After not exhausting but still very long train ride from Ella (this part is yet to be written when the photos from our friend arrived) we were happy to spend a night at the 3-star hotel The Sovereign in Kandy. From there, we took a 20-minute walk into the city before the sunset and strolled along the Bogambara Lake which is without any doubts is one of the most beautiful adornments of the city.
The main attraction site in Kandy is the Buddha Tooth Relic temple. To enter, you have to be dresses properly; both men and women have to wear clothes covering the knees. It was unfortunately not our case and we also couldn’t find a scarfs rental (there were only overpriced clothes to buy), so we skipped the visit that time.
We arrived in Kandy on January 1st and this was the Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day, a large event due to its significance of commemorating the Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka. This celebration is accompanied by various processions with elephants, colorful dancers, drummers, firing. We were lucky to spot (read: hear) one directly on arrival at the city; no elephants though.
For the dinner, we headed to the vegetarian Balaji Dosai (135 D.S Senanayake Veediya, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka). This place is authentic, the meal is tasty (and very substantial) and the prices are very low (a main costs about 200 rupees only). This is the perfect choice if you want to eat the same food what the locals eat. To take away, order at the cashier. To eat there, take a seat (or notice the table where people are almost ready with their meal): the place is pretty crowded, so be prepared to wait for 10-15 minutes until a table is free. Here everyone eats with their hands – so make sure you wash them properly before (and after, as the meal is quite fatty).
The next destination point on our list was the Sigiriya rock. To go there, first you have to take a bus to Dambulla. An A/C bus (more precisely, a van with capacity of about 30 persons, but more will be stuffed inside) to Dambulla costs 363 rupees pp; it takes off as soon as it is full and the ride lasts about two hours.
From Dambulla you can either go to Sigiriya by bus (50 rupees pp) or take a tuk-tuk. We decided to take the latest and paid about 600 rupees to reach the Sigiriya village. For 700 the driver would have brought us to the Sigiriya Rock entrance. The entrance fee is 30 $ pp. We started our ascend in the afternoon, around 2 pm and had undeniable luck: the second half of the stairs was in the afternoon shadow so it wasn’t as exhausting. But the first part – oh my goodness! However, the view is worth all the sweat and sore muscles.
By the way, many people say that the nearby Pidurangala rock is also very much recommended to visit. The climb is not so difficult and once you are on top, it will give the best view of the Sigiriya Rock. And it is for free…
At the top of the rock beware of the monkeys, there are many of them and they are hungry for your food or food rests. Once they even attacked me when I was heading to the lockable trash bin to throw the rests away. A big male monkey spotted that I had something eatable in my hand and tried to prevent me throwing the bag away. It took me by surprise, but I was quicker!