It’s not the destination but the journey that counts! Inthiquab Majid, Executive – Service Fulfilment at Diethelm Travel Sri Lanka, shares a memory of their magical overnight train journey from Colombo to Ella.
Being an adventurous traveller, I usually prefer taking public transportation, like the train. This method has allowed me to have some of my most memorable experiences!
Travelling via train in Sri Lanka has many advantages. The best journey, I would say, is to the hill country. This route has become a popular experience with travellers in Sri Lanka and for good reason – the journey itself is incredibly scenic and you get to enjoy the cool climate, rolling tea hills, misty pine tree forests and rugged mountains.
Many passengers like to ride on the footboard looking out through the door. I would not recommend this but, since the train travels uphill at a low speed, it may seem like a fun thing to do for others. I agree that it is the best spot on the train which always offers 180-degree views of the valley.
There are many other routes to take that aren’t as well known by tourists. Taking the train in Sri Lanka is known to be magical. I didn’t truly believe this until I once travelled on a night train that takes you to your destination by morning.
There are no seats to be booked and the conditions are not that comfortable. However, being the adventurer I am, I decided to take the night train from Colombo to Ella. Since it was the weekend, the train was really full, and there was not much space to move about, but it allowed me to come across a true local experience. Since there aren’t onboard facilities, you get to see different people selling a variety of snacks and even hot coffee getting on and off the train at different stations.
The most memorable moment from this particular adventure was getting to see the true magic that this route offers – the train reaches the most scenic stretch of track close to the same time as sunrise. It’s that moment when the train comes out of the pine forest and the view is opened up to the horizon to the east. It’s a breathtaking view and one feels lucky to witness such a thing!
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