Blogs from Kandy, Central Province, Sri Lanka, Asia

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Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy March 8th 2019

We had a very stressful journey to Kandy from Sigiriya - the road was very busy and we came close to having a couple of accidents. In Dambulla there is a very large wholesale produce market and the road to Kandy was clogged with trucks overloaded with sacks of vegetables, plus the usual tuk tuks heedlessly weaving around the traffic and the buses which had absolutely no regard for fellow road users. We were very thankful when Saman stopped at a big Hindu temple in Matale, halfway to Kandy. We needed a coffee desperately.... The Sri Muthumariamman Thevasthanam (try pronouncing that.. ) was a very colourful Hindu temple. The large interior had a central altar and the area surrounding the altar was full of ceremonial objects and small chariots used in an annual festival. As with ... read more
Ceiling art, Arulmihu Sri Muthumariamman Thevasthanram (Hindu temple, Matale)
The colourful exterior of Arulmihu Sri Muthumariamman Thevasthanan
Drummers at the cultural show

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy March 1st 2019

Today was a welcome cycle free day starting with a guided tour of a tea factory at Giragama just outside Kandy finishing with a nice cuppa to sample. We then returned to Kandy by tuk tuk to wander in and around the city which is very clean by Asian standards. Kandy’s roads are very narrow & twisting roads & surrounded by hills so traffic is constantly busy & chaotic. Before dinner we attended a traditional Kandyan cultural performance of song, dance, drumming finishing with a fire walking performance. Dinner was at a private residence where the host demonstrated the versatility of both rice & coconut in Sri Lankan cooking.... read more
Tea varieties
Kandy street vendor
Kandy man made lake

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy September 18th 2018

No snake scares this morning. We were offered breakfast by our gracious host and our farewell meal was coconut rotis with a pickled chutney. We were also served something sweeter, which looked like frog spawn but tasted syrupy. We also had a couple of bananas and were ready for the long drive ahead. The morning was filled with a long trek back to Kandy. We arrived just before lunch and were at the realisation that we were going to have to dip into our emergency fund for the first time. This involved a walk in the baking sun down to the town once more, by which point it was about half past 2. We acquired some money from a cashpoint and got the cheapest lunch we could find from a bakery, before we decided to do ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy September 12th 2018

We had breakfast at the hostel (coconut roti with honey or chilli pickle. I combined the 2 at one point and it tasted like what Winnie the Pooh would order at a takeaway.) At 10am we were greeted by the hotel hired taxi man, who would take us around the country for the next week. Car wise this was the best thing we’d travelled in, a black 4x4 which was spacious and with seat holders. The gentleman’s driving was somewhat erratic at times, loved an overtake on a bend, but we didn’t mind because soon we would be in Kandy where we were to spend the next days. Or so we thought. There was a moment as we tried to find the hotel in the hills outside Kandy, where the gentleman in question, not listening to ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy August 14th 2018

R: And so we continued onwards up into the mountains of Sri Lanka. We started the day dropping in at Dambulla Golden Temple. This is more a museum of Buddhism, built by the Japanese with giant golden Buddha and even neon signs. It was very, very gaudy, but somehow quite cheerful. I really want to go back to Japan. Being on a tour with a driver this time, we had no real control of our stops so we ended up first at a wood carving place. Initially we were very sceptical of this stop, but it charmed my inner scientist - they make a wood powder from what they described as a Sri Lankan rainbow tree. When added to hot water, this turned red. When they added iron, it turned black, when you added lime juice ... read more
Temple of the Tooth Relic
View from the hotel
Peradeniya Botanic Gardens

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy August 2nd 2018

When you're on a tight schedule and you want to pack in your itinerary as many places to see as you can, you do need to try to save some time on travel at least. That obviously can have a bit of an impact on your wallet. And so it did this time. We didn't really set a daily spending budget, but secretly I hoped we wouldn't go over 100NZD a day... well that private driver we got from Negombo to Kandy cost us 125NZD, so there went my secret budget! We were here for two weeks only though, not to mention that most likely that was THE holiday for that year, so we (meaning I) didn’t complain too much about it this time. We would just do a slightly fancier backpacking, splashing on taxis here ... read more
At the botanical gardens
Kandy lake
At the Pinnawala Orphanage Centre

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy July 21st 2018

As we set a 7am alarm at midnight after a very long day of international travelling we wondered if we were being a bit too optimistic, but we really wanted to make the 8:30am train to Kandy. It turned out no alarm was needed, our bodies were tired but too confused to sleep properly and so we’d woken every hour and by 6am were wide awake, albeit not inclined to move. Marie’s colleague had recommended a place he stayed at when he extended a work trip at his own cost. A simple but really nice tidy room with great bathroom, good wifi and in a quiet area. We were stoked to have it booked for our return to Colombo. While not our main destination Sri Lanka was somewhere we both wanted to go, and it fit ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy May 2nd 2018

Our train to Colombo is at 3 pm, so we have breakfast before visiting the Temple of the Tooth. Breakfast is in fact a source of great excitement; there is cheese on the buffet. I have been craving cheese for some considerable time. We walk into town round Lake Kandy. It is the home of a huge amount of wildlife; so far we’ve seen birds, fish, turtles, monkeys, bats, chipmunks, even a huge monitor lizard. We reach the Temple where one of Buddha’s teeth is housed in a series of 6 gold caskets. The queue to view it is enormous, plus it’s full of devotees dressed in white. It feels wrong to impose on their pilgrimage to gawk, so we just wander round the edges. We enter a shrine which is rectangular and has Buddhas on ... read more
Monitor Lizard
The Temple of the Tooth
The Temple of the Tooth

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy May 1st 2018

We are breaking the return journey with an overnight stop in Kandy. This time we take the express train. It is a modern Chinese train with an air conditioned first class carriage. It’s quicker, more comfortable and we face the direction of travel. But it doesn’t have openable windows so it’s not so good for viewing the scenery as we descend towards Kandy. The difference in altitude is 1400 metres, so whereas we chugged slowly uphill two days ago, our return involves hurtling downhill at breakneck speed. It is a relief to reach our destination as a selection of small children have swung from the seats and parcel shelf for much of the journey. We reach Kandy around lunch time. We check into our hotel and head straight to the rooftop pool to cool down. It ... read more
Nanu-Oya Station
View from hotel across Lake Kandy
Relaxing by the pool

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy February 13th 2018

Sri Lanka 26. Dez. Flug von Wien Schwechat mit Qatar Airways über Doha, die Airline entpuppt sich als die Beste, die im Augenblick von Europa abfliegt. 27. Dezember 2017 Problemlose und rasche Einreiseformalitäten, Abholung vom Flughafen Colombo durch unseren netten jungen Guide Praget, einem Singhalesen, der aus Negombo stammt. Transfer zum altehrwürdigen, noblen Hotel Galle Face am Galle Face Strand im Süden von Colombo, einem beliebten Ausflugsziel mit Imbissbuden und einheimischen Strandleben. Das Meer lädt nicht zum Baden ein – wegen der Brandung und wegen der Wasserqualität, dafür gibt es aber ein riesiges (33m) warmes Salzwasserpool, wo wir uns beim Schwimmen von dem anstrengenden Flug erholen können. Es herrscht relativ starker Südwind(!), der allerdings nicht stört, da er etwas Abkühlung bringt. Interessanterw... read more
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