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Instagrammable places in Sri Lanka

Swim at the top of Sri Lanka’s 2nd Tallest Waterfall.

Swim at the top of Sri Lanka's 2nd Tallest Waterfall.

Swim at the top of Sri Lanka’s 2nd Tallest Waterfall. 

A unique experience that our guests love to do from GlenMyu Estate.

Upper Diyaluma waterfall is the second tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka at 220 m (720 ft). The falls are the 619th highest waterfall in the world.

It’s based 6 km (3.7 mi) away from Koslanda in Badulla District on Colombo-Badulla Highway.

GlenMyu Estate is located on the Colombo-Badulla Highway and is 19km from Upper Diyaluma Waterfall.

Read about our experience at our article “Our day trip to Upper Diyaluma Waterfall”.

We were amazed when we went on our first trip from GlenMyu Estate to Upper Diyaluma Waterfall.

The road access has been improved since we have been living in Sri Lanka. As it is only forty minutes from GlenMyu Estate our guests can normally beat the other tourists to the site.

Many of our guests have been able to spend an hour or two exploring Upper Diyalima before other people reach the waterfall.

This makes it a special experience for them to remember. 

Here are a few photos of Ru enjoying swimming in the clear waters at Sri Lanka’s 2nd tallest waterfall.

Our guests really enjoy swimming at Sri Lanka's 2nd tallest waterfall

Our guests Matt and Millie enjoying Upper Diyaluma Waterfall in November 2023.

A reasonably priced experience in Sri Lanka.

Swimming at Sri Lanka’s 2nd tallest waterfall.

You can read about the entry cost at our article “Diyaluma Waterfall Entry Cost”.

The local council only started charging an entry fee last year and they have improved the access to this wonderful experience. The costs is minimal at LKR 350 (around £1, US$1, €1).

Other costs to at Sri Lanka's 2nd Tallest Waterfall.

Unless you have your own vehicle there will also be transport costs to take you to Upper Diyaluma Waterfall.

We normally send guests in a Tuk Tuk from GlenMyu Estate. The driver will show you the route around Upper Diyaluma, keep your valuables safe whilst you are swimming and take you back to the estate.

In January 2024 the driver has charged around LKR 6,000 for the return journey (around £15, US$19, €17). 

Where is Upper Diyaluma Waterfall

The access road to Upper Diyaluma Water can be reached from the A4 Colombo to Batticaloa High near to Koslanda.

GlenMyu Estate is around 40 minutes drive from Upper Diyaluma Waterfall.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate - swim at Sri Lanka's 2nd tallest waterfall

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Upper Diyaluma Waterfall 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.

Swim at the top of Sri Lanka’s 2nd Tallest Waterfall. Read More »

Our cow gets a new friend.

Our cow got a friend.

Our cow got a friend.

Our cow got a friend.

Maali is excited as she finally has a friend at GlenMyu Estate to accompany her as she grazes at the 5 acre estate.

Read on to find out how this came about.

If you want to read about how Maali arrived at GlenMyu Estate please read our articles “We got a Cow” and also “The Cow, a year on (almost)”.

Malli our Cow

Dogs and ducks as friends and playmates?

Maali was a little confused. She cleary was lonely and decided that her playmates were the dogs, ducks and chickens. 

Maali would graze for the morning until mid afternoon and then we would let her free to room and forage.

Our Cow and a dog. Wandering around GlenMyu Estate. Inspires my though for the day

So cute, but such bad behaviour.

Maali settled into GlenMyu Estate quite quickly. She was let free on the estate to forage and eat what she liked. Life is a learning curve and we realised that we would have to tie Maali to one spot for a few hours to concentrate on feeding in one area. She had a tendency to flit from one place to the other. Sometimes she would come bounding towards us when we were working on the land. It was funny, but sometimes scary and dangerous. 

When we started to take her to forage in one part of the land she was quite stubborn and wouldn’t move. I used to play rugby in the front row so there was often a tug of war to get her to move to where we wanted her to go. Luckily I still have a bit ion technique and she hasn’t neaten me yet!

When Maali was released in the early afternoon she would run around like a crazy cow. The puppies would run after her and she would try to butt them with her small horns. This was the same for any ducks or chickens that she came across. We think that this was play rather than anger as she appeared to seek them out when she was loose. 

She would bound around the land running more like a cheetah rather than a cow.

Although this did provide some entertainment, I was worried that she would create an accident either to her playmates or herself.

There needed to be a change at GlenMyu Estate

A little bit of research - Our cow needed a friend.

We did a little bit of research and found that when cows are alone they sometimes develop bad behaviour. They are herd animals and really should be with other cows. 

According to Farm House Guide “The truth is that cows are herd animals, and they need friends to help keep them happy and safe”.

We had known for some time that Maali really needed a friend.

So spoilt!

Doesn’t the first one always get spoilt? Maali was certainly spoilt and given a lot a leeway at GlenMyu Estate. 

Here she is waiting near the outside kitchen for a snack. 

An opportunity arises for our cow to get a friend.

One of our neighbours has cows which are used to supply milk. One of his cows had a bull calf. His mother had been sick when he was born an he was not fully weaned on his mothers milk. This left him with a pot belly which is normal in these circumstances.

Another neighbour had told us that the owner of the bull calf was looking to sell him.
We asked him to get in contact with us.

After a discussion with the owner and the vet, Ru asked the bull calf to be brought along to meet Maali and see whether they would get along with each other.

What was the alternative for the infant calf?

Unfortunately, if we did not buy the calf, he would have been sent to the butcher. This is the normal outcome for these animals in Sri Lanka.

Ru met the calf when he was brought to the land to see whether Maali would accept him.
Both Maali and Ru made a connection straight away and there was only one choice.
He was going to have a new home at GlenMyu Estate.

We try to do our bit.

Unfortunately, we cannot save all the animals we would like to from the fate that this calf would have met.
We have limited space at GlenMyu Estate to allocate to the animals and being on a hill limits our capacity.
However, at least this animal will have a good life ahead of him.

No room at the inn?

We did not plan to have a second cow.
In early 2023 we had constructed a new home for Maali where she was now settled. We had not planned for two animals and there was “no room at the inn’ so to speak.
Therefore, we had to identify a suitable site for a home for two.

A big move and a some investment.

The land at GlenMyu Estate is bisected by a stream that runs through the middle of the land.
The stream runs alongside the swimming pool and forms a natural barrier for each side.

Maaili did some major damage to our flowers and other plants that she found tasty. We used to have a beautiful array of flowers alongside the lawn in front of the house.
Maali used these flowers as a buffet when she wanted some variety from the grass she normally eats. This has left our flowerbeds devastated and not looking very attractive! 

The site is identified.

We decided that we would site the two cows in a new spot across the river. A gate would be placed at one side of the stream to protect the plants we have nearer the house.
This would result in the cows being focussed on one side of the land where we would be happy for them to forage.

More work to make a new home for our cow and her new friend.

The arrival of the prodigal son.

Here are some videos we took of the big moment when Maali met her new friend.

Maali was not aware re at first but in the end she looks very happy.

Happy together -Our cow got a friend.

You can see from this photo that Maali is making her acquaintance with her new friends. 

The start looks good, let’s se if it continues and they become good friends and companions.

Our cow gets a new friend.

Our hopes for the future for our cow and her new friend.

Our aim is to provide both Maali and her new friend a good, safe life at GlenMyu Estate.
In exchange we expect lots of manure to put on our organic garden.

How can you help?

Income we generate from guests staying at GlenMyu Estate when they are on holiday in Sri Lanka is the way we fund the costs to run the property.

By choosing GlenMyu Estate you will support what we do.

You will also have a great experience when you stay and explore the fantastic sights in the Sri Lankan Hill Country.

Your spend with us help fund the following:
Maali, our cow and her friend.
The cost of feeding and providing medication for our rescue dogs.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate, meet our animals and 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.

Our cow got a friend. Read More »

Practice friluftsliv in Sri Lanka.

Crowd Free places in Sri Lanka

Crowd free places in Sri Lanka?

Crowd Free places in Sri Lanka.
 

Do you want to get away from the crowds?
Do you like Non-Touristy, Off-beat places to visit whilst you are on holiday?

Read on to find out our thoughts, and what we recommend to do when you are on holiday in Sri Lanka.

Everyone is looking for a unique experience.

Social Media outlets like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and X (formerly Twitter) appear to have driven a desire for people to strive for unique experiences.

It’s important to get that individual ‘Instagram Moment’ shared with the world.

The more unique it is may make you ‘stand out from the crowd’ and get more like.

There are lots of people that want to be pioneers and be the first. What kudos you will receive, how great will you feel when your name is shining in those bright lights!

Gen Z and Millennials

Gen Z and Millennials have aspirations to travel. What better way to grow your social media audience by getting selfies in crowd free places. 

According to the Deloitte US article “Gen Z and Millennial Travel: The Wanderlust generations”  their love of travel.
This is fuelling new opportunities for technology, media & entertainment, and telecommunications companies.

Is there any such crowd free places in Sri Lanka.

With the population of the planet being 8 billion and rising according to Worldometers there would appear to be very few places on earth that are crowd free (or will be for long).

Beat the crowds - get there early

I’m sorry, but although you are on holiday and probably want a lie-in, we recommend that you get up early and beat the crowds.

Our guests Millie and Matt got up early to visit Lipton’s Seat. Their experience was unforgettable and special to them. You can read about their adventure in the following article “Sri Lanka Most Beautiful Place”.

Here are the reasons why we recommend getting up early “6 Reasons to Get Up Early”.

By giving up your lay-in on holiday you have more of a chance in beating the crowds.

Crowd free places in Sri Lanka.

Two Indian Lawyers stayed with us at GlenMyu Estate in late April 2023 and experienced some crowd free moments.

This is typically when there are low tourist numbers after the main December to March tourist season. 

We recommended that they leave early and return for a late breakfast. You can read more about our advice in our article “6 Reasons to Get up Early”.

As India has a population of 1.4 Billion according to Worldometer there must be very few places in that country where you can experience a crowd free place.

We were delighted that our advice provided them with this special experience which will be with them for many years to come.

Avoid the weekends

We would also recommend that you avoid the weekends.

This is because that’s when the local Sri Lankan community are likely to travel.
Going on the weekend amplifies the numbers visiting the sights to the foreign tourists.

Visit in the off season.

The main tourist season has been mid-December until April.
This is a natural time of year to visit the island as it is cold in Northern Europe.
Also the island is hit by two main monsoons: the North West Monsoon (November to March) and the South West Monsoon(April or May to September). 

You can read more about the climate in Sri Lanka on the World Bank knowledge-portal website “Sri Lanka -Climatology”.

During the peak holiday season (mid-December to April), the South and West Coasts are free from the monsoon .

If you take a chance and visit during the lower tourist seasons. You will have a change of seeing more crowd free places.

It is a risk but have seen several guests get lucky taking this route.
They also get to benefit from the lower prices in the off season and the additional attention from underworked staff.

Come quick!

Sri Lanka Tourist numbers are increasing.

Monthly and weekly tourist arrivals are published on the website. If you click this link to the website you will see the rise in numbers month by month captured to the previous year.

Although the target number for 2023 was 2 million, in September 2023 it was expected to achieve over 1.5 million

Also the government are planning to increase tourist numbers from their target of 2 million to 4 million. This will mean you are less likely to be able to experience a crowd free place on the island. You can read the article in Travel Bulletin about the tourist number targets.

You can read more about their plans in the following articles.

Sri Lanka is promoting itself as an all year round destination.

The North and East of the country is being developed for tourism since the Civil was that ended in May, 2009.

April to September are good months to visit that part of the island as it is monsoon free.
There are less hotels in this part of the country and therefore you are more likely to have some places to yourselves and be able to avoid the crowds.

We had some English visitors in July 2023 who had a great time in Jaffna and Trincomalee.
Their recommendation was to visit now before it gets developed!

October

October is the time of the year when Sri Lanka endures the inter-monsoon. The number of visitors to the island dropped from 136,405 in August to 111,938 in September and 109,199 during October 2023.

We had an Australian visitor in October who was our only guest for the night she stayed at GlenMyu Estate.
She mentioned that she was also the only guest at two other hotels she had visited.

If you can risk the rains, then there are normally good bargains to be had during the inter-monsoon period.
If you really want to go home with a tan, you probably want to avoid the inter-monsoon. 

However, some of our French guests has visited the East Coast in October and they advised the the weather was quite pleasant.

So, perhaps look east if you want to visit during October and avoid the crowds.

In summary - our recommendations for a Crowd Free Sri Lanka.

Do some research
Get up early to avoid the crowds
Avoid the weekends
Consider visiting during the off-season.

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, World’s End, 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.

Crowd Free places in Sri Lanka Read More »

Enjoying the sunrise at Lipton's Seat

Sunrise at Lipton’s Seat

Sunrise at Lipton's Seat, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

Getting up early to see the sunrise at Lipton’s Seat is one of the special things you can do whilst staying at GlenMyu Estate, Sri Lanka.

What is Lipton's Seat?

Lipton’s Seat viewpoint is one of Sri Lanka’s most impressive scenic vistas on the island (unless it’s misty and cloudy of course, which is why early morning is the best time to visit).
The Scottish tea baron Sir Thomas Lipton used to survey his vast empire from here.

This magnificent view encompasses scenes across emerald hills and tea estates to no fewer than five different provinces.

Sir Thomas Lipton?

Lipton’s Seat viewpoint was named after the celebrated  Tea Baron: Thomas Lipton.

Lipton was a Scottish businessman who moved to British Ceylon in 1890. At that time he met James Taylor and, together, they introduced tea gardens to the island. Before Lipton’s arrival, Taylor had tried to grow coffee on the island.

Unfortunately the coffee plantations were devastated by a leaf-blight called Hemileia Vastarix.

The two men started a business venture together which would outlive their lifetimes.  Sri Lanka’s (known as Ceylon then) tea estates were established and tea is forever connected with Sri Lanka. Originally known as Ceylon Tea, tea has been a major export crop for the country since. Beautifully manicured tea plantations are also an image which is linked to the island.

Have you ever had a cup of Liptons Iced Tea. Or do would you recognise the yellow branding of Liptons Teas? The name of the viewpoint and the tea brand are one in the same. You can read more about Sir Thomas Lipton on at the “History of Lipton Tea from the 1800’s” on the Lipton Tea website.

A unique viewing point.

Lipton’s Seat is a popular viewing point, from where Thomas Lipton would sit with a cup of tea in hand and proudly look over his estate.

Today, you can also enjoy one of the best views on the island from the lookout. You can also take a picture with the even a life-sized statue of Lipton on a bench.

It is best to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds and the late-morning fog or mist.

The breathtaking views provide a feast for your eyes as the sun rises and the hills turn from a dark blue to vibrant green. A variety of yellows scatter across the sky creating a kaleidoscope of colour from lilac with a burst of pink and orange before finally turning blue.

It is really something that must be experienced.

Later on ofter the views are obscured by mists of fogs that are painted over the hills. This can be spectacular itself if you choose not to get up early for the sunrise,

What will I see when I get to Lipton's Seat?

As you look over the tea hills below Lipton’s Seat you will see across the Uva, Sabaragamuwa, Central and Eastern provinces.

Also visible from the viewpoint are Handapanagala Lake, Chandrika Lake, Udawalawe Lake and the Wedihitikanda Mountains.

You can also see the relatively new even the Hambanthota harbour from the Southern Coast. 

Part of the new Pekoe Trail.

Stage 13 of the Pekoe Trail (Haputale to St Catherine) takes you to Lipton’s Seat.

The Pekoe Trail is a new hiking route that covers 300 kilometres of the Sri Lankan Central Hills in 22 stages.

Starting in Kandy the trail takes you through Nuwara Eliya, Hatton, Haputale and Ella.

The route takes you to the Thotalagala – Dambatenne Valley. As you walk uphill through the beautiful tea trails and tea estate you will reach Lipton’s Seat  with views across the valley.

Where is Lipton' Seat?

Lipton’s Seat is one hour, fifteen minutes drive from GlenMyu Estate along a small road from Haputale Town towards Dambethenna Tea Factory.

Lipton’ Seat is around one hours drive from Haputale Railway Station

How do I get to Lipton's Seat.

To hike to the lookout, take the signed narrow paved road from the Dambatenne Tea Factory. The climb is about 8km through lush tea plantations.

At GlenMyu Estate, we can arrange for a Tuk Tuk to take you to Lipton’s Seat and Dambethenna Tea Factory. You can go early and return for a late breakfast at the estate.

When should I visit Lipton's Seat to see the sunrise?

There is no guarantee that you will get a clear view from Lipton’s Seat as the clouds can come in an obscure the view.

Lipton’s Seat is at an elevation of 1,970  metres above sea level so there is every possibility that you can be in the clouds. 

We have personally experienced this on one of our trips with our family. It was still a good adventure as taking pictures in the clouds was fun and different. We had arrived a little late in the day and there was more chance of the clouds obscuring the viewpoint.

However, we always recommend that you go early in the day, whether you want to catch the sunrise or just a great view.

Normally, during the inter monsoon period in Sri Lanka there is less chance of getting a good view as it rains quite a lot. The Inter-monsoon period is from October to November.

However, our Australian guests, Millie and Matt, took these stunning photos on the 4th November 2023. They were the only people at Lipton’s Seat that morning. So, it may be worth gambling on the weather to benefit from having the place to yourself.

A sunrise, a hike, a tea factory tour and breakfast at GlenMyu Estate.

We know that the idea of getting up early on holiday is a challenge to many, however, the experience is worth it as you can see from our guest photos of their trip.

Experiencing the stunning sunrise, the exhilaration of hiking through the tea plantations, learning how the tea is processed is good use of a morning. And you can come back to GlenMyu Estate for a delicious breakfast prepared by Ru and the team.

Find out more about GlenMyu Estate.

Please visit our website, see our photos and videos on our social media channels and our reviews on Booking.com, Airbnb, Tripadvisor and Google.

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb. Please press the WhatsApp button on our website to contact us directly for the best rates and offers.

What else can I see and explore in the Sri Lankan Hill Country?

A luxury Bed and Breakfast.

3 Kingsize Double Bedrooms with Spectacular Views
2 Spacious Lounges with views over the hills below the house
A Natural Spring-Fed Infinity Swimming Pool
5 Acres of land to explore

Delicious bespoke meals freshly prepared by the host
A selection of places to dine

A place to relax and be closer to nature

Within reach of the following tourist sites

Diyaluma Waterfall and Upper Diyaluma Pools
Horton Plains National Park – Mini Worlds End, Worlds End and Bakers Falls
Adisham Bungalow
Lipton Seat
Dambetenna Tea Factory
Bambarakanda Waterfall
Thangamale Bird Sanctuary
Ella Town
9 Arch Bridge
Little Adams Peak
Ravanna Waterfall

A little taste of what you will see at GlenMyu Estate

Sunrise at Lipton’s Seat Read More »

Enjoying the sunrise at Lipton's Seat

Sri Lanka’s most beautiful place

Sri Lanka's most beautiful place.

“Probably, the most beautiful place we have ever seen”. Our guests reaction when they returned from seeing the siunrise at Lipton’s Seat. Is this Sri Lanka’s most beautiful place.

This is not something that I was expecting to hear and something that you do not hear that often. 

We live on a paradise island and there are some spectacular and memorable places to experience and visit that make a great impact on your senses. 

Today (3rd November 2023), our guests returned from their early morning trip to see the sunrise at Lipton’s Seat.

It’s been a while since I’ve visited Lipton’s Seat and this inspires me to make another trip soon.

An early start

Lipton’s Seat is just over an hours drive from GlenMyu Estate Hotel. 

Our Australian couple were travelling around Sri Lanka, for the first time, and are to end up in Colombo at a friends wedding. 

The end of October and beginning of November is not the best time to visit the island as it is hit by the Inter-monsoon.

We have experienced quite a lot of rain and fortunately when they arrived the rain had eased, thankfully. When guests arrive we always want the view from the lounge to be spectacular. This afternoon we had an okay view in our opinion. I guess you get a little spoilt when living at GlenMyu Estate all year round. For us it is a little disappointing, however, for our guests they were knocked over by the beauty.

It's easy to get blase!

We tend to forget that most visitors live in cities and they don’t have a view like ours. 

I was so pleased that they were bowled over by the view.

Maybe tomorrow

Sometimes when the new is not as spectacular as I would like, I hope and I pray the view the next morning would be fabulous after the rains. Unfortunately, after looking at the weather forecast, rain was also expected the following day.

Up early and off to Lipton’s Seat

The view the next morning from GlenMyu Estate was not going to be a issue as our guests had already planned to get up at 4.30 a.m. 

They were aiming to get to Lipton’s Seat to see the sunrise. 

I was a little skeptical that there would be a sunrise worth seeing, given the weather and the forecast.

Lipton’s Seat - what’s that?

Do you know the brand Liptons Tea. Maybe you have drank an Liptons Iced tea?

Lipton’s Seat is located an hour away from Haputale town.

Lipton’s Seat is a viewpoint which was named after the celebrated Thomas Lipton.

Sir Thomas Lipton was a Scottish businessman who moved to the island in 1890 when it was a British colony.

He met James Taylor, and together they introduced tea gardens to the country.

Before Thomas Lipton’s more to the country, James Taylor had attempted to grow coffee on the island.

Sadly, the coffee plantations were devastated by a leaf-blight. With Thomas Lipton’s assistance, the two men started on an enterprise which would carry on for generations after.

The Viewpoint
Lipton’s Seat is a popular viewpoint, from where Sir Thomas Lipton would sit with a cup of tea in hand and survey the landscape of his estate.

Today, you can enjoy one of the best views from the lookout.

You can even get a photo with the Tea Baron! There is a life-sized statue of the man himself sitting on a bench.

If you want a better chance of getting a great photo of the beautiful landscape, it is recommended that you go early in the morning to avoid the crowds and the late-morning mist and fog

The next morning

The following morning our guests had left early as planned, with a flask of tea, provided by one of our staff, in hand to keep them warm at the peak.

I was delighted, again, that the overnight rain had cleared the clouds sufficiently so that the guests had a chance of seeing a view.

We were aware that the guests would also make a trip to Dambethenna Tea Factory to see how the tea is processed after their hike to Lipton’s Seat. This would result in them returning for breakfast around 10 a.m.

We are up early most days.

As normal, both Ru and I were up early. Ru made and baked the breads and prepared the rest of the breakfast in readiness for their return. 

I watched the skies hoping that it stayed clear and dry enough for the guests to have an enjoyable start to the day.

Then it was my time to be bowled over!

Almost on cue, the guest arrived back to GlenMyu Estate at 10 a.m. as planned.

I greeted them as they entered the house and they had big smiles on their faces. 

The view from the house was so much better when they arrived back. Cleared skies and Udawalawe Reservoir could be seen in the distance. There were photo opportunities not to be missed before I got a debrief of their early morning adventure.

Probably the most beautiful place they have ever seen

Once the photo session from the house had concluded I got to see some of the photos they had captured that morning. They said that the view from Lipton’s Seat “Was probably the most beautiful place they have ever seen”. 

I was amazed to hear this as they have travelled quite extensively and there are so many beautiful places to see in Australia.

There was an added bonus, as they were the only people at Lipton’s Seat that morning.

Sri Lanka Tourism Authority has a plan to attract between four and five million tourists at 2030 (from a plan of 1.5 million in 2023). Given this target, what our guests experienced will be truly a unique experience compared to what is expected in the future.

The photos - just wow!

I asked the guests to share the photos with me so that I could share them with you.

The photos of the sunrise is just wow and spectacular. 

I’m sure you agree.

Walking through the tea gardens at Lipton's Seat

Getting up early is worth it

We recommend an early start to guests when they stay at GlenMyu Estate. You can have your adventure and exploration early on in the day and enjoy the afternoon at the estate.

You can read more about why you should get up early in our article “The 6 best reasons to wake up early .

Inspired!

I have not seen the sunrise at Lipton’s Seat and seeing these photos and hearing about our guests experience gives me an incentive to do the same.

Hopefully their experience will also inspire and encourage you to see the sunrise at Lipton’s Seat.

Thank you Matt and Millie for sharing your photographs with us at GlenMyu Estate.

Find out more about a stay at GlenMyu Estate

What you will experience.

3 Kingsize Double Bedrooms with Spectacular Views
2 Spacious Lounges with views over the hills below the house
A Natural Spring-Fed Infinity Swimming Pool
5 Acres of land to explore

Delicious bespoke meals freshly prepared by the host
A selection of places to dine

A place to relax and be closer to nature

Within reach of the following tourist sites

Diyaluma Waterfall and Upper Diyaluma Pools
Horton Plains National Park – Mini Worlds End, Worlds End and Bakers Falls
Adisham Bungalow
Lipton Seat
Dambetenna Tea Factory
Bambarakanda Waterfall
Thangamale Bird Sanctuary
Ella Town
9 Arch Bridge
Little Adams Peak
Ravanna Waterfall

Find us on Booking.com and Airbnb.

Read our reviews on TripAdvisor, Google, Booking.com and Airbnb.

Sri Lanka’s most beautiful place Read More »

Hiking at Horton Plains National Park

Best places to visit in the Sri Lankan Hill Country

The best places to visit in the Sri Lankan Hill Country.

We are often asked by guests that stay with us at GlenMyu Estate Hotel where are the best places to visit in the Sri Lankan Hill Country.

There are so many places of interest to visit on a day trip from the Estate that guests could stay at least a week and still not really get to see everything. That’s why we love it when they say they will be back ….and some have!

GlenMyu Estate is located 4 kilometres from Beragala Junction on the Wellawaya/Koslanda Road.

We are not in the heart of the action (which is what our guests love!) however we are close enough to intersperse enjoying our five acre estate with day trips to see the sights.

So many choices in the Sri Lankan Hill Country.

The options that are available for you to visit include strenuous and lighter hikes, spectacular waterfalls, peaks and tea estates, gardens and a historic house.

Ella Town - only one hour away.

The tourist town of Ella is only one hour’s drive.

You can also experience some hikes, see a waterfall and visit the high street with the bars and the shops.
A day trip fro GlenMyu Estate to see Nine Arch Bridge is also a great experience and you can read about our own experience in the following article “Our Day Trip to Nine Arch bridge”.

Templed Out?

There are some temples of all (most) religions to see however, normally by the time guests have arrived at GlenMyu Estate they have seen enough Temples, Churches, Kovils and Mosques in Colombo, Kandy, the ancient cities of Anaradhapura and Polunaruwa.

The best places to visit in the Sri Lankan Hill Country.

We provide a list of places to visit in the Sri Lankan Hill Country reachable from GlenMyu Estate.

Our guests like different things and preferences differ.
The antithesis in an experience at Upper Diyaluma Waterfall compared to  Flying Ravana Zip Line is a contrasting example.

Some places are for the more adventurous and some for the more relaxed.

We have not placed the experiences in any order of preference as we know that everyone is different.

This is what make life interesting and is one reason why we love welcoming guests to GlenMyu Estate Hotel.

Wonderful Waterfalls

The Tallest and the Second Highest Waterfalls Sri Lanka are within one hours drive from GlenMyu Estate.

Less than one hours drive from GlenMyu Estate, Diyaluma Waterfall is the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka at 220 metres high.

This waterfall is the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka at a height of 263 metres. It is also the 461st tallest waterfall in the world!

The falls are located under one hours drive from GlenMyu Estate.

Of course, we can’t forget about Ravana Falls which are located outside of Ella Town and a good for part of your day trip.

Testing Treks and Happy Hikes.

Horton Plains National Park

This UNESCO Heritage Site is a mountain grassland and cloud forest.  It is between 2,100 and 2,100 metres in elevation and has an array of flora and fauna worth seeing alone. Horton Plains National Park also boasts two precipices and a beautiful waterfall to visit on this eleven kilometre hike. World’s End (870 metre drop) and Lesser World’s End (270 metre drop) are spectacular view points. Baker’s Falls is a stunning cascade of water, whatever the time of year.

This is a new 300 km trail with 22 stages that starts in Kandy and passes through Nuwara Eliya, Hatton, Haputale and Ella. 

You can read more about the Pekoe Trail at the official website. This is a new trail and in May 2023 some of our guests hiked from Haputale to Lipton’s Seat. They have shared their photographs with us. See our article “Photos of the Pekoe Trail”

We must also not forget the short hikes to Lipton’s Seat and Little Adam’s Peak.

A visit to Lipton’s Seat to see the view that the Tea Baron Sir Thomas Lipton surveyed his empire. It is a favourite place to visit for many of our guests who enjoy the short hike to the top. Many guests visit to the Dambethenna Tea Factory after the hike to see how tea is processed. 

Some of our visitors get up early in the morning to see the sunrise and come back to GlenMyu Estate for a late breakfast.

The two hour hike to the top of Little Adam’s Peak is quite easy and easy to find.

You will reach the peak which is an elevation of  1141 metres and see some beautiful views. 

Up for something a little tougher?

Ella Rock is a tougher hike to navigate. You can see more in this Vlog by

We can also provide you with a guide to see some of the hikes off the beaten track such as Pilkington Point and Millennium Point

Another good hike is to visit a remote school close to Koslanda. You can read about our experience in the following article.

A historic house.

Adisham Bungalow and St Benedict’s Monastery is located just outside Haputale.

The Bungalow was previously the country house of Sir Thomas Lester Villiers. It now it houses St. Benedict’s  Monastery  and has beautiful manicured gardens. There are three rooms in the main house that are available for guests to see.

You can read about our experience at our article “Our Day Trip to Adisham Bungalow”

A bit of bird watching.

Thangamale bird sanctuary is located on the same road before you approach Adisham Bungalow.

There are lots of birds that visit GlenMyu Estate. So if you just want a relaxing day you can just sit back and identify the different birds that visit the estate throughout the year.

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.

You can also contact us directly to ask about our direct booking rates.

Best places to visit in the Sri Lankan Hill Country Read More »

A selfie at Nine Arch Bridge, Demodara, Ella, Sri Lanka

Nine Arch Bridge, Ella

Nine Arch Bridge, Ella, Sri Lanka - Our Guide.

As you travel around this paradise island and make your way towards Ella, the majestic sight of Nine Arch Bridge may end up being one of your most memorable experiences.

This 100+ year old bridge is in situated in the most beautiful setting abutted by tea fields and with the lush jungle as the background.

Nine Arch Bridge is in a stunning spot and, if you happen to time your visit when a train goes over the bridge, it will be a very special experience.

A stunning spot.

A visit to Nine Arch Bridge has become one of the main tourist attractions of Sri Lanka. If you combine your visit with a trip to see one of the other amazing sights close to Ella will make it a very special day. You will savour the amazing natural scenery at Nine Arch Bridge along with perhaps a hike to Little Adams Peak or Ella Rock.

There are also several other sights to see in and around Ella and it is a great place to visit on a day trip from GlenMyu Estate.

How to get there.

You will have a choice of various different options on how to get to Nine Arch Bridge including travelling over it on the train itself.

Taking the famous blue train, which travels at a slow speed, will enable you to enjoy the view of the Sri Lankan Countryside. There are lots of Instagram photos of passengers sitting on the steps enjoying the scenery. The more adventurous hang out of the door to get that, now so common, Instragram pose.

 

Take care!

Of course this is dangerous, despite the slow sipped of the train, so it’s not something we would recommend.

Surely there are enough of those photo shots now – we would recommend that you consider something more original!

The most popular journey takes you from Kandy to Ella which is around a 6 hour journey (providing the train is not late!). However you could consider taking the super pretty part of the journey from Nuwara Eliya (Nanuoya Rail Station) to Ella which will cut your train journey down to a more palatable 2 hours 27 minutes (or 2 hours 18 minutes for the faster train).

Train Tickets - where are they?

Sri Lankan Railways launched an online portal to purchase train tickets last year.

So why are there no tickets available when I tried to book online? 

Well, I cannot really say however I have my own conspiracy theory of course!

Several guests have contacted me looking for tickets. I have been to Haputale Railway station and they have advised that the seats are all sold out several weeks in advance. 

I hope that you are lucky enough to purchase these disappearing tickets online in advance however this will continue to get more difficult as more and more tourists visit Sri Lanka.

What we advise our guests.

We have advised our guests who are making there way to Kandy to enquire at their hotel there to source tickets (with seats!) for them. A premium will have to be paid (surprise surprise!) however this has worked for some guests. 

If you cannot bear the idea of a 6 hour (or more) journey standing up then another option is to make your way to Nuwara Eliya. Hopefully some passengers will have disembarked from the train and you may then get a seat (fingers crossed).

Other ways to get to Nine Arch Bridge

Reaching Nine Arch ridge is most easily accessible from Ella and you will probably need some transport unless you are really into hiking!

Our Day Trip from GlenMyu Estate to Nine Arch Bridge

In June 2023 we did a day trip from GlenMyu Estate, Beragala, to visit Nine Arch Bridge.

We got to the bridge at around midday and were very happy that we managed to see a train cross over the bridge.

You can read about our trip in the following article “Our day trip to Nine Arch Bridge“. 

How to get to Nine Arch Bridge, Ella

There are multiple options and ways to get to the Nine Arch train bridge.

The starting point to the bridge is quite close to Ella’s main street, so you can decide if you want to walk or get a Tuk Tuk.

Perhaps you have rented a scooter or motorbike which will get you there on your own.

Other options to get there.

Tuk Tuk from Ella Town

You can take a tuk-tuk from Ella town to the Nine Arch Bridge parking spot, then hike the remaining 5-10 minutes on foot, which was the quickest and easiest option.

On foot

Another option is that you can walk to Nine Arch Bridge by following the Ella-Passara Road, turning left at Sri Kanaser Temple (where all the street food stalls are) and following the signs past multiple guesthouses until you arrive at the bridge.

When you decide to walk, it takes about 20 minutes to get there. You have to follow the road towards Little Adam’s Peak and turn left at the small colored temple. Then follow Lake Front Cottage on Google Maps.

By car –  park and walk.

If you have hired a car you can drive part of the way and then walk from a parking spot or hire a Tuk Tuk to take you to the bridge.

As we live in Sri Lanka and have our own car we drove and parked which left just around a 5 minute walk to the bridge. There was a small parking fee charged at the shop for our parking (around 50 rupees).  

However we also had a snack (warm corn on the cob) and a cup of tea when we returned to the car after visiting Nine Arch Bridge.

How we drove to Nine Arch Bridge

Before we arrived at Ella Tunnel and Ella Town we took a left hand turn down the Ella Halpe Road and followed Google Maps to the location of the parking spot.

It was a challenging road to drive and I wish we had taken a Tuk Tuk!

We drove to “Nine Arch Bridge Car Park” which is B on google maps (see the location on the right). 

 

The shop where we parked.

After we had seen the train we needed some refreshment and enjoyed sone tea and hot corn on the cob from a small shop near the parking spot.

Would I recommend driving to Nine Arch Bridge?

Although I have lived and driven in Sri Lanka for several years I would recommend choosing an alternative transport to get to Nine Arch Bridge. 

The roads are quite narrow going to Nine Arch Bridge and really it’s much more suitable to hire a Tuk Tuk or go by foot.

You have to be quite brave to navigate the small lanes and hope that you do not meet another vehicle on the route.

Our guests at GlenMyu Estate normally hire a Tuk Tuk with a guide for the day and it it a much more relaxing experience. 

Best time to visit the Nine Arch Bridge

This really depends on what your aim is. Do you want to visit when there are few other visitors there? Do you want to see the sunrise or sunset? Do you want the buzz of the crowns waiting to see the train cross the bridge?

It’s all about what you would like to see.

Read more about why you should get up early.

Our advice would be to visit early in the morning.

You can read about why we recommend getting up early in Sri Lanka in the following article “The 6 best reasons to wake up early“.

Of course with sunrise or sunset is the best time to take pictures. The light is soft and warm, and you avoid the crowds.

By 9 am and during the rest of the day, it is busier with tourists paying a visit to this famous spot.

Train Times at Nine Arch Bridge.

The trains pass the bridge about 5 times a day (12 on the schedule I found at Sri Lanka Trains). However the exact times change all the time because the trains are quiet often delayed in Sri Lanka. But usually there should be one every hour. You can check the train schedule here.

If you miss the train don’t worry as there are some small cafes where you can get a snack and a drink near the bridge. The Bridge is quite pretty even in the absence of a train so you will still be able to get some beautiful pictures.

Our best advice is to ask a Tuk Tuk driver what time the train is due – they appear to have the inside knowledge.

Nine Arch Bridge viewpoint

The viewpoint of Nine Arch Bridge is also really worth considering a visit.

There are actually three points where you have to check the bridge and take photos.

From below in the tea fields, walking on the rails of the bridge and from the viewpoint.

Why stay at GlenMyu Estate?

Although GlenMyu Estate is just over an hour away from Ella and Nine Arch Bridge we have found that lots of our guests enjoy staying outside of the busy tourist town of Ella.

Ella is a great place for travellers who want to enjoy the buzz of a lively evening with lots of other like minded tourists. However, Ella is far from what Sri Lanka is really about and many tourist like to stay in a place which is quieter and feels closer to nature.

We only have three bedrooms at GlenMyu Estate so it is more of a bespoke service. Ru lived in the UK for many years and therefore is able to cater for a western palette and adjusts the level of spice accordingly.

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb. You can contact us directly on the WhatsApp button on our website to ask about the best direct rates.

Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Read More »

Our day trip to Ravana Waterfall

Our day trip to Ravana Waterfall, Ella.

In June 2023 we enjoyed a day trip to see Ravana Waterfall which is located a drive outside the busy tourist town of Ella, Sri Lanka. It’s comfortable seeing a few of the sights in and around Ella from GlenMyu Estate and we combined seeing the waterfall with a trip to Nine Arch Bridge, Demodora. You can read about our day trip to Nine Arch Bridge in the following article.

From GlenMyu Estate you can see the tallest (Bambarakanda Waterfall) and second highest (Diyaluma Falls) waterfalls within 40 minutes to an hours drive. We had been to Ravana Falls some years ago and the opportunity arose to take my wife parents on a day trip when we closed the hotel for a few days to recuperate.

Ravana falls is named after the demon King Ravana who according to traditional folklore is believed to have ruled Sri Lanka. 

According to legend, it is said that Ravana had kidnapped princess Sita and had hidden her in the caves behind this waterfall. This is known as the Ravana Ella Cave.

You can read more about King Ravana in the World Historical Encyclopaedia and also at Sri Lanka Travel.

It is renowned for being one of Sri Lanka’s widest waterfalls, this 82 ft

 

Where is Ravan Waterfall?

Ravana Waterfall is located around six km from Ella Railway Station between the 12th and 13th milepost on the Ella – Wellawaya Road.

It took us a little longer to get to the falls than anticipated ….I made a mistake relying on my wife providing directions!

Our day trip to Ravana Waterfall

We arrived in the mid afternoon as we have been to see Nine Arch Bridge earlier in the day.

There are convenient car parking spaces near to the entrance to the falls.

There were lots of people at the falls enjoying the water. There is a “viewing platform” by the side of the road as you get to the waterfall. This is a popular place with tourists…..and monkeys!

There are several shops selling souvenirs, food and drinks as you approach Ravana Waterfall. 

We recommend getting to Ravana Waterfall Early!

Similar to most places to visit in Sri Lanka we recommend that you get there early. You can read our article “6 Reasons to get up early” for some tips.

The main reason, as you can see in this video, is that everyone else will be there at the same time as you.

Here is a selection of photos I took on or day trip to Ravana Falls.

A place to stay to explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country

GlenMyu Estate is a convenient and comfortable place to stay if you wish to explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country.

What will I find at GlenMyu Estate?

3 Kingsize Double Bedrooms with Spectacular Views

2 Spacious Lounges with views over the hills below the house

A Natural Spring-Fed Infinity Swimming Pool

5 Acres of land to explore

Delicious bespoke meals freshly prepared by the host

A selection of places to dine

A place to relax and be closer to nature.

 

Our day trip to Ravana Waterfall Read More »

Less touristy places to stay near Ella for couples.

Less touristy places to stay near Ella for couples?

Are you looking for less touristy places to stay near Ella for couples? GlenMyu Estate is a boutique hotel about 1 hr away from Ella.

Our love letter to Ella Town. 

We still love you and will visit you often.

Ella, what is all the fuss about?

A romantic aspiration of a visit to Ella is to travel by train over “the most beautiful train ride in Sri Lanka” and arrive in the beautiful hill town.

Strolling down towards the high street enjoying the small shops selling trinkets which you will mull over later during your stay.

Walking past the bars and restaurants and sitting by the window enjoying a meal together. 

Reaching your accommodation and being wowed by your bedroom and the view.

Planning your excursions to Little Adams Peak, Ella Rock, Nine Arch Bridge, Ravana’s Cave and Ravana Waterfall.

Wandering around Ella Spice Garden and experiencing a Tea Plantation.

Afternoons and early evenings having around in a hip bar enjoying a snack and drink together. 

Deciding whether you will get up early and catch the sun together in a breathtaking spot.

Will you sleep in or try to get that romantic time together that you will remember for years to come?

The most 'Instgramable' place in Sri Lanka?

I don’t even know if that’s a word – but you get what I mean.

Must see places to visit in and around Ella.

 Little Adams Peak, Ella Rock, Nine Arch Bridge, Ravana’s Cave and Ravana Waterfall.

Wandering around Ella Spice Garden and experiencing a Tea Plantation.

Another must do is to have a meal in a drink at one of the cool restaurants in Ella High Street. Sitting there at a window seat watching the world go by at Chill Cafe, Rainbow Cafe or The Barn by Starbeans.

Some photos of our recent trip to Ella for lunch.

We visited Ella in May 2023 for a spot of lunch and here are some photos I took on the day.

We love Ella but.....

We love Ella for the vibe that it has there, the variety of shops and bars, the opportunity to people spot and the energy it radiates. If you are looking for a bit of nightlife and the opportunity to meet other travellers this tourist town is a great option.

However, if you want to get away from the crowd and immerse yourself in nature and get to understand more about local people, staying a little outside the main town is probably a better choice.

Over development spoiling the natural beauty.

Like several other towns in Sri Lanka, Ella has seen a vast amount of development in recent years to cater for the increased tourist numbers visiting the region. The development has not been controlled which has led to the town not being as pretty as it could have been moulded into.

There is a great Blog post by ‘Forest Bird’ that gives a good history of the development of Ella and his views on what the town has become.

It’s amazing to think that Ravana waterfall was completely overgrown and you had to be a proper backpacker to see this.

I love that Ella was a remote honeymoon spot.

Have a read of the blog – it’s really interesting.

A place to Vlog

There are Vlogs from travellers of all ages providing videos and commentaries of their experience in Ella. 

People love it in Ella and it’s definitely worth a visit. However, lots of our guests at GlenMyu Estate have been disappointed and felt that it was a bit too touristy. 

Lots of travellers dreams are about experiencing things together with their boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife, not with lots of strangers trying to get that Instagram shot.

Here are some Vlogs about travellers experience of Ella.

A little bit further away from Ella.

There are some wonderful sights to see and experience that are a little bit further away from Ella.

Seeing the sunrise at Lipton’s Seat, near Haputale, is a wonderful experience.

Here are some photos taken by one of our guests. 

An early morning visit to Upper Diyaluma Waterfall.

A little bit different.

Don’t we all want to be a little bit different and stand out from the crowd?

A unique experience is what travellers appear to be seeking nowadays. 

What does your aspiration and dream of your visit to this paradise island look like?

GlenMyu Estate Boutique Hotel - something different.

GlenMyu Estate is located close to Haputale and is just over an hours drive from Ella Town. This makes it a good place to stay of you want to do a day trip to Ella to see the sights but stay in a quieter location.

As there are only three bedrooms at GlenMyu Estate in the five acre estate you will have the space to spend the time together and be away from the crowd.

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Valentines Day

Who wants to spend time with other couples on that special day with each other? I used to hate going out to overpriced restaurants to have my girlfriend (now wife) to be disappointed with the atmosphere and food. 

Here are some of what our guest said about their experience at GlenMyu Estate at Valentines Day 2022.

No need to wait for Valentines Day

GlenMyu Estate can be romantic all year round..

A bath for two!

For best rates please contact us directly on WhatsApp (press the green button on this page).

We are also listed on Airbnb and Booking.com.

Look at our reviews on Airbnb and Booking.com, Google or TripAdvisor.

See more about a Stay in the Sri Lankan Hill Country at our website.

Follow us on our Social Media platforms.

Less touristy places to stay near Ella for couples. Read More »

A selfie at Nine Arch Bridge, Demodara, Ella, Sri Lanka

Our Day Trip to Nine Arch Bridge

Our Day Trip to visit Nine Arch Bridge, Ella, Sri Lanka

We experienced a fabulous day trip to visit the famous Nine Arch Bridge located in Demodara, Ella in Sri Lanka during June 2023.

Here we share our thoughts and experience of our day and hope that it will inspire you to visit this must do place to see in this paradise island.

About Us

Ru and I are a Sri Lankan-British couple that have been living in Sri Lanka for the last seven years. We live at GlenMyu Estate which is a 3 bedroom boutique hotel based near Beragala/Haputale in the Sri Lankan Hill Country. Nine Arch Bridge and Ella Town are around one house and fifteen minutes drive from the estate. This provides us with the opportunity to do day trips to visit some of the fantastic sights to visit in Sri Lanka.

Lots of our guests have hired a Tuk Tuk with a guide and taken a day trip to visit the sights in and around Ella Town. We thought it was about time that we did the same! So here is how our day went and a few tips on what to do when you visit this famous tourist site in Sri Lanka.

Normally we recommend that you leave early ....but!

Whilst on holiday in Sri Lanka I always recommend to our guests that they should visit the sights early in the day. There are many reasons to do this including:

Getting the best light for videos and photos.

To miss the crowds.

Avoiding the heat of the midday sun.

You can read more about why we recommend getting up early in Sri Lanka in our article “The 6 Best Reasons for Getting Up Early“.

As we were taking my wife’s parents we drove to Ella. It takes around one hour fifteen minutes to get to the town however we went on a few detours suggested by Google Directions which led to a few extra kilometres! 

We followed Google Directions to one of the start points to get to Nine Arch Bridge. Having parked outside a shop we would then need to hire Tuk Tuks to take the remaining kilometres to get to the bridge.

My wife decided to check with the Tuk Tuk driver who normally takes guests on a tour to Ella from GlenMyu Estate and he advised that we could go to another entrance and park quite near to Nine Arch Bridge. He said that the road was carpeted and it would be okay for me to drive the car.

So, off we went back out of Ella and to the alternative entrance point to Nine Arch Bridge.

Nine Arch Car Park is where we parked our car.

This is where you should go if you want to travel by Tuk Tuk to Nine Arch Bridge.

I get a little bit nervous!

Although I have been driving in Sri Lanka for several years now I pick and choose what roads I will drive on. Unfortunately this decision came about when my wife “encouraged” me to drive down a narrow road that I was not comfortable on. I managed to hit an edge and take out my tyre wall in the most inconvenient place to replace the tyre with the spare.

After that day, and the unwanted cost of a brand new tyre, I swore that I would not drive on narrow roads and it would be cheaper to hire a Tuk Tuk in future. 

I think that Sri Lankan drivers are much more courageous than I am when it comes down to tackling some of the terrain in the country. A Tuk Tuk is good for certain roads and I believe that by using them from time to time I am supporting a local business. I would rather relieve the stress and nervousness and hand over to someone else at particular times!

My experience still says hire a Tuk Tuk!

I feel that I have done a service to anyone that is considering driving a hire car or their own vehicle to visit Nine Arch Bridge. The road was carpeted and narrow and I did make it to the parking spot near the bridge enabling my in laws to walk the five minutes to see the bridge. 

However, I would not have enjoyed meeting another larger vehicle on this road. Therefore my hearty recommendation is that you drive to a point where you can park your car and take a Tuk Tuk for the rest of the way. I can hear Sri Lankan shouting at me that it is not necessary, but that’s my advice!

Here is the signboard on the route we took by car to visit Nine Arch Bridge.

We parked our car at this shop near to Nine Arch Bridge. It was only about a five minute walk from this point. There was a charge for parking however we were always going to buy something from the shop anyway. We thing that it’s just right to purchase something and have a chat to support the business.

We had some tea and corn on the cob which had been heated on a wood fired pan.

Approaching Nine Arch Bridge

Here is a video that I took as I reached the bridge.

We arrived around midday and therefore there were lots of local and foreign tourists waiting for the train.

At popular tourist attractions - get there early!

This is the second time we have visited Nine Arch Bridge.The first was many years ago when there were not as many tourists around and we did get there a little earlier in the day. We trekked a bit to get to the bridge and it was really nice having a chat with some other tourists whilst we awaited the train.

Several years on and Nine Arch Bridge has become a really popular tourist destination and a must see when you are in the area. 

I have read lots of blogs about when to visit the bridge and getting there for sunrise looks like something special to do. Even if you are staying in Ella you will have to get up pretty early to catch this sight.

Here is a video by Lucie who enjoyed the peace and tranquility of seeing Nine Arch Bridge really early in the morning.

It was still exciting to see the Nine Arch Bridge later in the day.

Although we were later than planned and there were lots of people waiting to see the train, it was still a really great experience.

It’s amazing that so many tourists that come from countries that have lots of trains and lots of bridges rush to see this sight. However, the history of the bridge, the beauty of the arches and the pace of the train make it a really enjoyable experience. 

Here comes the train!

I really enjoyed the atmosphere created by all the people waiting for the train to come. The noise of the train, the beautiful backdrop and the people on the carriages made it all worthwhile.

 

Make sure that you know when the trains are due.

One major benefit of getting a Tuk Tuk to Nine Arch Bridge is that they will know when you need to be there to ensure that you see a train. It’s worth the cost of the hire. Trains in Sri Lanka don’t run on time very often and these Tuk Tuk drivers have ways to find out when a train will be crossing the bridge.

Would we recommend visiting Nine Arch Bridge?

We had a really good time and interesting day getting to Nine Arch Bridge and seeing the train cross the bridge filled with passengers.  

At GlenMyu we normally plan a day trip to Ella for our guests to see Nine Arch Bridge along with one or two other sights.

There are lots of other activates to do a see around Ella which are worth a visit. On our day trip we also visited Ravana Waterfall which is a distance outside Ella Town. You can read about our experience at Ravana Waterfall at the following article. 

Here are some more videos I shot on our day trip.

What else is there to see and do around Ella?

There are lots to see and do around Ella and we would suggest picking two or three things that you are interested in.

Hiking
Ella Rock
Little Adam’s Peak

Waterfalls
Ravana Falls
Ellawala Waterfall

Tea and Spices
Ella Tea Factory
Ella Spice Garden 

Cultural
Ravana’s Cave
Dowa Rock Temple

Food and Drink
There are lots of places to eat, drink and people watch in Ella’s main street.

Here are a few to try:
Cafe Chill
Rainbow Cafe
The Barn
Mandala Cafe & Bar

Please do a little research before you visit.

We would always recommend doing a little bit of reading before you visit the sights in Sri Lanka as it amazing what you will learn. 

Did you know that there is a rumour that there was no steel used in the construction of Nine Arch Bridge as the steel that was to be used was redeployed as it was needed for material used in the war in Europe.

The bridge was completed in 1921.

If you visit Ravana Waterfall we would recommend that you read about Ravana.

The importance of reading something more about the places you plan to visit before you get there hit me on one of my early trips to the Island.

On our visit to Sigiriya Lion Rock we were amazed that there was effectively plumbing around 400 AD creating fountains in the Kings palace.

When we visited the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy I really knew very little about Buddhism. Fortunately we hired a guide for the tour who was able to “enlighten me” a little and it made the tour much more real.

Why stay at GlenMyu Estate Hotel and not in Ella?

Well, it’s all a matter of preference. If you are looking to stay in a less touristy place then GlenMyu Estate may well be the place for you. We think that there are lots of people that really enjoy staying in and around Ella Town and enjoying the nightlife and being closer to the tourist sights. However, we have had lots of guests stay with us a GlenMyu Estate who have found Ella too touristy and being able to do a day trip and getting back to our little piece of paradise suits them well.

What is at GlenMyu Estate?

GlenMyu Estate – Summary

3 Kingsize Double Bedrooms with Spectacular Views

2 Spacious Lounges with views over the hills below the house

A Natural Spring-Fed Infinity Swimming Pool

5 Acres of land to explore

Delicious bespoke meals freshly prepared by the host

A selection of places to dine

A place to relax and be closer to nature

Within reach of the following tourist sites

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb. You can also contacts directly for our best rates.

Our Day Trip to Nine Arch Bridge Read More »

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

Less touristy places to stay near Ella, Sri Lanka?

Less touristy places to stay near Ella

We find that there are more and more travellers looking for less touristy places to stay near Ella, Sri Lanka.

If you want to get away from the tourist crowd, then GlenMyu Estate Hotel is around 1 hours drive from Ella so ideal for day trips.

Ella is great.

It is a one of the most iconic places to visit in Sri Lanka hosting Nine Arch Bridge, Little Adam’s Peak. Ravana Waterfall, Ravana’s Cave, Ella Rock and a Zip Line.

The town’s main street has an array of popular restaurants serving a range of delicacies for hungry visitors. You can have Vegan Food, a good old hamburger, pizza and a range of traditional Sri Lankan food. 

There are smaller places to eat, a little more of a Sri Lankan style scattered about the town and on the outskirts.

Those who stay in Ella and venture further afield can visit the wonder of Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Dambetenne Tea Factory, Thangamale Bird Sanctuary, Adisham Bungalow and many more places of interest.

One of the most scenic railway journeys in Sri Lanka …and the world!

Many tourists visiting Sri Lanka travel on the six to seven hour railway journey from Kandy, a former capital of the country, to Ella Railway station. The journey takes you through lush mountainous terrain with manicured tea plantations in the distance.

There are mixed views that the most beautiful part of the journey is from Nanu Oya to Ella or from Haputale to Ella. We, however, have had guests at GlenMyu Estate who enjoyed the journey an hour out from Kandy, so beauty is clearly in the eye of the beholder.