February 12, 2013

The Small Miracle : Sri Lanka - Kandy

Continuation from here ...

Everybody was hungry so we were very excited when we saw a Muslim restaurant in the center of the city (shall blog about the halal foods in Sri Lanka later). We saw the guys (jejaka payung and his friend) we met on top of Sigiriya having their meals. What a coincidence! Well I guess everybody did more or less the same route on the cultural triangle.

We also met a group of Malaysians there, they told us they were going to hike Adam's Peak that night. I wish we could hike up the peak too, but we didn't have enough time. :(  #reasontorepeat
In case you don't already know, Adam's Peak is said to be where prophet Adam (a.s) first set his foot on earth after being expelled from the Garden of Eden (Paradise), for eating the forbidden fruit.

After refueling our stomachs, Rammuni brought us to visit Amith Gems. I wanted to skip this but people say Sri Lankan gems are one of the best, so ok la we went in..

We were shown the process of excavation of gems from the ground, the jewellery workshop, lapidary, the museum where we got to see the collections of rare varieties of gem stones, and last but not least, the showroom to spend the money. Although the gems were really beautiful, sadly we couldn't afford to buy them so we walked away empty-handed. haha...

Anyway, Kandy lies in the midst of hills, making it a perfect bastion of the Sinhalese Kings before it was captured by British in 1815. Today, it is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka and offers rich collection of art and craft and historical buildings.

The city was quite busy, the streets were never empty with vehicles and the sidewalks were full of people. Something I didn't see in Colombo. Perhaps we arrived in Colombo on a Sunday, so it was rather laidback. Or we just didn't go to the busy part of the capital.  

Just a short stroll from the hustle and bustle of the business area, Kandy Lake sits pretty in the heart of the city. It is actually a man-made lake, created in 1807 by the last ruler of the kingdom of Kandy.

Buy snacks or ice cream from the street vendors and have a relaxing walk around the lake. Don't forget to look around, the lake is full of life. There are so many kinds of birds, fish, monkeys and even a pelican!

Our itinerary in Kandy that Rammuni gave us includes watching a cultural show. Normally, I would skip these touristy kinda shows but I guess when you travel with other people, you tend to try different things. Plus, it's not that expensive so I have nothing to lose.

So we watched the Kandyan Cultural Show at Red Cross hall located just in front of the lake.

The show was interesting. Some of the dances include balancing multiple spinning plates which was awesome, though I thought one or two of the plate spinners lacked practice. I almost wanted to bet with my friends whether they would get through their act without dropping everything in sight. We also kept on laughing at one of the drummers. He had this bored budak nakal expression on stage, like he was persuaded to do the performance. But overall the show was worth it la.

 Make sure you stay until the end of the show. They have a fire walking performance where two of the dancers walk across the hot coals, barefooted!

Sunset is early in Sri Lanka so by the time we went out of the hall, it was already dark. Immediately I saw a giant Buddha statue lit up on top of a hill. It is actually Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue, which is part of a small temple complex.

Next up was Sri Lanka's most holy shrine, the Temple of the Tooth. The temple houses a tooth relic of the Lord Buddha.

  Temple of the Tooth is open daily.
The temple opens from 6 am to 8 pm.
 Entrance fee is Rs1000.

I've had enough of Buddhas so I decided to skip this temple. We just took photos from the outside and walked by the lake towards the business area.

After 3 nights in Sri Lanka, it was the first time we were out at night so we were quite excited. haha... We had dinner at the same Muslim restaurant where we had our lunch and did some shopping at Food City, their supermarket chain. Most of the shops here close early so after that we just went back chillaxing at the hotel.  

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