Kandy’s probably the second destination in Sri Lanka after Colombo, but there’s not to much to do there. I still like the place and have a great almost familial affection for it. Maha Nuwara has hills, which gives it character. I like the elevation cause you can ‘feel’ where you are better, via the inner ear or whatever. It’s fairly easy to orient yourself around the bus stand, jail and lake. Everything goes sorta up or down from there. There are a few lovely temples and vistas and about two places to visit. This is what I know about Kandy. I’d be grateful if anyone could tell me some more interesting things abouts.
Temple Of The Tooth
I haven’t been here in ages, but it’s quite impressive. The tooth, of course, is obscured but there’s a nice room where you can worship or meditate. The place is most active around Perahera time (August). I’ve been told that you can even watch the elephants getting dressed for the procession but I have never had this privilege.
There’s a big Buddha statue visible from everywhere in town. You can just follow it, climb to the top and get a great view of the city. The Buddha itself is not super maintained, but nice. I heard that in Premadasa’s time it was covered in gold, but not sure. From there you can see the whole Kandy Lake, the prisons, the hills, everything. I like heights so I very much like this place.
I went here last weekend and I’m honestly not that impressed. The trees are pretty cool, especially the improbably winding willow, but the flowers are nothing much to write home about. The main thing I noticed was the young couples flowering in the nook and cranny of every tree. The place is well maintained but it’s honestly grass as much as anything. I think I walked around the whole area but perhaps I missed something. I also couldn’t find food or Fanta anywhere.
This place is literally a trip. Atop a hill is a unique house/hotel designed by Helga Blow Pereira (names may be different). It feels like being inside a Tim Burton movie. There are parcade floors, elegant dining rooms, and paintings and candles literally melting off the walls. There is literally nowhere to orient yourself. If you look up there’s zodiac tapestries, if you look down there are statues, old guest books and mounds of melted candle wax. It’s a crazy place and very interesting. Everything is priced in dollars and it’s quite expensive, but it’s well worth to hang out there.
Literally the only pub in Kandy, this place sits on the main street across from all the banks and Food City. You can watch the main traffic of the city and have a beer and meal. The food is OK though the sauces seem to be a variation on either ketchup or mayonaisse.
There are numerous places to stay in Kandy. The Queen’s is the oldest but getting a bit run down. Swiss Residence is supposed to be OK. Earl’s Regency has lovely views and is a cool hotel but a bit out. You can of course stay at Helga’s. This time we stayed at the Mahaweli Reach with a friend. It’s a nice hotel on the river and has a singular pool. The thing snakes around, I think to preserve the trees alongside. There’s a nice poolside bar besides and it’s quite chilled out. Is not a bad place to get away.
And that is all I know about Kandy. I still don’t get why we send so many tourists there when entertainment is rather sparse. I hear the Pinawella elephant orphanage and Victoria Falls and things are nearby. I also hear that there are three major temple close as well. If you know anything cool to do in Kandy I’d be interested to know.