January 31, 2020


Last December, Dan and I had the privilege of taking a train ride of our dreams: the Eastern & Oriental Express from Singapore to Thailand. We wanted this experience to be over the festive period so it would be extra special.

Day 1 | Before Boarding.

We checked in at Raffles Hotel, and got our luggage sorted by the Eastern & Oriental cabin staff. They gave us our cabin numbers and escorted us to Long Bar for some refreshments before boarding the train. We were then transferred to the Woodlands checkpoint, but not before getting to try the Singapore Sling and some pastries. Once we cleared immigration, the Eastern & Oriental Express greeted us in all her glory.

Dan and I walked to our car and found our way to the Pullman Twin Cabin. It was a cozy space for two with an en-suite. We had the perfect start to our journey with champagne and an afternoon tea to welcome us aboard.

After settling into our cabin, we looked out of our window and got really excited when the train started to move. It was going to be a three-day journey from Singapore to Malaysia, and then Bangkok. We wandered through the narrow passageways to explore the rest of the train and found ourselves in the reading room. It was a quiet, colonial styled space filled with books of all categories. We then made our way to the observation car, and marvelled at the ever-changing views of the Southern Malaysia countryside. But our romantic moment was punctuated, albeit delightfully, by a call that dinner was being served soon. We then went back our cabin to change into our formal wear, unaware of the lavish meal that waited. 

We dined in Adisorn, one of the three dining cars in the Eastern & Oriental. The interior looked right out of a movie set, and no prizes for guessing which movie I’m referring to. Dinner was exceptional, and I can’t even put into words how delightful it was. It was a four-course meal with dishes of Eastern and Western flavours created by internationally renowned chefs. Still thinking about that frothy Tom Yam soup served in a teacup. After dinner was done, we headed back to our cabin which was now converted into a cosy space for sleeping. It was honestly one of the best sleeps we had. We felt like we were being cradled while the train gently rocked us from side to side till the morning.


Morning came and we had continental breakfast served in our cabin. The train pulled in Kuala Kangsar, where we alighted to board our coach to Labu Kabong for a guided hill-trek. We had local fruit and learnt about rubber trees and stingless bees from a naturalist that afternoon. 

We returned to the train for lunch, and had our leisure time as we continued our journey to Thailand.

The rest of the afternoon was spent chatting with other guests in the observation car and relaxing at the piano bar with some cocktails. Eastern & Oriental's signature drinks blend vintage glamour with modern mixology to create a drinking experience that is truly unique. Needless to say, we had another exquisite dining experience that evening.


We had our final breakfast served in our cabin as we arrived in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. We had one last day tour before we reached our final destination, Hua Lamphong Station. Dan and I chose the guided tour of River Kwai bridge and the Thai-Burma Railway museum. We travelled back in time to learn the history of the bridge before returning to the train for our last lunch.

That meal also marked the end of our journey aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express. It was a journey that left nothing but amazing memories.

As we approached Hua Lamphong station, we bid our farwells to our ever-cheerful manager Pong, and took one last glance at the grand exteriors of the train. It was and has been undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and magical experiences Dan and I have shared.

*Thank you Belmond for this timeless journey across Southeast Asia.


1 comment :

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