Kandy is a central point easily accessable from other regions of the island. Kandy is also on the halfway point from Colombo to the hill-country town of Nuwara Eliya.
Reach Kandy by Train: Kandy can be accessed by train from Colombo. Intercity express train that run between Kandy and Colombo provides scenic view to travellers. Other trains are overly crowded and late. There is a great observation saloon (first class) in Intercity Express that provides nice view. Tourists need to get prior seat reservation for travelling by these trains.
Reach Kandy by Road: Intercity air-conditioned bus (from Colombo) is the next best option to trains for travellers to reach Kandy. Kandy can also be accessed by car along the main Colombo – Kandy road. Hired mini-vans with a driver are available from Colombo through travel agencies and hotel concierges. Or to save time and the hassle of going into Colombo, tourists can hire a taxi for Kandy from one of the stalls in the arrivals hall at Colombo airport for about Rs 6000/-. The journey takes about 3 hours.
After reaching at Kandy, the local “Three-Wheelers” (‘Tuk-Tuk) are an amazingly cheap and exciting way of seeing the city by travellers, and they run virtually all night long.
Best Time to Visit Kandy: Kandy is a mid climate atmosphere which is around 27o Celsius, so it is pleasant in all the seasons. Best time to visit for tourists is during July and August when Kandy Perahera, the grand festival of Sri Lanka, commences with elegant costumes. It is a Buddhist festival Kandy Perahera consisting of dances and richly-decorated elephants in the Esala Perahera – Kandy Perahera.
Shopping in Kandy: Tourists can do lot of great shopping in Kandy with souvenirs of wood, copper, silver, brass and bronze. Kandy has many markets to bargain for handcraft items like leather, ceramics, lacquer work, handlooms, batiks, wool pashmina, silk and jewels. The Station Road Market is the biggest one and a better place to purchase handicrafts. Central Kandy has a number of shops selling antique jewellery, silver belts and other items. Sri Lanka’s biggest mall, the ‘Kandy City Centre’ is full of shops and entertainment. Kandy has a number of batik manufacturer; some of the best and most original are the batik pictures on the Peradeniya Rd outside Kandy. Travellers can also shop for gems and jewelry like sapphires, rubies, zircon and many more, which are good deals in Kandy and available at half the cost than other countries. The famous ‘Ceylon Tea’ can also be purchased from Kandy.
Shopping Tips: For traditional arts & crafts, it is better to buy direct from the village. Likewise try Wevaldeniya for cane and reed wear, visit Gadaladeniya for handmade brass wear including oil lamps and wall hangings, and Dumbara for wall hangings and mats.