Sri lanka - Ella

Ella to Kandy

Although we were a mere 400-500 meters from the railway station we arranged a tuk-tuk to take us to the train station.

There was probably about 80 people in all waiting for the train which arrived at 9:23am and is scheduled to get us into Kandy at about 4pm  - a bit over 6.5 hours.

The trip started pretty well, because Ella is in the hill country the train meanders around the hills and is very slow. Kandy is only 160km from Ella but that means an average of 24km per hour.

The trip from Ella quickly takes us up very high with some very nice views over the country side and some tea plantations.

Very few people were working in the tea plantations - probably 20 in the whole trip and there are hundreds or thousands of tea areas covering almost entire mountain sides in some locations.

We were in 2nd class - reserved and it looked pretty dingy and looked like it had never received real clean in its life.

The windows open in 2nd class about 8 inches so you can get a nice view without the glare of the windows getting in the way.

Ella Train Station to pickup tickets

We had pre-purchased our tickets for the train journey from Ella to Kandy online using a web site at

The cost is a lot more than buying local but we read that you can miss out on reserved seating if you do not pre-book a few days but we did not have a few days.

We payed 13 GBP which is about $26 NZD or about 2800 Rupees.

I price is 230 rupees on web site.

Prices from Visit Sri Lanka Tours web site - April 2018

When we arrived to pick up our tickets there was a sign saying that there was no second class reserved tickets available for tomorrow so we were happy to have pre-paid. But when we got on the train there was quite a few empty seats in the 2nd class reserved carriage.


Our time in Ella is quite short as we arrived at about 5pm and checked in to our accomodation. we stayed down stairs at the Bamboo in Ella a small family run place with only 2 rooms.

The streets are quite busy with lots of food/drink places so quite a bit of choice.

The weather was cooler than we were thinking and found out that the previous 4 weeks were quite warm with 32 most days.

For dinner we ate t a place called Cafe Chill which seemed to be the business place in town. We got a seat pretty quickly but they then wanted our table to join up a group of 10 which was OK with us so we sat at the bar and decided to stay there for the dinner.

Copyright © Chris & Pam - 2020