The drive to Kandy in our mighty red Tuk tuk from Negombo was a lovely one, going through beautiful hills and rainforest towns, we took it slowly and enjoyed the scenery. Arriving in Kandy we were greeted by crazy, bumper-to-bumper traffic, the worst we’ve seen in sri lanka so far. If you have your own transport, try to avoid mid morning and late afternoon – it’s anarchy.
Our hotel was a non-descript affair in Richmont Hill – slightly too far out of town for our liking, Kandy has a lot to offer so next time we’ll stay closer to the fun. Bags dropped, we headed into town for some exploring!
First thing we did was obviously to grab some fried street snack, wrapped in a greasy piece of sri lankan newspaper – perfect. Having refueled, we then walked into town starting at Bogambara – an old fort now being used as a local veggie market! Marna and I love local markets, eyeballing the interesting fruit and veggies for sale, and maybe trying a few:)
We also discovered an amazing local food joint, just next to the road on the west side of the lake – for an incredible eating experience go here: 07°17′29.95″N 80°38′14″E
Trust me – it’ll blow your mind. There are about 30 stalls selling every kind of sri lankan snack and fast food imaginable, and they are fresh, hot, cheap and delicious.
We then grabbed a whole durian fruit (not recommended, it’s massive) and walked along the promenade on the north side of the lake to eat it – we were there in March, and everything was covered in pink blossoms – unreal.
Feeling slightly sick from all the durian, we walked around a bit in town looking for a good place to have dinner, and eventually found café 1886 – looks fancy on the outside, but the food is delicious, prices reasonable, setting lovely and portions big. Try their low carb grilled fish.
Day 2 breakfast was at Sri balaji – a chain of south Indian restaurants serving idli and dosa at giveaway prices – there’s a good one in the southbound section of road B519.
A short Tuk Tuk ride Southwest of town got us to the Royal Botanical Gardens, where we spent a lovely few hours eating tropical fruit and wandering around the well manicured grounds.
After Bot Gardens, a good spot to chill for an hour or so is the ceylon tea museum just south of town, which has a tea café upstairs and a small shop selling tea. We managed to skip the museum entrance fee by saying that we just wanted to go to the Restaurant – didn’t vibe another expensive tourist trap, and it was lovely. Hordes of school kids arrived while we were there, which brought loads of energy, excitement, selfies and hi-how-are-you’s to an otherwise peaceful affair.
We then headed to Degaldoruwa temple behind town, which is a cave temple with beautiful hand painted walls and a large reclining Buddha – entrance is free, and in fact one of the local monks had to go get a key to open for us! Beautifully preserved, a wonderful little spot without any touts or popcorn sellers, it felt like a little slice of local Buddhist life.
For one last thing to do while you still have time, grab a coke zero and some arrack and head to the Kandy View Point for the best views over town – also lovely at night if you still have energy after supper 🙂