With each night the parade gets more animated and the crowds get bigger. To get a good viewing spot, arrive at least 3 to 4 hours early or, better yet, rent street side seats in homes, hotels, and shops (though you’ll still need to arrive an hour early to get a chair).
Take note that people cannot enter temples with shoulders exposed or shorts or skirts that go above the knees. We suggest carrying a sarong or scarf to wrap around your shoulders or waist during your visit.
Avoid the crowds
The afternoon after the final festival day provides an afternoon perahera that makes for great photos without the intensity, energy and crowds.
Do your research
Found on UNESCO’s World Heritage List,, Kandy is Sri Lanka’s second largest city and approximately 100 kilometers from Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB). Daily trains and buses make the trip, and taxis are relatively inexpensive. Guest houses in Kandy fill up early, so book at least a couple of months in advance (most are on Saranankara Road).