Kandy was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. Since the Kandyan kingdom came under the British only around 1815, the city still retains the living traditions of its sovereign kingdom era. Kandyans are usually proud of their heritage and most Kandyans subscribe to Buddhist values. Kandy is home to The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most venerable places for the Buddhist community of Sri Lanka and all around the world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.
In recent years, the city's cultural landscape has undergone some transformation with the influx of immigrants from other parts of the country. Locals bemoan the gradual disappearance of the 'honest Kandyan' as portrayed in colonial literature and visitors are advised to be careful with their belongings. Nevertheless, Kandy remains a peaceful city compared to most other parts of this island country, with a remarkably lower crime rate and refreshing climate.
Buses are the best option and serve almost all destinations. From Bandaranaike International Airport take the free shuttle bus to the bus terminal, where the friendly locals will direct you to the bus to Kandy (3 h, Rs 136 as of January 2013). From Colombo public buses start from the CBT or private ones from the bus terminal opposite the CBT (3 h, about Rs 130).
Train (from Colombo or Badula) - Intercity express train are hassle free and scenic. Reservation are needed for these trains, it can be done just before the departure depending on the period but is best done in advance especially if you are traveling on a weekend or holiday. There is a decent observation saloon (1st class) in this particular train. Normal trains are slower and 3rd/2nd class unreserved tends to be crowded. The trip from Colombo to Kandy costs Rs 220 in second class, reservation however will set you back another Rs 600, but apparently the first class is just Rs 750 wherever you get off (Kandy, Badula, Ella, etc.).
Taxi. If you're just arriving in Sri Lanka, heading for Kandy, you can hire a taxi from one of the stalls in the arrivals hall at Colombo airport for about Rs 6,000. The journey takes about 3 hours. This saves the hassle of going into Colombo, and is a lot quicker.
Hired mini-vans with a driver are available from Colombo through travel agencies and hotel concierges, e.g. . The road to Kandy is astonishingly chaotic and frightening even for seasoned travelers. Be prepared for a long slow slog in traffic, or, if your driver decides to make the journey at a more practical speed, a hair-raising adventure replete with passing around blind corners and games of chicken with the ubiquitous intercity buses. A day trip from Mt. Lavinia (Colombo) to Kandy, including seeing the sights in Kandy, costs around Rs 10,000 [May 2011].
Intercity air-conditioned bus (from Colombo) is the next best option to the hired taxis. If you are female and traveling alone it is best to either sit next to another female or try to sit as close to the conductor as possible (i.e. up front) to avoid any unnecessary surprise.
Air Taxi (from Colombo) is the latest option to travel to Kandy. The De Havilland Twin Otter float planes operated by Sri Lankan Airlines leave Colombo at 9 am (currently from Kelani River) and touch down at Mahaweli River in Polgolla, Kandy at 9:30 am. The travel time between Colombo and Kandy is just 30 minutes. It costs Rs 4,900 for a one-way fare and Rs 9,800 for a return fare.
The Temple of the Tooth, ☎ +94812234226 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +948112236201), . The temple is open from dawn to dusk. It houses a tooth relic of the Lord Buddha, and is consequently considered one of Sri Lanka's most holy shrines. Although you may not view the actual tooth itself, the casket within which it is said to be is displayed twice a day. The best time to view this ornate casket is around 6.30PM.Foreigner entrance: Rs 1,000.
The Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage has about 70 semi-tame elephants roaming freely around this wonderful sanctuary. You can either hire a taxi or tuk-tuk to take you there directly or, if traveling on a budget (by bus), on the Kegalle Kandy road, 4-5 km from Kegalle at the Karandunpona junction take the road north heading towards Rambukkana for about 6 km - the bus price from Kandy to the junction is about Rs 40, ask the bus driver to drop you off at the turn for Pinnewala. Alternatively, take a train to Rambukkana and walk from there. Follow the road through the village back in the direction the train has just come from and then turn right at the large sign for the Elephant Orphanage - it's about 2 km. Rambukkana is on the main line to Colombo and the journey is quite scenic, passing through jungle drenched mountains - definitely worth the trip especially if you have children. The best time to visit is the feeding time from 09:30-10:00AM and 01:30-02:00PM, and the bathing time from 10:00-10:30AM and 02:00-02:30PM when all the elephants are taken to the river close by. Entrance: Rs 2,500 (January 2014).
Alternatively but slightly different, the Millenium Elephant Foundation is right next to Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage. On the Kegalle Kandy road, 4-5 km from Kegalle at the Karandunpona junction take the road north by bus heading towards Rambukkana for about 3-4 km. The foundation is on the eastern side of the road. Entrance: Rs 1,000.
is the best botanical garden in Sri Lanka and one of the best in the region. It dates back to the ancient kings of the country although the British changed the look of it. The British are said to have used the gardens to grow trees that could not be grown at Kew gardens. The large banyan tree, the orchid house, the suspension bridge, and the bats are some of the main attractions. Foreigner entrance: Rs 1,100. Drive there through the University of Peradeniya the most scenic and the largest university in the country.
New Ranweli Spice Garden located in close proximity to Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden (2 km back from the garden to the round-about towards Kandy and from there head north west for about 1.5 km where the a road on the eastern side leads to the garden after another 1 to 2 km) is a place to see and learn about Sri Lankan spices and herbs. It is a fun place to guess the spices. After seeing around the "garden" (which is actually just about 10 spice plants), spices can also be purchased as a souvenir, but there is no obligation to buy. However, be reminded that here the spices sell at a steep premium, and you can get them easily at the market or even supermarket for 50% less. Also prepare yourself for a 20 minutes lesson in the shady and mosquito ridden backyard on the products for sale there - just skip this part. Entrance free and free pick up service from any destination within Kandy and Peradeniya for foreigners, but prepare to buy something to compensate for the tuk-tuk. Fon: +94 77 1351931.
Bahirawakanda temple. The ominipresent Buddha statue seen from everywhere in Kandy city. Take a tuk tuk ride to the Temple or walk, just 1 km away from the Kandy city. The way to the temple may not be easy to locate, you might have to take a three wheeler or ask a local, when in doubt just walk up and follow the colorful Buddhist flags over the road. Entrance fee Rs 200. This Buddha statue is best viewed from far away. Once you get onto the premises it is no longer easy to see. Plus it is not a very peaceful place as temples go.
The Tea Museum, Hantane, Kandy. The ancient Tea Factory of Hantana Estate is converted into a Museum dedicated to the history of Sri Lankan Tea. Run by the Sri Lanka Tea Board.
Udawattakele Royal Forest Sanctuary, the forest located "in the Kandy city", was planned and maintained as the part of the Royal palace complex of the Sinhala Kings. A patch of tropical rain forest still survives and if you don't come across it it is still a wonderful walk. You are guaranteed to come across plenty of monkeys and some tranquil ponds. Wear long trousers after rain, and take some salt as there are lots of leeches about.
Temples situated around Kandy are some other popular tourist attractions. The most famous temples are: Gadaladeniya, Lankathilaka Viharaya, Embekke Devalaya, Dodanwala Devalaya, Degaldoruwa, Hindagala Viharaya, Madawala Viharaya and Galmaduwa Viharaya.
Visit Athur's seat for a panoramic view of the Kandy city.
Commonwealth War Cemetery is located at Deveni (2nd) Rajasinghe mawatha down by the Mahaweli riverside. Formerly known as Pitakande Military Cemetery, it is one of the most beautifully landscaped and maintained war cemeteries in the world. There is one Commonwealth burial of the World War I and a further 196 Commonwealth burials of the World War II commemorated in the cemetery. In addition there are four Foreign National and two non world war burials. The range of nationalities laid to rest comes from the records of the War cemetery, and include 107 Britons, 35 East Africans, 26 Sri Lankans, 23 Indians, six Canadians, three Italians and one Frenchman.
Kandyan Art Association., No. 72, Sangaraja Mawatha, Kandy (almost at the rear end of the Maligawa – Temple of the Tooth Relic and can be reached by walking along the lake road from the “Ulpenge” situated at the Southern entrance.Only five minutes walk from the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. (Sinhala: ශ්රී දළදා මාළිගාව)), ☎ 094 81 2223100, . from 9. 00 a. m. to 5. 00 p. m.. A center for traditional arts and crafts with a government-sponsored sales room and fixed prices. The building in which the Kandyan Art Association is currently housed is over 175 years old. Despite its varied uses over the years, the building has retained its unique character over the last two centuries and today serves not only as the Association’s art gallery and sales outlet, but also a site for the demonstration of a range of production activities, including hand loom weaving, dumbara mat weaving, and wood carving. Entrance free.
The Kandy district has large number of known treks. Within the Kandy city the short walk of Asgiri Maha Viharaya via Bahirawakande hill is an interesting. Udawattakelle forest reserve in within the city limit, gives valuable walking in nature. The secret Walkers Forest upper Hantane trek is on special permission from the Municipal Council of Kandy. The famous Western Shrines of Kandy Gadaladeniya, Lankathilake temples and Embakke shrine are connected by a very scenic footpath. Other part of the west of Kandy, a part of Portuguese War Route, via Ihalakotte railway station to Dodanwala Devale shrine is passing forest reserves, Alagalle Mountain, tea estates and kandyan traditional villages. East of Kandy city the temples Gangaramaya, Galmaduwa, Degaldoruwa temple are well known for paintings, sculptures and architectural techniques.Knuckles mountain range and its forest trails are the most suitable for trekking in Sri Lanka. It has many nature trails cleared trough the forest by forest department with campsites. For example Mini world’s end trails in the west and east, Pitawala pathena trail, Ash cave trail, Nitre cave trail, Knuckles summit trail are very exciting. Also there are interconnected footpaths of cardamom planters, toddy tappers, tea plantation workers, farmers and villages. Traditional villages of the Knuckles foothills with so mach of treks and short walks such as Last King of Kandy, Sri Wikrama Rajasinhe’s (1798-1815) hideout place, Rathna water fall trek, Sitakotuwa limestone cave and waterfall trek, etc.South of Kandy the longest rice field scenery of the island, Lamasuriyagama the rice field was belonging to royal court of Kandy a very spectacular trek. It is undisturbed from electricity wires for photographs and with terrace rice fields by a Loggaloya river with watch huts of farmers. Loggaloya riverine forest trail to Victoria – Randenigala – Rantambe sanctuary is also a very interesting trekking.
Perahera is the most famous festival in Kandy usually in August. It's a pageant where many elephants participate. You can buy expensive seats or can see it with the crowd. Buy a seat from the Queens hotel. This will be around $40. Buy the tickets from the officials or otherwise through middlemen you will be paying exorbitant prizes.
Kandyan dancing you can see this traditional form of dancing in the "Kandyan Cultural Center" near the Kandy lake. But prepare to be harassed by the guys with umbrellas, for what reason ever - you can easily spot them. Just try your way around them. Generally, only tourists go there, so there must be a reason for that. Maybe just avoid the whole thing.
Buddhist Publication Society this is located near the lake. You can participate in discussions about Buddhism, meditation or you can buy some introductory materials about Buddhism.
Nilambe meditation center, . This is a Buddhist retreat which offers experiences of a monastic lifestyle. You can engage in daily activities which involves yoga classes, meditation and discussions. Take a "Galaha" bus passing Peradeniya and get down from Nilambe "office junction". Costs are about Rs 1,000 per day including lunch.
If there's a cricket match on, spend a day at the Asgiriya Stadium, possibly the world's prettiest test match venue, and certainly the only one that for most of the year is simply a school sports ground (Trinity College).
Laksala is the somewhat overpriced state owned handicraft shop, with many of the items sold here easily found for much cheaper prices in other stores throughout the country. Laksala is located by the lake.
Kandy City Centre opened up in January 29, 2009. It is an ultra modern shopping complex with space for over 400 shops. By the time of its opening it is the country's most modern and biggest shopping complex.
Waruna Antiques, 761 Peradeniya Road (10 minutes from Kandy, Old Peradeniya Road), ☎ 0094777710013. 9AM. Kandyan masks, jewellery, coins, plates, textiles, etc.
Jayamali Batiks Studio, No.196, 1st Floor, Central Market, Kandy, ☎ 094777833938, . Exclusive Batiks By Upali Jaykody. You will be able to buy high quality, uncommon, artistic, modern batiks.
Bakehouse, for snacks or traditional Sri Lankan meals. Scenic view of the City, from its first floor balcony, where they serve a Sri Lankan buffet, but this tends to sell out by about 7:30PM
Devon Restaurant is famous for quality snacks. Captain's table is at Upstairs of Devons. Good Sri Lankan and South Indian food.
Avanhala, is just in front of the Kandy lake. Good food and best scenery.
SRIRAM Indian Restaurant located in the Colombo Street offers nice south Indian food.
The Flower Song Chinese Restaurant on Kotugodelle Vidaya is just north of the town centre, is to be avoided. It sells really overpriced, foul tasting "Chinese" food. On the plus side, the bill is a print out so you can clearly see what you've ordered including the 20% taxes (not mentioned in the menu) added on top of the mandatory 10% service charge. It is relatively clean, air-conditioned and serves alcohol (beer and wine). (Updated July 2013)
Dinemore , just opposite to the Anniewatta tunnel. On the top of Nihal's Super. Quality Mid-Eastern and South-Indian food for affordable prices.
Lyons restaurant located in front of the Hindu Kovil. Serves quality food, both Western and Eastern.
There are two popular bars on the main street (Dalada Vidaya), The Pub and The Pub Royale. The former serves quite good (but pricey, perhaps Rs 700) meals, has a large screen for sports inside and a 1st floor outside verandah.
There are a number of cheap bars (Rs 100 or less for a 650ml bottle of beer) scattered throughout the side streets near the town center. They can be rather seedy and the kind of place where unaccompanied women could be made to feel very uncomfortable.
Victory Hotel, 79 Colombo Road This bar is a great way to see real Sri Lankans and what they do, downstairs is full of locals knocking back Arrack the atmosphere may be less than salubrious, in fact it gives the Sidney Hotel, Galle a run for its money, but the people are friendly. Upstairs is slightly less dingy as it serves food, Arrack starts at Rs 700, beer Rs 195 and a cigarette from a waiter Rs 30l.
There are lots of cheapish guest houses to the south and east of the lake, all only a short walk from the town center, and generally clean and friendly. If you walk along/up Saranankara Rd. south of the lake you will find many different options (budget and mid-range) and can choose the one that fits you best.
No.31 Kandy Guest House, 31 Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe Mw., Kandy (Newly built Kandy Guest House is just steps away from the city’s numerous attractions such as Temple of the Tooth Relic, Royal Wales Park, Malwatte Maha Vihara & the Kandy Lake), ☎ 0094-778-048-210, 0094-774-142-154, . Guest House has four well furnished luxary bedrooms, perfect for families, groups of friends or tourist travelers.$30-$60.
No.44 Guest House, 44 Saranankara Rd., Kandy. Three simple but clean double rooms and a small lounge area. Serves juice and meals.Rs 1,200-1,500.
Kandy Downtown Hostel, 93 Aniwatta Road, Kandy, ☎ +94 077-106988, . Walking distance (1.3km) to the bus/train station. Rooms start at Rs 1,200.
Olde Empire, Temple st. Situated next to the Temple of the Tooth -- very central. Basic, clean rooms. Nice ancient wood building, w. polished wood floors and good hangout balcony overlooking the temple. Free 5:30am wakeup call by temple puja. Friendly staff. Some combo of charming, funky and rundown. Restaurant is above-average.Cheapest rate starts from Rs 880. Aug 2014: single, shared bath: Rs 1100. Double, shared bath: Rs. 1500.
YMCA, 116A Kotugodella Veediya. One of the cheapest options in town. Common bathroom, cold water.Rates start from Rs 600 per person.
Peace Haven Guest House, 47/10 Louis Pieris lane and other entrance 44 firstlane Dharmaraja mawatta (Near the north-east corner of Kandy Lake), ☎ +94 812232584, . Located a pleasant 20 minutes stroll by the lakeside from the center of town. The owners, Mr & Mrs Atapattu, are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Breakfasts include heaps of fresh fruit, all the toast you can eat, and good rich tea.US$35.
Gami Seva Sevana, Office Junction, Galaha (25 km towards Galaha on the Galaha Rd), ☎ +94 814920790. Located just at the foot of the hill of the Nilambe meditation center. One bungalow with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms one living room and a kitchen at 2 floors. Several simpler rooms. Gami Seva Sevana is a cooperative which is into organic agriculture and education. Recently it started to rent out its facilities and also offers a scheme to explore local places and sights that otherwise wouldn't likely show up on a tourist radar.From Rs 2,000.
Golden View Rest, Saranankara Rd., ☎ +94 81 2239418 (email@example.com). View on the lake and a part of the city. Hot water and very clean rooms. A/C and non-A/C rooms. The breakfast is not included in the price if not asked. CAUTION: Beware of the owner's free tuk-tuk scam - your driver will demand an extortionate sum of money once you arrive at your destination.Rooms from Rs 1,500.
McLeod Inn, 65A Rajapihilla Mawatha, ☎ +94 81 222 2832 (firstname.lastname@example.org). The couple who run the place are all smiles and very helpful. Rooms are sparkling clean, comfy beds, en suite with hot and cold water. Some beautiful views across Kandy from their balcony and from a couple of rooms, room 6 especially has floor to ceiling windows. No A/C, but you do not need it.Rs 2500.
Amaya Hills, Heerassagala, Kandy, Central Region 20000, Sri Lanka, ☎ +94 114 767 842/800, +94 814 474 022, . Amaya Hills in Kandy, Sri Lanka presents guests a breathtaking retreat that offers a glimpse of the verdant Hanthana mountain range. It offers Deluxe Rooms, Superior Rooms, and Suites all equipped with Plasma TV with satellite channels, Mini-bar, coffee/ tea maker, Daily supply of bottled water, Wi-Fi Internet access. Some of its facilities and services are Swimming pool, Spa and fitness facilities, Sports equipment – table tennis, squash, billiards, board games, Business services. While at Amaya Hills, complete your vacation by exploring the following points of interest in Kandy - Temple of the Tooth Relic – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Embekka Devalaya (Embekka Temple), Kandy Museum – within the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Horton Plains National Park.
Rosendale Villa, 85/A Upul Mawatha, Primrose Gardens, Kandy, ☎ 0094771015665 (email@example.com). Located in a secluded area of Kandy, Rosendale Villa offers a unique experience where you can relax, in true up country style! The climate which is cool mornings and evenings, with fairly warm day times offer a splendid environment to enjoy the calm ambiance at the Villa and explore the surrounding sites and other places of interest. Ideally located on the Primrose Hill with a panoramic view of the famous Mahaveli River with close proximity to the Historic Kandy City. Facilities offered are Clean Rooms with Breakfast or Lunch & Dinner, WiFi, Laundry, Tuk Tuk rides, Telephone, Hot Water etc..Rooms from Rs 4,500.
Chaaya Citadel Kandy, 124 Srimath Kuda Ratwatte Mawatha, ☎ +94 81 2234365, . Offers a stay that takes you back in time. The four star hotel is away from the hustle and bustle of the city but near enough to access the cultural marvels that Kandy has to offer.
Earl's Regency, 84 Tenna Kumbura (4km from Kandy), ☎ +94 81 5873305 7, . This 100 room five star luxury hotel has restaurants with a variety of international cuisine, 24 hour room service, a coffee shop, Ayurvedic health center, shopping arcade, a sauna and wedding, conference and banquets facilities. Evening entertainment includes disco, karaoke, live bands, oriental bands, bingo and cultural shows.
Kandy Cottage, 160 Lady Gordon Drive, ☎ +94 77 2 203040 (Contact Tobi) (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Eco-friendly retreat for writers and artists, but it also welcomes regular holiday makers with facilities from laundry to laser printing. Although it nestles in a little hollow adjoining a tiny virgin forest 'Udawatta Kele Royal Forest Sanctuary' - it is only ten minutes' walk from the city center. It has two double rooms and one family suite, all of them enabled with broadband internet.Rates from USD 22-40 per person, accompanying children free if under 12. Half rate after the second week..
Forest Villa, 185B Rajapihilla Mawatha, ☎ +94 81 2234107 (email@example.com), . checkin: 12:00PM; checkout: 12:00PM. Forest Villa provides the comfortable amenities of an urban lifestyle. It offers rooms equipped with bathroom amenities, Welcome pack (water, tea, coffee or juice) and Coffee/tea maker. Some of its facilities and services are Restaurant, dining areas, business center, housekeeping and 24-hours back-up power supply.USD 35.
Hill Top Hotel, 200/21, Bahirawakande Peradeniya Rd (About 2 km to the city center), ☎ +94 81 2224162, . Two star hotel. The onsite restaurant serves a variety of local and international dishes.
Hunas Falls by Amaya, Elkaduwa (About 26 km away from Kandy), ☎ +94 81 4940320, . The hotel is in a breathtaking setting overlooking the Hunas Falls. The hotel has nine superior rooms, 19 deluxe rooms and suites. Room facilities include a mini bar, satellite TV and IDD telephone. All rooms are centrally air conditioned. The hotel offers conferencing and banqueting facilities.
The Kandy Samadhicentre, Kukuloya Rd Narampanawa (passing Digana), ☎ +94 777710013, . Nature resort.Double room with hot water B&B USD 80.
Mahaweli Reach Hotel, 35, P.B.A. Weerakoon Mawatha (a few minutes away from the city), ☎ +94 81 4472727, . Five star hotel.
Queen's Hotel, 124 Srimath Kuda Ratwatte Mawatha (in the middle of the city beside the Temple of the Tooth Relic and the Kandy Lake), ☎ +94 81 81 2233026 / 81 5627620-4, . One of the oldest hotels in Kandy. Offers ideal getaway spots to watch the Maligawa Perahera (the procession).
Randholee Resort, ☎ +94 81 2217741, . The panoramic view from this resort is one of the better ones in the area, decked in Kandyan decor, all rooms do not have its own private balcony and bathrooms.Best rates on official website start at USD 68.
Riverdale Hotel, 32, Aniwatte Road, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Swiss Residence Kandy Hotel, 23 Bahirawakanda Lane (1 km to the city center). 40 rooms.
Hotel Topaz, Aniwatte, Kandy, Central 20967, Sri Lanka, ☎ +94 817 389000 6, . Hotel Topaz in Kandy, Sri Lanka offers its stylish and comfortable accommodation with its guestrooms fitted with modern comforts like air-conditioning, minibar, safety deposit box, coffee/tea making facilities and satellite TV. Aside from basking in Hotel Topaz's stylish comfort, you can also take pleasure in a selection of its prime facilities and services like room services, 24-hour front desk, meeting/banquet facilities, airport shuttle, laundry, ironing services, currency exchange, shuttle services (free), restaurant, bar, spa and wellness center, massage, children's playground, outdoor pool, free private parking, free WiFi in public areas.
The Tourmaline, Aniwatte, Kandy, Sri Lanka, ☎ +94 817 389000 6, . Experience a very refreshing and invigorating relaxation with sense of royalty. Indulge yourself in a luxurious private getaway with The Tourmaline Hotel Kandy. With a complete hotel facilities consist of Restaurant, Poolside bar, Garden,Business center,Bar/pub, The Tourmaline Hotel also offers services such as Spa, Laundry and Dry cleaning, Airport transfer, Shuttle service and Massage.
Tourmaline Hotel, 55, 2nd Lane, Pushpadana Mawatha, ☎ +94 81 4473551 5. The hotel has 29 furnished rooms with modern amenities.
Holiday Bungalow, Haragama, Kandy (11km's on Rajamawatha), ☎ +94-777-426321, . 06 deluxe rooms,Ideal for family holidays who like to stay in a relaxed and peaceful area
Kandy is a very safe place and more relaxed than the east and north of Sri Lanka. Women however should be cautious (especially at night) and kindly deny help when approached by someone. When seeking advice, address your question to local women, which generally are happy to help.
Tuk-tuk driver - Beware of the usual suspects that offer you to take you to the "best thing in town", which is "too far away to walk" or an alternative to where you want to go because "today yours is closed". Generally, all such advice is wrong and must be consider critically. Most things in town can be reached by foot. If you want to get out, the local buses are a good option - just go to the bus station and ask at the counter or one of the bus guys.
Touts - There are many guys strolling around and offering their help to tourist. Often they approach you by saying "You remember me?" or by telling you they work at the guest house or hotel you stay in. Of course the usual "Which country?" is also very common. This is of course all bushwa and just a conversion starter to trick you into buying something or taking an overpriced tour with them.
Buses are usually the best option and serve almost all destinations. Favorite destinations from Kandy are Dambulla, Sigiryia, Hatton (for Adam's Peak), Nuwara Eliya or Ella. Short distance buses start from the clock tower in the center. For the long distance buses go to Good Shed Bus Station south west of the town next to the train station. Prices are Rs 50-150 for a 1 or 3 hours trip respectively. Dambulla costs about Rs 150.
Train is the best option if you are heading further into the mountains towards Hatton (Adam's Peak), Nanu Oya (Train Station for Nuwara Eliya), Haputale (Lipton's Seat, Horton Plains National Park), Ella (Ella Rock) or Badulla. There is an observation saloon (1st class) in some trains. 3rd and 2nd class unreserved tend to be crowded but tickets can be bought right before the train departs. Best check the train times and situation one day before departure - you can always opt for the bus. The train station is located south west of the town next to the Good Shed Bus Station. The trip to Haputale is about Rs 200 for 2nd class, reservation however will set you back another Rs 600.
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