The World’s Most Scenic Train Ride: Kandy to Ella

Kandy to Ella train ride

The World’s Most Scenic Train Ride: Kandy to Ella

Kandy to Ella train ride

When I was planning my trip to Sri Lankan, I read several reviews and blog entries detailing how important it was to take the train from Kandy to Ella or vice versa.  While the train only maxes out at around 40 kilometers per hour, the Kandy to Ella train ride passes through the most beautiful landscape that Sri Lanka has to offer.  In this case, pictures are really worth a 1,000 words, as in lieu of text, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Kandy to Ella train ride

Kandy to Ella train ride

Kandy to Ella train ride

Kandy to Ella train ride

Kandy to Ella train ride

Even though it is an island nation, the central part of Sri Lanka is rife with lush vegetation and rolling green hills.  These hills are used for farming tea plants, a tradition that dates back to the British colonization of Sri Lanka back in the 1800s.  I already had a short taste of this train ride when I rode it from Kandy to Hatton to climb Adam’s Peak.  Little did I know that the segment from Hatton to Ella would soon blow me away…

Kandy to Ella train ride
An example of a second class carriage.
Kandy to Ella train ride
Children playing cricket.

Kandy to Ella train ride

Kandy to Ella train ride
A food vendor taking a brief respite from hawking goods.

Emilia and I both grabbed third class tickets for the ride, since we were now assured of the excellent condition of the third class carriages.  Instead of sitting in the seats however, we chose to post up in the open doorways in order to get an unfiltered view of the surrounding countryside.  The train’s carriages were painted a bright electric blue.  As we rolled through the countryside, I felt like I was riding the Hogwarts Express!

Kandy to Ella train ride

Kandy to Ella train ride

Kandy to Ella train ride
Emilia poking her head out for a picture.

Kandy to Ella train ride

Kandy to Ella train ride

Kandy to Ella train ride
Women hard at work in the fields.

Perched up against the doorway into the carriage, Emilia and I joked that we felt somewhat like hobos hitching a free ride.  As the train does not go very fast, we soon became a bit more bold and would dangle our legs outside over the edge, enjoying the slight thrill that went along with it.  The next four hours flew by as we relaxed and watched the world go by (literally!).

Kandy to Ella train ride
I hopped out to take a picture of Emilia at one of the stations.

Kandy to Ella train ride

 

Kandy to Ella train ride
Just hanging out.

Kandy to Ella train ride

Kandy to Ella train ride
Tunnel time!

Kandy to Ella train ride

Kandy to Ella train ride

Kandy to Ella train ride

That afternoon turned out to be one of my favorite memories of Sri Lanka, not to mention one of the cheapest!  If you are taking the Kandy to Ella train ride, I recommend saving your money and purchasing a third class ticket as the best views can be found by the entrances.  Enjoy!

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