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Fianarantsoa Cote Est (FCE)

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Address: FCE Gare, Fianarantsoa, Madagascar
Phone Number:
+261 20 75 513 54
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Fun but LONG train journey

We did the train on a Tuesday. My hotel booked it by phone the day before but I think we must have got the last first class seats, book earlier if you can (also book your... read more

Reviewed 8 August 2016
pieana
,
Sydney, Australia
via mobile

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69 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 20: English reviews
Llanberis, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 January 2017

Ok, I'm not a train enthusiast but do enjoy the vagaries of any form of alternative travel! On reading these reviews I was a little dubious but still opted for the Manakara to Fiana option. I think I was lucky in that the journey took only 13 hours but it was brilliant. So much things happening all along route. The... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank MatthewEdwinR
Antsirabe, Madagascar
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2016

Yes, I recognize, it is a long trip, but you will rewarded of an Amazing view, and such nice person. Meeting local people, just forget all troubles, and get some new mind. You all know the famous sentence : MORA MORA, which means Slowly Slowly. That's prooved on taking this train. Another proverb, 'God has given the hour to foreigners,... More 

Helpful?
3 Thank christianrakoton2016
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2016 via mobile

We did the train on a Tuesday. My hotel booked it by phone the day before but I think we must have got the last first class seats, book earlier if you can (also book your accomodation as you will be getting there late). The train left just 10 minutes late (scheduled departure is at 7am). The train is a... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank pieana
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2016

Superb Fun! 1st class costs 40,000 Ariary (10.00 GBP) - The carriage was comfortable & secure! - I was told that the train which departs TWICE per week (the third is for freight only), on Tuesday or Wednesday and Saturdays (as of June 2016) was rarely on time, however I almost missed the Saturday service, for it departed at 7:00... More 

Helpful?
3 Thank JONO5K1
Abuja, Nigeria
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2015

The concept sounds charming. For a few of hours it is actually exciting and enjoyable. But - and trust me, we're patient people who like a good train ride including slow and languorous ones around the world - it really wears thin. The other recent reviews have it right. We set off from the Lac Hotel, which is about an... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Nigel H
AUCKLAND
Level Contributor
284 reviews
95 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2015

We asked to include this train journey in our itinerary but unfortunately did not read the Tripadvisor comments first as we may have thought twice! It was an experience we are pleased to have had and it added variety to the tour. We are even more pleased to have survived it! The train is in poor condition; preserved railways in... More 

Helpful?
3 Thank LARRY R
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2014

The first 3 hours were OK, but the next 9 were pretty horrible- crowded, uncomfortable, toilets pretty grim; wished we had skipped this miserable ride altogether. Manakara wasn't worth the effort.

Helpful?
2 Thank Lynda P
St Albans, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2014

This experience is not a tourist jolly. This is the lifeline for villages for whom there is no road. It stops and starts as needed by them. As such if you want to come along expect it to be long, uncomfortable and unpredictable.

Helpful?
1 Thank Elizabeth H
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
241 reviews
184 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2014

This is the kind of total nightmare best avoided. Unfortunately, the local tour agencies always include this horrible train in their tour! This is soooo silly! Especially because the landscapes are nothing special seen that you will already have seen rice fields, jungle trees and rivers during your tour! The "first class" seats are in such a bad state, it... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank incahueca
Level Contributor
698 reviews
233 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 292 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2014

We took the FCE from Manakara to Fianarantsoa. We were well aware that this would not be a luxurious train journey, but were not prepared for a 20+ hour trip. The first seven hours of the trip were incredibly scenic and thoroughly enjoyable -- the views from the train and numerous stops in small towns offered a unique view into... More 

Helpful?
3 Thank stephandgio_m

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