Sri Lanka Day 2 - Kandy
On the second day, I left Colombo early with my chauffeur-guide to go to Kandy. On the way we made a few stops. I loved leaving the big city and going more inlands. We kept going through small villages that each sells something different (like cashew nuts or bananas). The countryside is so green and lush, I loved it.
Millennium Elephant Foundation
The first stop was at the Millennium Elephant Foundation in Kegalle. It is a non-profit organization that rescues and cares for captive Asian elephants in Sri Lanka. MEF finds mistreated elephants especially in the logging industry or temple-owned and brings them the sanctuary to care for them. It involves paying the owner of the elephant a monthly wage so it relies on tourism and volunteers to continue its activity. A percentage of the income is also used for the veterinary unit that travels around Sri Lanka to treat injured and sick elephants.
Tourists are able to observe, wash and go on a walk with an elephant. It was my first time being so close to an elephant. They are beautiful animals. I got to feed and wash an elephant and we went on a 40-minutes walk where it got to eat a lot of leaves and get some exercise.
On the road
After the foundation we stopped for small lunch on the side of the road. It is an outdoor place where women bring food that they have prepared. Only locals were eating there which was great. I got to try a lot of local food and it was all delicious. A lot of the food is made with rice flour and coconut milk so perfect for a vegan like me. And everything was vegetarian anyway.
On the way to Kandy we stopped at a tea factory where I saw how they process the tea leaves, and at a gem store where I learned how they extract sapphires in Sri Lanka.
And finally Kandy. It was foggy when we arrived and looked like it was about to rain. I first went to my hotel for the night. I stayed at Elephant Stables in a luxury tent with two of my friends who were joining me that night.
Then we went to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth for the 6:30pm ceremony. It is a Buddhist temple that houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. It was my first time in a Buddhist temple and I enjoyed listening to my guide telling me the story of the tooth and more about Buddhism.