to see a variety of birds and two types of monkeys during your stay.

Surrounded by inspirational landscapes.

There are also many places near to GlenMyu Estate that need to be captured on canvas.

Inspirational places like Horton Plains National Park, Diyaluma and Bambarakanda Waterfalls and Lipton’s Seat are all iconic places. 

I dint remember seeing any paintings or drawings of these vistas. and therefore, perhaps you can be the trailblazer artist in the area.

One of the waterfalls at Upper Diyaluma
Enjoying the sunrise at Lipton's Seat

Pack all your painting equipment when you come on holiday.

Make sure that you have all that you need for painting or drawing on your holiday to capture this inspirational landscape. 

In the Hill Country you will not be able to pick up a spare brush or paint easily.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate and practice your art.

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and get inspired by the landscape and surroundings.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

An inspirational landscape to paint Read More »

A writers retreat in Sri Lanka

A writers retreat in Sri Lanka.

A writers retreat in Sri Lanka.

Where can I stay when I want the peace, tranquility and inspirations to write when on holiday in Sri Lanka?

We have been asked by several guests whether we would offer a discount for a longer term stay at GlenMyu Estate.

The main reason a writer would request a longer stay is to be in a place which is comfortable for that length of time.
It also provides the opportunity to write or pursue their artistic endeavour.

Some guests have been completing or editing their book whilst staying at GlenMyu Estate.

During this stage of the writing process you need to be in a place of tranquility where you can concentrate on your masterpiece. Having the occasional guest of travellers pass through on their exploration of the island provides some relief and conversation from the endeavours of work.

As long as our internet speed is fast enough for you, and you don’t mind the odd dog or two breaking up the monotony of the day, we are happy to accommodate writers and artists.

What does a writer want from a writing retreat?

A writing retreat could be just what you need to start that novel, finish your chapter, book or poetry. Perhaps it’s a time to revise the short story you’ve been meaning to send out.

The main thing is that your writing retreat gives you a focused break from the trivial distractions of life that keep you from deep diving into the big picture of your personal story.

At GlenMyu Estate we offer a peaceful environment where you can concentrate on your artistic endeavours.

As there will be other travellers coming and going during your stay, you will have the opportunity to meet new, interesting people, outside your normal circles. You never know what conversations may generate an idea or storyline for your to develop.

A chance to get over what's in the way of you finsing your book.

One of the best ways to handle any and all writer issues is to take some time out for a writer’s retreat. Shutting your outside world out and go on a writing vacation may help you progress your writing or get some new inspiration.

A change in environment may help you and the Sri Lankan hill country offers something different that being at home.

You can unwind and not be concerned about distractions of everyday life. Escaping from all the responsibilities and sentiments for a short while will enable your to give 100 per cent to your writing.
No need to worry about the next meal, Ru will make sure you are fed with great home cooked food. 

An inspirational landscape.

We believe that the landscape in the Sri Lankan Hill country has not been the subject of many paintings and drawings. It’s a landscape that appears to asking to be recorded. 

The variation in the vista from the lounges with clear skies turning into fluffy clouds. Sometimes mist touching the windows of the house makes it a view that novel gets boring.

A temperature range that won't send you to sleep.

In the tropics, it’s easy to get into the habit of a siesta in the balmy weather. 

The Sri Lankan Hill country however, is not as warm as the coasts and cities like Colombo, Galle and Kandy.
As the average annual temperature in Beragala is 21.3 °C ( 70.4 °F)/maximum temperature of 26.1 °C ( 78.8 °F ) you will not be knocked out by the heat.

Wake up and be ready to write after a dip in the swimming pool.

A swim in the natural spring fed swimming pool will also provide you with a refreshing wake up. This will ensure that you are ready to write. The natural surroundings may even inspire you writing your next chapter.

Press that WhatsApp button and contact us about a longer stay.

The peak season in Sri Lanka is from mid December to Mid April. During this period it will be more difficult to accommodate a longer stay at GlenMyu Estate.

We only have three bedrooms and we are finding that we are receiving some booking a year in advance.

Therefore we would recommend that you provide us with as much notice as possible to enquire about a longer stay. 

Please press the WhatsApp button on our website to make your enquiry.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate and write your book or paint the landscape.

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

A writers retreat in Sri Lanka Read More »

So excited we could jump for joy

Holidays in Sri lanka in 2024

Holidays and Public Holidays in Sri Lanka during 2024.

Holidays and public holidays in Sri Lanka in 2024.

There are lots of long weekends in Sri Lanka in 2024 and the tourist sites will be busy.

Most Sri Lankans work on Saturdays, but you will see from the calendar below that there are several holidays on a Saturday. This will mean that tourists will be competing with local Sri Lankans for hotels, restaurants and sightseeing on a lot more weekends this year.

So, we would recommend that you book early.

Here is a list of Public and National Holidays in Sri Lanka during 2024 so you can plan your holiday.

Public Holidays in Sri Lanka

Public Holidays in Sri Lanka - What is a Full Moon Poya Day?

A Poya Day is a civil and bank holiday.

The full moon day is normally considered as the Poya day in every month.

Poya is the name given to the Lunar monthly Buddhist holiday of Uposatha in Sri Lanka.

Usopatha is a Buddhist Day of observance.

The Buddha taught that the Uposatha day is for “cleansing of the defiled mind”.

On each Poya day, both lay and ordained members of the sangha (community) intensify their practice, deepen their knowledge and express communal commitment through acts of lay-monastic reciprocity. 

It is a day for practicing the Budda’s teachings and meditation.

Lay followers make a conscious effort to keep the Five Precepts or traditionally Eight Precepts.

For further information regarding the Precepts https://thebuddhistcentre.com/buddhism has some further reading.

Public Holidays in Sri Lanka - The Poya Days in 2024

Date

Day

Holiday

15th January

Monday

Tamil Thai Pongal

25th January

Thursday

Durutha Full Moon Poya Day

4th February

Sunday

National Day

24th February

Saturday

Navam Full Moon Poya Day

24th March

Sunday

Madin Full Moon Poya Day

29th March

Friday

Good Friday

10th April

Wednesday

Id Ul-Fitr

12th April

Friday

Day prior to Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day

13th April

Saturday

23rd April

Tuesday

Bak Full Moon Poya Day

1st May

Wednesday

May Day

23rd May

Thursday

Vesak Full Moon Poya Day

24th May

Friday

Day following Vesak Full Moon Poya Day

17th June

Monday

Poson Full Moon Poya Day

20th July

Saturday

Esala Full Moon Poya Day

19th August

Monday

Nikini Full Moon Poya Day

17th September

Tuesday

Binari Full Moon Poya Day

31st October

Thursday

Vap Full Moon Poya Day

15th November

Friday

III Full Moon Poya Day

14th December

Saturday

Undavap Full Moon Poya Day

25th December

Wednesday

Christmas Day

Please note that these date were researched and found at a Sri Lankan Government website providing dates for public holidays.

Public Holidays in Sri Lanka - What does it mean for me as a tourist to Sri Lanka?

Some of the Five Precepts have a noticeable effect on Poya Days for visitors.

Meat, Fowl and Fish products are not available to buy.

Alcohol is not available in most places.

All the Wine Stores and Supermarket alcohol sales are closed. Most bars and restaurants also are not allowed to sell alcohol on the day.

Buddhist Temples will be busy

A special Buddhist program is conducted by temples on Poya Days and is called Sil (sometimes spelt Sill).

Typically it starts early in the morning around 6 a.m. and comprises of sermons, discussion, blessings and meditation. It can last for 12 hours and the attendees are normally provided with food and drinks during the day.

If you do decide to visit a temple either during a Poya Day or outside the holidays please remember to dress and act appropriately.

What should I wear?

  • Trousers/pants/skirts or any other dress long enough to cover the knee.
  • A shirt/t-shirt/blouse or any other dress should cover the shoulders.
  • No hats and head cover.
  • No shoes/sandals or slippers.

When taking pictures.

It’s really important also not to take photos with your back to the Buddhist Statue.

 Please do not touch, sit near or  climb on a Buddhist Statue.

Please also get permission to take photos and never take pictures during worship.

Whatever you plan to do on your holiday in Sri Lanka we hope that you enjoy your time on this Paradise Island.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate to explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

Holidays in Sri lanka in 2024 Read More »

What I am looking forward to in 2024

Things I am Looking Forward to in 2024.

Things I am looking forward to in 2024

Things I am looking forward to in 2024.

A year of exploration, meeting new people, learning and getting more balance in my life.

What I am looking forward to in 2024

Time to reset and look to the future.

Did you set a New Year’s resolution?

I set my early so that I didn’t have to wait until January the 1st.

However, the beginning of the year is a good time to spend some time thinking and planning what I want from 2024.

Sri Lanka in 2024 - it's going to be a busy year at GlenMyu Estate.

Our to the number of tourists expected to visit Sri Lanka in 2024, we are expecting a busy year. The government’s plans are to substantially increase tourism

We only have three bedrooms at GlenMyu Estate so there is limited capacity.

We can already see that we have a lack of availability in early 2024. This is the main tourist season in Sri Lanka and the number of enquiries reflect this.

Tourist numbers reached 200,000 in December 2023. The curve in visitor arrivals is going upwards.

It’s important for a country that needs foreign income after some difficult years.

A New Year 2024

It's not about money.

As we expect to be busy it’s important to take some time to reflect on what we achieved in 2023. And what we can improve on in 2024.

But, it’s as important that we look at what we want to achieve personally for ourselves in 2024. It’s not about the money, it’s about our health, wellbeing and achieving a balance in our lives.

We love meeting new people and having visitors, but we will need to take some time our for ourselves. This will mean some time away from the estate.

Our visitors have been to places that we have not been.

Since arriving in Sri Lanka in 2016 and being busy with the construction and development of GlenMyu Estate, we have had little time to enjoy this paradise island ourselves.

So many of our guests arrive in the Sri Lankan Hill country and are able to tell us about places that we haven’t visited ourselves. 

Originally, when my then Sri Lankan girlfriend and I started dating we did travel around Sri Lanka on annual trips to visit her family. We started coming during the civil war and there were parts of the country that we were unable to visit. 

Since the end of the civil war in May 2009, visiting the North and East of the country has opened up.

Friends from the UK who were visiting Sri Lanka for a wedding that travelled to Jaffna. They loved it there and said that we must explore the region before it gets spoilt.

Exploring Sri Lanka.

One of the things we aim to do in 2024 is to explore Sri Lanka.

We will need some time out for ourselves and will travel during the quieter times of the year.
By visiting more if the island we will be able to pass over our experiences and recommendations to our guests at GlenMyu Estate.

Learning to relax and meditate from our guests.

It’s amazing what each new guests brings to our lives at GlenMyu Estate.

Neither my wife or I were in the hospitality business and we were a little nervous when we started. However, it did not take us long to love hosting new people and learning more about their lives. We love it!

Each new visitor brings a new story and experience to GlenMyu Estate and they add colour to our lives. 

I like to do some research on where our guest live, but I learn so much more from our conversations with them. There are places that I have not been, however, I feel that I have a good insight when I meet our guests. 

Appreciating the environment and being closer to nature.

One of the main things that we see in our guests demeanour at GlenMyu Estate is how quickly they manage to relax.

The stresses of work and everyday life appear to be lifted in the hill country.

Guests are able to rest and get a good nights sleep.
The temperature at GlenMyu Estate is typically between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius during the day and the humidity levels are not that at the coast.

We often see the sense of relief and relaxation as guests emerge from the vehicle that has brought them here.
The shades of green from the trees and the plants that greet you appear to provide a sense of calm and belonging.

Meditating at the waterfall - or watching the ducks!

One of our first guests at GlenMyu Estate asked me whether I meditated. He was a little surprised that I didn’t.
Living in Sri Lanka and with Buddhism being the dominant philosophy, one may expect that I would meditate.

Our German guest and his wife climbed down to the waterfall here. His wife stayed for a while.

However, he stayed for around three hours meditating, surrounded by nature and with the sound of water in the background.

I am often inspired by guests, and although I have not learnt to meditate, I have found my own substitute.

We have around twenty ducks at the estate. I enjoy passing some times watching them go about their business.
Whether foraging in the undergrowth or bathing in the streams, this is my version of meditation. 

Working on me, working on us.

My early New Year’s resolution was to swim every day and improve my level of fitness.  It’s going well and it is starting to become a daily habit.

Before we moved to Sri Lanka, my wife and I didn’t spend much time together due to long working days and the amount of foreign travel my wife had to do. 

At GlenMyu Estate we are together twenty four hours of the day. We both have our own designated work to do so we do spend a fair time apart, albeit only a distance of fifty to one hundred metres. 

Being busy with the bed and breakfast, we do know that we need to spend more time together.

There will be some downtime during the year, despite the expected tourist numbers, and we will be able to spend some time alone.

We are looking forward to meeting you!

As mentioned, we love meeting new people and seeing their experience of GlenMyu Estate. 

Hopefully we will meet you soon.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate to explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

Things I am Looking Forward to in 2024. Read More »

Swim as the sun goes down

The best places to swim in Sri Lanka.

The Best Places to swim in Sri Lanka

The best places to swim in Sri Lanka.

We love swimming on our Natural Spring Fed pool in the Sri Lankan Hill Country at GlenMyu Estate.

Okay, we are a little biased because of where we live and what we like.

However, here are our favourites.  

GlenMyu Estate is located in the Sri Lankan hill country and provides a unique experience for swimming on your holiday in Sri Lanka. 

We like the coolness of the water which we find quite refreshing and encourages you to swim. It’s a great place to get some exercise and work off some of the calories from the delicious meals served by Ru.

I love swimming either in the morning or in the evening (or both). 

It’s a great way to start and end the day. 

5 of our best places to swim on you holiday In Sri Lanka.

Our 5 best places to swim when on holiday In Sri Lanka.

Here are our five best places to swim in Sri Lanka.

1.The Natural Spring-Fed Infinity Swimming Pool.

Our natural spring fed swimming pool at GlenMyu Estate is a really special experience.

We do not use chlorine in the pool so you come out from your swim smelling refreshes rather than with that chlorine smell.

The pool is located a small walk away from the house and you are not overlooked by other guests.

I love it when the birds provide the background music as I swim surrounded by nature. 

Swim as the sun goes down
10 Reasons Why We Love Our Swimming Pool. Our best decision when we built GlenMyu Estate B & B in Sri Lanka.

2. Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Koslanda

As Upper Diyaluma is located just forty minutes drive from GlenMyu Estate.

There are lots of pools to swim in as you descend from the top of the waterfall. It’s an amazing experience, especially as it is relatively untouched.

It is becoming a favourite Instagram spot as there are stunning carvings in the rocks to sit and admire the views.

Upper Diyaluma is the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka,

3. Maalu Maalu Hotel, Pasikuda

The East Coast of Sri Lanka is a less touristy detonation on the island. More hotels have been built in the last ten years or so and it is becoming a more popular place to holiday.

The beaches are best to visit during April to September while the rest of the island is experiencing monsoonal rains.

Although my wife and I are not massive sun worshippers we like the beaches in the East Coast of Sri Lanka.

There are less people at the beach, it safer as there is a shallow shelf and the scenery is stunning.

We really enjoyed our stay at Maalu Maalu Hotel by Thema Collection.

4. Bambarakanda Waterfall

Bambarakanda Waterfall is the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka and has a beautiful pool it’s foot.

It is a stunning place to swim in the cooler waters. 

Bambarakanda Waterfall is the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka. It’s quite easy to access and is just around an hours drive from GlenMyu Estate.

5. Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay, on the South East coast of Sri Lanka is a great place for swimming and surfing. 

During the season, there is a good buzz as the number of surfers  inhabiting the town increase.

Although we are not surfers, we like the atmosphere and the stunning location.

There are lots of great beaches around this island.

Our five places to swim in Sri Lanka are just our preferences. Not being sun worshippers we really enjoy the freshness of the water in the waterfalls within reach of GlenMyu Estate.

Many of our guests arrive from the South Coast through December to April and rave about their time at the beautiful beaches.

We are building a number of beaches that we want to experience from our guests recommendations.

Rekawa, Hiriketiya and Talalla beaches are our current top three that we want to visit in 2024.

We have a special spot in our hearts for Negombo beach because we got married at one of the hotels there.
Our friends, who attended our wedding, had a great time there, especially at the bride v groom cricket match we arranged at the beach.

Our 5 best places to swim in Sri Lanka.

  1. GlenMyu Estate Swimming Pool
  2. Upper Diyaluma Waterfall
  3. Pasikuda on the East Coast
  4. Bambarakanda Waterfall
  5. Arugam Bay

Stay at GlenMyu Estate and enjoy our Natural Spring-Fed Infinity swimming pool.

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

The best places to swim in Sri Lanka. Read More »

A view from the lawn of the the house at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

5 things I love about gardening.

5 things I love about gardening.

5 things I love about gardening.

From London banker to unpaid gardener in Sri Lanka.

The money is lousy but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

When I moved to Sri Lanka, I did not envisage ending up changing my office job for one outdoors.

A career banker, based in and around London, I had no idea where I would end up.
My destination was working for free on the 5 acre estate  in Sri Lanka that we have developed into GlenMyu.

I had little experience as a gardener in London. Why would I when the only outside space was a small terrace? There was very little room to plant anything at all!
I had little idea also that I would end up having a love for gardening and don’t find it like work at all.

1. Things I love about gardening- Gardening is my form of meditation.

I get lost in my thoughts as I use my brush cutter keeping the pathways and lawn in good shape.

It’s amazing how calming and relaxing it is. I do make sure that I am alert enough not to have an accident though, so it’s not like I’m in a trance. 

Maybe the hum from my brush cutter through the ear plugs I use gives a sense of comfort. 

Trying to get the grass as even I as I can do, on the hill country slopes, is my continuous focus.

I don’t practice meditation, however, this is the closest I get. I love it!

2. Making the GlenMyu Estate garden look good, makes me feel good!

I take a lot of pride in my work and try to make the grounds as attractive as possible.

When guests say that the garden looks good, I feel good. Actually I feel great. It makes all my efforts worth it.

I say my efforts, however there is a team at GlenMyu Estate who all contribute to making the garden look good. 

Ru is the designer of the garden (and most things) at GlenMyu Estate. Some of our daily workers are so adept at using the besom to sweep up the grass cuttings and leaves, I could never be as efficient or fast.

Doesn’t everyone like a pat on the back for the work that they have done?. 

3. I get to feel closer to nature and I feel that I am improving the estate as a home for wildlife.

One of our aims at GlenMyu Estate is to restore the land from an abandoned tea estate to a home for wildlife. Encouraging biodiversity on the land which makes it a healthy place for plants and animals to visit and live. 

GlenMyu Estate was part of a larger abandoned tea estate prior to being bought by my wife. It had also been a sugar cane estate which had failed when the government started to import sugar cane. 

Over the years the land was overrun by Guinea Grass which was brought in during Colonial times as a fast growing cattle feed.  This fast growing plant takes th light and nutrients from the endemic plants of Sri Lanka and dominates the landscape. It is not a good environment to welcome biodiversity.

Out with the old, in with the new. Things I Love aboutgardening

We have slowly removed the Guinea Grass over the years and replaced the plants with a fruit forest to feed us and the animals. Hundreds of endemic species have been planted and are starting to establish themselves on the five acre estate.

We regularly see dragon flies during the day, a variety of butterflies and some fireflies at night. This, we understand, shows that the land is healthy. 

There are no chemicals or pesticides used at the estate and everything that we grow is organic.

4. Things I love about gardening -Getting to enjoy the fruits of my work.

It’s a pleasure walking around the garden on attractive paths and weed free borders.  

The order calms the mind and allows me to concentrate on the nature that surrounds me.

Listening to the birdsong, watching the parrots flit from tree to tree and the Kingfisher fish in our stream.

The sound of the water softening any vehicle noise, the feel of the ground on my bare feet and playing with the dogs on the lawn.

A landscape that could be painted.

An inspiring landscape which brings out my hidden artistic side which was out of sight during my banking career.

One of the best things about GlenMyu Estate is our swimming pool

The pool is fed by a natural spring and the only heating is from the daytime sun. 
We don’t add chlorine to the water so I swim in a completely natural environment.

An evening swim is refreshing and eases the muscles that I have used during the day.

Finishing off the evening with a well deserved bottle of local Lion lager beer puts icing on the cake!

Our dogs turn up from time to time looking for a petting.
Maali our cow comes over and looks for her head to be patted. It’s as if she just wants me to remember she is around.

I sometimes have to chase the Eagles when it perches on branch eyeing our chickens and ducks.

Moving on the monkeys when they are trying to eat our Jackfruits, Mangos and Avocados when they are in season (don’t worry there is plenty for them to eat on the periphery of the estate).

There are lots that I love about gardening at GlenMyu Estate.

It's more than just cutting the lawn.

I don’t just cut the lawns and paths around the estate in my gardening duties. 

Cutting and replanting coleus, cutting down fallen branches and general weeding is all part of my day in the garden. 

It’s great to get variety in my day.

5 things I love about gardening - Summary

  1. Gardening is my form of meditation.
  2. Making the GlenMyu Estate garden look good, makes me feel good!
  3. I get to feel closer to nature and I feel that I am improving the estate as a home for wildlife.
  4. Getting to enjoy the fruits of my work.
  5. The reward of a swim at the end of the day (and perhaps a Lion lager!).

Stay at GlenMyu Estate and enjoy the gardens.

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.