Since we had an early train from Kandy to Ella, we stayed in Kandy for a night after Dambulla. Unfortunately in a grotty guest house: the only mistake I made in accommodation bookings for the trip thanks to over-enthusiastic guest reviews and flattering photography on Agoda.
As the Tooth Relic Temple – a Kandy highlight – didn’t appeal, we did very little in our short time there beyond eating and drinking and an enjoyable walk around the lake (around 2.3km). However, my parents chanced upon, and thoroughly enjoyed, a dance performance and fire eating, just behind the temple. It was also a good place to exchange money: ATMs that take your USD and pump out Rupees. Who knew!
Where we stayed
24 by Suyaama Not to be recommended, unless you’re on a serious budget. Quite a walk from town, grotty rooms, poor breakfast.
Where we ate
Our lunch at a local-style restaurant along the apparently “A1” road (no idea what the name is) was an unexpected highlight of our dining experience – simple chicken curry with an egg roti and a few snacks to go. I only wish I’d ordered more. No beer though.
Sundowners on the balcony at the historic Regency Hotel started the evening off well and although the food was reasonably pricey (it’s a set menu with choice of main) and nothing special, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience of a visit to Helga’s Folly: a very quirky hotel cum restaurant set on the hill overlooking Kandy. The place is full of photos and momentos, collected over the years, which makes for a fun experience. It was also quite pricey to get to and from.
What I’d do differently
Order more lunch. Have drinks only at Helga’s Folly and eat elsewhere. Book a different hotel.