There’s not much to write about Kandy. Lots of reviews say that it is touristy and does not offer a lot. I agree, but it is not “skip”-able.
I boarded a bus from Dambulla to Kandy. This is a frequent backpacker route so I wasn’t too concerned about my safety as a solo female traveler. I sat myself beside a local woman. I spotted a Caucasian couple in the bus. Two other pairs of travelers boarded the bus as it cruised along the highway. Not that brought me confidence that 1) I was in the right bus and 2) I will get off at the right stop. After two hours, the bus stopped in Kandy. Cost of the bus ticket was LKR 100.
The challenge was finding my way from the bus stop to the lake. My local simcard came in handy. But the problem was, the pin of the guesthouse was on the wrong spot! Had to call the house owner where they really were. I found it eventually. They confirmed that Booking.com had the pin wrong. They don’t know how to fix it (I couldn’t help, I didn’t know either).
|Walking from Kandy Bus Station to the lake|
I chose a guesthouse that is walking distance from a lake. It was a long hot and humid walk from the bus station to the guesthouse – the Lake Round Residence.
I asked the young female owner (or manager?) who attended to me if it was safe to go around at night. She answered a definite “NO. You are alone. Especially not around the lake at night because you are alone.” She advised me that if I find myself out there alone at night, I should take a tuktuk going back to the guesthouse and call them. With that, I game myself a curfew until sunset to explore Kandy.
|Walking, walking and walking around the huge lake|
The Tooth Temple is the main attraction in Kandy. It was on the other side of the lake. It took me 40 minutes to circle the lake from the guesthouse to the entrance of the tooth temple. That time includes some photo-taking around the lake.
For women, your knees and shoulders must be covered upon entrance to the premises. I was wearing a sleeveless dress and skin-tone leggings. I was prepared to cover my shoulders with a short cardigan. I was almost refused entrance because of my skin-tone leggings until I pointed out that my knees were actually covered with them. I was let in.
|Kandy Tooth Temple|
|Me and my nude-colored leggings. The lady who took this photo forgot to include the temple.|
I didn’t learn my lesson in Polonnaruwa. I still didn’t wear socks. You have to take off your shoes to enter the temple and it costs LKR 100 to store your shoes at the entrance. Yes, it costs the same as the bus ticket. I also paid LKR 1,000 for the entrance fee. Now I’m really understanding how the entrance fees really add up and how it can put a dent in your budget.
It was past 2PM and the sun was heating up the cement path going to the temple. The temple was considerate though, it has running water in the path to cool it.
I could not say a lot about the temple. It was Buddhist.
|Beautiful intricate art|
|I skipped going to this part in the temple because the grounds were scorching hot. Better come prepared and wear socks.|
It took me a little over an hour to explore the entire premises. I think there are guided tours there but I didn’t bother.
I grabbed lunch at a Tripadvisor recommended restaurant and explored a mall I found nearby. I took out lunch in McDonald’s (yes, McDo!) because I was avoiding spicy options. I was able to go back and chill in the guesthouse before the sun went down.
A bit of a boring day in Kandy for me. But I figured a slow day is good for the trip considering all the adventures I put myself into the previous days.