1. What areas are the best to stay in Kandy?
Many people have asked me this question through the contact page. To answer this question is not that easy but I will help you with some important insight in to the matter through this Kandy FAQs page.
If you stay somewhere close to the Peradeniya Road then that helps you in visiting the botanical garden, Embekke Devalaya, Lankathilake temple, and Hantana mountain.
If you stay somewhere around Buwelikada and Lewella it will be closer to the Kandy lake and the Temple of Tooth Relic but the Temple is also reachable from the Peradeniya Road with ease.
I would rather recommend you stay close to the Peradeniya Road since it is convenient in visiting both the temple of tooth relic and the Peradeniya botanical gardens. But during the school start and end hours almost every road comes to a standstill due to the high volume of traffic and the narrow roads.
2. Are there any no-go areas in Kandy?
There are no such no-go areas in Kandy. But you are advised to be careful in making friends with random people who appear from nowhere to help you. This is true especially around the Temple of Tooth Relic, Dalada Veediya, Market, and the Train Station.
3. What are some quiet areas in the city of Kandy to take a rest at?
Wales Park is a good place to spend some time in solitude. Lake round is also trouble free but the traffic noise may disturb you. But many people come there to sit and rest watching the waves of the lake.
4. Where can I get emergency medical care in Kandy?
Suwasevana hospital on Peradeniya Road has some good facilities and qualified doctors. The newly built Asiri Hospital too has good doctors and facilities. But for a serious emergency the best place is the Kandy Teaching Hospital which is the government hospital. Their doctors are much qualified than those at private hospitals, and the equipment are the best in the country. Those doctors, however, can be channelled at the aforesaid private hospitals by booking them in advance. Kandy FAQs page cannot specifically name doctors or hospitals but if you are keen on knowing a few names I maybe able to help through the contact page.
5. Where can I report a theft or harassment in Kandy?
You may report your case at the tourist police station near the Kandy clock tower, or at the main police station. Usually there are police personnel posted everywhere in Kandy and you may seek their help too. Usually the police is quick to respond in such cases.
6. What are the best shopping areas in Kandy?
If you are looking for international brands then the Kandy City Centre is what comes closer to your expectations. There is an ODEL outlet with international brands of fashion items, and there are other familiar names such as Burger King and Basking Robins there in the KCC.
But if you are looking for the common Sri Lankan market areas I would recommend the Colombo Street and Raja Veediya which can be reached from the D.S.Senanayake veediya – the road that runs in front of the Temple of Tooth Relic. For your convenience shown below is a rough outline of these areas.
Peradeniya Road is known for its decent clothing retail shops. On Peradeniya road you will find Burger King and KFC outlets too, if you rely on familiar brands. Arpico Super Centre is a well-regarded supermarket with a good choice of merchandise which is also situated on the same road. You can take a bus to any of these places and the fare would be 12 rupees flat.
7. Can I go to the south coast from Kandy in one bus?
Yes. You can. Direct buses to the south are not found throughout the day but there are buses available at certain times of the day. Many of those buses go on the Kandy Colombo road and then along the southern highway. But the bus from Katharagama (a city on south coast) goes via Nuwara Eliya which is another route that runs through the hill country. I will cover this in another page as the Kandy FAQs page cannot go in to details on a single topic.
8. Is the “market visit/tour” worth it?
Please do not misunderstand that you should not visit the market. It is worth a visit. But you can do it yourself. You do not have to take a tailor-made “market visit” or a “market tour” in Kandy as all the markets are just a walk along the streets of the city. There is no labyrinth of market streets or market areas in Kandy. The municipal market building, a simple layout of a rectangular shape, is the only structure of the kind which is only a few hundred metres from the Temple of Tooth Relic. Just take a walk yourself and you will see it all. There is no need of a guide there.
I will try to write an article with more details about markets in Kandy later on.
9. Should I hire a guide to tour Kandy, or can I do it alone?
Well, if you are the kind of person who wants to “be there at once” then you will need a guide. That’s valid for anywhere. But if you are the adventure lover who wants to find it all yourself in its authentic form, then Kandy is not hard at all to navigate. Kandy city is a simple place with several streets that contain it all that you wish to experience, and only if you wish to go elsewhere around the city such as Embekke, Lankathilaka, and Ambuluwawa, you might need a guide to take you there. Still I have seen many foreign tourists who visit them all without a guide. But remember the golden rule: Don’t accept help from random people. Get information from people but not a random guide. If you need a guide then arrange it through a touring company or your hotel. Guides from touring companies could usually be a little bit more expensive.
10. Can I visit Pinnawala elephant orphanage while staying in Kandy?
The short answer is, yes you can. It will take only about 2 hours. You may take a train from Kandy to Rambukkana, and then take a Kegalla bus from Rambukkana, and get off at Pinnawala. It’s much easier than it sounds.
Kandy FAQs will be ever expanding based on the mostly asked questions. So don’t forget to check this page out from time to time.