This seven-hour trip takes passengers through remote villages, past waterfalls and lush green hills, and through the tea plantations for which the country is perhaps best known. Originally built by the British in the late 1800s, Sri Lanka’s rail system was originally used to transport tea and coffee for export. Now, the train is a favorite way to explore the country, view the varied scenery, and observe villages and local people along the way. The train stops at stations where riders can purchase fresh fruit and local snacks from vendors anxious to share their wares. Ella is a hill country village, worth exploring before you board or when you arrive. Kandy, located in central Sri Lanka, is larger with sacred Buddhist shrines and scenic Kandy Lake. Most of the trains offer first class observation cars with air conditioning, and some provide sleeping berths and reserved seats. From Kandy, the better views are on the right side. Tickets are available at train stations throughout the country, and the schedule can be checked online.