new year

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 »

New Year in Sri Lanka – what is it like?

New Year in Sri Lanka

What happens at New Year in Sri Lanka?

If you Google “New Year in Sri Lanka” you may be surprised to find that rather than the 1st January, a date around the 13th/14th April normally comes up.

Sri Lankans do celebrate the New Year on the 1st January, however it is not as important as the April celebration of Tamil and Singhalese New Year

If you are on holiday in December through to the New Year (1st January) you may be interested in how you can celebrate.

Our experience of New Year in Sri Lanka.

Prior to moving to Sri Lanka, we visited the island regularly to visit my wife family and to explore this paradise island. We happened to be in Sri Lanka over some New Years and were spent them at one of the larger hotels.

At Hotel Club Dolphin, some years ago, the staff had created some amazing ice sculptures which adorned the banquet served outside in the evening. The feast had a vast array of cuisines on offer from local dishes and western for those that wanted to avoid the spices.

There was a DJ and dancing up until the fireworks were lit to welcome in the New Year. I remember “Boney M” hits being played quite often who were big in the charts as I grew up. Sri Lankans love Boney M and it is a good fit with life on this island..

The bizzare moment of the early hours of the 1st January that year was sitting through a Beauty Contest which lots of the foreign guests took part in. I was wondering whether I had drunk too much on the run up to the New Year. It was certainly an odd start to the New Year. Who won? I think that the results were in line with the number of visitors from that particular country! It kept everyone happy and I’m sure that the winners cherish their prizes and memories

Colombo - our experience of New Year.

When we were living in Colombo and had a friend visiting from the UK we went to the Hilton Hotel for Christmas and Waters Edge Hotel for New Year. I mention the Hilton Hotel because the buffet that they served that year was amazing and sticks in my memory. My early morning walk the next day was essential to burn off some of the calories I had enjoyed the previous evening!

 

Waters Edge for New Year was a different experience however, as enjoyable. We had reserved a table at the Bavarian Bar and Boardwalk which is an outside restaurant near the lake. The buffet was good (but not as good as the Hilton), we had towers of Lion Lager beer and a band played Baila music which we danced to as we saw in the New Year.

The Hill Club, Nuwara Eliya

Prior to the Covid 19 Pandemic we spent New Year with friends at the Hill Club in Nuwara Eliya. This was a formal occasion and an opportunity to wear my kilt. The food was fantastic and there was a lot of dancing in the hotels main function room. We were ushered outside to see in the New Year with a glass in hand. 

The fireworks display was the best that I had experienced seeing in the New Year in Sri Lanka. Nothing compares to the New Year fireworks in London, Sydney, Dubai and the other large cities around the world. To be honest, I’m pleased that the fireworks displays on the island are low key as Sri Lanka should prioritise the harmony of the animals and many get spooked with loud unwanted bangs in the night.

What do you do at GlenMyu Estate?

Since opening the hotel we tend to close on the 31st January and see the New Year in with friends. As we only have three bedrooms I don’t think we could provide a worthwhile experience for visitors that a larger hotel could offer. 

Also, as we are getting on a bit, staying up until midnight can be a challenge!

What would you recommend to do to see in the New Year in Sri Lanka?

Well, it depends on what you really want to do. The simple solution (but perhaps an expensive one) would be to book a table at a larger hotel where they have advertised a New year function.
It is a good experience and at least you would be spending the time with lots of people who all want to celebrate together.

Be flexible and book your New Year Celebration late?

If you are on the South Coast I would probably suggest that you see what other people at your hotel are planning to do.

There would be a risk booking late however it may be worth doing something on the spur of the moment.

I can imagine that if you are at a surf camp there would be some fun ideas to see in the New Year. You also may want an early night so you can get on the waves early in the morning. 

What about Sinhalese and Tamil New Year if I'm here in April?

In Sri Lanka, New Year celebrations start on 13th of April and end in 14th.

Sinhala and Tamil New Year is the biggest celebration in Sri Lanka for local people.

There are a lot of rituals and customs that take place over the two days.

You will hear firecrackers and see fireworks at various times which signify certain elements of the New Year and direct participants on what they should do.

Special food and sweets are prepared for this special celebration.

To provide you with more of an idea of what happens here is the Auspicious Times that were published for 2023’s Sinhala and Tamil New Year that we’re published in Newswire.

They include:

  • Bathing for the old year
  • Nonagathana – the neutral time between the ending of the Old year and start of the New Year.
  • Dawn of the New Year
  • Preparing of meals
  • Start of work, transactions and consuming meals.
  • Anointing of oil
  • Leaving for work.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate to explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country (but not on the 31st December!)

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.

New Year in Sri Lanka – what is it like? Read More »

Easter in Sri Lanka - an Easter Chick

Easter in Sri Lanka

Easter in Sri Lanka

Are you considering spending Easter in Sri Lanka? The Christian Festival takes place at the same time as Sinhala & Tamil New Year.
Visitors to the country should be aware that Easter Holidays also coincide with Sinhala & Tamil New Year. This is the biggest holiday for Buddhist Sinhalese and Hindu Tamils.
Therefore we recommend that you book accommodation early so you are not disappointed.

New Ducklings arrive on 5th March 2022

Public Holidays in Sri Lanka

The Government issue details of all public holidays at their website.

It is worth checking these dates so that you can plan your holiday accordingly.

In 2023, Good Friday is on the 7th April and is a public holiday in Sri Lanka.

Sinhala & Tamil New Year

Sinhala & Tamil New Year is on the 13th April annually (or 14th on a leap year).
It is the time that the Sinhala and Tamil people celebrate their New Year.
It also coincides with the end of the harvest and the start of the South West Monsoon season.

The New Year is a Buddhist and Hindu festival is a time when people exchange gifts.
However, it is also public holiday and is enjoyed by all Sri Lankans.

Is Easter celebrated in Sri Lanka?

Easter in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka Easter Celebration
Easter is the day that the Christian world celebrates the Risen Christ. In most cases, it is observed quietly in the bigger churches of Sri Lanka. Family members and friends who have adopted the Christian faith get together during this time.
However, Sri Lanka is a Multi Faith country and many families in the country are not Christians.
According to Cultural Atlas https://culturalatlas.sbs.com.au/sri-lankan-culture/sri-lankan-culture-religion the breakdown of faiths in 2016 was as follows;
70% Buddhist
12% Hindu
9% Muslim
6% Christian

Celebrations and Traditions

The Easter celebrations are typically minimal.
In the larger cities, people often attend special church services on this day.
Many churches also hold community-wide feasts. This is not only to feed the congregation, but also the needy in the community.

Many families also plan private Easter celebrations and gatherings. Easter egg hunts are not a tradition that is observed in Sri Lanka.
If you have plans to visit Sri Lanka during Easter, you may or may not encounter celebrations.
You can find a list of churches for your faith by a simple Google Search if you want to participate in the celebrations.
Since Easter falls on a Sunday each year, most government offices, banks, and schools are closed already.
Also, since this coincides with the New Year celebration, you are more likely to run into groups of people celebrating this, rather than Easter.
The weather in the country is beautiful during this time of year which it makes a very good time to visit.
If you are going during Easter, just don’t expect large celebrations around the cities & towns as only a small number of the population follows Christianity.
However, if you visit Sri Lanka over the Christmas Period, you will see Christmas Trees, Christmas Lights and a higher level of acknowledgment of the special time of the year.

Is it a good time to visit Sri Lanka

Responsible Travel advise

“In terms of school holidays, the northern hemisphere summer break is the perfect time to go to northern Sri Lanka. This region is rain free in Jul-Aug, although it’s monsoon season down south. It also means you can get a good long break in. Christmas is gorgeous, as is Easter in the south, with dry, hot weather Dec-Apr, but you need to book well in advance and prices do hike”.

Hotels can be busy during Easter in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is seeing a steady increase in tourists since more flights started coming to the country in November and December 2022.
The tourist statistics for the country are detailed by the Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority on a monthly/weekly basis on their website.

As Sinhala & Tamil New Year coincides with Easter Holidays foreign tourists have to compete with local tourists for accommodation during that weekend.
We have seen an increase in enquiries in 2023 from Sri Lankan tourists earlier than in 2022.

Book your Easter Holiday in Sri Lanka Early!

We would therefore recommend booking your hotel accommodation for this period early to avoid disappointment.

Easter at GlenMyu Estate, Sri Lanka

As we only have 3 guest bedrooms at the 5 acre estate in the Sri Lankan Hill Country we would also recommend booking your stay early.
If you want to find out more details please visit our website or contact Ruwanthi by WhatsApp on 00 94 752 999 272.

You may be lucky and we may have new ducklings or chicks around the time you arrive which would make Easter this year extra special! Even if they don’t arrive at the time the 20 + ducks and 20 chickens are a wonderful sight to see as they roam around the estate.

Easter in Sri Lanka Read More »

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