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“Lazan'l Betsilo”

Fianarantsoa Cote Est (FCE)
Attraction details
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Lazan'l Betsilo”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

This winery was very different to what you would experiencd in other parts of the world. Technology was a a bit behind what happens elsewhere but was still a very interesting experience.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Rh0nnie15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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72 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Paris, France
Level Contributor
60 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Nice during the day - but long and uncomfortable”
Reviewed August 23, 2012

Arrived at Fianarantsoa station at 6.30 am. Train departed at 9.00 am. Magnificent landcapes, exciting stops every 10 km in the stations. However, our train stopped midway for 2 hours 1/2 for some technical reason. So for the final part of the trip, it was night. We stepped out at Mizilo at 9.00 pm, and the train reached its final destination Manakara at 11.00 pm.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Philippe_et_Francois
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Level Contributor
138 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“A fascinating journey”
Reviewed May 6, 2012

The FCE is a slow jouney - the station stops are often long it took over ten hours to travel 90 miles or so. The carriages are knackered and, even in first class, leg room is minimal. The toilet in the carriage stank.

So why give this five out of five? In short it was the people. I spent most of the journey standing by the open train doors taking photographs. At stations all manner of food was sold and as the train went through the countryside everybody waved.

The trains only run three times a week in each direction but act as a lifeline to the communities the route serves - many of which do not have access to roads. We saw some very poor communities en route but all were smiling.

The journey was a photographer's dream - until the last hour or two when there was no light left and the journey became rather tedius. But this could not mar the delights of earlier in the day!

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank DuncanHockley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“The amazing train journey”
Reviewed August 29, 2011

A few hundred Kilometers South Of Madagascars capital Antananarivo is the town of Firanaranttsoa. This town is in the mountains hundreds of Kilometers inland This train Heads east and takes about eight houres. As it snakes its way down the mountains it takes in breathtaking views of the mountain slowly turning into mountain rainforest. It passed through eighteen small villages in the mountain and delivers goods to them. In fact thousands of folk rely of this service which eventually ends up at the East Coast and Manakara. Passing through these poor villages is amazing and each village will see the train just once every other day. The tourists on the train are helping the mountain folk get a little help buy buying goods and services off the villagers as they desend all over and around the train selling fruit, coffee, water, ciggerettes you name it. It was amazing and every one I have met when they realise that you made that journey are delighted when they find out because they know that you saw it too. Highly Highly recomended. The train is old and green and the best thing ever

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
5 Thank seanpowell46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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