Travel Report Kandy
Holding the title of a former capital and being one of Sri Lanka’s biggest cities, Kandy is a very busy place: crowded, buzzy, commercial. The pollution makes breathing sometimes almost unbearable, the intense smell of petrol that invades the streets makes you wish to wear one of those Chinese anti-pollution face masks – even at the risk of looking incredibly silly. Surprisingly, as we left the city center, the surrounding green fields and complex of mountains than compensated. Locals commute here to connect with their gods, to thank them, to feel them. Tourists come here to observe, admire and maybe feel a bit of that “holy spirit” that is spread all over the city. That was exactly what we did during our time and before we wrote our review The Temples… A Celebration of Diversity.
Discovering the Surroundings of Kandy
Besides the famous religious sites that are described in every tourist guide, Kandy had much more to offer to us: green tea fields, beautiful botanical gardens and relaxing Ayurveda retreats. It was an amazing place to restore and recharge energies when commuting in between places in Sri Lanka. Our accomodation made this stay extra-special. The host was the most humble and caring man ever! On a magical evening, we sat with him having wine, talking about life and could finally feel like real Sri Lankans.
Peradeniya Botanic Garden was only a short 10 minute-walk from our guest house. It can easily be seen in 2 hours and is better done early in the morning before the Chinese tourist jam hits the place. The park is really well structured and it hosts a large variety of plants, a beautiful collection of orchids and other flowers. There are small ornamented fountains, maze gardens, bamboo forests, a spice garden, tons of birds and an impressive colony of bats hanging on the trees forming a dense cloud almost like guardians of the place.
Visiting a Tea Factory
We decided to visit a tea factory in Kandy rather than Ella or Nuwara Eliya. This is was not only for the reason that we did not have sufficient time to explore these places in detail but also that factories in Kandy are less popular (meaning less crowded). We weren’t disappointed with our choice! The Ceylon Estates Teas is a working factory rather than a museum giving us an authentic impression what it is about to make good tea. We had the chance of watching real workers performing their daily tasks during our visit. We could chat with them and they took us to the nearby fields where tea is collected and processed. Later you can taste the freshly prepared tea and (of course) purchase some souvenirs. This is how the free visit is actually financed.
Travel Info and Tips
Where is it? Central Sri Lanka, 116 km east from Colombo and one of the country’s biggest cities
Train or bus from directions of Colombo, Dambulla, EllaHow to get there?
What is it famous for? Temples, Tea, Landscapes, Religion, Cities
What is good to know? last place to easily to withraw cash before arriving to rural areas, easy to commute within and around, be aware of pickpockets
A funny Fact? Kandy lake which is right in the middle of the city and famous among locals for a stroll, is actually a man-made lake! Built in 1807 it is believed that it was used in earlier days for royal baths and relaxation.