[ Kandy Sri Lanka ] The Lessons that I learned Visiting Kandy Sri Lanka on a Saturday with my Family
Since my two kids have never been on a train, we decided to visit Kandy Sri Lanka in January for a night stay.
To make the long story short, I did the train booking on the 23rd of December after visiting the Fort Railway station.
Since this was family traveling, I booked the observation compartment of the Podi Monika Express Train, which is a bit difficult to book during long weekends or during school holidays.
So make sure, you book the ticket well in advance if you decided to travel in an observation car.
The per-person cost of the observation section is Rs 1600 per trip(up and down trip), I paid, Rs 6400/=(Rs 3200X2) for the 4 people.
I did not check whether there is a reduced price for kids under age 5 as I was so happy to book the observation section of the Podi Menike Express Intercity train.
Podi Menike Express Train to Kandy Sri Lanka: Observation Compartment
We came to Fort Railway station at 5:45 a.m as we did not want to make any mistakes. our train was scheduled to leave Fort Railway station at 7:00 a.m and to arrive Kandy Sri Lanka at 9:30 AM
Trained arrived at the Platform 2 at 6:30 am, we had enough time to get in and took enough photos for blogging 🙂
Podi Menike express train is an old train and observation car has been modified recently but it has very comfortable seats.
In my opinion, the observation car to Kandy Sri Lanka was okay although some times it requires you to travel backward if you do not mind.
In my experience, it is not too bad.
The observation car gives a superb view back along the track, so you can see how this wonderful railway is constructed and also the scenic views on your way to Kandy Sri Lanka.
After Rambukkana, where the Colombo Commuter service ends, the line is mostly single-track.
According to some of the facts on the internet, Sri Lankan railways are built to a broad gauge, 5′ 6″, wider than European standard gauge
Before you book the observation car, please note that there are only two pairs of seats with uninterrupted views through the rear observation window, but to be honest the best views are to the sides anyway rather than back down the track.
Let me know whether you have different thoughts above the view of that of mines.
Kandy Sri Lanka Railway Station
Kandy Railway station is a much more decent place than Fort. In my opinion, it is much more cleaner than Colombo.
It does not have many railway tracks like Colombo but supports a decent amount of traffic daily basis and consists of all most all the basic facilities of a station.
I took several photos of the Podi Menike Express engine and video too.
Just a side story, two young foreign couples boarded into Observation car and the conductor caught them when they checked the tickets. They were taken inside of Kandy Sri Lanka Railway station to impose a fine. I’m guessing the fine is more than Rs 5000/ per person. so do not try to do dirty things
Why you should be careful with Tuk Tuk in Kandy Sri Lanka
We wanted to take a wash at the Hotels in Kandy Sri Lanka, Galaxy Hotel.
This is the first time I came to Kandy with my family by train. I did not want to take a Tuk Tuk from the Kandy Station itself, as I know, they will try to charge from me more.
None of the Kandy Tuk Tuks carried Metered Taxi so they tell the price. If they know that you are not from the Town, they can rip you off.
So I walked right up the Kandy Sri Lanka main bus stand and stopped a Tuk Tuk. I told him that, I need to go to the Galaxi Hotel but he was not sure. I told him to take me to “Vidyartha College”.
Anyway, after a couple of stops and several calls to Galaxy Hotel, we reached the Hotel and Tuk Tuk charged me Rs 350/=.
According to my google map, it was 1.7 km and 7 minutes’ journey. he took Rs 350/=. Very Very expensive.
In the evening, we took a Tuk Tuk from “Sri Dalada Veediya” and this is what I did.
I loaded Google Map and got the Google route map to Galaxy Hotel and showed him the map. I told him that, it is a 1.7 km journey and the maximum time to travel is 7 Minutes therefore How much is the price for a 1.7 km journey.
He looked at my face, He knew that we are not native Kandy Sri Lanka people, but I had all the data with me.
Then He said, it will be Rs 150/=. Since we had many things with us, 4 of us got into the Tuk Tuk.
Just look at the price difference, in the morning I paid, Rs 350/= but in the evening I only paid Rs 150/=
Kandy Sri Lanka Hotels : Galaxy Hotel.
I did my research on Hotels in Kandy on booking.lk and read most of the reviews of the below-mentioned hotels.
Serene Grand Hotel
Serene Grand Villa
I selected the Galaxy hotel over the other hotels in Kandy due to many reasons.
If you want more details on how to select hotels in Kandy Sri Lanka or want to know about Galaxy Hotel visit this post.
Even though I did the Hotels in Kandy research on booking.com, I called the Galaxy Hotel reservation center to book the Deluxe room for my family(myself, wife, and two kids).
I paid Rs 4000/= as advance and the rest of the Rs 8,000 was paid when we were checked out.
Summary, We got the Deluxe Room for 2 adults and two kids for Rs 12,000/= net amount with B’fast.
It was a fantastic value for money 🙂
Public Transport of Kandy Town
In my opinion, the public transport of Kandy city is good.
We used the Tuk Tuk only twice. We went to Peradeniya Botanical Gardens by public bus.
Galaxy Hotel staff told me that if we use Tuk Tuk to go to Peradeniya from the Galaxy Hotel, it would cost us more than Rs 650/= one way.
So we took a bus to Kandy City(Cost us Rs 8/= per person and total Rs 32/=) and from Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe Mawatha, Kandy to Peradeniya Botanical garden only cost us per person Rs 12/=(12X4=Rs 48).
Since it was Friday, not many passengers on a Bus and we all got a place to sit on both rides.
Do not afraid to ask Kandy local people about directions. I asked many times and they politely gave 100% accurate answers for all my direction needs.
By the way, I talked to them in the Sinhalese Language.
Peradeniya Botanical Gardens
A lot of people, including foreigners think that Botanical Gardens is just a Garden with flowers only but Peradeniya Botanical garden is a sort of well organized planted Jungle.
It attracts 2 million visitors annually and There are 1000+ rare tropical plants with different sizes and kinds.
It is much more than Garden and you can spend the entire day in the Peradeniya Botanical garden if you are a nature lover.
Since my kids were a bit tired of walking and dancing on the Peradeniya Botanical garden, we came back to Kandy city again soon.
If you do not have much time to spend on the Peradeniya Botanical garden but still want to watch everything in this Peradeniya Botanical garden, then it better to take a Golf Cargo around the Peradeniya Botanical gardens.
In my opinion, the best time to visit is after 3:00 PM. It is opened for the public from 7:30 Am to 6:00 PM.
Entrance frees for Adults Rs 50/= and Children Rs 10/= for Locals and for adult Foreigners entrance fees is Rs 1100/=(approximately USD 8) and Children is Rs 550.
Dial this number if you need more details: 081 2 388088(+941181 2 388088)
It is better to take food with you. There is only one restaurant in the park and one market near the restaurant, where you can buy food.
Please note that this is the prime destination for young couples and their rendezvous during weekends, therefore, it is better to visit during week days 🙂 unless you are ok to be with them 🙂
Baldy Traffic in Kandy Sri Lanka
I enjoyed everything in Kandy Sri Lanka on Friday but I was stunned to see the human traffic on the 16th of January, Saturday 2016 in Kandy city.
I never expected such Vehicle Traffic and Human Traffic in Kandy on a Saturday. It was like a festival shopping time in Colombo.
In my opinion, any Saturday, you do not find such Vehicle traffic and Human Traffic in the Colombo district.
You go out of Colombo to be in a less busy place so that you mind and body can rest. I was more stressed out in Kandy Sri Lanka than Colombo due to traffic.
I took many photos on Friday and man photos on Saturday. Look at the difference.
Look at the photos that I took on Friday, very less Human and Vehicle Traffic
Just look at the photos that I took on Saturday. Terrific Human and Vehicle Traffic
I contacted several friends of mind and inquired about this situation. They said, due to Kandy City Centre now, a lot of crowds come to Kandy city on Saturday, just to hang around or shopping.
If you are ok with the Human and Vehicle traffic when you are on a vacation mood then no issues in going to Kandy on a Saturday but I do not want to do it again.
Food is Everywhere in Kandy Sri Lanka
One very good thing in the city of Kandy Sri Lanka is, you find every single food that you need.
if you can reach “Sri Dalada Veediya”, you can find every single food variety that you need in the vicinity of “Sri Dalada Veediya”
The Bake House
White House Restaurant
The Muslim Hotel
Sinhala National Hotel
Roots-Inside the Kandy City Center
Queens Pastry Shop- End of Sri
Sam’s Chinese- E L Senanayake Veediya
Domino’s Pizza-E L Senanayake Veediya
Pizza Hut – Temple Street
The Empire Cafe – Temple Street
My wife and myself, we bought food from Devon restaurant and Kids ate from KFC and Burger King.
As usual, KFC service was very very slow.We had to wait, 1/2h just to get 2 kids meals.
We had B’fast from the Galaxy Hotel and the last day lunch we had from Devon restaurant. We paid Rs 1500/= for lunch. You can see what we ordered.
Shopping in Kandy Sri Lanka
As usual, my wife wants to buy things from Kandy; the Hotel staff and some street people advised us to visit Central Market to buy things. Especially, since my wife wants to by Jaggery(Hakuru in Sinhalese).
We were asked to visit 43 stores but to make a long story, we were cheated by 43 stalls. He gave one peace good original Kitual Juggery and other places were hopeless.
So be careful when you are shopping. They know that we are not native Kandy Sri Lanka people and we do not come back claim or blame them. so they try to cheat you.
Kandy City Centre – One Toilet Department Store in the World
I do not want to write any thing about Kandy City Centre. I guess, it has done a major impact on real value of Kandy city and its people(negative or positive).
The biggest surprise was, this huge shopping complex has only one toilet and it is on the ground floor.
My younger son wants to go to the toilet when we were in Burger King(top floor of Kandy City Centre) and we had to come all the way down. then we found that we had to be in a queue and had to pay Rs 10/= too.
My son did not wait on the queue(4-year-old kid) he just rushed into the toilet but my wife had to wait 15-20 to do the needful.
Average Weather In Kandy
The months January, February, March, April, and May have a nice average temperature.
Most rainfall (rainy season) is seen in January, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December.
On average, the warmest month is April.
On average, the coolest month is August.
October is the wettest month.
March is the driest month.
Summary of Kandy Sri Lanka one Night Stay
We enjoyed the Kandy Sri Lanka one night stay but I did not like tradable human and vehicle traffic in the city of Kandy.
The train ride back and forth made our life easy and less stressful than driving a car.