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Travel Guide Asia Sri Lanka Kandy

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Introduction

Kandy

Kandy

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Kandy is a small city in the centre of Sri Lanka. It is a wonderful place to purchase great precious and semi-precious stones as well as stones already set in gold and silver.

When traveling throughout Sri Lanka you will see a lot of military, and depending on your luck, your car will be pulled over and passports will be checked, so don't leave your hotel without your passport! Kandy is in a safe part of Sri Lanka, as the conflict is much farther north in the country, so don't be concerned with the sight of military personnel.

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Sights and Activities

Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens (Peradeniya Gardens) in Kandy are well worth a visit. Things do come in different sizes in different climates and corners of the world. However, the girth and height of the bamboo grove along the river bank is quite amazing, particularly staggering when you bear in mind it is actually a type of grass!! Things certainly grow well in this climate including the fruit bats. There is a resident colony of large bats that hang from the tall tree tops. They are quite a sight, but beware the bat droppings that fall from a great height as you pass underneath and you will notice a pungent odour as you do. Another impressive sight is a very large Umbrella tree (or “Sooriyakenda” tree) that is just too big to photograph effectively, as it spread over a whole field, apparently an amazing 600 m2. It would collapse if it hadn't been lovingly propped up and supported at intervals over the years. It is interesting to see how the different spices grow and the Orchid house is truly exotic. Or just take a pleasant stroll down the avenues of coconut palms.

Temple of the Tooth

Kandy is also a centre for the Buddhist religion. Visit the Temple of the Tooth and the surrounding grounds. This temple was bombed recently and you will note the military bunkers on site. It should be noted that even though Buddhas tooth may be present, it is locked away within a casket so it is not to be seen by the eyes of tourists anyway!

Kandy Dancers

The famous Kandy Dancers perform at the cultural center in the evening. It is strictly for tourists and gives you a flavour of the culture. Get ready for a wave of "hucksters" trying to sell you t-shirts and postcards when you leave the evening performance. But for $3 it is worth it. They even have fire walkers.

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Getting There

By Plane

The De Havilland Twin Otter float planes operated by Sri Lankan Airlines leave Colombo at 09:00am (currently from Kelani River) and touch down at Mahaweli River in Polgolla, Kandy at 09:30am.

By Train

From Colombo, Intercity express train are hassle free and scenic, 2.5 hours. Reservations are needed for these trains, it can be done just before the departure depending on the period but is best done in advance especially if you are travelling on a weekend or holiday. There is a great observation saloon (first class) in this particular train. Other trains are overly crowded and late.

By Car

If you're just arriving in Sri Lanka, heading for Kandy, you can hire a taxi from one of the stalls in the arrivals hall at Colombo airport for about R6,000/-. The journey takes about 3 hours. This saves the hassle of going into Colombo, and is a lot quicker and easier.

Hired mini-vans with a driver are available from Colombo through travel agencies and hotel concierges.

By Bus

There are dozens of buses a day between Colombo and Kandy.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

The local "Three-Wheelers" ('Tuk-Tuk) are an amazingly cheap and exciting way of seeing the city, and they run virtually all night long.

By Foot

Walking is also recommended; the centre is not that large. As a way of seeing temples, shops, shopping area and other sights around the lake and You can visit the Temple of the Tooth by on foot as well but you'll have to ask for directions.

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Eat

  • Green Leaf Hotel and Bakers, De Soyza Lane (near corner of Yatinuwara Lane). Great local eatery just one block back from the main street. Full range of rottis, rice and curry and hoppers (evening only). Good service and very affordable prices.
  • White House, opposite the Bakehouse (below) for Sri Lanken short meals. Good quality food and inexpensive.
  • Bakehouse, for snacks or traditional Sri Lankan meals. Scenic view of the City, from its first floor balcony, where they serve a Sri Lankan buffet, but this tends to sell out by about 19:30.
  • Devon Restaurant is famous for quality snacks. Captain's table is at Upstairs of Devons. Good Sri Lankan and South Indian food.
  • Avanhala, is just in front of the Kandy lake. Good food and best scenery.
  • Sriram Indian Restaurant in the Colombo Street offers nice south Indian food.
  • The Flower Song Chinese Restaurant on Kotugodelle Vidaya is just north of the town centre. It sells excellent Chinese food - with huge portions of rice or noodles. It's clean, air-conditioned, and serves beers and wines.
  • Dog Lovers - Good quality Western short meals available here with fair prices and high quality. Located in Peradeniya Road Kandy, just off Hindu Vidyalaya.
  • Dinemore - Just opposite to the Anniewatta tunnel. On the top of Nihal's Super. Good quality Mid-Eastern and South-Indian food for affordable prices.
  • Lyons restaurant located in front of the Hindu Kovil. Serves good quality food, both Western and Eastern.

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Drink

  • There are two popular bars on the main street (Dalada Vidaya), The Pub and The Pub Royale. The former serves quite good (but pricey, perhaps R700/-) meals, has a large screen for sports inside and a 1st floor outside verandah.
  • There are a number of cheap bars (R100/- or less for a 650 ml bottle of beer) scattered throughout the sidestreets near the town centre. They can be rather seedy and unaccompanied women could be made to feel very uncomfortable.
  • Victory Hotel, 79 Colombo Road This bar is a great way to see real Sri Lankans and what they do, downstairs is full of locals knocking back Arrack the atmosphere may be less than salubrious, in fact it gives the Sidney Hotel, Galle a run for its money, but the people are friendly. Upstairs is slightly less dingy as it serves food, Arrack starts at 700 lkr, beer 195 lkr and a cigarette from a waiter 30lkr.

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Sleep

There are many hostels, budget, midrange and splurge hotels in Kandy, where you can stay the night and rest easily.

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Blinkbonnie Tourist InnRajapihilla Mawatha Kandy, Sri LankaHostel69
Days Inn Tourist Lodge66A Rajapihilla MawathaGuesthouse-
Devon Hotel51 Ampitiya RoadHotel-
Hill Way Tour Inn102/1/1, Rajapihilla mawathaGUESTHOUSE-
Kandy View Hotel40, 22 Hillpankandura Ampitiya RoadHotel67
Majestic Tourist Hotel83/40 Ampitiya RoadHotel77
Nature Walk Resort09, Sangamitta Mawatha Behind the Temple of the ToothHostel76
Summit ViewSummit View Megoda-KalagamuwaGUESTHOUSE-
Victoria Lodge Sri Lankaharagama estate gurudeniya,kandyGuesthouse-
Forest Glen150/6, Lady Gordon DriveHostel-
The Mansion213, Aladeniya, WarrallagamaHotel-
Palm Garden Guest House18 Bogodawawtte Road SuduhumpolaGUESTHOUSE-
Sepali 26/7 InnLake Round Road Cyril Jayasundara RoadGuesthouse-
Spica Holiday Home77/5 Sri Dhamma Siddhi Mawatha AsgiriyaGUESTHOUSE79
Kandy Panorama Resort352 H, Dharmaraja Mawatha KandyHotel-
Kundasale Holiday Homes7/7 1st Lane, Pandiwatte, KundasaleHOSTEL-
Blink Bonnie Inn Hotel69 Rajapihilla Mawata Kandy KandyHotel-
The Drop Inn KandyNo:10,Dharmaraja Mw,GUESTHOUSE79
Hill House KandyNo 13 Meddegama Road, AmpitiyaGUESTHOUSE-
Forest Villa185B Rajapihilla MawathaGUESTHOUSE-
Kandy Guest House Peradeniya9/D/13 Nelligasgodawatta, Kiribathkumbura, PeradeniyaGUESTHOUSE-
Hillcrest Home Hantane23,upper Hantane Road, UdaPeradeniyaHOSTEL-
Kandy Paris Hotel5b, Mahamaya MawathaHOTEL-
Haniffas Holiday Bungalow150/A, Uda Eriyagama PeradeniyaGUESTHOUSE-
Kandy Down Town HostelNo 93, Aniwatta RoadHOSTEL-
No 26D26D Cyril Jayasundara Mawatha (Lane)GUESTHOUSE89
Hotel Amanda Hills KandyNo 65, Saranankara Road Upper Lakd Road, KandyHOTEL-
Senani HotelNo. 167 / 1, Rajapihilla MawathaHOTEL-
Serene Garden189, Rajapihilla Mawatha Kandy Lake FrontHOTEL-
Thilanka HotelNo. 03, Sangamitta Mawatha Kandy Lake FrontGUESTHOUSE-
Arogya Nature Cure Centre87/1A, Polgollawatta, Polgolla,GUESTHOUSE-
Kandy Luxury Villa490, Meewathura Road PanideniyaGUESTHOUSE-

Mid-Range

Upscale

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes are available in all the cities and these are cheap and easy to access. Most hotels have internet access as well but are relatively expensive. There are various internet service providers (Sri Lanka Telecom, Dialog, Mobitel etc.) providing different packages: ADSL broadband, dial-up, WiFi. Please contact a service provider to learn more about the packages and prices.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country code for Sri Lanka is 94. Remove the intercity prefix (0) before the area code when dialling internationally into the country (i.e., 0112 688 688 becomes +94 112 688 688) when dialling from abroad). The two next numbers after 94 represents the area code, they are different for every district.

The use of GSM cellphones is widespread and the coverage is good. Dialog and Mobitel are two operators that have sales offices at the airport inside the arrivals lounge. Dialog Mobile has the widest coverage in the country including rural areas and has the best quality GSM / 3G / HSPA +/4G network. Mobitel also has a 3G/HSPA+ network. All the mobile operators are having same call rates due to floor rate tariffs. Therefore it is advisable to go to the network which offers you the best quality. All Mobile Operators offers cheap IDD Call rates. If you want to surf internet, best way is to buy a HSPA dongle and a Mobile Broadband connection. Dialog Mobile, Mobitel, hutch, Etisalat and Airtel offers prepaid Mobile Broadband services which can be activated and used immediately. Dialog is the Vodafone Roaming Network in Sri Lanka and offers the best range of Value added services for Roamers and the rates are cheaper. Etisalat and Airtel also provide cheap roaming rates specially to India.

Post

Sri Lankan Post is the national postal company. Each city/town has a main post office and the villages will have access to sub post offices, either at the village or nearby village. Local post, through normal mail, is cheap and fast. However, to ensure that the post has reached recipient, it is better to send by registered post which will allow you to have a reference number which you can later use to check with your post office that your mail has reached its destination. There are local courier services. Aramex and Pronto are some of the ones in Colombo and they deliver mail the same day or overnight. For better tracking and fast services companies like DHL, or TNT provide a good service but are more expensive.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 7.3016
  • Longitude: 80.6476

Contributors

as well as arida (13%), barmknecht (4%), dr.pepper (3%), Lavafalls (1%)

Kandy Travel Helpers

  • ailsa.sanders

    I've been residing in Kandy for over four years. I do marketing work for a local boutique hotel and we've recently opened our own guest house property, so I know quite a bit about the local area and making the most of your travels here.

    Ask ailsa.sanders a question about Kandy

This is version 21. Last edited at 7:22 on Aug 10, 16 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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