My husband and I checked out of our hotel in Udawalawe and walked 5 minutes to the nearest bus station. Click here if you want $20 off your next hotel stay. It costs 240 rupees to get from Udawalawe to Wellawaya (transfer here) and then another 160 rupees to go the rest of the way to Ella. A total of $2.60 USD for two adults, and it took about 3 hours.
We stayed at The View Ella hotel for 1 night. The location was decent, but it was hard to find if you plan on walking from the bus station. The rooms had A/C, the pool was nice, and the view was amazing at night. Overall the room was ok…not as nice as the $17 hotel in Udawalawe, but it did its job.
After checking into the hotel we walked into town and asked a few tuk tuk drivers for a ride to the Nine Arches Bridge. All three tuk tuk drivers were charging a ridiculous price to go 2.5km away! We ended up finding a spot to rent a scooter. To our surprise it cost 1500 rupees ($9.80 USD) to rent one for the entire day! A way better deal than 500 rupees for a one way trip. As long as you have a valid ID, no other documents needed! Just be sure to refuel when you’re done (add another 200 rupees or $1.30 USD)
Driving in Ella was a new experience, winding through traffic, driving on the left side of the road, going on dirt roads… but it all made the memories better! I recommend it if you’re comfortable on a bike!
Our first stop in Ella was the Nine Arches Bridge. We followed directions from Google Maps and had no trouble finding it! At first you might second guess yourself, asking if you’re going the right way because of the narrowness of the road and the conditions of it…but trust me– trust google!
To be honest, I forgot to take photos after the bridge! My hubby and I decided to just drive around and see Ella how a local would. We went down random roads and came across a buddhist monastery on top of a mountain! It was still under construction, but we met a buddhist monk and ended up having a thirty minute conversation with the guy just chatting about Buddhism! It was a very “live in the moment” moment.
The train station is just a short walk away from the hotel we were staying at. We took the 7am, 6.5 hour train ride from Ella to Kandy and it costs 480 rupees ($3.13 USD) for two people 2nd class seats. This was supposedly the “worlds most scenic train ride”, and it was scenic…for the first 2 hours! After that it just got hotter, louder, and bumpier! It was a rough ride to be honest! Both my husband and I got cranky and a headache that lasted a while!
Click here to see the ELLA video on youtube!