The train station in Colombo
We walked early morning from our hostel in Colombo to Colombo Fort, the main train station of Colombo. We were told in which queue we should go to buy tickets for the train to Kandy. It simply is the queue where all the people are. We bought tickets for second class. Tickets are ridiculous cheap but be aware that you get all your change back.
Even the official ticket sellers at the train station will try to rip you off! That’s what we realized on our first real day in Sri Lanka. We payed with a 5000 bill for our train tickets and only got money back for 4000. So I went back in the queue. The man took my change back and started to count it again. 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, … and then, as a true magician, there was another note to make it 5000 rupees. This event, together with a rip off by a tuk tuk driver in Negombo made us very aware of everyone working with money. However, it shouldn’t keep you from going to Sri Lanka.
Another fact is the overloaded train in the morning from Colombo to Kandy. Like most of the passengers, we ended up standing the entire four hours to Kandy. It might not sound very attractive but it’s a good way to get to know other travelers.
From the train station we decided to find a tuk tuk driver to get us with our backpacks to our guesthouse Kandy Hill Bungalow before going to the city center. With this hot and humid weather we want to carry as few as possible.
We walked from the bus station passed the train station and through the market towards the city center.
Then we got our first big rain, but when you have a huge umbrella, you can still go everywhere as long as the road is not flooded. So we continued walking along the main street towards the lake and the temple of the tooth on the other side of the city.
The most famous attraction in Kandy is a visit to the temple of the tooth. To visit you need to pay an entrance fee and leave your shoes in a kiosk outside. (Which can obviously be retrieved at any time). We didn’t visit this temple so we could keep on our shoes. However, the Temple of the Toothe is just one of many things to see within the walls of the royal palace complex within which you can freely wander around and see some other smaller temples.
We left the complex at the gate on the right side of the temple of the tooth and arrived at the lake side.
We walked around the entire lake before we took a tuk tuk back to our guest house. Our guesthouse was a wonderful kolonial bungalow built high on the hills above Kandy.
Tomorrow we’ll meet our driver from Mahaweli Tours & Holidays who’ll hopefully safely get us around for the next seven days.