some sweetness in kandy
{and a wonderful stay at theva residency}


kandy was the last capital of the ancient kings’ era in sri lanka. today it is a vibrant, bustling, colourful city, nestled into the hills. we spent a sunday there and stayed overnight at theva residency, which is the perfect place to stay in this fascinating and beautiful place.

here’s a few pictures from our day in kandy!

we woke up very early in nuwara eilya so that we could drive to kandy and get to church there on time. the drive was full of spectacular scenery that i’m so sad i wasn’t able to capture! i was jetlagged and carsick (windy roads in the hills!), but still so glad to see so much vibrant colour and lush beauty. i snoozed a little right before we drove into kandy and i woke up to this buddah welcome ^^
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we went straight to church, which was one of the biggest highlights of our entire trip. the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints has been in sri lanka not much longer than a decade. we attended a branch full of remarkably faithful and happy people and we were so inspired and touched by their warmth, love for the lord, and shining goodness. the meetings were in sinhalese, so we didn’t understand a word, but we still learned and felt so much. (one member of the congregation is a tuktuk driver and had this awesome sign (“rejoice ye saints of latter days”) on the back of his tuktuk! ^^)
^^ moses was held by at least fifteen different adoring women during church. it was so sweet. i absolutely love this picture. ^^ going to church on our travels is one of my favourite things in the world.
after church we had some traditional curry. ^^ in sri lanka, it’s common to have many (like up to twenty!) different vegetable curries with meat and rice for lunch. we loved having this meal every day while we were there – always a little different, super delicious, and very cheap (like $1.50!). ^^
^^ the queen’s hotel, a historic colonial building in the heart of the city. ^^
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^^ this temple is on top of a big hill in the middle of the city and the views were amazing >>
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^^ i just loved how these chairs outside the hilltop temple looked. you can’t really see it in this photo, but that book on the table between the chairs is called “the art of living creatively.” love it. ^^
the most famous bit of kandy is the temple of the tooth. our driver told us that this is one of the most important buddhist pilgrimage site in the world. the tooth relic is kept deep inside the temple and  possessing the relic is equated with possessing the governance of the country. it was a really fascinating place to visit.
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^^ ^^ can you believe these gorgeous flowers left as offerings in front of the place where the relic is kept? so beautiful! ^^ ^^
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^^ beautiful carvings inside the temple complex / classic drink and snack trolley outside the temple complex ^^
^^ ^^ on sunday evening, we went to a cultural show and enjoyed seeing different aspects of traditional kandyan performance. the fire dancing was pretty impressive! ^^ ^^
theva residency is really the perfect place to stay in kandy. it’s situated up on the hill, away from the hustle and bustle and allowing for really stunning views down into the valley. we arrived at theva on sunday night and had a delicious meal on the patio under the stars. the staff was incredibly kind and welcoming, and had our room all set up with a crib for little mo!
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in the morning, we relaxed on our balcony (the misty views were pretty magical), and checked out the pool (wish we had time to take a dip – doesn’t that look just sublime?!)
and then had one of the best hotel breakfasts we’ve ever experienced.
dear reader, if you ever find yourself in kandy (go!! sri lanka is amazing!), i highly, highly recommend a stay at theva!
after breakfast, it was time to hit the road again with our driver, koshala. gosh, we love that guy! we spent most every waking minute with him for four days and became great friends. he is a really great person and he taught us so much and showed us all the best stuff (including hole-in-the-wall local restaurants – my fave!). and he was so darling with moses. i caught him snapping a selfie that morning and i thought it was so dang cute. ^^
we drove out of the bustle of kandy…and into the rice paddies (this picture is so bad but it’s the best i got – the landscape was seriously so gorgeous! >>IMG_8829
through junctions and towns…
behind buses and monks on motorbikes…
to our next destination.
to be continued!


  1. I love reminiscing my two week-stay in Sri Lanka through your post! Such an amazing place, isn't it?

  2. I would love to hear how your plan your trips. How do you find your hotels/airbnbs/vrbos/? Do you go off of reviews, price, location, all of the above? How do you plan your itinerary? How do you find your tour guides/ drives? What order do you plan the trip? Do you use trip advisor or some other travel website? Would love to get your tips and tricks.

    1. check out this post:
      and let me know what questions you still have :)

  3. Hi are you still in Sri Lanka? I live here (Colombo) would love to see you and your beautiful family. (Email:

    1. we were only there for four days, and have been back in london a week now :( darn, would have loved to meet up! what a neat place to live.

  4. This looks amazing!

    May I ask (out of curiosity, no judgement) why you always take such short vacations? If I were to travel that far, I would stay longer. Is it a personal or cultural (I remember that the American per se doesn't have as many days off as the European per se) thing?

    1. this vacation was 10 days - 4 in sri lanka, 5 in maldives, 1 traveling. it started as a trip to maldives, where we had four free nights at a hotel, and then we added sri lanka for exactly the reason you just gave ( if we are already traveling that far...) :) we tend to be pretty fast paced in our preferences, and we like the variety of seeing lots of different places. we have quite a lot of days off (since we live in the uk), and we just prefer to spend them on many shorter trips in a year rather than a couple longer ones. it is difficult for ian to be away from work for longer than a couple of weeks at a time (that's already a stretch) - both from a personal and a professional standpoint. we have gotten really good at the "pack it all in" kind of travel, but we are transitioning to more trips with less destinations and more unstructured time. i think this will keep evolving as our family evolves.

  5. Question for you! We've traveled quite a bit and have found that carseats are hit and miss depending on what country we're in, like in one place they laughed at us for having brought one and asked why we didn't hold him, etc. How does this part of the world deal with that?

    1. when we asked the company we used to coordinate a driver about car seats, the organizer said they had one we could use, but car seats are not common at all in sri lanka. the one they had was forward facing (for a much bigger baby), so we brought our car seat. obviously we like to use a car seat for safety reasons but also i can't imagine holding moses all those hours in the car - that would be so exhausting!

    2. Such a great point! Yes, that would be exhausting. The arm cramps! Thanks for answering. I learn from your blog every post!


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