Eastern And Oriental Express – A Journey Like No Other

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.

20 Responses to Eastern And Oriental Express – A Journey Like No Other

  1. Sandra July 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    WOW, that trip really looks amazing, would LOVE to take a trip like that sometime!!! :)

    • Nathan July 2, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

      Thanks for the comment, yeah it was a great trip – pure luxury and so much fun.

  2. jesse @ gntbudapest.info July 4, 2012 at 5:31 am #

    What an adventure! You two sure have carved out a wonderful niche.

    My girlfriend and I are on our first big trip, and I must say that we idolize what you two have done, and are doing.

    We hope to one day be taking sponsored luxury train rides :-)

    Kudos! 

    • Sofia - As We Travel July 4, 2012 at 6:21 am #

      Hey Jesse – thank you very much for those kind words – great to hear you are on your first big trip, hope you are both having a wonderful time!

  3. Tammy Lau July 5, 2012 at 7:01 am #

    I always love train travel, from the train across europe to the Trans-siberian train. I just love that you can see the scenery along the way Also, you can get to meet and talk to local people traveling on the train. I would suggest everyone do it and next time let me try this Eastern & Oriental Express :)

    http://www.edgymix.com

    • Sofia - As We Travel July 7, 2012 at 2:36 am #

      Hey Tammy, train travel really is one of the BEST ways to see a country and connect with the locals – thanks for your comment.

  4. Migration Expert July 5, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Wow, truly luxurious as it looks.  Seems you really had a great vacation traveling from countries to countries.  I love the photos, they did show the fun and enjoyment you guys had.  And you were so lucky to have Eastern & Oriental Express sponsor you trip.  Great post guys, kudos! :)

    • Sofia - As We Travel July 5, 2012 at 9:06 am #

      Hey – thanks for the comment, yes it was VERY luxurious and a great way to see South East Asia – we will be posting a photo essay from the train trip in a few days with many more photos, so make sure to check them out as well :)

  5. Jon July 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Looks like such an awesome adventure!!! Great memories to have with you all your lives :)

  6. Waegook Tom July 8, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    This looks so glamorous – there’s something about train travel that is so romantic when compared to, say, air or bus travel. I think I’d have spent all my time in the observation car – watching the world roll by whilst sitting on a train is my favourite way to travel.

    Thanks for sharing this, guys :)

    • Sofia - As We Travel July 8, 2012 at 10:53 am #

      Hey Tom – you are so right, we both really LOVE train travel as well – the observation car was one of the highlights, really made you feel like you were experiencing the countryside up close and personal :)

  7. Benjamin Finck July 9, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    Fantastic. That’s for sure a great experience. I work for the belgian train company and take the train every day. This is amazing and great that such beautiful trains still exist in the world. Thank you for sharing all your travel experience. It’s such interresting to discover your travels. Take care about you and enjoy. 

    • Nathan July 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

      Hey Benjamin – thanks for the comment, I have to agree, we also LOVE taking the train, its really such a great way to see a country – nice to connect with you on here :)

  8. evelyn (@evelyn_pn) July 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    This looks really great !!! I love train travelling…I just posted your article on travel news – tra.velne.ws I hope u don’t mind :-)

    • Nathan July 13, 2012 at 6:17 am #

      Hey Evelyn – thanks for sharing this article :)

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