The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

WoWasis tours Sri Lanka on the Haputale – Badulla hill country train

Written By: herbrunbridge - Feb• 26•12

Bridges and tunnels occur many places along the Haputale line

We here at WoWasis love to take scenic trains. And there is none finer in Sri Lanka than the route along the Colombo-Kandy line that runs in the hill country north from Haputale to Badulla (see the video), through the towns of Ella, Demodara, and Bandarawela, and into the countryside. Or you can go south, in the opposite direction. We recommend buying tickets at either the Haputale or Badulla stations, so you can experience the whole route, which takes approximately 1.5 hours. You don’t need a first-class observation car, either. Third class is just fine, and the best views are at the windows on the left side of the car, if you’re heading south on the route. 

On the route, you’ll see things you’ll never get to enjoy as well by bus or auto, including mountain and valley vistas, tea plantations, rail bridges and tunnels, and the minutiae of daily life in the countryside. People hanging wash on the bushes, kids playing, farmers working their fields, mountain streams, and terraced gardens are just a few of the wonders to be seen on this short but remarkable ride. 

Tea plantations are among the magnificent views along the Haputale train line

There are at least two trains per day running in each direction, sometimes more, and your ticket is of the old-fashioned hand rafted cardboard variety. If you’ve hired a car & driver, just have the driver drop you off at one station, then pick you up down the line. He’ll get to your destination a few minutes before you do. For a slice of life that you’ll never get by highway, try this train trip for an experience you’ll remember.

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