The Lessons that I learned Visiting Kandy Sri Lanka on a Saturday with my Family
Since my two kids never been in a train, we decided to visit Kandy Sri Lanka on January 15th 2016 for one night stay.
To make the long story short, I did the train booking on the 23rd of December 2015 after visiting the Fort Railway station.
Since this was family travelling, I booked the observation compartment of the Podi Menika Express Train, which is 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 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 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: 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 to the Plaform 2 at 6:30 am, we had enough time to get in and took enough photos for blogging 🙂
Podi Menike express train is 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 backwards if you do not mind.
In my experience, it is not too bad.
The observation car gives a superb view back along the the track, so you can see how this wonderful railway is constructed and also the scenic views on you way to Kandy Sri Lanka.
After Rambukkana, where the Colombo Commuter service ends, the line is mostly single-track.
According to some of 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 to that of mines.
Kandy Sri Lanka Railway Station
Kandy Sri Lanka Railway station is much more decent place than Fort. In my opinion, it is much more cleaner than Colombo.
It does not have much railway tracks like Colombo but support decent amount of traffic daily basis and consist of all most all the basic facilities of a station.
I took several photos of Podi Menike Express engine and video too.
Just a side story, two young foreign couple boarded into Observation car and conductors caught them when they checked the tickets. They were taken in side of Kandy Sri Lanka Railway station to impose a fine. I guess, 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 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 try to charge from me more.
None of Kandy Tuk Tuk carries Metered Taxi so they tell the price. If they know that you are not from the Town, they 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 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 maximum time to travel is 7 Minutes therefore How much is the price for 1.7 km journey.
He looked at my face, He knew that we are not native Kandy Sri Lanka people, but I had the 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/=
So make sure, you do your home work before getting into a Tuk Tuk. Today, with the Technology,
Hotels in Kandy Sri Lanka,Galaxy Hotel.
I did my research on Hotels in Kandy on booking.lk and read most of reviews of the below mentioned hotels.
Serene Grand Hotel
Serene Grand Villa
I selected Galaxy hotel over other hotels in Kandy due many reasons.
If you want to more detail on how to select a hotels in Kandy Sri Lanka or want to know about Galaxy Hotel visit the this post.
Even though I did the Hotels in Kandy research on booking.com, I called Galaxy Hotel reservation centre to book the Deluxe room for my family(myself,wife and two kids).
I paid Rs 4000/= as advance and rest of the Rs 8,000 paid when we were checked out.
Summary, We got 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, public transport of the Kandy city is good.
We used 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 Peradeniya from the Galaxy Hotel, it would cost us more than Rs 650/= one way.
So we took a bus to Kandy City(Costed 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 much of passengers on a Bus and we all got a place to sit on both rides.
Do not afraid to ask from Kandy Sri Lanka 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 Sinhalese Language.
Peradeniya Botanical Gardens
A lot of people, including foreigners think that Botanical Gardens is just Garden with flowers only but Peradeniya Botanical garden is sort of well organised planted Jungle.
It attracts 2 million visitors annually and There are 1000+ rare tropical plants with different sizes and kinds.
It is a much more than Garden and you can spend the entire day in the Peradeniya Botanical garden if you are nature lover.
Since my kids were 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 everthing in this Peradeniya Botanical garden, then it better to take a Golf Car go around the Peradeniya Botanical gardens.
In my opinion, the best time to visit is after 3;00PM. It is opened for the public from 7:30Am to 6:00PM.
Entrance frees for Adults Rs 50/= and Children Rs 10/= for Locals and for adult Foreigners entrance fees is Rs 1100/=(approximalty USD 8) and Children is Rs 550.
It is better to take food with you. There is only one restaurant in park and one market near 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 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 16th of January , Saturday 2016 in Kandy city.
I never expected a such Vehicle Traffic and Human Traffic in Kandy on a Saturday. It was like festival shopping time in Colombo.
In my opinion, any Saturday , you do not find a such Vehicle traffic and Human Traffic in 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.
The best advice is, if you go to Kandy Sri Lanka on a weekend, then stay away from the Kandy city. it is bloody stupid to be in Kandy on Saturday. I am not sure about Sunday.
Look at the photos that I took on Friday, very less Human and Vehicle Traffice
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 crowd come to Kandy city during on Saturday , just to hang round or shopping.
They told me that, after 4:00pm, it comes normal but I do not know.
If you are ok with the Human and Vehicle traffic when you are on a vacation mood then no issues in going to Kandy Sri Lanka on a Saturday but I hate to do it again.
That is the reason I go out of Colombo to , seeking peace, harmony and tranquility.
Food is Everywhere in Kandy Sri Lanka
One very good thing in 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 or 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 Senanayke Veediya
Domino’s Pizza-E L Senanayke 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 the lunch. You can see what we ordered.
Shopping in Kandy Sri Lanka
As usually, my wife wants buy things from Kandy Sri Lanka. Hotel staff and some street people adviced us to visit Central Market to buy things. Specially, my wife wants to by Juggery(Hakuru in Sinhalese).
We were asked to visit 43 store but to make long story , we were cheated by 43 stall. He gave one peace good original Kitual Juggery and other peaces were hopeless one.
So be careful when you buy. 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 it people(negative or positive). I am not here to judge these things but that what I feels.
The biggest surprise was, this huge shopping complex has only one toilet and it is in the ground floor.
My younger son wants to go 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 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 city of Kandy.
Our Spending summary is
Accommodation Galaxy Hotel 12,000
Observation Car Train 6400
Travelling on Tuk Tuk 500
Traveling in Public Transport 250
Food Expenses(2 Lunch & Dinner) 4500
Approximately, we spent Rs 25,000/= for one night stay in Kandy Sri Lanka(2 Adults and 2 kids).
The train ride back and forth made our life easy and less stressful than driving a car.