A tea picker wearing a shiny and vibrant sari turns and waves at you. Swiftly, you hear the deep laughter of close by kids and the mild chatter of passengers. Your nostrils then decide up the scent of scrumptious deep-fried lentil snacks and candy tea.
The Ella to Kandy practice gently rocks because it rounds a bend, the comforting sound lulling you into a cheerful silence.
The truth is that Sri Lanka’s Ella to Kandy practice experience may simply be one of many world’s best railway journeys! And it’s an expertise that defiantly awaits you…
On this journey tip, we’ll share:
• The very best time to go to Sri Lanka
• Learn how to get to Ella
• The very best issues to do in Ella
• Learn how to get tickets for the Ella to Kandy practice
• The very best issues to see on the Ella to Kandy practice
When is the most effective time to go to Sri Lanka?
If you’re planning a visit to Sri Lanka, an important factor to contemplate is the timing of the 2 main monsoons, plus the inter-monsoonal interval between:
- Yala monsoon: April-September rains within the west/southwest coasts and the hill nation (together with Ella).
- Maha monsoon: November-March rains on the east coast.
- Inter-monsoonal: October/November heavy rainfall and thunderstorms can happen anyplace throughout the island.
So, for journeys to the west/south coasts and importantly, this Ella to Kandy practice journey beginning within the hill nation, the most effective time to go to is certainly by means of the months of April, October and November.
What’s extra, by travelling within the shoulder and low seasons, you’ll be doing a terrific service to the locals as you’ll assist unfold the affect of vacationers and travellers on native locations.
Eager on discovering out extra? Try our itinerary for 8 days in Sri Lanka.
Learn how to get to Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is an island that’s situated in the midst of the Indian Ocean. So, the one viable option to get to Sri Lanka is by airplane!
You’ll land at Bandaranaike Worldwide Airport, about 30km north of the capital Colombo. Be prepared for a sluggish journey into Colombo metropolis centre which may take over an hour. There’s a ton of congestion and travellers on this space, so make sure that to maintain that in thoughts!
Seek for flights to Sri Lanka right here.
Learn how to get to Ella?
The beautifully-named city of Ella or ‘waterfall’ is located about 200km east of Columbo within the district of Badulla. Surrounded by misty inexperienced hills, verdant tea plantations and putting waterfalls, Ella is simply over 1000m above sea stage, and has a considerably cooler local weather than the lowlands.
Ella is in truth, certainly one of Sri Lanka’s finest locations to chill out and luxuriate in nature.
Now, in relation to travelling to Ella Sri Lanka, this picturesque location could be reached by highway (bus, personal automotive/van with driver, shared taxi/minibus) from quite a few places. You may as well get the practice from Colombo through Kandy if you wish to do that Sri Lanka practice journey in reverse, however it is a lengthy day’s practice journey.
- Colombo – Ella: approx 5 hours by highway; 327 km
- Galle/Mirissa – Ella: 3.5 hours by highway; 200 km
- Uda Walawe Nationwide Park – Ella: 2 hours by highway; 100 km
- Batticloa – Ella: 4.5 hours by highway; 176km
- Colombo – Ella by public bus: c. 9 hours; take the bus heading to Badulla and get off at Kumbalwela junction. From right here, it’s a brief tuk-tuk or native bus experience to Ella.
- Uda Walawe – Ella by public bus: c. 3 hours. Take a bus from Uda Walawe to Thanamalwila then change for the bus to Ella. Some ready time; ask for assist to seek out the appropriate bus.
Greatest issues to do in Ella
There are many nice issues to do in and round Ella Sri Lanka, so that is only a taster of what’s to come back in the event you spend just a few days on this gorgeous spot.
• Stroll to Ella Rock for views of Ella Hole and gorgeous countryside (3-4 hours spherical journey).
• Take pictures galore on the iconic 9 Arch Bridge, an engineering feat to not be missed.
• Stroll as much as Little Adam’s Peak for views of Ella Rock and Ella Hole (2 hours spherical journey).
• Study to cook dinner Sri Lankan-style in one of many native cooking faculties.
• Try thundering Rawana Falls simply out of city by tuk-tuk on the highway to Wellawaya.
The place to remain in Ella?
Two first rate mid-range choices embody The Chillout, located at the beginning of the path to Little Adam’s Peak, only a quick stroll from the centre of Ella. Comfortable rooms, a tasty breakfast and a big balcony for these views.
Even nearer to the trailhead is the well-kept Ella Flower Backyard Resort, with a spread of well-appointed rooms and chalets to select from with TV and terrace. Beautiful gardens, nice views and an on-site restaurant.
If you wish to splash the money and keep within the midst of neatly spaced tea bushes, you possibly can strive the 98 Acres Resort. You get trendy luxurious rooms with swimming pool and in home spa plus fabulous views so that you can take pleasure in over your breakfast.
The place to eat in Ella?
One of many many perks of visiting Ella is the truth that it has quite a few good locations to eat and drink. Certainly, you possibly can say that is the closest you’ll get to a little bit of (mild) nightlife too!
We notably appreciated Adam’s Breeze, a down-to-earth, pleasant place on the highway to the path to Little Adam’s Peak. We extremely suggest that you simply strive the Kotthu Roti, curries and juices.
One of many nicest choices on the principle drag is certainly the Cafe Chill, which does every thing from espresso to tasty native and Western dishes to a refreshingly chilly beer within the night.
A number of folks eat at their visitor home or homestay, which is a good possibility for genuine Sri Lankan meals. Allow them to know upfront if you wish to eat.
Learn how to get tickets for the Ella to Kandy practice?
There are a number of choices for securing your practice tickets in Sri Lanka and it depends upon how fastened your itinerary is and the way relaxed you’re about having a particular seat.
In the event you wish to e book forward, one of many best methods to safe your most well-liked seat and sophistication of carriage is to e book with 12goAsia and decide up your tickets if you arrive in Colombo. You possibly can solely e book tickets for 37 days or extra upfront through this route.
If you’re blissful to decide if you arrive, you should purchase tickets from any Sri Lankan practice station as much as 30 days earlier than you journey, both in Colombo or one other most important station like Galle.
If you’re completely relaxed, you possibly can take your likelihood a lot nearer to the time, both the day you arrive in Ella and even the day of departure. The first and 2nd class will most definitely have offered out, however you should purchase a 3rd class ticket (both reserved if attainable, or unreserved that are uncapped) and take your probabilities.
Which practice class ought to I journey when in Sri Lanka?
We suggest journey in 2nd class reserved seats. We purchased the tickets on arrival in Colombo a couple of week forward, met native households travelling in 2nd class, had entry to coach distributors for snacks and didn’t have to face, which meant we may benefit from the surroundings and chill out!
What are the practice instances for the Ella to Kandy practice?
The primary practice within the morning from Ella leaves at 6.40am and arrives in Kandy simply after 1pm. You may go for this selection in the event you’re late to purchase tickets and/or eager to see probably the most scenic a part of the route within the early morning. Simply beware the morning mist and fog, which could imply you don’t see what you had been hoping for.
We’d suggest the second departure at 9.24am, arriving in Kandy simply earlier than 4pm. The sunshine was nice throughout probably the most scenic part of the route from Ella by means of to Haputale and on to Nanu-Oya. There have been loads of meals distributors on the practice for a lunchtime snack and we arrived in Kandy at an ideal afternoon time to verify in and get our bearings earlier than solar set.
You possibly can verify extra practice instances and choices on the Sri Lankan Railways web site.
What to search for on the Ella to Kandy practice journey
There are round 20 stops in complete between Ella and Kandy, however relying in your practice, you received’t name at each cease. A full route map could be discovered right here. You’ll both be on a blue or pink practice relying on the service you are taking. The journey ought to take round 7 hours barring any mechanical points.
- Ella to Haputale | The primary section from Ella by means of to Haputale is especially beautiful, as you slowly transfer alongside the slim ridge and thru the misty hills and velvet blanket of inexperienced forest. Look out for landmarks like Ella Rock and the native waterfalls.
- Haputale to Nanu-Oya | From Haputale, you begin to transfer into full-on tea plantation nation. Hold your eyes peeled for tea factories and villages as you roll as much as Nanu–Oya, the cease for famed Nuwara Eliya, the retreat for the colonial tea growers. Rolling tea meadows, well-tended gardens and an air of colonial grandeur abound. You’ll additionally see a number of the tea pickers of their vibrant saris, working onerous to get the most effective leaves
- Nanu-Oya to Hatton | The practice then leisurely makes its means in direction of the tea capital of Hatton, traversing the gorgeous Horton’s Plains (near the cease of Ohiya) on the best way. Hold an eye fixed out for Adam’s Peak amongst the views of untamed grasslands, waterfalls and lakes.
- Hatton to Kandy | The part from Hatton to Kandy has fewer sights, however the views of misty inexperienced hill nation stay dreamily fairly till you attain the outskirts of Kandy, when the buildings become visible and also you rejoin bustling Sri Lankan life at its most interesting.
High suggestions for the Ella to Kandy practice journey
• Be sure to’re in the appropriate spot to your carriage class on the station earlier than the practice goes (simply ask the station grasp) and don’t be too well mannered when the practice arrives, particularly in the event you’re in third class. Be agency and assured and snag your seats.
• Deliver your individual dry snacks and water to ensure you can graze for the size of the journey, particularly the early phases in the event you didn’t handle to seize breakfast!
• Don’t be afraid to check out the road meals offered on the practice by skilled hawkers, akin to scrumptious fried dhal balls or vadai (deep fried doughnut-shaped snacks), nuts and fruit.
• Bear in mind to intention to sit down on the left of the practice coming from Ella and on the appropriate in the event you’re beginning your journey in Kandy. It’s additionally finest to get your compulsory photograph from the open door early on, because it will get a lot busier when you get in direction of Nanuoya.
• Benefit from the alternative to take as many pictures as you need, however don’t miss out on the expertise of being on the practice and having fun with the views for the pure pleasure of it!
• Retailer your backpacks and small luggage within the overhead racks in the event you can. When you have bigger circumstances, intention to get them in behind the final row if seats or tucked into the doorway.
• Be prepared for the bogs. They’re positive, however they are going to be squat bogs and also you’ll want your individual lavatory paper and trusty hand sanitiser!
• Respect the locals: Take the possibility to work together with native households and people travelling on the practice, however be respectful. If you wish to take somebody’s photograph, ask politely and present them the outcomes.
Time to Journey Higher
To complete, shut your eyes as soon as extra. Drop your shoulders. Breathe. Pause. Replicate. It’s time to decelerate. To re-think journey. To journey higher. What higher place to start out than Sri Lanka’s Ella to Kandy practice experience – one of many best railway journeys on the planet.
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