I checked out of the Habarana Backpacker hostel and crossed the roads from where the buses are available to go to Kandy. I was waiting for the bus and almost gave up the hope after waiting 20-25 minutes. While I planning for the trip I was going through many reviews and had read an interesting comment, “Wait for thirty minutes to get the bus”. I saw a red bus coming heading towards Kandy
I boarded the red colored bus and the conductor (ticket collector) helped me to carry my not so traveller like luggage. I took the seat and he issued the ticket of Rs 240 to Kandy.
The ride was 4 hours and comfortable for an average Indian. There was a lunch stop along the route at a hotel. I was afraid of loosing the luggage and so didn’t get off the bus. Meanwhile, I booked the hostel, Elephant Shed, in Kandy. It was 8$ and close to the major attractions in the city.
I couldn’t find the way out of the bus station and so took the tuktuk to the hostel, Elephant Shed. After hassling, the driver agreed at Rs 100. He had seen the hostel and dropped me just outside the big closed door of the hostel.
On ringing the door bell, the hostel staff came out running and helped with my heavy luggage. I checkedin but wasn’t sure how many nights I am gonna stay in Kandy. I was looking forward for the traveller experience which I couldn’t get in Habarana. The elephant shed is notoriously famous for the stairs in the reviews. Mixed bed bunks were on the second floor in one room. There was a guy getting ready to track at the nearby trails. I was suggested to go to the lake and temple and then roam around to get beer for the day 1. Yes, he was German. He told that the hostel is very sad as no travellers were there even on the weekends.
I got coffee from the common kitchen located on the covered terrace where common toilets are also there. I headed to the Temple of the Tooth. The ticket for people from SAARC countries are 50% discounted (Rs 750 for SAARC nationals on showing the passport). However, no body checked my tickets and I could have just avoided buying the tickets. (I later saw tickets being checked for other tourists).
The temple is a good visit and informs about the journey of the holy tooth of the Buddha. There is a museum on first and second floor which is covered in the entry ticket. I skipped going to the other museum where entry tickets was charged.
Soon it was 4 and the time to leave. The place where I had kept my shoes was not chargeable but the care taker expected a tip (200Rs !). I ignored him, took my shoes and left.
After the temple, I went to attend the Kandy Cultural Show (Rs 1000) which starts at 5pm. Please go well in advance to get good seats as there are touts who have booked tickets in advance. Most of the front row seats were reserved (unofficially?) and so I went to the gallery area. There too, front row seats were reserved. I somehow managed a good seat and enjoyed the entire show. The show was great and reflected the Sri Lankan culture.
As I came out of the show, the view of the Kandy Lake was spectacular. It was one of the best sunset view I had seen. I walked around the lake capturing the memories and thinking where to have the next meal.
By the way, I had Dosai for lunch nearby the temple and it was the first good food I had in Sri Lanka. I went to hostel and made a plan to hangout with the german guy. We went for the dinner at the same dosai shop as he knew about how famous the Dosa are in India.
After the dinner I came back to hostel. By this time the hostel was full. 4 new guests had checked in my room all from different part of the world. 6 bed for people from 6 different countries. Isn’t that the best part of travelling? I loved Kandy. I decided that I can stay there for one more day while gulping my cup of coffee.
Photos captured using Redmi Note 3.