Robert and I spent three nights in Kandy. There isn’t a whole lot to do in Kandy. Most people go to Kandy to visit the Temple of the Tooth, but we just couldn’t motivate to spend money and get dressed in long pants to see yet another temple. There are also traditional dance shows, but they start at 5 and that was when happy hour started at Slightly Chilled, so that didn’t work for us. The Royal Botanical Gardens outside of town are supposed to be really nice, but the day we planned to go the skies opened up and it poured rain all day long. So, we didn’t go. (Incredibly, that was the first day on our entire trip that was adversely impacted by rain).
Nonetheless, we both really liked Kandy. It was touristy, but not too touristy — we were still able to find restaurants with locals and here in Sri Lanka that is 100% the key to a good meal. There is a pretty lake to walk around.
And interesting bird life.
Plus, the bake shop/curry shop in the lobby of our guesthouse had the most amazing chocolate donuts. 🙂 And, we were able to catch a bus from Kandy to visit the elephant orphanage. So, all in all, we had a very nice stay in Kandy.
After our time in Kandy, we boarded the train to Ella.
That train ride is supposed to be one of the most scenic rides anywhere in the world. I haven’t been on that many trains, but I have to say the ride was worth it. For a large part of the 6+ hour journey, we were climbing through hills and surrounded by tea plantations. The views were amazing.
If anyone else is going to Sri Lanka, I have some helpful advice. Don’t waste money on the first class or observation car. The windows don’t open and what fun is that? And, when booking your tickets, ask for a seat facing forward. We were facing backwards and I nearly got sick — good thing we are here in low season and there were forward facing seats sitting empty, as I just got up and moved. And, if you can’t get a good reserved seat and its low season, I think you would be just fine in an unreserved second (and maybe even third class) car. Plus, all the locals will be in the unreserved 2nd and 3rd class cars.
Kandy is a sleepy little town that is all of about 4 blocks long. We found a great little guest house on a hill and we have spent a fair amount of our time here just relaxing on our balcony soaking in the views and the cool air. Too bad the local dogs bark all night long (seriously, I thought one was on our balcony the first night) and horrible music is broadcast through a speaker system starting around 7 am — if not for those two things we most certainly would have extended our stay.
The main attraction here is hiking. We hiked Little Adam’s peak, which is 1141m tall. (Of course, Ella’s elevation is 1041m, so the height of Little Adam’s peak sounds more impressive than it is). The walk is fairly easy and only took about an hour one way (yes, we got lost). The only hard part was at the very end when we had to trek up step after step after step. But, once again, the views were worth it.
Next stop is Tissa, where we are going on our first safari!