Kandy is Sri Lanka’s second biggest city after Colombo, but has a completely different feel to Colombo. It’s prettier, quieter and has a much more relaxed atmosphere. One day in Kandy is enough to see all the main sights.
There were so many more tourists in Kandy than we saw anywhere else in Sri Lanka, because of this, the tuk-tuk drivers would not haggle one little bit and were asking for ridiculous prices. They were obviously used to foreigners paying whatever they asked for. We refused to be ripped off and walked everywhere instead.
We spent the morning walking around the lake and counting water monitors and visiting Kandy’s main attraction, the temple of the tooth. Entry is free for locals and Rs1,500 for foreigners, which is irritating but common in Sri Lanka.
According to legend, the tooth of the Buddha is kept inside the temple, although you don’t actually see it it, so who knows for sure. It’s still nice to chose to believe the legends are true and the temple itself is very beautiful. Knees and shoulders must be covered and they are very strict, you will be turned away if you are not dressed properly.
For lunch we went to the Kandy City Centre Shopping Mall, mainly to hide from the sun and feel the A/C for half an hour.
We saw lots of interesting architecture as we headed out of town towards the Royal Botanic Gardens. We walked there and back although there was a bus that passed at least once every 2 minutes along the main road.
Again the price for locals was only Rs100/pp but foreigners had to pay Rs1,500/pp, which seemed like a lot to walk around a garden. But we really enjoyed our few hours there. A family of monkeys were passing through and entertaining guests, they weren’t part of the park, just an added bonus.
We actually spent two days in Kandy but we spent our whole second day visiting Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, click HERE to read our separate post.
Where To Stay:
We stayed at the Riverdale Breeze Guest House, it’s about a 30 minute walk outside of Kandy but I booked it based on price. All the hotels close to the lake were really expensive. I would recommend the Riverdale Breeze to anybody, it was our favourite hotel in all of Sri Lanka. Rooms were absolutely spotless and service was fantastic.
We took the train from Ella, click HERE to read our post all about the train journey.