Introduction/History:

Belmond acquired New Zealand’s famed Silver Star, brought it to Southeast Asia, and refurbished it in elegant style, then 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.

In our opinion, the Eastern & Oriental Express is one of the most beautiful trains in the world. It takes a maximum of 82 guests, making for a convivial yet intimate atmosphere. Dining is excellent, as is service. Other highlights include interesting off-train excursions and on-board entertainment. It is overall an exceptional experience.

Click here for Angela Walker’s blog about her trip from Bangkok to Singapore aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express.

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Accommodations

The train offers three types of accommodation:  Presidential, State and Pullman Cabins.

All cabins are air-conditioned, have complimentary Wi-Fi, and include a private bathroom with sink, shower, and toilet. All are paneled with beautiful cherry wood and elm burr and adorned with decorative marquetry and intricate inlays. Each cabin has 24-hour service, called by a bell.

There are two Presidential Cabins, each with a whopping 125 square feet of space, taking up half a train car. This gorgeous suite has a couch, long table and two chairs, as well as a spacious bathroom. The nighttime configuration is two lower twin berths. Presidential Cabin guests also get the following included amenities:

– Private transfers to/from train stations in Singapore & Bangkok
– Complimentary mini bar stocked with a selection of spirits, local beer and soft drinks
– Complimentary hot breakfast served in the cabin (upgrade from continental breakfast)
– Docking station and bluetooth speaker in cabin

There are 24 State Cabins on board. State Cabins are 84 square feet, with a couch, fixed chair and desk chair. The seating area converts to two lower sleeping berths at night.

There are 15 double Pullman Cabins measuring 62 square feet. Pullmans have a couch that converts to one upper and one lower sleeping berth. A limited number of cabins without a single supplement are available.

Storage: Each cabin has a small luggage rack over the window and a small wardrobe with a few hangers. Larger bags should be stored in the baggage car; only smaller bags should be brought into the cabin.

Dining

Breakfast and afternoon tea are served in your cabin; lunch and dinner are taken in the dining cars, lavishly decorated with rosewood and elm paneling. House drinks are complimentary. Dining on board is a highlight: the French executive chef, Yannis Martineau, has been with the train for more than 10 years, and the 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 Venice Simplon-Orient-Express sister train, which is a feat. Chef Yannis’ creative offerings of European Style, Asian and fusion offer a memorable experience.

There are three dining cars — Adisorn, Rosaline, and Malaya — with seating for 28 guests. Each is decorated in floral motifs reflecting the culture of the region. The lighting, china, crystal, and flatware adds up to a gorgeous ambience — heightened by their signature pink lamps.

There is also a Saloon Car which has a small dining area for up to 16 guests. Most journeys will include the Saloon Car and one dining car, and there will be two seatings for both lunch and dinner.

Lounge Cars

The Observation Car is located at the end of the train—a favorite public space.  The car includes a bar and lounge area with complimentary Wi-Fi. At the rear is an outdoor observation area decorated with teak wood. (Smoking is permitted in the outdoor area only.)

The Lounge Car is located toward the middle of the train, and also contains a bar and comfortable couches, chairs and tables. The Lounge Car comes alive in the evenings, first for pre-dinner cocktails, then after-dinner entertainment, with local entertainment and a resident pianist playing until the last person retires.

The Saloon Car includes a boutique and reading lounge with library, in addition to the dining area. Foot massages are bookable in the Saloon Car at a very reasonable price.

House wine, house spirits and local beer are included throughout your journey. Premium drinks are additional, including a fantastic list of specialty cocktails, such as “Mist on the Rice Paddies,” using the magical effects of dry ice.

Other

IRT highly recommends treating yourself to a 45-minute foot massage; it is extra special to enjoy this relaxing treatment while watching the beautiful Southeast Asian scenery pass by.  Also in the Saloon Car, some departures feature a palm reader, while others a magician — all great fun. Evening entertainment in the Lounge Car usually features local Thai and/or Malaysian dancers, not to be missed.

The train runs when the weather is best: from January to April and September to December.

Off-train excursion are included and offer a choice of a more relaxed or active option. See itineraries for more information.

Please note: The Eastern & Oriental Express travels over rough track in Thailand. If you have back issues or other health issues that would be exacerbated by rough track, you may be more comfortable on a different train. Call or e-mail us to discuss which journey is right for you.

Click here for Angela Walker’s blog about her trip from Bangkok to Singapore aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express.

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

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The observation deck of the Eastern & Oriental Express.  (IRT Photo by Eleanor Hardy) ©The Society of International Railway Travelers®
The observation deck of the Eastern & Oriental Express. (IRT Photo by Eleanor Hardy) ©The Society of International Railway Travelers®
Breakfast is served daily in guests' compartments. (IRT Photo by Eleanor Hardy) ©The Society of International Railway Travelers®
Breakfast is served daily in guests' compartments. (IRT Photo by Eleanor Hardy) ©The Society of International Railway Travelers®
Snapping photos of the Thai countryside from a State cabin on the Eastern & Oriental Express. (IRT photo by Angela Walker)
Snapping photos of the Thai countryside from a State cabin on the Eastern & Oriental Express. (IRT photo by Angela Walker)
IRT Society owners Eleanor & Owen Hardy in the diner. ©The Society of International Railway Travelers®
IRT Society owners Eleanor & Owen Hardy in the diner. ©The Society of International Railway Travelers®
Puppeteers entertain in the lounge car. (IRT Photo by Owen Hardy) ©The Society of International Railway Travelers®
Puppeteers entertain in the lounge car. (IRT Photo by Owen Hardy) ©The Society of International Railway Travelers®