The last capital of the ancient kings of Sri Lanka, and a popular getaway for colonial administrators looking to escape the heat, Kandy is a pretty place – tucked beside a lake in the country’s central highlands.
Make sure you visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which is housed in Kandy’s teeming temple complex. Wars have been fought over this relic, believed to have belonged to Buddha himself. Join the devout to add your own petal offerings and light votive candles.
If your visit coincides with the spectacular Esala Perahera Festival – a late-June, early-July celebration paying homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic – make sure you get a good seat. The lively parade means that restaurants and shops along the route sell tickets, so book your spot early.