The World’s Most Scenic Train Ride: Kandy to Ella
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.
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…
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!
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!).
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!