Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka, which makes it a very busy and loud city. I didn't expect it to be that crazy, but it was! I stayed there for four days and I thought that was slightly too long because after the first two days you run out of things to do. There are many possibilities around the city that are an hour or two away. I got to do a number of things while I was there that I really enjoyed and thought you might find helpful.
One. Have a breakfast with a view
The beautiful thing about Kandy is the location. It's in the hill country and if you stay in a hostel that's further from town centre in the hills around you could get a beautiful view.
Two. Watch them move it move it
The dance show is mainly for tourists, but it's fun to watch especially if you are not in a festival season. It went on for an hour and it was very entertaining. It's located next to the temple of the tooth. You can see some of the dances in the video below.
Three. Treat your taste buds to some tropical fruits
Sri Lanka is a tropical island with an abundance of delicious fruit. It was a joy eating all of them in every stop I had. They were full of flavour. You can see me trying some in the video above!
Four. Drink a fresh cuppa straight from the source
There are a number of tea related things in Kandy such as the tea museum, tea plantations and the tea factory. It's worth trying at least one because tea is a major thing in Sri Lanka and the hill country is where it is produced. You can read about this in details in my previous post: Sri Lankan Tea: from the tea leaf to the cup. You can also watch it all in the video below.
Five. Get to know the herbs and spices
There is an herbs garden very close to Kandy and I think it was the only one according to the tuk tuk driver. The entry and the tour are free, but they try their best to convince you that you need one of their natural products in your life. It's a mini trap to buy, but I still found it fascinating looking at all those spices in plants form.
Six. Walk around the rice fields
I haven't seen rice fields before and during the drive outside of Kandy I saw some from the tuk tuk and I stopped for a little wander.
Seven. Listen to the prayer chants by the Kandy Lake before sunset
Before going to Sri Lanka, I didn't really know much about Buddhism, but something I found really beautiful was the sound of prayer chants from the temple that you can hear by the Kandy lake. I was there around sunset so that plus the water and the orange sky was magical. Although there are main roads around the lake so the street noise could get annoying.
Eight. Visit the temple if you are allowed in
One of Kandy's biggest attractions is the temple of the tooth. It's really close to the lake and the fancy touristy restaurants. People are asked to cover their legs and arms and take their head covering. In my case, I wasn't allowed in, but that's their religious rule and I respect that. It was a shame that I was so close yet so far away.
Nine. Shop haggle free
I picked a strange area to stay in in Kandy, so I was far from most touristy things, but I found myself very close to the Kandy Handcraft Centre. Everything has a price written down and you don't haggle, you just pick and pay. I find these places much more relaxed than shopping in markets and getting weird prices. They had everything there and I got few presents for myself.
Ten. Escape to a beautiful resort
You can even find a peaceful escape in the city such as the Earl's Regency I stayed in. It was so nice going there for some well deserved relaxation.
I hope you enjoyed these suggestions and please feel free to share some of the things you enjoy doing in Kandy!