Why Up Country?
Beautiful panoramic views over hills and mountains.
Picturesque views to rivers close to or even adjoining your property
Huge lakes or tanks provide spectacular views and reflections
Many properties have small creeks – an enchanting sight and sound. You can use them to feed fountains (without wasting electricity) and large water gardens with ponds full of lotus, lilies and fish.
Up country you can still purchase large plots of land for little money. No chance for that at the coast.
Quiet and peaceful today and forever
The coastal areas are densely populated, many – particularly at the beach – even overpopulated. And more people will come – with their motorcycles, chain dogs, blaring tv sets, noisy little workshops or, at the tourist beaches, day and night music, disco etc.
On your hill estate you won’t be troubled today or in 20 years.
Perfect climate for westerners
Up country you don’t need air condition. Instead of laying sweating on you bed fighting for some sleep like often at the coast you’ll even need an extra blanket in cooler hill country nights. Compareit and you’ll love it!
Don’t listen to the rain tale
Yes, there is more rain up country. Kandy has xxxx% more rain than Galle.
But up-country rain is different from what you encounter in western countries. It rains for an hour or two – and then the rain is over. You don’t have much of the “British Weather” with a constant drizzling all day.
And most important: we talk about a warm and comfortable rain!
Best value for the money
Up country you still find plenty of super-attractive properties that are sold at prices almost too good to be true. For 200,000 USD you can get XXXXXXX – the same money would buy you a small and not luxurious beach house with 1000 m² of land adjoining the noise Galle Road.
Re-finance by tea and coconut
An up-country estate isn’t only a joyful toy. It generates money! Almost all larger properties are or have been plantations. After clearing, replanting or improving such a land you will generate income. We offer a service to manage all that for you.
You need staff – and here you can affort it!
A full time domestic employee will cost you 90 – 150 USD per month. Expect to have a minimum of two people on you estate and a professional supervision service. Well possible that you staff costs can be re-financed by your productions of tea or other crops.
Boredom and lonelyness
Important point! There will be not much of an ex-pat community close by. You’ll need two things: hobbies and guests.
Your estate will be the perfect place for you to follow your hobbies (or creative work) without any disturbance. Enjoy the chance to do what you always wanted to do. Take up painting. Do some sculptures. Design and sew. Read. Write your book or play. Get an instrument and play. Start an exciting decorative garden. Go on motorcycle tours (that’s absolutely fantastic here!). Decorate your house. Get absorbed by home improvement projects. Compose and cook four course menues (with assistants doing the onion cutting and the washing-up). Learn how to cut gems. Listen to music without doing anything else. Exercise your body. Play golf.
Learn and do yoga. Swim in your pool. Learn how to climb the coconut palm.
You need guests for communication, because there is no local hang-out where you can meet people. If you have two or three decent guest rooms you’ll be a popular destination for friends and family from home. You can also easily make friends with other ex-pats in the coastal area, mainly around Galle, and make mutual visits. Some property owners rents their rooms even.
Another concept that we find highly interesting and definitely innovative: a German businessman and artist and his wife, spending half of the year in Sri Lanka, publish classifieds in Berlin offering “free accomodation and food for three weeks in the guest bungalow of my estate in Sri Lanka for people who are interesting and entertaining”. He screens the applications, meets with the most interesting, and invites the ones he considers most promising to Sri Lanka. “Before the age of tv aristocrats and industrialists did almost the same when they sponsored musicians and poets by given them the chance to live in their houses for some while. Our modern time variation is a great success! We meet very interesting and entertaining people indeed – and it’s not an expensive hobby, too.”
Phone and internet
Most of up-country Sri Lanka is covered with phone and internet services. The internet might not be faster than ISDN at most places. But it’s more than enough for email etc. You don’t need Skype because the calling rates from Sri Lanka to western countries are very cheap.
You can get a wide selection of tv and pay tv services through a sat dish. Particularly sports fans don’t have to suffer while in up country Sri Lanka.
Lets be quite frank here: you have wonderful restaurants at home in the west, and on your estate in up country Sri Lanka you have you own wonderful cook! His salary will be below 200 USD per month.
There is no chance to spend much time with shopping. Let you staff do the daily shopping and spend a day or two in Colombo every second month to take a look at cloths, furniture and interior decoration stuff. In Kandy you find quite a good choice, too.
Culture and entertainment
Uncounted galeries, thrilling theatre premieres, great concerts, musicals, vivid club scene – enjoy all that at home in the west. Sri Lanka can’t compete with that. See the positive side of it: while you enjoy a relaxed time at your up country estate you know that you don’t miss anything important. And you’ll enjoy the cultural life of your western hometown twice as much when you return.
There is the literary festival in Galle in January and there is an art fair in Colombo in fall. There are wonderful artists and musicians in Sri Lanka – but the cultural life is really different from what you might be used to.
For a change
If you want a wide choice of good restaurants, you should live in Colombo. A good alternative would be Galle. Both are great places for occasional trips, but the next large
How long do you drive to meet your friends or go to a restaurant in the west? Would 30 minutes in the car be unbearable?
It’s soooo far to the airport
There are two helicopter services now, and any larger estate should have a heli pad. But still the vast majority of ex-pats simply use a car and a driver for long distance transport in Sri Lanka.
If you live in New York, a up country estate in Sri Lanka is no over-the-weekend destination. But when you stay a minimum of three weeks in a stretch the four or so hours in the car might be long but not out of proportion. Plus the drive from the airport to your estate is always a beautiful scenic voyage.
Vehicles and driving
You need a vehicle during your stay.
Rental cars cost 15 – 25 USD a day.
A nicely reconditioned 250 cc Honda enduro bike costs 6000 USD
A small new Indian car (Suzuki Maruti Alto) =
You can drive! Don’t worry, it takes two days to get used to the unwrittten laws of Sri Lanka’s traffic.