|Took a bus to Kandy (unfortunately we couldn’t find a fancy A/C bus again, but did manage to get a seat on this one).
Kandy is a smallish city (~ 112 thousand) and was the capital until the British takeover in the 19th century. A higher elevation and lakeside setting (Kandy lake was built in 1807), makes it a very pleasant place. And, there are sidewalks everywhere! So much safer and more enjoyable to stroll here than in other parts of Asia.
While here, we visited the 300 year old Temple of the Sacred Tooth which is supposed to enshrine the relic of the Buddha’s left canine (we wonder if anyone has ever done the math on Buddha relics to see if all of the world’s relics would add up to a complete body?) Anyway, there was a very good museum attached to the temple (which was badly damaged in a Tamil Tiger bombing in 1998). On that note, we’ve noticed that security in Sri Lanka is very high. In many public buildings we’ve visited, you must pass through a metal detector and are thoroughly searched (bags and body) before being allowed to enter. Our impression of Sri Lanka is that, unlike India (where there is much procedure and stamping, but very little questioning, searching, checking of identity or working metal detectors), they mean business! We believe it may be the best security since our visit to Israel (and not that different of a chicken and egg problem of terrorism and apartheid).
We also visited the mediocre National Museum (the temple museum was much better, but I guess they get more funds from Thailand and Japan to preserve Buddhist heritage) and the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens.