Kandy was the last royal capital of Sri Lanka and maintains a majestic ambiance drifting through the streets and across the surface of the cobalt lake. Your flight lands at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, the contemporary capital of Sri Lanka. Rickshaws peddle through the streets. The aromas of cinnamon, cumin, and ginger emanate from the spice market in the Pettah district. Your private transfer greets you upon your arrival and escorts you out of the bustling city en route to Kandy. The gorgeous scenery of the countryside comes to life in the form of jade fern trees, soaring palms, and emerald underbrush.
The road leads you into the hills, framing the lake as the centerpiece of the city at an altitude of 1,640 feet above sea level. It feels as though the cooler hilltop temperature creates a more relaxed pace. You settle into the comforts of your stunning accommodation that overlooks the placid hills of the lake. Palm trees grow out of the central island as boats take to the water to offer scenic views of the cityscape. Your guide greets you in the lobby, eager to introduce you to the cherished culture and preserved history on display in Kandy, beginning in the Ceylon Tea Museum. The galleries are located inside a 1920s former tea factory, offering displays of the pioneers of tea cultivation in Sri Lanka, including Thomas Lipton.
Antique machines and paraphernalia provide insight into the traditional process of harvesting and tea drinking still practiced throughout the country. The gallery on the top floor fills with the scent of steeping black tea and sweet treats, as it houses the tearoom. In the evening, you partake in the traditional Kandyan drum and dance performance located near the Temple of the Sacred Tooth. The beat of the drum accompanies dancers draped in elegant white garments adorned with bejeweled accents. They carry on the tradition of the kings and captivate onlookers. At the end of the performance, locals and visitors alike form a grand procession making its way to the Tempe of the Sacred Tooth to view the relic of Buddha’s tooth held within the shrine.