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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 16, 2024
Headline for Great things to do in Kandy – for an amazing experience
Joanna James Joanna James
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Great things to do in Kandy – for an amazing experience

Kandy's lush hills and irresistible charm draw travellers to its heart centre. The region is blessed with natural waterways, greenery, hills, and massive rocks. A rich culture and natural wonders reside side by side in Kandy's soulful landscape. What are the best things to do when you visit Kandy? Let's explore.


Walk around the Kandy Lake

Nestling closely to the famed Temple of the Tooth, Kandy Lake is a thing of beauty to remember. It is located near many a Kandy hotel in Sri Lanka. You can go there for a morning or evening stroll. For example, if you're staying at Earl's Regency Kandy, you can reach the lake within 17 minutes. The lake is home to comical, playful ducks, blue-black cormorants gleaming in the sun, egrets making nests, pelicans, and fish. You can take your time to enjoy the lake's bird life in the shade of the trees. Some vendors sell rice popcorn to feed the ducks. As you stroll along the lakeside, you'll spot pilgrims in white walking towards the temple, laden with blue and red water lilies in full bloom. On a lucky day, you might even spot a parade going towards the temple with people dressed in exotic, jewel-studded costumes. Buy a slice of juicy pineapple with sprinkles of salt and red pepper flakes to bite into as you continue your walk.


Explore the Peradeniya Botanical Garden

Situated alongside the winding and vast Mahweli River, the Peradeniya Botanical Garden is a walk of art. There are ancient trees and elegant palm avenues in it. There is an Orchid house and an arch of creepers. The garden is full of bright flowers where bees and butterflies hover looking for nectar. You can also have a picnic at clearing the massive garden. There are a couple of small shops which sell drinks and snacks. Don't forget to walk on the hanging bridge over the river. The Mahaweli river is in fact the longest one in the country and has many tales to share.


Discover places off the beaten path

You can rent a car with a driver and go off hunting rural roads. You'll find beautiful, tree-shaded avenues and streams. Some paths lead to waterfalls and gushing streams near rocks. Make pit stops along the way to enjoy ginger tea and some spicy local snacks like roti sandwiching piquant chilli sambol. If you have a sweet tooth, try a sweet pancake wrapped around a mixture of coconut and jaggery. Enjoy watching the lives of ordinary people tending to their gardens and picking vegetables.


Go to the Ceylon tea museum

The Ceylon Tea Museum stands proudly against the backdrop of the Hantane mountain range. First built in 1925: this four-level building still emanates some colonial vibes. You can look at the old machinery used to process tea. Go on a time travel adventure to colonial times. Then go to the fourth level to get a cup of fragrant tea and catch glimpses of the pleasantly green tea plantation and the ethereal hills beyond.