Winding through tea plantations, national parks and over waterfalls, the train from Kandy to Ella in Sri Lanka is a feast for the eyes. I had high expectations, which is usually a dangerous thing, but it certainly lived up to them. It’s a long seven hour journey (nine hours for us after a bus broke down on the tracks!) but with the constant dramatic landscapes, my partner, Mike, and I weren’t complaining. It was one of the highlights of my month in Sri Lanka.
Train tickets in Sri Lanka are relatively cheap. It’s advisable to book ahead when travelling this particular journey as tickets sell out fast. Don’t panic if the tickets are sold out online though, there’s always some more tickets saved for people to buy on the day. A good tip is to book tickets from the station after Kandy, Peradeniya in order to avoid queuing at Kandy station in the morning.
The first class cabins have air-con so it means no open windows to get that perfect photo. There’s an appealing sounding observation deck, though an Australian couple we met were unimpressed by this. Sitting at the back, they only saw where the train had already been. We chose to go second class for the reason that we could open the windows (and doors) and it wouldn’t have been as busy as third class.
They say that a picture can speak a thousand words so here are 14,000 words to convince you that this really could be the most scenic train journey in the world. It’s certainly the most beautiful I’ve ever been on.