SRI LANKA ABOARD THE‘VICEROY SPECIAL’
THE NATURAL WONDERS OF SRI LANKA ABOARD YOUR PRIVATE TRAIN
EASTERN & ORIENTAL EXPRESS BANGKOK TO SINGAPORE OPTION
Join us to exlore this tropical island with amazing culture by our private “Viceroy” train. The tour features UNESCO World Heritage Sites and natural wonders, amazing bird life and nature reserves boasting elephants and other large animals. There is the option to include a three night journey on the Eastern & Oriental Express from Bangkok to Singapore.
Date : Sunday 1 - Sunday 22 March 2015
(to Fri 27 March with E&O Express)
Currently on tour
* Travel in our private 'Viceroy' train around the island
* Explore Colombo and visit historic Mt Lavinia
* Visit the historic harbour city of Galle, its fort, and stay 2 nights at the waterfront Jetwing Blue Hotel.
* Explore the beauty and culture of Kandy, its famed Tooth Temple and stunning gardens
* Climb to Badulla, the highest broad gauge station in the world
* UNESCO Heritage properties such as Dambulla Caves and the impressive Sigiriya Rock Fortress
* Heritage railway experiences
* Five star hotels and excellent food
* Local Sri Lanka guides throughout our travels
Day 1 - 4
To Colombo, sightseeing in Colombo and Mt Lavinia
There is a range of flight options to Sri Lanka, with details available to those who are interested in joining us. The recommended option is a daylight flight to Singapore, with an overnight stop at the hotel in the Singapore Changi Airport and an arrival in Colombo with a mid morning flight at lunchtime. We enjoy a sightseeing of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo which is a fascinating blend of the East & West, the past and present and the old & new in the afternoon, and then explore more this area by a regular train of the Sri Lankan Railways (SLR) to meet the people and see how they live. We stay overnight in Colombo. (Day1-L, Day2-L, Day3-B/D, Day4-B/D )
Day 5 - 6
To Matara and to Galle, sightseeing in Galle
Today we have our first of many experiences aboard the 'Viceroy Special’ which we have hired for the duration of our time in Sri Lanka. The two air-conditioned observation/saloon cars, one on each end, and a non air-conditioned restaurant car in the middle, make our train journey relaxed and comfortable. Today we travel south to Matara, the end of the line. Matara’s history dates back to the Anuradhapura period. The temple that lies in the middle of town was built by ancient kings and now holds a sacred place among the Buddhists in the area. After a few hours inspect in Matara, and then return the short distance to Galle, where we stay for two nights and will exlpre the next day. You will find untouched ruins from the Portuguese and Dutch eras - the magnificent Dutch fort was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO - overnight Galle. (Day5- B/L/D, Day6- B/D)
Day 7 - 8
Kandy sightseeing and Pinnawela Elephant Orphange
We rejoin the Viceroy Special and head back towards Colombo. En route we visit the Sri Lankan Railway’s main workshops - a Victorian time capsule. Rejoining the train we head north through Colombo to the hillside city of Kandy. We enjoy luncheon aboard the train enroute. On leaving Rambukkana, the Kadugannawa Incline begins, where the train climbs 430 metres in 20 kilometres, often on a ledge of rock cut out of the hillside with some dizzy-making views. Kandy is the hill capital of Sri Lanka, located in the middle of this island with the 'Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic' - a must see temple, and a romantic lake much loved by the British. We explore this town and then visit the spectacular Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawela - this 24 acre large elephant orphanage is also a breeding place for elephants and has the greatest herd of elephants in captivity in the world. (Day7 - B/L/D, Day8 - B/D)
Day 9 - 11
Picturesque Badulla and 'the prettiest village in Sri Lanka' Nuwara Eliya
Today we enjoy lunch aboard as we climb through this very beautiful hill country to 'Nuwara Eliya' - “the prettiest village in Sri Lanka”. Nuwara Eliya is the main hill resort of Sri Lanka and the heart of the tea industry and we will visit a tea plantation and tea factory on the day after. Once a pleasure retreat of the European planters the town is still very much an English town with many English style bungalows and buildings. The next day we enjoy one of the finest train journeys in the world with luncheon served aboard. A great train journey is all about the subtle shift in geography as the journey progresses through narrow passages, mountains, valleys, meadows, forests and waterfalls. We stay overnight in Nuwara Eliya for two nights and then in Kandy one night.( Day9 and 10 - B/L/D, Day11 - B/D)
Day 12 - 13
Polgahawela and Habarana
We head to Habarana, our base for two nights to visit three major sights - Minneriya Nature Reserve, Sigiriya Rock Fortress, and the Dambulla Cave Temple. Sigiriya is an ancient palace of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres high. King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. The capital and the royal palace were abandoned after the king's death but today's Sigiriya welcomes world travellers as a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. (Day12 - B/D, Day13 - B/D)
Day 14 - 16
The east of the Island - Trincomalee and Batticoloa
An early rise to visit the Minneriya Nature reserve - a park of 8890 hectares that consists of mixed evergreen forest and scrub areas and is home to Sri Lanka 's favourites such as sambar deer, leopards, monkeys, water birds and elephants. We rejoin our special train at Gal Oya for the short journey to the north east of the island, Trincomalee. We enjoy our luxury hotel on a secluded beach in Uppuveli, north of Trincomalee and known for its soft, white sandy beaches, mixed with mineral-rich black sand unique to this coastal strip on the Indian Ocean. Knee deep warm shallow water spreads out hundreds of metres into the sea. The next day we rejoin and have a relaxing day on our 'Viceroy' train to Gal Oya and on to Batticoloa. We will stay for two nights at the Passekudah beach resort, near Batticaloa. (Day14 - B/D, Day15 and 16 - B/L/D)
Day 17 - 19
Polonnaruwa and the ruined city of Anuradhapura
From Batticaloa we travel to to Polonnaruwa. Here we visit the UNESCO world heritage site and the medieval capital of Sri Lanka. It was the capital of the country from 200 AD until 1300, when it was sacked by Indian invaders – today it is the best preserved of the ruined cities. The Sri Lankans invite you to appreciate the size of the site and what they call their hydraulic civilisation — the city was supplied with water channelled from the still-existing 2500 hectare reservoir known as the Sea of Parakrama. We also visit the Gal Vihara Rock Monastery - the most celebrated site in Polonnaruwa, with its gigantic rock. Anuradhapura is another of the great ruined cities of Sri Lanka, and was the capital before Polonnaruwa. Anuradhapura was the first capital of the ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka and founded around the 5th Century BC. The sacred city which spreads through approximately 100 acres (40 hectares) of land area is home to the ruins of huge stupas, monasteries, Buddha images, and colossal man-made lakes and ponds, hospital complexes, storied buildings and stone inscriptions that represent the advanced architectural, civil and hydraulic expertise of ancient Sri Lanka. (Day 17 B/D, Day 18 B/L/D, Day 19 B/D)
To Ragama and Negombo
Our last journey on our special train is from Anuradhapura to Ragama, with luncheon aboard, where we then transfer by coach the short distance to Negombo, for our last night in Sri Lanka. Known for its fishing industry and its sandy beaches, we enjoy our final afternoon with a walk or swim on the beach or at the hotel pool, and then dinner looking over the ocean. Stay Overnight in Negombo. (B/D)
To Australia or Bankok
We have an early transfer to the airport (only 7km away) for flights back to Australia or on to Bangkok. Transit Singapore for the overnight flight to Sydney. Alternatively you may wish to return via Bangkok and experience the Eastern and Oriental Express luxury rail journey from Bangkok to Singapore. Travel from Bangkok across the beautiful scenery that Thailand offers, past the legendary River Kwai and onwards to Malaysia. Enjoy the sights of colonial Georgetown and Fort Cornwallis, before crossing the causeway over the Straits of Johor to the elegant city of Singapore. If making the additional journey, we fly to Bangkok for two nights before our train departs. Overnight en route to Australia, or in Bangkok. (B)
We enjoy a day of sightseeing and some leisure time in the vibrant city of Bangkok. We’ll take a journey along the Chao Phraya River, and immerse ourselves in this lively city. Overnight Bangkok. (B)
Bankok and aboard the Eastern and Oriental Express
The morning is free to explore in Bangkok, before we join the Eastern and Oriental Express at Hualampong Station mid afternoon. The Eastern & Oriental Express departs Bangkok in the late afternoon. Having been welcomed onboard the gleaming carriages, settle into your comfortable cabin. Dinner is served as the train travels from Bangkok city and makes its way into the countryside with rice-fields, villages and water buffalo. Retire to your cabin, transformed into a cosy bedroom by your steward. Overnight aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express. (B/D)
Wang Po & River Kwai aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express
Wake as the train travels from Wang Po along the wooden trestle viaduct beside a towering cliff. Board a local raft for a cruise along the lush greenery of the picturesque Kwai Yai river, passing under the Bridge. On board, a local historian provides a brief overview of the history of the Thailand-Burma railway and the bridge. Then rejoin the coach for the short ride to the Kanchanaburi railway station to board the Eastern & Oriental Express. Later reflect on the day's sights over dinner and relax with a drink in the Bar Car before retiring for the night. Overnight aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express. (B/L/D)
Penang and aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express
At Butterworth disembark and cross to Penang and a guided introductory tour of colonial Georgetown with pre-World War II mosques, elaborately-roofed temples, churches, bazaars and colourful shophouses. This afternoon watch the passing scenery from one of the lounge cars or from the open deck of the Observation Car. Dine again in one of the opulent dining cars and then spend a relaxing evening in the Bar Car with its resident pianist. Enjoy your last night on board this luxury train. (B/L/D)
Arrive Singapore aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express
After breakfast, we arrive Singapore. Transfer to our hotel, and the afternoon is free to explore. Overnight Singapore. (B)
From Singapore to Australia
Transfer to Singapore Changi Airport for a daylight flight back to Australia. Arrive Australia late afternoon.
*Meals included are shown as Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Dinner (D), Supper (S).
(per person (twin share)) plus airfares from Australia with a $1,370 single supplement for hotels.
*The fare for the extension tour including the Eastern & Oriental Express is $3,350 with a $1,680 single supplement
- 22 days (27 days with Eastern & Oriental Express option) tour escorted with meals by the tour leader who planned the tour.
- 20 nights' (26 nights' with Eastern & Oriental Express option) accommodation with breakfast each day
- Accommodation is in 4 ½ to 5 star properties.
* The tour is limited in size, with a maximum of 36 participants.
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