Article By Donald [Founder SkyFeather Holidays]
The scenic train journey of Sri Lanka is without question one of the things that everyone wants to experience whilst visiting Sri Lanka. Many call it the Blue Train or Tea train.
There are 1700 Km that can be travelled by the trains in Sri Lanka. There are various stretches of these journeys that are incredibly special as among all of those train rides, you travel through the mountains, passing the terrain of the tea fields
You could never get bored with the beautiful views that you watch as you pass by. The scenery is always changing: on one day you will experience a chilly and misty atmosphere that is sometimes reminiscent of the Swiss climate and another day you will have a clear view which will allow you to see far and wide.
The train is cheap, slow and less luxurious than if you were to compare it to some of the popular train rides of the world however when it comes to the experience, you can be sure that you will love everything about it.
The scenery is without a doubt some of the best you will ever seen, even with the mist. And the speed of the train is an advantage as it allows you to relax and to look outside and take it all in. As for the photo opportunity and creating that perfect Insta worthy photograph, you may feel a little bit scared to do it at first, but the feeling of the wind in your hair as you are leaning out has a thrill, yet still feels safe. And the photos give you the memory of a lifetime.
Taking a ride on the Blue Tea Train is a one of a kind experience that will be stored in your memory forevermore. Some of those pictures that you may see if you search about the Sri Lankan train ride show very risky pictures that have taken by visitors. Some of these include individuals that are hanging on the door single-handed or even couples creating a special snap, although there is a lot of risk associated therefore individuals must combine taking a memorable photograph and enjoying this ride to the maximum whilst following the recommended safety instructions. I have taken this train journey over 200 times during my tours with my clients and I am always aware of their safety and I’m informing them of what can happen if something goes wrong.
Taking this train journey is the perfect opportunity for travelers to join in with the local crowd, and talk with the friendly locals. They are always willing to share their food, tea and most importantly, a smile. This is particularly refreshing for those who have been travelling alongside a group with people in a van and it is the perfect escape to mix with the real Sri Lankan culture.
This stretch of the journey runs for over 2000 meters, and on a clear day, the views are amazing to look out from windows, but even in the misty climate it is a beautiful ride. It definitely makes someone to think is this Sri Lanka? Is this a tropical island?
It is interesting to look outside the window and watch the activities of locals that are living by the side of train tracks. You will see tea pluckers, ladies walking with fire wood on their head, cattle of goats or cow, dairy factories and beautifully maintained vegetable gardens. The people that are working in them will flash you their friendly smiles, and you may observe young boys and girls playing cricket and others going about their day to day business will wave at the passengers on this train adding more flavour and depth to this incredible journey.
If I were to compare with my experiences that I’ve taken during my visits to Europe (in Italy, Switzerland, Germany and France) on the trains, an observation would be that they are very different to a Sri Lankan train journey. The way in which people behave differs and the way that they travel. People in Europe are very much interested in minding their own business, reading a tablet, books, using laptops to work but not smiling or making eye contact with other or communicating with other passengers. In contrast, in the developing country of Sri Lanka you will find a friendly, smiley face greeting you in your carriage and enjoy many social interactions: people will be laughing with others, there will be lots of loud talking, sharing of food, having drinks and making new friends. You will sometimes find that there are some people working also, but this would mainly be on the coastal train journey.
This is a special thing adding flavours to this journey.
It’s not only foreigners and visitors but even the locals have enjoyed this ride several times as part of their domestic tourism. Taking this journey is a rush to feel this ride, immersing yourself amongst the local crowd and enjoying the beautiful sceneries that will provide you with views of the urban areas, flat lands and deforestation. Due to popularity, there is often competition to attain a seat on this train and it can be very difficult to book this train without pre-scheduled bookings. Some people thinks that buying a ticket will be an easy task however even purchasing tickets online can be a challenge because organised travelers and travel companies may have purchased the tickets months prior to their arrival therefore planning this train ahead is always advised.
Don't miss out on what is one of the world's most iconic train journey's. Travel in any of the different classes and experience something slightly different, but all of these will provide a memory that will live with your forever. Embrace the beautiful scenery and emmerse yourself in the friendly, warm and bustling Sri Lankan culture with the locals. And feel the breeze of the wind in your hair as you hang onto the rails and look out at the views on either side of the train, capturing the moment with a photograph.