Saturday 3 August 2019

Train from Peradeniya to Nanu Oya, Sri Lanka

Surely one of the most scenic train journeys in the world, the three to four hour trip from Peradeniya station (close to Kandy) to Nanu Oya (close to Nuwara Eliya) climbs steadily through lush green hillsides blanketed with tea plantations and studded with golden temples. You pass through maybe ten timeless and timeworn stations, complete with vintage signal boxes, faded signage and pedestrians with umbrellas. The track dates from 1864 and some of the trains (the brown ones) are also pretty ancient, transporting you back to the colonial era, as well as up into the cooler hill country in the south of Sri Lanka. Even in the best class, tickets are cheap and foreign tourists can book in advance through one a hotel or tour operator, meaning you should get a seat. Although the carriages can be stuffy, particularly when you are at low altitude, and the train can be noisy and crowded, this journey really does conjure up the golden age of travel. 9/10