Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ella - Sri Lanka

For a quick get away from Colombo, Ella is the ideal location. It is a good place to relax and enjoy yourself on a flexible, low budget.

You can hike up to Ella Rock, picnic on top of Little Adams Peak, visit Rawana Falls (cave and temple nearby). You can enjoy the stunning views to take in the glorious sunrise and cool misty temperature and clean fresh air!

There are a number of ways to travel to Ella, a rather popular destination for tourists. It has contributed to a lot of on going construction, especially for the locals who are happy to host visitors in the newly developed sections of their homes, as small boutique hotels. You can enjoy home made Sri Lankan food or places like Rawana Falls Inn offer typical Chinese Sri Lankan food with deviled fish or chicken curry, which tastes delicious! 

If you're more in to the established hotels, there are a number of places as well, so if you browse the popular travel sites you can easily discover places that range from 3500 LKR a night to 20,000+ LKR.

Travel Options 
The train starting from Fort, Colombo to Ella offers a variety of options, including air conditioned compartments if you opt for the privately run boxes, either Expo Rail or Rajadhani, both available online.  Although these private rail carriages are more expensive (2250 LKR as opposed to the 500 LKR on the observation train) your breakfast, tea, lunch  and evening tea is included. Also, it means more comfortable seats and less hassle and people. And of course, for that price you get really clean and top notch toilet facilities, which certainly should not be expected in the normal compartments. 

Of course, if you are looking for the authentic Sri Lankan train travel experience, second class tickets are highly recommended, much much cheaper and newly renovated so still quite comfortable. It is really whatever you prefer. Keep in mind though, the  time it rakes may be about nine hours, but the views make it absolutely worth your while. 


An intercity non stop express bus takes only 5 hours. You can find these starting from the Pettah, central bus stand.

Private rental 

You could also rent a vehicle through any of the reputed companies that offer these services and even get a driver, or if you're really adventurous even tuktuk the whole way, although this is not recommended, merely something locals who own three wheelers actually do!

Either way, once you are in Ella, there are plenty of things to do. You can take a bus down to Bandarawela, have tea and yummy snacks (especially the butter cake) from the Mlesna Tea Center. Take a bus to Nuwaraeliya, train to Badulla or just relax in Ella, and check out the many local food places. Or just sit down and read and enjoy the view!

Here are a few more pictures from my trip - 

Mlesna Tea Center - Bandarawela, Sri Lanka

Stopped by the 98 Acres Resort on the way back from Little Adams Peak for an Iced Tea and Papaya Juice in Ella

The mountain to the right is little Adams Peak.

Wadey on the train to Nanu Oya from Bandarawela came inside this paper bag - 

The Sun Rise at 6.15am in Ella, worth a visit.


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