The Cure for a Sweet Tooth: Open the Kandy Jar!

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Before you correct my spelling, I’m not talking about that kind of candy. I’ll admit it though, prior to visiting Sri Lanka I had never even heard of the town of Kandy and actually, to be quite candied

—I mean candid…

…it is a country I had never really even considered visiting. In my mind, I asked myself:

What could this small, island-nation possibly have to offer?
Self then answered, “Book a long weekend trip and check it out.

Immediately after booking only a long weekend trip and beginning my research, I began to curse—

D*mn you self!?! Just one weekend simply isn’t long enough!

Alas, determined to make the most of the little time I had…I hired a driver for the duration of my trip and proceeded to pack as much as I could into four days.

A Tuk-Tuk ride in Galle

A Tuk-Tuk ride in Galle

The Spice of Life

Cinnamon, cloves, coriander…oh my! Sri Lanka can be a foodie’s best friend and a visit to any spice garden will award you with a guided tour of the premises by an expert Ayurvedic Medical Practitioner. Some people see these gardens purely as tourist traps, but they can be quite educational. Although the actual credentials of the ‘doctor-guides’ may be unknown, their knowledge of plants and spices is unparalleled. Even if your intent is not to purchase, it’s great to visit a spice garden simply to learn about the benefits of various spices found in Sri Lankan food and medicine or see how they look in their natural form.

Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden in Kandy

For the nature lovers, this is a great place to wander and easily get lost for a few hours. Located just west of Kandy–beautiful trees, flowers, and fernery abound. Named the Royal Botanical Garden as it was originally an area of sanctuary reserved solely for actual royalty, the prestige of the past is upheld by the manicured majesty of the garden grounds. Though said to be quite crowded by midday during weekends, a visit during off-peak hours (early morning or evening within an hour or two of open/close) provides you the opportunity to stroll, unimpeded by tourists, like a prince (or princess) wandering about your palace.

All alone like a king at his castle!

All alone like a king at his castle!

Guard: "This bridge is closed." Me: "Please, sir." Guard: "Okay."...Jedi Mind Trick works everytime!

Guard: “This bridge is closed.” Me: “Please, sir.” Guard: “Okay.”…Jedi Mind Trick works everytime!

Tea Time

Embillmeegama Tea Factory interior

Embillmeegama Tea Factory interior

Having been to the Boseong Green Tea Field in South Korea, I’m still quite convinced it’s one of the most beautifully terraced tea plantations I’ve ever seen. Sri Lanka; however, offers many comparably beautiful locations in its “up” country, which refers to Kandy and the surrounding areas. Additionally, there are several tea factories offering guided tours that breakdown the entire tea-making process from plant to cup. These tours are usually free, involve a cup of tea, and give you the opportunity to purchase tea if you like. My flavor of choice is definitely green tea blended with Soursop leaves.

Road Warrior

One of the benefits of having a driver is not having to worry about navigating the Sri Lankan roads and highways, but word to the wise…choose your driver with caution. Considering the high-speeds, narrow roads, and cars constantly weaving in and out of traffic, you’ll definitely want a driver you feel comfortable with. If, like me, you’re in an accident within hours of your arrival…you’ll probably be on edge for the duration of your trip! Between fearing for my life and monitoring the sleepy-eyed driver to make sure he was awake, I definitely didn’t get any rest during my transit from Kandy to the coastal city of Galle. On the bright side, I was wide awake for photo ops every time we drove past something interesting!

Young boys near Dambulla

Young boys near Dambulla

View from the top of Sigiyira

View from the top of Sigiyira


Galle Fort

Galle Fort

The Galle Fort and Old Town Galle offer a glimpse of a bygone era. The fusion of cultures can be seen in structural architecture that combines both Asian and European elements. Visit the top of the fortress for a view of the ocean on one side and Galle city on the other. Being a lover of love and a lover of health, it was nice to see the surrounding areas of the fort being used as grounds for fitness and wedding photoshoots. Though you will come across some litter and the occasional graffiti-splattered abandoned building, The Galle Fort is definitely worth seeing during a trip to Sri Lanka.

Inside a Hindu temple in Galle city

Inside a Hindu temple in Galle city



Old Town

Old Town Galle

The Bottom Line

I only touched the tip of the Sri Lanka tourism iceberg. If you go, or are thinking about going, then do yourself a favor and stop considering and start planning. Whether a long weekend, a few weeks, or longer…it will not disappoint!

Sri Lanka welcomes you with open arms!

Sri Lanka welcomes you with open arms!



  1. Kiwi says:

    I would love to go to Sri Lanka. Especially for the spices I would love to see some of the medical herbs in their natural state.

  2. Kita says:

    I’ve never heard of Kandy. It looks beautiful and peaceful.

  3. The picture with a row of palm trees reminded me of an area I once visited in Hawaii. Sri Lanka is beautiful and full of rich history, good food, and gorgeous people.

  4. Ramona says:

    I’ve never considered traveling to Sri Lanka. It looks like a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  5. Kayvona says:

    Wow such beautiful scenery, I probably will never travel to anything even remotely close so it’s great to be able to at least experience through someone else’s eyes!

  6. You took amazing photos and captured the essence of Sri Lanka. I never really considered Sri Lanka as a must-see place to visit, but you changed my mind!

  7. Mimi Green says:

    Your pictures are absolutely beautiful. I don’t know much about Sri Lanka but your post makes me curious.

    I would totally be freaked out by the drivers. That is insane.

  8. Stacie says:

    These really are some beautiful views. I had no idea it was this beautiful. That bridge though…

  9. ShaBree says:

    I have a friend from Sri Lanka. Would love to visit especially after seeing these pics.

  10. Ashleigh says:

    Nice to see and hear you insight! Was this a pretty affordable trip? I want to start planning trips and it’d be nice to hear from travelers what countries they’d recommend

  11. Looks like a beautiful place! Definitely not a place I would have considered previously.

  12. Natasha says:

    Ooh, Sri Lanka! This is new territory for me, and it looks absolutely beautiful! Don’t just love when a new location surprises you in a good way! I do hope that you get to go back soon to enjoy time longer than four days!

  13. Jay Colby says:

    Sri Lanka looks like such a beautiful country. Sounds like an amazing place to visit Sri Lanka!

  14. Yaz says:

    Interesting, I never thought Sri Lanka is this beautiful.

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