The Train From Kandy to Ella
This train ride has be exclaimed to be the most beautiful train ride in the world by many blogs. Is it? I’m not sure, but it was extremely scenic. This train ride even has some blogger infamy from the famous photo of a couple kissing while hanging out of the train. After taking the train I can tell you they probably weren’t in all that much danger. The train is often only going 10-20km/h, and everyone is hanging out of it. In fact you’ll have to negotiate with other instagramers and bloggers if you want a fancy photo.
If you are coming from Kandy the view gets better and better as you go into the mountains. Don’t worry if you miss your chance on the first expanses, they will just get better! These views shot on an Unlocked iPhone 8 (Amazon Link) can only give you an approximation of the wondrousness. Here is a video montage of a few of our shots out the door:
We read that tickets for first class were often sold out, although this was largely before the Easter Sunday attacks. Although even in May of 2019 the first class car was 65% or so full. First class has air conditioning which was nice close to Kandy, but not really needed in the hills. I almost would have preferred the open air of 2nd class (2nd class was the same style seats, which looked like 90’s European seats). 3rd class was also acceptable, it wasn’t some Indiana Jones train car with goats and chickens. The 3rd class seats are not reserved so there is a chance for crowding, but on the days we went there were ample seats.
We ordered our tickets thru 12go Asia and had them delivered to our hotel. This worked perfectly, although the tickets weren’t quite 100% to our stations. For example our Kandy to Nuwara Elyia tickets listed Colombo as the starting point, but apparently that’s the segments they sell them in. After paying the shipping to our hotel the tickets were about double the cost (roughly US$25 per segment per person vs US$13), but it was worth it to us to ensure that we got on the times we wanted.