If you want a one of a kind travel experience into the mountains of Sri Lanka, upcountry train rides will give you the buzz you are looking for.
Even for Sri Lankans who make these journeys often they are trips much looked forward to. The railway tracks, built by the British in the 19th Century still hold strong and serve the daily, and nightly run of trains to and from from Colombo Fort to Badulla, way up in the mountains. The route they carve is as astounding as the views. The tracks literally go in and out, around and over mountains, parting green seas of tea plantations and pine forests, often edging sheer cliffs - offering you spectacular glimpses of waterfalls, rivers, estates and villages far, far below. You can choose to travel like the common man in a crowded second or third class compartment, in an air conditioned first class carriage, or the observation car at the end of the train which gives you panoramic views of the scenery. If you want to return to the glory days of steam engines, take a luxury journey on the "Viceroy Special" - a 75 year old private steam train – the only one remaining in full operation in Sri Lanka. It has been transformed on the inside to include all the luxuries of 21st century cleverly concealed beneath its magnificent colonial setting with all the old world trimmings such as gourmet cuisine served by butlers, and drinks at the bar. Less luxurious option is Expo Rail - a special ‘luxury’ carriage ‘tagged’ on to ordinary trains at a premium price. Whichever you choose, be prepared to be awed – not just by the scenery, but the whole experience of a unique journey into the mountains.