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The train journey between Kandy and Ella through Sri Lanka’s central highlands is well-documented.
You may recognise the scene above – a train crossing over Nine Arches Bridge near Ella – from innumerable sepia-toned travel blogs with the word “nomad” clumsily shoe-horned into the title.
A quick search of the route on YouTube will yield dozens of tanned influencers who have documented their journey hanging out of the doors over verdant tea terraces.
Despite all the puffery, though, nothing could have prepared us for what the journey was actually like.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel on a number of extraordinary train journeys, from bullet trains through southern China to the Venice Simplon Orient Express through the British countryside. The 8:47 from Kandy to Ella topped them all, though – and it only cost me $US3.
Scroll down to see exactly what it’s like to make the seven-hour journey, from start to finish.
This article first appeared on www.businessinsider.com.au
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