Train Ride to Kandy from Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2012

Our latest Sri Lanka travel blog is the train ride we took from Colombo to Kandy in the middle of Sri Lanka. The train ride was awesome. I have always read about the trains in India and Sri Lanka and was really looking forward to the ride. We initially thought we would take the bus to Kandy since we weren't sure of the schedule but it turns out we had plenty of time. The train we took was a local train. We were spoiled with great views of the hill country and enjoyed trying the samosas on the train being sold by the on carriage vendors.

Train to Kandy
Along the Tracks

The Train Ride

The video below gives a good idea of the train ride to Kandy.


After breakfast we packed our bags, jumped into a Tuk Tuk and left headed to the Fort Station in Colombo. We were only in Colombo for two nights and a day but we did get to see enough to get a feel of the place. But I really wanted to get Kandy. I never forgetting seeing pictures of it in the early 1990's when the South African cricket team were touring there. I thought it looked so beautiful and really looked forward to going there. We could have taken a bus or train but someone recommended we take the train and we had not missed the train so we still had the chance to go there. I was also keen to try the trains in South Asia. I have heard so much about them and I was wondering how they would be and I can say, I wasn't disappointed.

Colombo Fort Station

Fort Railway Station - Colombo 2012
Colombo Fort Station

The train to Kandy (as do most trains I believe) leave from the Fort Railway Station in the center of Colombo. It is an old station and was built in 1917 on land reclaimed from the Beira Lake. During the civil war the station was a target for bombs in which a number of people were killed. For me it was amazing to see that this is the main station in the capital city of this country. The station was old and out of date. The architecture is certainly a throw back to what I imagine would be colonial structures. Of course, since it is the main station, the roads and parking lot outside the station was full of hustle and bustle.

Getting the tickets to Kandy was easy. The ticket offices are used to dealing with tourists. Right next to the ticket office is a travel agent that can help you book hotels and drivers at your next destination. One thing Queenie really liked was that there was a special toilet for tourists. The toilet was kept very clean (as opposed to the toilets for locals) and we found this to be the case for a lot of places we visited. All-in-all it is tourist friendly.

The Train Ride

The video featured above gives a good idea of the train ride to Kandy.

Train to Kandy
On the Train

Buying the tickets were easy but when we tried to buy tickets only second and third class tickets were available. To be honest I have no idea what the difference was. We bought two second class tickets (very cheap but forgot the price) and then jumped on the train. We discovered later that we took the local train and not the express train (with the luxurious vieiwing deck). We didn't know so just went with the flow. It wasn't bad, just long.

Queenie's Frien on the train to Kandy
Queenie on the Train

The passengers were a mixture of foreigners and locals. We sat next to two ladies who were later removed from our cabin (I think they had third class tickets). We also found a drunk guy collapsed in the gap between the trains. He was vomiting and Queenie wasn't impressed with his lack of underwear. The other thing that was unique was that at every stop someone would get onto the train, stand at the front of the carriage then speak for a long time about their struggles and their problems and then walk through the train to collect money. Queenie thought their presentation skills were brilliant. Of course there were also the various food vendors. I bought a couple of samosas that were very delicious.

Lady on Train to Kandy - Sri Lanka - 2012 (by Queenie)
Local Lady on the Train (photo by Queenie)

If you watched the video featured above you would note that as the journey went on, the views became more spectacular. In the beginning we had a lot of views of the outskirts of Colombo and some of the outlying towns but as time went on the houses thinned out and the hill country came into view and it was spectacular. However since it was a local train we also stopped at a lot of stations along the way and watched the crowd go by. These stations were even more of throw back to a different time and I loved rolling through them. We got to visit one of these local stations when we went to Ella.
Train Station.
Local Station on the way to Kandy

To Sum It Up

The four hour train ride was rough: we were bounced and jolted for the full four hours of the trip. We were lucky to get seats: many late comers had to stand. Traveling with the locals was an awesome experience. I enjoyed being in the carriage with them - watching people that are so different to us in every way always fascinates. The views in the hill country were fantastic and well worth the effort. I wouldn't mind doing this trip again - just to enjoy the views and the local people. We had fun and were happy to know we had at least one more train ride ahead of us.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment and tell us what you think.


"Trafalgar Square" (1) 798 District (1) Africa (1) Airport (1) Archive (1) Art (1) Asia Art Center (1) Aviary (1) bagpipes (1) Ban Nam Dee (1) Beihai Park (1) Beijing (5) Birds (1) Bitan (1) Boracay (2) Bozburun (1) Buddhism (1) Buddhist Temple (1) Bunny Chow (1) Cafe India (1) canopy tour (1) cat (1) China (15) Christmas (2) Colombo (3) COPE (1) curry (1) Cycling (28) Cycling in Taiwan (8) dance (3) Dog (1) Durban (3) East Rift Valley (1) Eco Lodge (1) Elephant (3) Elephant Ride (1) Ella (1) Family (6) Fire (1) Flower Market (3) Food (2) France (1) Friends (19) Fulong (1) Galle (2) Galle Face Hotel (1) Gokova (1) Guandu Nature Park (1) hiking (2) Hong Kong (5) Hot Springs (1) Hsin Tien (1) Hualien (1) Hutong (1) Ilan (2) Japan (3) Jing Shan Beach (1) Kandayan Dancers (1) Kandy (5) Kandy Lake (1) Kaohsiung (2) Karkloof (1) Kayak (1) Keelung (4) Khiva (1) kitten (1) Koh Samui (1) Laos (9) Laos COPE (1) Laos Puppies (1) Laos Travelogue (3) Leofoo Village Theme Park (2) Library (1) Lion Dance (1) Little England (1) London (13) Luang Prabang (3) Marmaris (3) Matara (3) Mimi (2) Miscellaneous (32) Monkeys (1) Moses Mabhida Stadium (1) Namtha (1) Namtha. Huay Xuay (1) New Zealand (11) Nuawara Eliya (1) Nuwara Eliya (2) Osaka (3) Our Stuff (11) Pettah Market (1) Philippines (2) Photowalk (1) Pinglin (2) Pinnawala (1) Pot Pie Cafe (1) Pudding (1) Puppies (1) Puppy (1) Restaurants (11) Shek O (2) Shihmen Reservoir (1) Singapore (1) Snake Charmer (1) Snow (1) South Africa (12) Sri Lanka (17) street performers (1) Sung River (1) Sunset (3) Ta An Park (2) Tad Sae Waterfall (1) Taipei (18) Taipei and Taiwan Travel Guide (6) Taipei Fine Arts Museum (1) Taipei Hsin-Beitou (1) Taipei Restaurant (1) Taipei Video (6) Taiwan (24) Taiwan Video (5) Tamsui (2) Tangalle (1) Tangelle (1) Temple (1) Temple Lunch (1) Tennoji (2) Thailand (1) Tissahane (1) Train (1) Travel (62) Travel Guide (1) Travelogues (7) tuk tuk (1) Turkey (11) Unawatuna (1) Unawatuna Beach (1) Urgut (1) Uzbekistan (8) Vang Vieng (4) Vang Vieng Eco Lodge (1) Victoria Park (1) Vientiane (3) Vientiane COPE (1) Wattay International Airport (1) Wedding (2) Weherahena Temple (1) Willesden Green (1) Worship Team (2) Xindian (1) Yala Nature Reserve (1) Yangmingshan (1) zip-line (2) 六福村 (2) 北京 (2) 北海公园 (1) 大安森林公園 (1) 建國花市 (1) 新店 (1) 石澳 (1) 石門水庫 (1) 碧潭 (1) 花東縱谷 (1) 衚衕 (1) 金山海灘 (1) 關渡自然公園 (1)

Popular Posts