Part 3 30 September 2005
The driver took us to Kandy and stopped on the way for an Ayurvetic herbal treatment – a 90-minute massage with oils, steam bath (in a coffin-like structure) and sauna. The last two were heated by fire and the herbal infusions of both were extremely enervating.
In Kandy, we ignored the government accommodation and chose The Kandy House, a resplendent former Chief Magistrate’s home returned to its glory on behalf of her English employers by Anya Rowlands, an effervescent former NSW farmer’s daughter.
The resplendent eight-bedroom hotel is open, airy, fragrant-smelling and fabulously furnished with many pieces salvaged by Anya from decrepit outhouses and dusty, dirty sealed rooms.
The interiors are stunning and spacious and the hotel had only been open a little more than six weeks when we arrived. It is top shelf and has a top shelf room rate to boot.
The Kandy House is the perfect antidote to a day climbing Siguriya or even a shopping trawl into nearby Kandy, which also houses the Temple of the Tooth – another must-see for those who love a tourist site.
Buddha’s tooth is supposedly housed in this temple, although rumour has it that after a terrorist attack it was shifted to a safe place and a facsimile is on show.
Kandy is busy and vibrant but has a beautiful man-made lake that can ease the pressure of any shopping visit. It also is a very hilly city and superb views can be gained from eyrie-like positions.
We intended to go higher into tea growing country but the climb of the Lion Rock required a day’s extra rest. The Kandy House was the perfect spot for it so ‘Little England’ (the hill town of Neuri Eliya) will have to wait for another trip.
So this was Sri Lanka.
Open hearted people, land as green as any Asian country, plenty of wonderful sites, beautiful beaches and un-tourist affected lifestyle.
Get in quick before other tourist hotels turn up en masse.