The Garden Café
Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue
In the day or at night, it is impossible to miss out on this imposing statue of Buddha which looms over Kandy. From afar, it adds to the picturesque scenery of the city, but there’s not much to it up close, all the more as it has no historical significance. Unless you’ve lots of time to spare, the 80-foot statue is best viewed from a distance.
Kandy Market Hall
Kandy’s local market is a great place to interact with locals and buy spices at incredibly cheap prices. The smell of dried fish can be a bit overwhelming, but the market definitely offers an exciting and pulsating experience. The vendors are also a lot less aggressive as compared to those in other countries I’ve visited- some are even genial enough to pose for photos.
Perched on a Kandyan hilltop, Helga’s Folly is an eccentric and unusual experience in the most appealing way possible. The story, the art, the artifacts, the vibe (and not to mention the Sinatra vinyl playing in the background) have all given the hotel a permanent spot on everyone’s Kandy itinerary. And by “everyone,” that includes Gregory Peck, Sir Laurence Olivier, Elizabeth Taylor, and Mahatma Ghandi to name a few.
We only went to have a look around and a few drinks, yet we unknowingly spent an hour just admiring the visually stimulating labyrinth of a place.
Kandyan Muslim Hotel Restaurant
This man-made lake from the 1800’s serves as a pleasing circuit breaker when you need to take time off from the hustle and bustle of Kandy. On any late afternoon, it draws a lot of couples and families who stroll around its perimeter or just have a bench to their own and kick things back.
During our first sunset, I luckily chanced upon a local named Rasith who, much to my fancy, suddenly gave a quick history lesson on the former Kingdom of Kandy and why the city is still highly regarded by locals. With such a fascinating view of lake while the Maghrib prayer was being broadcasted through speakers across the city, it wasn’t hard to imagine why.