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Kandy, Sri Lanka

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We headed south with our host from Sigiriya and stopped at the Regent Spice and Herbal Garden in Matale. An interesting place where you get a tour of many local herbs and spices that can improve your health. From there we continued to Kandy weaving in and out of some crazy traffic. It seems like the bus drivers think they're in a Formula 1 car! The total trip is around 100kms, yet it takes around 2.5 hours.

Kandy is a large city completely surrounded by mountains, with rainforest and tea plantations. It's a bustling city of 125,000 with a scenic lake and is most famous for the Buddhist site, 'Temple of the Tooth' (Sri Dalada Maligawa) shrine.

The legend is that Buddha’s tooth was given to Sri Lanka in ancient times, which was passed down through various kings. The tooth is now housed in this temple, which is held in a golden stupa inside the shrine. With gold, moonstone and Buddhist carvings, it's impressive and is visited by worshippers the world over. You don’t actually see the tooth, it’s kept in a gold casket, inside a guarded room. Beyond that, the complex has a number of other temples, shrines and museums. It's oozes atmosphere.

Be sure to visit the temple during the day as well as at night when the ceremony is happening. There are drums, a pipe and the casket containing the tooth is brought out allowing you to take a peek.

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Aside from that, it's well worth checking out the giant Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue, which has some impressive views over Kandy. The Royal Botanic Gardens has loads of plant species and is known for a large orchid collection. And for some cultural entertainment, check out the Cultural Dance Show at the Kandy Lake Club.

We stayed at 'Bee View Home Stay', south of the city up into the mountains. Although it's a little far to walk into town, it was a great place to stay with welcoming hosts, a large breakfast and stunning views.

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Posted by TheNomadWay.com 17:00 Archived in Sri Lanka

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