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South from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya

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The journey south from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya is spectacular both by train and by bus. The bus is far more direct and significantly quicker, cutting up through the hills and swinging round endless hairpins, passing the magnificent waterfalls at the village of RAMBODA en route, which plunge over the cliffs in two adjacent 100m cataracts. From Ramboda, it’s a short drive on to Labookelie Tea Factory and Nuwara Eliya.

The train is significantly slower, but makes for a quintessentially Sri Lankan experience, as the carriages bump and grind their way painfully up the interminable gradients towards Nuwara Eliya (and occasionally lose traction and slither a yard or so back downhill again). The track climbs slowly through pine and eucalyptus forest into a stylized landscape of immaculately manicured tea plantations which periodically open up to reveal heart-stopping views through the hills, nowhere more so than above the village of Dimbula, at the centre of a famous tea-growing area, where the line passes high above a grand, canyon-like valley between towering cliffs.

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