Introduction/History:

In 1991, following the success of its European continental train, the Orient-Express company acquired New Zealand’s famed Silver Star, transported it to Southeast Asia and, following refurbishment, re-christened it the Eastern & Oriental Express (E&O). The train runs 1,262 miles between Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok, Thailand. The inaugural journey was September, 1993.

New for 2017: Guests in Presidential Suites will enjoy a host of new (and valuable) amenities going forward, including complimentary and exclusive in-cabin wi-fi and complimentary private limousine transfers to/from train stations in Singapore & Bangkok. Presidential Suites also include:

– A bottle of champagne and fruit basket in cabin on arrival
– Complimentary mini bar – stocked with a selection of spirits, local beer, soft drinks and chocolate
– Complimentary on board pressing service
– Wireless speaker in cabin

Click here for owner Eleanor Hardy’s blog about the Epic Thailand journey aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express.

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Accommodations

In our opinion, the Eastern & Oriental is one of the most beautiful trains in the world, with service to match.

All cabins are air-conditioned and include private bathroom with sink, shower and toilet. All sleeping compartments are paneled with cherry wood and elm burr and adorned with decorative marquetry and intricate inlays. All have 24-hour service, called by a bell.

The train has two Presidential Suites, with a whopping 125 square feet of space, two lower berths and a separate lounge area. This gorgeous suite takes up half a train car.

Beginning in 2017, guests in Presidential Suites enjoy a host of new amenities, including complimentary and exclusive in-cabin wi-fi and complimentary private limousine transfers to/from train stations in Singapore & Bangkok. Presidential Suites also include:

– A bottle of champagne and fruit basket in cabin on arrival
– Complimentary mini bar – stocked with a selection of spirits, local beer, soft drinks and chocolate
– Complimentary on board pressing service
– Wireless speaker in cabin

There are 28 State compartments, with 84 square feet, which have two lower berths.

There are 30 double Pullmans with 62 square feet and one upper and one lower berth. There are also six single Pullmans which are 54 square feet and have one lower bed. (There is no single supplement for these.)

On this train, all the beds fold into comfortable seating during the day.

Storage: each cabin has a luggage rack over the window; there is a small cupboard on board with some hangers.  Larger bags should be stored in the baggage car; only smaller bags should be brought into the compartment.

Dining

Breakfast and afternoon tea are served in your compartment; lunch and dinner are taken in the two restaurant cars, lavishly decorated with rosewood and elm paneling. Dining on board is a highlight: the train’s French chef and its food service has received international accolades for the blending of Western and Eastern culinary styles. Food and service, in our opinion, match that of its famous European Orient Express sister train, which is a feat.

Lounge Cars

The Observation Car is located at the very end of the train—a favorite public space. One-third of the Observation Car is an outdoor observation area decorated with teak wood. (Smoking is permitted in the outdoor area only.) Its interior section is the perfect place to enjoy cocktails amidst a colonial ‘veranda’ ambiance. It has teak wood flooring, paneled walls, rattan furniture and potted plants. The bar car, toward the middle of the train, is open throughout the day and late into the evening for cocktails; local entertainment is performed in the evenings. The resident pianist keeps things lively.

Other

Although the train originally ran just between Singapore and Bangkok, new itineraries abound and include Bangkok-Vientiane, Laos and itineraries including Chiang Mai. The program covers all meals and includes sightseeing.  On the short Singapore to Bangkok trips, alcoholic drinks on board are not included. On the longer journeys, dubbed “Chronicles” trips, everything is included except gratuities to the train staff.

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The observation deck of the Eastern & Oriental Express.  (IRT Photo by Eleanor Hardy) ©2012 The Society of International Railway Travelers®
The observation deck of the Eastern & Oriental Express. (IRT Photo by Eleanor Hardy) ©2012 The Society of International Railway Travelers®
Breakfast is served daily in guests' compartments. (IRT Photo by Eleanor Hardy) ©2012 The Society of International Railway Travelers®
Breakfast is served daily in guests' compartments. (IRT Photo by Eleanor Hardy) ©2012 The Society of International Railway Travelers®
IRT travelers Evelyn Fitzpatrick and Ron Fisher on the 2012 Epic Thailand tour. (IRT photo courtesy of Ron Fisher.) ©2012 The Society of International Railway Travelers®
IRT travelers Evelyn Fitzpatrick and Ron Fisher on the 2012 Epic Thailand tour. (IRT photo courtesy of Ron Fisher.) ©2012 The Society of International Railway Travelers®
IRT Society owners Eleanor & Owen Hardy in the diner. ©2012 The Society of International Railway Travelers®
IRT Society owners Eleanor & Owen Hardy in the diner. ©2012 The Society of International Railway Travelers®
Puppeteers entertain in the lounge car. (IRT Photo by Owen Hardy) ©2012 The Society of International Railway Travelers®
Puppeteers entertain in the lounge car. (IRT Photo by Owen Hardy) ©2012 The Society of International Railway Travelers®