In today's modern and fast-paced society, where most of us are almost obsessed with getting from A to B as quickly as possible, it’s pleasing to know that The Eastern & Oriental Express vintage-style, luxury rail journey is as popular as ever. I had the pleasure of travelling on-board from Singapore to Bangkok, saying that the experience truly captures the spirit of exotic adventures and the luxurious elegance of a bygone era, all topped off with superlative service.
Guests are encouraged to enjoy the slower pace of life within the grand carriages where there are opportunities to re-discover the art of conversation, the joy of reading, the pleasure of making new acquaintances, and, of course, the passing, enthralling scenery that incorporates overgrown jungle, palm plantations, villages, lush green paddy fields and blood-orange sun sets. Visit the Library Carriage, the Observation Car – with its open sides that allow in the heat, the breeze and the smell of the jungle, or the Piano Bar where polished wood and gleaming brass rails are an integral part of the furniture and staff are on-hand to pour you a crystal glass of Champagne, accompanied by delightful piano music.
When it comes to dining, Executive Chef Yannis Martineau and his team are nothing short of Magicians, creating culinary wizardry within the galley kitchen. A typical lunch menu may include Pan-fried Barramundi Fillet, Roast Duck Breast With Thai Vegetables, Crème Brûlée Tart or Pineapple Crumble With Banana Coulis; while at dinner there may be an amuse-bouche followed by a Rack Of Lamb or Fish Curry; finished off with a Chocolate Tart and Coconut Coulis. All dishes are beautifully presented and delicious – pure heaven! Dressing for dinner is a pleasure – although showering and applying mascara can apparently be a little tricky! The cabins are compact, but cosy, and in case you were wondering, the water is hot, with plenty of pressure.
I felt truly privileged to have experienced the wonderful sights of Asia, whilst indulging in the true art of luxury train travel, and says that The Eastern & Oriental Express train offers a rare treat in today’s otherwise hectic world. This is a journey that I will be sharing tales of with others for many years to come - especially the emotive stop at the River Kwai Bridge and the visit to the war museum and cemetery.
Luxury Train Travel Tips
• If you tend to get travel sick, consider taking some motion sickness tablets before you board the train, so that you can enjoy your journey to the full.
• Dieting before travelling is worth considering, so that you can fully savour the superb cuisine – guilt-free!
• If you’re a light sleeper the noises from the train could keep you awake, so do pack some ear plugs, just in case.
• As the Observation Car on The Eastern & Oriental Express is effectively an outdoor area, allow a few minutes for your camera lense to adjust to the humidity before you take your pictures, as it is bound to steam up.