I finally made it to Sri Lanka high lands, famous among local and foreign travelers. It was so lovely wandering around in a cooler weather and having the sounds of nature cradling my sleep… that my laptop remained closed throughout the weekend – a record for the latest 10 months.
A short pause on my research and writings, an overdose of images and findings. But, keep calm, it is all summed up in this post:
Although it’s not a short trip, the train ride is a great option to get to town. On the way, there’s a succession of beautiful landscapes: mountains, rice fields, little vintage stations … and the opportunity to interact with the local people.
The Green Lake
Kiri Muhuda, the Kandy Lake, is a major reference point in the city. What a delight to see the reflection of the temples and mountains, plus the trees, birds and other animals – like this lizard that’s also enjoying the promenade.
The best finding of the weekend, even though it’s not my preferred kind of program. The attraction is a bit off the track for the foreigners – that may not be aware about this beautiful, well maintained and pleasant place.
Climbing a hill to get to a big Buddha statue (currently under construction) is not for everyone. Most visitors prefer the Sri Dalada Maligaw, known as Temple of the Tooth as it keeps a sacred Buddha tooth – find out the whole story here. The temple is located in a park with several different buildings and there are dance performances every day. A tip to avoid crowds and escape the heat: go in the end of the afternoon.
Food & Drink
I broke another record in Sri Lanka, since I had never eaten so much rice & curry all my life! One of the best I ever tasted was served at the Villa 49 Hotel restaurant (a great lodging option in Kandy). I also enjoyed the local dishes at the Victoria Hotel and the White House – not so charming places, though. I had a better experience at The Royal Bar & Hotel – their ambiance and cuisine were unbeatable. We ordered drinks in the courtyard before going to the restaurant and spent a good time feeling like characters in a period film. And I loved their hummus with pita bread starter.
Kandy is not so far from the main international airport in Sri Lanka (approximately 120 km or 75 mile), but transfers in the country are much slower than in Brazil. In order to travel by “Express” Train (3:30h), the best option is heading to the railway station in Colombo by van or executive coach. A 45-minute drive to make the 35 km (~21 mile) there – by local bus it takes up to 2 hours, depending on traffic. I explain this because one can easily be mistaken when planning a trip around the country (which is an island, similar in size with the Brazilian state Espírito Santo). Pretty soon, I’ll do another post with practical tips for those planning to visit the country. Now I’ll be visiting other cities in the region …