Lanka Train ride:

Don’t miss this one. There is a railway station located at a stone’s throw away from Mount Lavinia Hotel. A ticket to Fort at Colombo city will cost you Rs 15, per head, one way. The station is deserted, mostly. But the crowd increases when the train is nearing the city. The Colombo railway station is very similar to CST station in Mumbai. To get out of the station premises, you have to climb down a flight of stairs, surrounded by hawkers and beggars. This stretch will remind you of Dadar railway station. The train we boarded was not an electric one, but one that ran on coal. Bet you thought coal trains were extinct, eh? The compartments were spacious with seats at the circumference of the compartment and not in multiple rows, like in the Mumbai local trains. That leaves ample space for passengers to stand comfortably.

Don’t even think of rushing into a train without a ticket. No matter how much you pray, you will find a ticket collector at the exit points of every station. People have to queue up, hand over the ticket to the collector, and then go out. The tickets are unmarked and therefore reused. My friend wanted to keep a ticket as a souvenir. The collector crossed the ticket and gave it to him. Simple!

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