SRI LANKA24 hours in Kandy
24 HOURS IN KANDY
Getting from the train station to our hotel was crowded, loud and hot – Kandy is the second biggest city in Sri Lanka and you won’t experience a peaceful and serene time here unless you choose to visit places a bit further out, or up. We only spent a day here and wouldn’t say we are tempted to come back – at lest not to the city centre! We stayed at Kandy City Stay, a place we could recommend for rooms but definitely not for their breakfast or service. It was the worst we experienced! The breakfast was old bread and jam, with powder instant coffee, no staff anywhere and dining area in total dismay (it seemed like they were redoing it, so hopefully it looks better now!). And the service – they booked us a car which would take us to Sigiriya and quoted the price wrong. So we ended up wasting an hour waiting on the car and then the driver arguing with the hotel about the wrong price they gave. We ended up ordering a Pick Me and paid almost half the price. Thankfully the Pick Me driver was amazing and in the end we were happy we did that.
Fun fact – you can see the maximum security Bogambara prison on this image. The long building with white gates!
BAHIRAWAKANDA VIHARA BUDDHA STATUE
After our (terrible) breakfast we took a Pick Me tuktuk to the gigantic Buddha statue overlooking the city. We decided to take an early trip there as we wanted to make the most of our day. This statue is a lot bigger than what you might see on the pictures – it even has a staircase leading up the body of Buddha, from which you get a great panoramic view of the city. Once we left our shoes (make sure to bring some wipes with you, the floor is not clean and you must be barefoot) and paid the entrance fee, we started making our way up the stairs.
Once we reached the top (we were the only visitors) we met this monk and chatted about his travels to Sweden as well as why everyone in Sri Lanka is picking these white flowers. He told us they are used as a gift to Buddha, so we picked some and then followed him to the offering spot. We arranged the flowers and left him to his prayers.
KANDY ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS
After we were done we grabbed another Pick Me and took of to Peradeniya to see the Royal Botanical Gardens. The entrance fee here is high for tourists, but you won’t regret paying it. For us, this was by far the most beautiful botanical garden we have ever been to. Very organized, clean, lots of different trees and palms, a suspension bridge, heaps of monkeys and even bats!
Giant palm, me for scale.
Lots of bamboo.