This is Kandy, the last royal capital city of Sri Lanka. Thanks to its spellbinding rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, this is by far one of my favourite countries to visit – with an oasis of wilderness, lush green and stunning scenery of rolling hills and valley between tree covered hill ranges, lingering smell of salivating spices, on the main road filled with hooting tuk tuks, British designed Lanka Ashok Leyland buses and colourful trucks zooming past. Goodness me. This is Kandy. This is Sri Lanka.
I can’t imagine it was a once a peaceful country and turned into a civil war nightmare overtaken over by the gurellia organisation, Tamil Tigers. After 26 years military campaign, the Sri Lanka military defeated the Tamil Tigers in May 2009, bringing the civil war to an end. In 7 short years this stunning little island became a thriving country relies heavily on tourism, resulting as one of the ultimate travel destinations. What more could a traveller want?
To bring this trip to light, here are my visual moments highlighting the sightseeing places during the 2 day visit starting with Kandy.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
It has always been my dream to visit an elephant sanctuary in Asia, a place where they are protected from harm and outside influence, ethical and cruelty-free, and gentler elephant tourism, sometimes it’s not always the case depending where you go to. I visited the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage which houses over 80 wild elephants, it was a lovely experience to see the majestic creatures up close and watching the happy elephants bathe in the river exhibiting their natural behaviours. Thankfully it was quiet (large tour groups arrived later at peak hour) so I was able to watch the elephants munching on food, playing in the mud, scratch their behind from a rock stump, I did not see any mistreatment from the handlers. But given how this elephant orphanage is one of the hotlists for tourist attraction and the opportunity to see and bottle-feed the baby elephants, it was too commercial for my liking, but watching the elephants bathing in the river and roaming freely in the open field was the highlight of the visit. It’s worth a visit, but be prepared it’s a tourist attraction.