A train ride from Kandy to Hatton – Tea Country
General Description: This is one of the most scenic train rides in Asia (2.5 hours). One fabulous way of exploring the tea country is to jump aboard the train. The dramatic landscape of the highlands stirs the senses as you wind past lush tea plantations, majestic peaks and rushing waterfalls. The Sri Lanka Railways – the government railway network was first started in 1864 during the colonial period. One meets Sri Lankans from all walks of life on the train – it’s a very enjoyable experience.
The Experience: We take the train from either Kandy or Peradeniya Train Station. There are old trains and new trains, and then there is the ‘observation class’, 1st class and 2nd class. Observation class and 1st class are a bit of a letdown – don’t expect white gloves and silver service. That said, the train ride is fabulous in that it is an everyday experience for Sri Lankans of all walks of life, here you will connect with and see a milieu of different people, including fellow travelers. The train wobbles a little so be careful when moving around, hold on to the rails. Your guide will say good bye at the train station and meet you on the exit. He will drive with your belongings all the way. Keep your ticket as you will need to hand it over to the station staff as you exit the platform. Your guide will be there to meet you – proceed with your travels.
Includes: Train Tickets
Duration: Approximately 3 hours.
Suitable for children: The train rattles and moves in all directions. Best that all small children remain seated.
Meeting Time On Location: To be advised on your itinerary – it is recommended to arrive 30 minutes in advance.
Pick-up Time: You will be with your chauffer guide visiting the temple of the tooth beforehand.
What to wear or bring along: Your luggage will remain in the vehicle. A camera for sure. Light clothes. Bring a little money. Note this is not the place to buy antiques or gems.
private or not?: There may be other travelers on the train, both foreign and local.
In the know / Managing expectations: The first class cabin is air-conditioned and can be a little chilly. We buy first class or observation carriage tickets for our clients. That said, they can feel a little touristy particularly in the high and peak periods. A more authentic experience is to travel in 2nd or 3rd class, but obviously less comfortable and possibly more crowded. If you feel you are the sort of traveler that would rather sit in 3rd class for 2 hours, feel free to let your guide know and he will attempt to buy 2nd or 3rd class tickets for you at the station itself – we will bear the cost, they are not expensive tickets. Some of the seating is ‘backward’ – we will always buy ‘forward’ looking seats if available. There is no restaurant carriage as such. Trains are sometimes prone to unexpected delays, which could last anywhere between a few minutes to hours.
Please note – the train journey from Kandy to Hatton will be in the 1st Class/Expo Rail /Rajadhani cabin/ Observation Cart or 2nd Class depending on the availability. Kindly also note that the train tickets can only be confirmed 14 days prior to your travel date to Hatton as the Railway Authority will only issue the tickets at this time. If tickets are unavailable you will travel by road. The train departure and journey time can be subject to delays.