Travel bucket list idea:
Eastern & Oriental Express
South-East Asia, Multiple countries|www.belmond.com|
Since its green and cream carriages took to the tracks in 1993, the Eastern & Oriental Express has become the ultimate introduction to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Laos.
Exquisitely finished local wood veneers and lacquered Chinese panels evoke the Orient, and the dining cars are inlaid with wood and finished with antique brass fittings. The bar car is the social hub, and the observation car allows one to feel part of the steamy and exotic jungle landscapes as the train crosses from the peninsula’s west to east coast.
The itineraries range from 2–4 days and include adventurous excursions: a raft river cruise, hill trek, bike tour through paddy fields and even a Thai cookery course. Cultural and historical sites include the majestic Ubudiah Mosque, the treasure-filled Sultan Shah Gallery and the Thailand–Burma Railway Centre beside the River Kwai.
Getting there & doing it
Northbound trains leave from Singapore’s Woodland station and arrive at Bangkok’s Bang Sue Grand station. Some of the routes and off-train excursions change from year to year.
The narrow track gauge means there are no double beds on the train, but all cabins are en suite and superbly appointed.
Smart casual with a jacket is recommended for dinner on the train. Sunscreen and mosquito repellent indispensable.
When to do it
The best months to visit with the longest hours of sun are between November and early April. The E&O does not run May to August.
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