Kandy formerly had a well-deserved reputation for hassle, touts and con artists. The situation has now improved markedly, although it still pays to be aware of potential set-ups. Touts traditionally hang out along the south side of the lake en route to Saranankara Road, where you may still potentially be approached by opportunistic scroungers. Some con artists may attempt to embroil you in conversation by pointing out the splashes made by “water-snakes” in the lake (the splashes actually being created by a hidden accomplice chucking stones into the water) as a way of getting into conversation with you and gaining your confidence before setting you up for one of various wallet-emptying schemes. Popular local scams include offering tourists the chance to meet a “dancing teacher” or the “head priest” at the Temple of Tooth, as well as all the old islandwide favourites (see Common scams).

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