Inspire

It Only Costs A Few Bucks To Travel On This Breathtaking Railroad

It might seem a bit strange, but the journey travelling between cities is often a highlight for those who venture through Sri Lanka. Although travelling on buses and mopeds are certainly adventures in their own right, train journeys certainly offer a completely unique experience.

And by looking at images of trains winding through the lush jungle landscape, it’s not hard to see why many choose trains as their transportation method of choice.

Sit Back And Get To Know The Locals

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Forget the Maharajas Express – the railway between Kandy and Ella is as beautiful as it is affordable. A ride in 2nd or 3rd class to mingle with the locals while you let your legs hang out the doorway will easily be one of the highlights of your trip. And if you somehow get bored, there’s plenty of homemade train snacks available at any given time.

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The cost of hiring a private driver might seem hard to pass by, and there’s no denying that there’s a certain charm about the eccentric interior of Sri Lankan buses (when you’re not squished between all the people, that is). However, I must insist that whenever the option of travelling by train presents itself – you take it.

Taking the train is relatively hassle free and a great way to soak up the local culture. There’s no need to book in advance for 2nd or 3rd class – simply allow yourself half an hour or so before departures to reach the station, and buy your ticket then.

And best of all? It’s cheap! A ticket from Ella to Kandy in 2nd class will set you back 280 rupees. That’s roughly $2.30, meaning you’ll have plenty of pocket change to buy train snacks.

If You’re After Something More Luxe

Feeling extra? The trains in Sri Lanka also offer first-class observation cars, allowing you to fully take in the scenery as you wind through the country, smiling and waving at locals as you pass by. Make sure you book ahead to avoid disappointment, as seats almost always book out in advance.

Our advice is to opt for second class: you can still mingle with the locals, while maximising your chances of scoring a prime seat – on the floor of the open doorway, of course!

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Quick tips

  • Choose 2nd or 3rd class
  • Show up at least 30 minutes before your preferred departure time
  • Be sure to try out the train snacks!
  • If you’re feeling extra, check out a first-class observation car for stunning scenic views

If you travel to Sri Lanka and don’t travel by train, you’re seriously missing out. Go forth and explore!

 

(Lead image: Troels Dejgaard / Flickr)