That same day we visited Oak Ray Handcrafted Wood Carvings. To be honest I was surprised to read so many negative reviews on TripAdvisor about this place. Some people even say something like: “don’t get out from the car if your driver takes you here!”.
We knew of course from the very beginning that no matter where our driver will take us it will be pricey. As I said earlier – business is business. But be as it may I have a soft spot for handcrafted goods. I respect people that are making beautiful things with their own hands and I deeply enjoy watching craftsmen at work. And that was exactly what we saw in Oak Ray Handcrafted Wood Carvings.
After mini excursion and explanations, we ended up in the shop. Yes, I know, so unexpected! And yes, it wasn’t cheap. Yet it was exciting to see so many things – mainly home décor and home furniture – made from wood. Oh, and the wood smell! It’s enchanting! Just being there made me feel happy!
We walked through the shelves for some time, checking beautiful pieces and the price tags on them. We weren’t really planning on buying anything… but we found couple pieces that we liked. One was dark brown elephant about 15 cm high (price – 2000 LKR, around 10 euros), smaller elephant made of lighter wood, wooden cat magnet and hand fan which I desperately needed.
Overall, I would say that it was a very nice experience and the place is definitely worth visiting. And if you do end up here don’t hesitate to check it out. No one is going to force you to buy anything. So, you can just check the shop and leave without purchasing a thing. Shop owner and your driver will be displeased no doubt… but it’s their problem not yours.
Later that evening we went to see traditional cultural show. Even though I am not connected to the dance industry in any way, I could still see that those dancers are not professionals, more like practicants. Their moves were clumsy and not synchronized. It reminded me of school play, where kids are standing on a stage in front of the crowd for the very first time. But I liked the show anyway. It was interesting and colorful. And I haven’t seen anything like it before.
As for Kandy city, we could actually see it in the daylight only next day. And as soon as I woke up, I rushed to the balcony to enjoy the stunning view of the city. Hotel where we stayed the night was located on a hill and our windows as well as our balcony were facing Kandy lake.
Kandy lake is located in the heart of the capital of the Hill Country. It was created by the last king of Kandyan kingdom in the 19th century. The island in the center of a lake was used as the king’s pleasure house before the British converted it into an ammunition store after they conquered Kandy.
It is a protected lake and fishing is not allowed here. But instead of catching the fish you can feed it, which is also fun to watch:
After leaving this beautiful place, our driver took us (on our request) to the clothes shop – Oak Ray Creations Batik Gallery:
Unfortunately, we didn’t find any suitable clothes for us. What we did find was a hand painted Sri Lanka ocean scene. Beautiful and colorful just as a country itself! Painting is approximately A4 size and it did cost somewhere between 18-20 euros.
To be continued…
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