As We Travel » Singapore http://www.aswetravel.com Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog Tue, 16 Dec 2014 18:58:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 VIDEO: Eastern & Oriental Express – Singapore To Bangkok http://www.aswetravel.com/eastern-oriental-express-singapore-to-bangkok/ http://www.aswetravel.com/eastern-oriental-express-singapore-to-bangkok/#comments Sun, 04 Nov 2012 07:00:40 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=38275 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Earlier this year we had the opportunity to travel on the Eastern and Oriental Express from Singapore to Bangkok – the 3-day trip was one of pure indulgence with good food, beautiful views and 5-star service! It’s a beautiful train and a trip of a lifetime, and we made a short video summing up our […]

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As We Travel - Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to travel on the Eastern and Oriental Express from Singapore to Bangkok – the 3-day trip was one of pure indulgence with good food, beautiful views and 5-star service!

It’s a beautiful train and a trip of a lifetime, and we made a short video summing up our experience – check it out below:

You can also read more about the trip below:

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Eastern & Oriental Express – The Photo Essay http://www.aswetravel.com/eastern-oriental-express-photo-essay/ http://www.aswetravel.com/eastern-oriental-express-photo-essay/#comments Mon, 09 Jul 2012 06:00:14 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=33684 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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The best way to describe what the Eastern & Oriental Express was really like is to simply show you – after all, don’t they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Below we have put together a photo essay to showcase the best of our train trip (you will even see us dressed to […]

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The best way to describe what the Eastern & Oriental Express was really like is to simply show you – after all, don’t they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Below we have put together a photo essay to showcase the best of our train trip (you will even see us dressed to the max in a suit & evening dress :P) - also if you would like to read more about the train and our personal journey – you can click here.

The observation car was one of our favorite things about the E&O – located at the very end of the train, you could enjoy the landscape sweeping past, slowly changing as you traveled from the south in Singapore all the way up north to Bangkok.

Those getting up early to watch the sunrise through the mist were served hot tea, which added a nice touch to the colonial ambience of the car.

Our conversations during lunch were always interrupted by one of us going “hey – look at that!” pointing out the window, seeing something odd, funny or amazing.

Like Agatha Christie says: Trains are wonderful… to travel by train is to see nature and human beings, towns… and rivers, in fact, to see life.

This journey was all about relaxing, indulging and enjoying yourself.

After all the extra hassle that comes with planning your own travels, it was really nice to have a break and just sit back and relax letting the exceptional and friendly staff take care of everything for you, from the excursions to the wonderful food.

When darkness fell outside the window, the train got even brighter and livelier inside – men dressed up in tuxedos and a tie, women putting on their evening dresses and glimmering jewels, and the piano bar full of people mingling after dinner with a glass of wine or two.


And finally, the food – those who know me are well aware that I have a SERIOUS sweet tooth, so as you can see I was very spoiled with all the beautiful desserts and sweets served on the train.

Note: Our trip was sponsored by Eastern & Oriental Express, but as always our opinions are our own.

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Eastern And Oriental Express – A Journey Like No Other http://www.aswetravel.com/eastern-oriental-express-a-journey-like-no-other/ http://www.aswetravel.com/eastern-oriental-express-a-journey-like-no-other/#comments Mon, 02 Jul 2012 02:00:59 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=33039 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Eastern And Oriental Express – A Journey Like No Other After a couple of days enjoying the best of Singapore, we had the pleasure of traveling on the Eastern and Oriental Express up to Bangkok – the train took us through the jungles of Malaysia and rice fields of Thailand during 3 luxurious and unforgettable days. […]

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Eastern And Oriental Express – A Journey Like No Other

After a couple of days enjoying the best of Singapore, we had the pleasure of traveling on the Eastern and Oriental Express up to Bangkok – the train took us through the jungles of Malaysia and rice fields of Thailand during 3 luxurious and unforgettable days.

Check-In & Boarding

Since Woodland’s train station is slightly out of town, we checked in for the train at the Regent Hotel, a five star hotel on Orchard Road with the same luxurious, traditional style of the Eastern and Oriental Express train.

The air was filled with excitement, and looking around the room there were all sorts of people who were taking the journey: solo travelers, couples, friends and families.

From the hotel we were driven by bus to the train station, where the border crossing was the smoothest I’ve ever experienced (why can’t all border crossings be like this?), a world away from how we crossed the border into Singapore just a few days earlier …

The Compartments

When boarding the Eastern and Oriental Express, your steward takes you to your “room” – there are 3 types of compartments: Pullman Cabins (bunk beds), State Cabins (twin beds) and Presidential Suites.

They’re all very well appointed and beautifully designed with walls of cherry wood and romantic decorations in Oriental style.

We stayed in a Pullman Cabin, which was slightly small but well laid out - each cabin has a bathroom with shower, a writing desk, panoramic windows and a couch that is converted into beds by the steward when you’re out for dinner.

The Highlights

The observation car was one of the highlights on the Eastern and Oriental Express, and one of the first things we decided to check out.

When there is no window separating you from the rice fields, jungles and rural countryside, it feels more real: you can smell the country – hear it – feel it.

The view from the train was exactly like in the movies, where children play by the tracks and farmers look up and waive their hands with a big smile as you pass.

The saloon car, library car, restaurant cars and piano bar car really made you feel like you had stepped back into a glamorous past.

There was a traditional luxury over the whole train, both in the design as much as in the service and general vibe.

Chit-chatting over a tray of peanuts and a glass of wine while listening to beautiful piano music was a reality I never thought possible on a train – everything was immaculate and so full of character and charm.

Dining

We felt truly spoiled with the exceptional food we indulged in during the trip on Eastern and Oriental Express.

A lot of thought and skill were put into every single dish, from the unique mixture of Asian and European influences to the presentation – I have no idea how the chefs managed to make such great food in such tiny kitchens on a bumpy train!

Breakfast is served in the cabin on a big tray with everything from Danish pastries to local Malaysian tea.

Lunch is served in one of the restaurant cars, and we were surprised to find that even this was a full 4 course meal!

Afternoon tea was served in the cabin, with a nice selection of local treats to try.

We really liked how they used a lot of local Asian ingredients and specialties – the local cuisine is a big part of experiencing a country, and on the Eastern and Oriental Express you really got a taste of South East Asia.

I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much food in the span of three short days..!

The dinner on the Eastern and Oriental Express is quite an event, where suit jacket and tie is compulsory for men, and women dress up in evening dresses.

To see everyone dress up in their finest clothes, from a Kimono to evening gowns and lots and lots of glittering jewels, really enhanced the whole occasion – and I got to enjoy the rare sight of Nathan in a suit ;)

In the romantic dining cars you’re served a 5-course meal every evening, with some absolutely delicious desserts and chocolates to finish the night in perfection.

The Entertainment

With fruit tasting, palm reading, foot massage and a Thai dance show, there are many things to keep you busy on the Eastern and Oriental Express, and on both days of the journey you take a small excursion.

In Malaysia you go for a guided Trishaw tour around Georgetown, Penang, and in Thailand you visit the Bridge on the River Kwai for a boat tour and a museum visit.

These are great ways to take in the culture of the places you visit, but it’s the journey and the Eastern and Oriental Express in itself that is the real experience.

The Service

While the Eastern and Oriental Express truly knows how to provide a glamorous vibe and luxurious experience, what made the journey most memorable, were the exceptional staff.

They treated it like something more than just a job, they were really enjoying it – and it showed through.

They were professional and yet personal, making us feel very pampered and special.

The staff makes all the difference, and the people working for this company were what made the journey the best it could possibly be – this trip was something very special for everyone onboard the train, and the staff treated it as though it was special also for them.

Our journey with the Eastern and Oriental Express was exactly what people say it is: a journey like no other!

Note: Our trip was sponsored by Eastern and Oriental Express, but as always our opinions are our own.

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Things To Do In Singapore http://www.aswetravel.com/things-to-do-in-singapore/ http://www.aswetravel.com/things-to-do-in-singapore/#comments Thu, 28 Jun 2012 10:00:59 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=33271 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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During our week in Singapore, we found it to be a very exciting place to visit. The country has gone to many lengths to encourage tourists to visit, and since everything was so easy to reach you could manage to do a lot of things in a short period of time – in other words, […]

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During our week in Singapore, we found it to be a very exciting place to visit.

The country has gone to many lengths to encourage tourists to visit, and since everything was so easy to reach you could manage to do a lot of things in a short period of time – in other words, a perfect place to visit for only 1 week.

A modern metropolis, Singapore is incredibly well-structured, organised and yes, it is true that you get fined for spitting on the street, littering and chewing gum on the train!

What you would think is just common sense, is a strict law in Singapore, but because of this the city is cleaner and greener than any other cosmopolitan city we’ve visited in South East Asia.

You’re not even allowed to drive a car that’s older than 10 years, so everything truly is brand new.

Here are some great things to do in Singapore…

Go On A Shopping Spree

One of the main reasons people choose Singapore as a holiday destination is because of its shopping opportunities – and you can take full advantage of these on a short break or stop-over.

Orchard Road is considered the most famous shopping district with haute couture labels and fantastic window displays.

If you happen to be in the country during a major celebration, then store sales will definitely be in your favour.

Due to the tropical heat, Singapore has plenty of mega malls which will have you shopping hours on end without breaking a sweat.

Although, we all know that local markets are much more authentic and exciting.

The best time to visit the markets is in the evening – walking through the market in China Town in midday is like a sweaty concrete jungle and with the smell of Peking duck and smoked pork, it can get a little overpowering at the best of times.

For cheaper alternatives, Little India has some shopping malls, markets and boutiques that are worth a look.

Explore The Cultural Diversion

With a wide variety of different cultures, it is the people that really make the city what it is today as flickers of traditional designs and customs still peek through this modern day metropolis.

With Little India, Chinatown and Arab Street, you feel like you’re exploring several different countries in one day – only a cleaner version of “the real thing”.

All of these areas have their own charm, delicious food and local handicrafts typical for their culture – my favorite, however, was Arab Street and its surrounding alleys, absolutely amazing!

Take In The Awesome Architecture

With the city growing and updating itself at rapid speed, the trend for modern buildings, including unique holiday accommodation, is forever increasing to new levels.

The newest instalment to the city’s skyline is the Marina Bay Sands Skypark. Or as I like to say, ‘The Floating Boat’.

A hotel, casino and club, this is where people are starting to base themselves for a long night out.

Walk along the bay, and watch the “laser light and water show” at night, which aims to capture the essence of Singapore (Sunday to Thursday at 8pm and 9:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, 9:30pm and 11pm).

Visit The Parks

Capturing the skyline of Singapore is definitely a “must-do”, but you’ll find that the city is much more than just high rise buildings.

There are a huge number of green parks around the city, and the amazing Botanical Garden was one of our favorites to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

For those who are in the city for less than a day, Singapore’s tourism industry has put together a bus tour around the city’s major sights.

Although the airport is ranked as one of the best in the world and more than equipped for those who are on quite a long stop-over, having a quick city tour set up is great.

We did the Hop On – Hop Off tour to faster get around the city to the places we wanted to explore, and we found it to be very useful.

These are just a few things scratching the surface of everything that Singapore offers, what do you love most about Singapore?

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Matchbox Concept Hostel In Singapore (Review) http://www.aswetravel.com/matchbox-concept-hostel-singapore-review/ http://www.aswetravel.com/matchbox-concept-hostel-singapore-review/#comments Wed, 27 Jun 2012 02:00:59 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=33062 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Dorms are not exactly known to give you much privacy – you sleep together with a bunch of strangers in squeaky bunk beds while someone else’s sweaty feet climb the little ladder on the side of the bed next to your face, and wherever you look you’re facing someone else in a bed in front […]

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Dorms are not exactly known to give you much privacy – you sleep together with a bunch of strangers in squeaky bunk beds while someone else’s sweaty feet climb the little ladder on the side of the bed next to your face, and wherever you look you’re facing someone else in a bed in front of you.

Well, there is a different sort of bunk bed system which is becoming more and more popular around the world, that claims to tackle some of these annoyances: pod beds.

We had never tried this concept before, and were curious to see how different a dorm experience would be with pod beds – so we decided to check out Matchbox The Concept Hostel, which is one of the most popular hostels in Singapore.

The Concept

Matchbox is one of the new “upmarket hostels” that are emerging in Singapore, catering to so-called “flashpackers”, although I have to say they’re keeping their prices quite reasonable when it comes to Singapore accommodation.

While the hostel is in a historical shophouse, the interior is refurbished into a very modern and immaculately clean place.

With foot and back massager, cardio exerciser, washing and drying machines, all-day breakfast and a large pantry with designer bean bags, board games and a big plasma TV with DVD’s – you feel right at home.

Super fast wifi spans throughout the hostel (or you can use their laptops for free if you don’t have one), there is an iPod docking station in every room, and a nice and quiet A/C.

The greatest thing about the hostel is that all of the above, plus towels and other extras, are included in the price – there are no annoying hidden extras and add-ons.

The Dorms

So you sleep in a type of capsule/pod bed cabin, giving you that well needed private space, your own little “crib”, where you can hang out and sleep undisturbed.

There are three room types to choose from; a 2 bed dorm, 10 bed female dorm and 16 bed mixed dorm – there are two types of pod cabins, the single pod and the double pod which is the size of a queen size bed.

We slept in a queen size bed on the upper bunk, and there was plenty of room for both of us.

It was actually very cozy, and it reminded me slightly of one of those tree houses you always dreamed to have as a kid.

With each cabin having its own lights and reading lights, the light of the dorm was very isolated, so nobody would disturb you if they woke up early, or if you slept in.

The bed was super comfy, with thick duvets and plush custom designed pillows to snuggle up in.

Location

Tucked away on Ann Siang Road, a smaller street in the heritage district of Chinatown, the location couldn’t have been better.

Close to both fancy bars and cheap restaurants, night markets and shopping centers, it’s a great place to embrace the Chinese culture of Singapore, and being close to bus stops and the MRT station in Chinatown, it’s easy to get around the city from there.

Next time you’re in Singapore, I’d definitely recommend you to check out this place!

Matchbox The Concept Hostel

Prices: Single bed in 12 dorm room S$45 – Double Bed S$88 – Single bed in Ladies 6 dorm room S$52
Address:
39 Ann Siang Road, 069716, Singapore
Website: www.matchbox.sg
Contact: +65 6423 0237
Facebook: facebook.com/Matchboxtheconcepthostel

Disclaimer: Our stay at Matchbox The Concept Hostel was sponsored, however, our opinions are – as always, our own.

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