The Eastern and Oriental Express – The Five Stars Hotel On Railway Tracks!
If you like constantly changing views whilst eating your breakfast, why not book a passage on the Eastern and Oriental Express. As you enjoy breakfast the train exposes your eyes to water buffalo, elephants and the jungle.
Overview Of The Train
Cocktails, fine dining, convivial company and spectacular views: this is what life aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express is all about.
The Eastern and Oriental Express fabulous staff will look after you at every step. Attentive but discreet, their aim is to make your journey smooth, indulgent and relaxing.
The whole staff team aims to provide the perfect balance between leisure time on board and inspiring exploration off the train.
Located at the rear of the train, make your way to the colonial-style, teakwood Observation Car for sightseeing by day and cocktails and entertainment after dark.
Relax with a book or magazine in the library or choose from our selection of games. Here you’ll also find the boutique, selling delightful mementos of your train journey.
Open from early morning until late into the night, the Bar Car is a convivial hub at any time of day.
Come evening, take a seat for an aperitif or cocktail set to the dulcet sounds of the resident pianist.
After dinner, settle back and enjoy the local entertainment.
There are four categories of cabins: Pullman Single, Pullman, State and Presidential. All are fully air-conditioned with en suite bathrooms. Decorative marquetry and fine fabrics give an atmosphere of warm elegance.
During the day, your cabin is a private lounge complete with banquette-style sofa. At night, it converts into a plush bedroom with an upper and lower bed.
Pullman Cabins have upper and lower berths. State Cabins and the Presidential Cabins offer two single beds. All Pullman Singles have one single bed.
What To Expect On The Journey
To begin this journey, you will need to arrive at the main station in Bangkok and board the green and gold carriages which will then carry you over 2,030 km to Singapore. The Eastern and Oriental Express will take you past remote hamlets with people smiling and waving at level crossings. As the train crosses the country you begin to realise that the people here still get excited when they see such a huge, beautifully painted vehicle.
To ensure you can take full advantage of the beautiful sights, try to get into the last car of the train. This is an observation deck, wood and brass panelled, and it has a lounge and bar. The Eastern and Oriental Express pulls out of Hualamphong Station and passes through the shanty towns of northern Bangkok.You can keep cool on the observation deck because of the breeze that whispers across it.
The carriage attendants deliver your luggage to your compartment, while you enjoy the views. Prior to the trip you will have chosen which compartment you would like, either a presidential suite or a compact. The presidential suites are spacious and contain twin beds, the compact is a pullman compartment with two bunks, the upper folds back during the day and the lower one becomes a sofa. All compartments are en-suite with shower and toilet, they also have carefully hidden storage space.
The Eastern and Oriental Express is a five star hotel. It attracts clients from all nations and many of these people are there to celebrate a special occasion. You are summoned to dinner and must dress formally. A typical dinner on offer could be : terrine of tiger prawn and mango with a vanilla and lobster vinaigrette dressing, shiitake and enoki mushroom soup perfumed with truffle and steamed sea bass with tofu followed by roast pineapple tart with banana tuille and coconut jam cream. People tend to head for the bar after dinner but a few prefer to go into the observation car to watch the jungle pass by. If you can persuade the staff to switch off the lights then you can enjoy the spectacular show of the stars in the overhead sky.
When you finally retire to your compartment, you will find the carriage attendant has been and turned down your sheets. After a good nights sleep, if you can rise by 6am you will be able to join the throngs of people in the observation car as the Eastern and Oriental Express climbs the Tham Kasae wooden viaduct. This is just before the train crosses the bridge over the River Kwai.
This bridge, built by Allied prisoners of war and native slave labour, is a famous reminder of the Death Railway. 100,000 labourers died building this railway for the Japanese military, 16,000 prisoners of war also died, some of them are buried in the Kanchanaburi Allied War Cemetery. The bridge itself is a simple structure of black painted steels that still bears the scars of the bombings during the war.
After lunch the train heads south down the peninsula. The scenery changes from the hilly regions of western Thailand and through countryside that is becoming more cultivated. You will see water buffalo pulling old-fashioned ploughs through the paddy fields.
The train crosses the border with Malaysia during the night. The next morning you disembark for a ferry ride to Penang island, while you do that the carriage attendants complete the immigration procedures on your behalf. You visit Khoo Kongsi, a short way outside Georgetown. Khoo Kongsi is a preserved clan village which consists of a theatre, rowhouses and a decorated Chinese temple that has frescoed walls and lanterns. You are then taken to the Eastern and Oriental Hotel by rickshaw. The Hotel dates from 1885 and is totally independent from the Orient Express company.
The last night on the Eastern and Oriental Express and after dinner you are treated, in the bar, to a performance of traditional Malay dancing.
You are woken by a knock on the door so you can marvel at the views as the train crosses the causeway that links Singapore to Asia’s mainland.
Summary Of Available Journeys You Can Choose
SOUTHEAST ASIA THROUGH THE AGES
11 nights: Singapore – Malaysia – Bangkok – Cambodia
Take an unforgettable rail journey through the heart of Southeast Asia aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express. Continue to Cambodia and explore the world-famous Angkor Wat with a stay at Belmond La Residence d’Angkor.
CONTRASTING CULTURES – SINGAPORE TO LAOS
11 nights: Singapore – Malaysia – Bangkok – Laos
Journey on the Eastern & Oriental Express before losing yourself to the timeless charm of Luang Prabang with a stay at Belmond La Residence Phou Vao.
SIGNATURE JOURNEY: BANGKOK TO SINGAPORE
7 nights: Bangkok – Malaysia – Singapore
Following a stay in Bangkok, travel through Thailand, past the legendary River Kwai and onwards to Malaysia aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express. Finish your journey with a relaxing stay in Singapore.
RIVERS AND RAILROADS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA
16 nights: Singapore – Bangkok – Yangon – Mandalay – Ayeyarwady and Chindwin Rivers – Bagan
Take an unforgettable rail journey through the heart of Southeast Asia on board Eastern & Oriental Express. Then, travel onwards to explore Myanmar with a stay at the luxurious Belmond Governor’s Residence and a cruise on Belmond Orcaella.
Go Off The Beaten Track With The Eastern & Oriental Express And Explore A Captivating Land That Romances The Senses
This magical Indonesian island is renowned for its dazzling sands and crystal-clear coves. Stay at Belmond Jimbaran Puri, where exquisite cottages and villas, each with a private swimming pool, are scattered beside one of the island’s best beaches. Take a refreshing dip in the large free-form pool, offering uninterrupted sea views, and make the most of the resort’s restaurants, spa and boutique.
Turquoise waters and pristine sands fringe this charming Thai island. Stay in a beautiful villa or suite at Belmond Napasai to enjoy the private beach and palm-shaded gardens. Explore the natural wonders of Ang Thong National Marine Park, tee off at the nearby golf course, or explore the awe-inspiring jungle. Head off on a boat trip, or try your hand at windsurfing, kayaking and snorkelling. Unwind by resort’s infinity pool, or relax with a treatment at the spa.
Cambodia most famous draw is the fabled Angkor, capital of the Khmer Empire, featuring 100 temples, shrines and pagodas. Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor, our intimate hotel, is just a heartbeat from this historic complex. Surrounded by lush gardens, it’s furnished in local style and enhanced by modern and luxurious touches. some of the best organized tours in the world when it comes to temples, as well as excursions to other notable sites, can be arranged to suit your interests.
Largely untouched by tourism, Laos boasts stunning landscapes and a rich cultural heritage. The UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang charms visitors with decorative buildings with romantic mountain scenery. Belmond La Résidence Phou Vaonests on a hill overlooking the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. This leafy hideaway boasts an infinity-edge pool, spa and restaurant serving French and Laotian cuisine.
Things You Need To Know Prior Booking The Eastern and Oriental Express
Check that your passport is valid for at least six months at time of travel.
Your steward will request your passport and ask you to complete immigration and customs documents. Passport and customs formalities take place at the Malaysian/Thai border and on boarding or disembarking at Singapore.
You will not normally be disturbed during your journey, and your passport will be returned to you prior to disembarking.
Passengers boarding in Singapore and Bangkok are advised that refunds on Goods and Services Tax are only available at the airport and not at the railway station.
Visas for tourism visits to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are not normally required for stays of less than 30 days, except for nationals of certain Middle Eastern, African and South American countries. Visas may be necessary for onward travel to other Asian destinations. If a visa is required for a particular country, it is necessary to obtain a visa even if you are only in transit through the country.
It is not possible to obtain visas on board the train or at the respective border points for entry into Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand. Those nationalities that do require visas for entry into any of these countries must obtain the correct documentation before boarding the train. You must clearly state on your visa enquiries/applications that you will be travelling by rail.
For Bangkok – Vientiane – Bangkok journeys, please note that you will require an entry visa for Laos.
For passengers boarding the train at Bangkok, two passport-sized photographs are required upon check-in at Bangkok’s Hualampong Station in order for your visa application to be processed.
No special health certificates are required, but you should request advice from your medical practitioner or travel specialist. Quarantine arrangements apply to travellers affected by yellow fever.
Customs regulations are in line with those prevailing elsewhere in the world, however the importation of prohibited items carries serious penalties. In particular, the importation of narcotics into Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore is treated very seriously. On conviction, the death penalty is still applied in certain cases.
During your journey, staff and agents of Eastern & Oriental Express will provide assistance to facilitate border formalities. You will be required to provide relevant information and hand over your passport at the appropriate times. Please note, however, that it is the responsibility of each individual passenger to ensure that they are in possession of the necessary and valid documentation. The Company assumes no responsibility for the consequences of any failure to comply.
At the Malaysian Customs and Immigration facility, the E&O stops and passengers must disembark and pass through Customs and Immigration. Passengers must take all their hand baggage with them while their main luggage is removed for security screening procedures. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for these formalities when organizing you onward arrangements.
Passport and customs formalities take place at the Malaysian/Thai border. Passengers will not normally be disturbed during the journey. Passports will be held during the journey by the stewards and will be returned immediately prior to disembarking.
We strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance as soon as you book your journey or holiday. If you have not already done so, we suggest you contact your travel agent or the Belmond Reservations Office in your home country to assist you.
Luggage is limited to 30kg per person for Pullman and State Compartment passengers. There is no limit for passengers travelling in a Presidential Suite. Please keep your tickets, passports and any medication with you; do not pack them in your through or compartment luggage. Please note, durian fruit must not be taken on board.
We recommend that you label your luggage with a contact address, your hotel and your destination. It will be taken care of as follows:
We suggest that items not required for your journey are packed separately in a sturdy case. At check-in this luggage will be labelled by our staff, after which it will not normally be accessible until you reach your destination. Ideally, large and/or hard cases should be checked in as through luggage.
This should contain clothing and items you need during your journey. When you plan your luggage, please bear in mind that storage space is limited. There is a luggage rack, plus an additional storage cupboard with hangers. One or two soft-sided suit carriers or similar can be comfortably accommodated in each compartment.
Your passport, tickets, jewellery, money, camera, fragile items and any medication should be kept in your hand luggage and not checked in. We advise that you take out insurance to cover any loss or damage to your luggage.
The train features elegant private cabins, most with twin beds. All are fully air-conditioned with en-suite shower, toilet, hairdryer and a personal safe. Sockets are suitable for 3-pin UK standard plugs (220 volts).
During the day, berths, or single beds, are converted into comfortable seating.
Pullman Single Cabins
Daytime seating converts at night to a single bed at floor level. Dimensions are 5 sq m.
Daytime seating converts to upper and lower berths at night. Dimensions are 5.8 sq m.
Daytime seating converts to two single beds at floor level at night. Dimensions are 7.8 sq m.
Daytime seating converts to two single beds at floor level at night. There is ample room to entertain one or two of your fellow guests in daytime configuration. They also feature a complimentary minibar, CD player and an adaptor for your personal iPod/MP3 player. Dimensions are 11.6 sq m.
The Eastern & Oriental Express Collection offers a range of exclusively designed gifts available on-board. On request, these may be gift wrapped and brought to your cabin.
Gifts may also be purchased via mail order. A brochure and order form will be in your cabin for you to take home.
The atmosphere on board is one of relaxed refinement. However, we are sensitive to the varying wardrobe needs of passengers on long journeys and from different national backgrounds, and wish our guests to be comfortable at all times.
During the day, smart casual attire is appropriate. Please do not wear jeans or trainers.
Evening dining offers guests an opportunity to dress up for the occasion with glamour and style; jacket and tie is customary for gentlemen, with suitable evening wear for ladies.
On our Chronicle six-night journeys, there will be a selection of formal and relaxed evenings (e.g. an open-necked shirt and jacket for men is appropriate on some nights). On these particular journeys we also encourage guests to explore, so comfortable daywear is acceptable.
For sightseeing and excursions, light cotton clothes are most practical and a sun hat is recommended.
Sightseeing & Excursions
Qualified guides escort all sightseeing and excursions. These are designed to provide the perfect balance between relaxing on board and the opportunity for fascinating experiences off the train.
Please respect local cultures when visiting temples and pagodas. At any stop, please remember that it is your responsibility to ensure you have embarked before the train departs.
Passengers not wishing to join any excursion are advised to remain on board the train at all times unless otherwise advised by the Train Manager.
A first aid kit is carried on board for emergency use. If it becomes apparent that a doctor is required, please inform the Train Manager who will arrange for the passenger to alight at the next station enabling medical attention.
Gratuities for staff and guides are at the passenger’s discretion.
Restaurant Cars & Dining
There are three restaurant cars—two of which join the Eastern & Oriental Express for every journey. Each car is decorated in floral motifs reflecting the culture of the region and featuring either elm panels with light-wood design inlays or rosewood with decorative lacquered panels hand-painted with delicate flowers.
Distinctive European cutlery and hand-cut crystal glassware are used. Table d’hôte meals are included in your fare. On most journeys there are usually two sittings for lunch and dinner. Your preference for the first or second sitting will be noted by the Maitre D’ at check-in. Breakfast and afternoon tea are served in your cabin.
For those passengers wishing to rise early to take advantage of the beautiful scenery, tea and coffee will be served in the Observation Car from 7am onwards.
We endeavour to cater for special dietary requirements. To avoid disappointment, please inform us fully of your personal requests at least 14 days in advance. We regret that we are unable to provide meals requiring strict religious observance in their preparation.
Complimentary tea and coffee are available at all times. For our Chronicles of Southeast Asia journeys, all wines and bar drinks are included in your fare.
For other journeys, wines and bar drinks are not included but may be purchased at an additional cost. Bar drinks may be ordered in the Observation Car, Bar Car or served in your cabin by your steward.
The Bar Car stays open as long as you wish, but drinks service may be temporarily suspended at the Singapore/Malaysian/Thai border for Customs formalities or at the Train Manager’s discretion.
Items on board are priced in US Dollars, and we suggest you take US Dollars for spending during your journey. European currencies as well as Thai Baht, Malaysian Ringgit and Singapore Dollars are accepted on board and change will be given in US Dollars. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, JCB and travellers cheques are accepted, but not personal cheques.
In keeping with Indoor Air Quality regulations in the region, and as a courtesy to your fellow travellers, smoking is not permitted throughout the air-conditioned carriages of the train.
Guests may smoke in the open-deck area of the Observation Car.
Enjoy your vacation on the Eastern and Oriental Express this year!
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