blog, buddha, dancing, eating out, food, hot, robandjennytravel, Sri Lanka, travel, travelling, Walking

Kandyan dance and big Buddha

Our second full day in Kandy was slightly more relaxing than our first. The walk up to the Big Buddha was lovely and it was interesting to watch the traditional Kandyan dancing.

The Best Hostel keeps on getting better

We woke up at a more reasonable hour today remembering that breakfast was included in our ten pound a night price. The breakfast was delicious (or we were just hungry) and the huge windows overlooking Kandy made it a scenic experience.

We didn’t have many plans for the day but decided to walk up to the big Buddha and around the city centre to browse the local market. Unfortunately, it was full moon day so the market was closed with only a few stalls lining the edges of the market wall. We did, however, manage to pick up a bag of lychees for less than a pound.

Big Buddha on the hill

Overlooking the entire city of Kandy is a big (88ft) Buddha sitting high up on a hill. Most people seemed to be taking a tuk-tuk to the top, but at a cost of 300 rupees when I could already see the Buddha, we decided it wasn’t worth it.

And glad we did. The walk up was a great opportunity to burn off breakfast and to see some stunning views of the city. The Buddha is one of the largest in Sri Lanka but even so, there were very few tourists or locals around.

In Sri Lanka, as with most Asian countries, you are not allowed to wear shoes into the temple (or houses for that matter). That day it hit 34 degrees and we went in the heat of the day. So, taking off our shoes and walking up the last steps to the Buddha was extremely painful! Luckily, in places, they laid out some damp mats which were a little more bearable for our poor feet.

Hot rocks underfoot from the sun

At the top, there is a great outlook across the city and the Buddha actually has rooms cut into its back which are filled with further Buddha statues and wall carvings which were interesting to peruse. The very top is, of course, a perfect selfie spot and we spent a little while getting different angles of the view.

Dinner / Lunch

I mentioned in a previous blog the restaurant called “Balaji Dosai”, this is located very near the tooth temple in the middle of Kandy city centre. They specialise in Dosa, which are like pancakes but made of rice flour, normally filled with some variety of deliciousness. On our first visit, we had beef and cheese to fill our dosa; this time we had a masala dosa, which are spicy potatoes. On the side, as with most food in Sri Lanka, they served yummy little curries and chutneys to dip the main dish into. This place is a must visit in Sri Lanka. Balaji Dosai, we love you!

Eating dosa at Balaji Dosai! Our favourite place in Kandy.

Kandyan Dance

One of the remaining suggestions for a visit to Kandy is to watch traditional Kandyan dancing. We walked past the venue each day on the way into town so we knew where to go.

Earlier that morning we bought our tickets and wrote our names on a small piece of paper. At the time I asked why he needed our names written out, but all became clear upon entering the venue. The hall was huge, bigger than most school halls I have ever been in, with rows upon rows of plastic lawn chairs. The front 15 or so rows all had paper slips with names on them. Ours were conveniently located about four rows back to give us a perfect view of the stage.

Firstly, I will say that the experience is worth it and enjoyable. However, the dancing itself was more like watching a school performance than a professional show that people pay money for. The timing was more than a little off, the dancers would often laugh at each other and some of the musicians stood halfway off the stage as they couldn’t get fully into view.

Once we had seen about 45 mins of dancing, including plate spinning, backflips and a dragon-headed pregnant man, we were funneled through a single small door down to the car park. Here they laid out some fake coals, covered them in lighter fluid, lit them and proceeded to run, jump and walk across them. This was relatively impressive, but being surrounded by hundreds of tourists, taxi drivers and other passers-by did make the experience a little less “authentic”.

Another super day out in Sri Lanka, can’t believe we are less than a week into our year away. Tomorrow we are off to Nuwara Eliya (“Little England”) for some cold(er) weather and some beautiful scenery.

See you tomorrow.

R & J


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Rob & Jenny

About Rob & Jenny

We are a married couple from London taking a break from the 9-5 to travel the world and soak up new experiences. Follow us to find out more about the places we go, the things we see and the experiences we have.
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