Sri Lanka, an island country located in the Indian Ocean, is known for its beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and diverse wildlife. However, there is one experience that stands out among all the other attractions in Sri Lanka, and that is the Ella train ride. The train journey from Ella to Kandy is one of the most scenic train rides in the world. It is a journey that takes you through lush green tea plantations, misty mountains, and picturesque villages. In this blog post, we will take you on a journey through the Ella train ride experience in Sri Lanka.
What is the Ella Train Ride?
The Ella train ride is a 7-hour journey that takes you from the hill town of Ella to the cultural capital of Kandy. Along the way, you will see stunning views of lush green tea plantations, mountains, valleys, waterfalls, and villages. You will also experience the local life and culture of Sri Lanka, as you meet friendly people on the train, wave to children along the tracks, and taste delicious snacks sold by vendors.
The Ella train ride is part of a longer railway line that connects Colombo to Badulla. The railway was built by the British in the 19th century to transport tea from the highlands to the port. Today, it is mainly used by locals for commuting and traveling, but it has also become a popular attraction for tourists who want to see the beauty and diversity of Sri Lanka.
How to Plan and Book the Ella Train Ride?
The Ella train ride is very popular, so it is advisable to book your tickets in advance. You can book online through third-party websites like 12Go Asia or Visit Sri Lanka Tours, or you can buy them at the railway station. However, online booking is more convenient and secure, as you can choose your seat and class, and avoid queues and scams.
There are three classes of seats on the Ella train: first class, second class, and third class. First class seats are air-conditioned and have reserved seats and windows. Second class seats are not air-conditioned but have fans and open windows. Third class seats are basic and crowded, but also cheaper and more authentic. The prices vary depending on the season and demand, but generally range from $1 to $10.
The best time to take the Ella train ride is in the morning, as you will have more daylight and better views. There are several trains that run daily from Ella to Kandy, but the most scenic ones are Train No. 1005 (leaves at 6:40 am) and Train No. 1015 (leaves at 9:24 am). You can check the latest schedule and availability on Sri Lanka Railways website.
What to Expect and Enjoy on the Ella Train Ride?
The Ella train ride is a unique and unforgettable experience that will make you fall in love with Sri Lanka. Here are some of the things that you can expect and enjoy on this journey:
- The views: The views are the main reason why people take the Ella train ride. You will be amazed by the changing scenery as you travel through different landscapes and altitudes. Some of the highlights include the Nine Arch Bridge, a stunning stone bridge that spans over a valley; the Demodara Loop, a clever engineering feat where the train passes under itself; and the tea plantations, where you can see workers picking tea leaves and waving at you.
- The people: The people are another reason why people love the Ella train ride. You will meet many locals on the train who are friendly and curious about you. You can chat with them, learn about their culture, or even share some food with them. You will also see many children along the tracks who run after the train and greet you with smiles and waves. You will feel welcomed and connected with Sri Lanka.
- The food: The food is another attraction of the Ella train ride. You will not go hungry on this journey, as there are many vendors who board the train at each stop and sell various snacks and drinks. You can try some of the local delicacies like vadai (fried lentil cakes), roti (flatbread), samosa (fried pastry with filling), or mango (fresh or dried). You can also buy some tea or coffee to keep you warm and refreshed.
Here are some extra tips for the Ella train ride
- Book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
- Try to get a window seat on the right side of the train for the best views.
- Pack some snacks and water as the journey can be quite long.
- Take a jacket or sweater as it can get cold in the mountains.
- Bring a camera or smartphone to capture the beautiful scenery.
The Ella train ride is one of the best ways to see and experience Sri Lanka. It is a scenic, cultural, and gastronomic adventure that you will remember for a long time. If you are planning to visit Sri Lanka, make sure to include this journey in your itinerary. You will not regret it!