The Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train from Singapore to Bangkok

Get the Green Carpet treatment!  The fabulous Eastern & Oriental Express at Bangkok...

Buy tickets online

  020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com

Special offer - southbound

Special offer - northbound

includes free stay at Raffles Hotel in Singapore! 

1-800-408-3280 or www.us.railbookers.com.

1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au

  0800 002 034 or see  website.

What is the Eastern & Oriental Express?

The Eastern & Oriental Express or E&O is a luxury train operating in Singapore, Malaysia & Thailand, run by the same people who operate the legendary Venice Simplon Orient Express, to similar 5 star standards.  It runs:

E&O train times, fares, tickets & information...

  About the train

  Choosing your sleeper accommodation on the Eastern & Oriental Express

  Food & dining on the Eastern & Oriental Express

  Bars, lounges and the E&O's observation car

  Departure dates & timetable 2014

  How much does it cost?

  How to buy tickets

  See the photos:  Singapore to Bangkok on the Eastern & Oriental Express  

  Watch the video:  Bangkok to Singapore by Eastern & Oriental Express

  Hotel recommendations in Singapore, Penang, Bangkok

About the Eastern & Oriental Express...

Fully air-conditioned with all the facilities of a luxury 5 star hotel, the Eastern & Oriental Express was created in 1992 by Orient Express Trains, the same people who have run the superb Venice Simplon Orient Express since 1982.  The train uses Japanese-built coaches which were originally used for the short-lived Silver Star sleeper service from Auckland to Wellington in New Zealand (1972-1979).  The cars have been totally rebuilt internally for the modern cruise train market, to luxury standards with en suites to every compartment.  You'll find both the train itself and its staff truly excellent.  The Eastern & Oriental Express is all non-smoking, although smokers can smoke in the open-air observation car at the rear of the train.

Southeast Asia's own 'Orient Express':  The destination board on the side of the Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train from Singapore to Bangkok   The Eastern & Oriental Express  luxury train at Hua Hin

Choosing your accommodation on board the E&O...

You sleep in a private en-suite sleeper compartment - incidentally, 'cabin' is a nautical term, the correct term for a room on a train is 'compartment'.  All the sleeping-cars have a narrow corridor along one side with the rooms opening off it.  The Eastern & Oriental Express has three types of compartment:

Pullman sleeper on the Eastern & Oriental Express train   Pullman sleeper, in night time mode   The en suite shower & toilet in a Pullman sleeper

Pullmans:  The least expensive accommodation on the E&O.  A cosy compartment with sofa & fold-out table by day (above left), converted by your steward while you're at dinner to an upper & lower berth at night (above centre).  There's a small en suite washroom with toilet, washbasin & shower.  UK-style electrical sockets allow you to recharge your camera, phone or laptop.  The train has a few 'Pullman Singles' which are similar, but without an upper berth.

The Man in Seat 61 says: "The room is comfortable but compact, pretty much like a luxury version of regular railway sleeper compartment, in fact.  These photos give a good idea of the full size of the compartment, so if you'd like more space (or want to avoid climbing a ladder to an upper bunk) it may be worth the extra for a Stateroom."

A Stateroom on the Eastern & Oriental Express train   A Stateroom in night time mode

Staterooms:  A Stateroom gives you double the floorspace of a Pullman, with a sofa, armchair and freestanding chair by day.  While you are at dinner, the steward converts your compartment to two lower beds (so no ladder required!).  As in a Pullman, there's a small en suite washroom with toilet, washbasin & shower, and UK-style sockets allow you to recharge your camera, phone or laptop.

The Man in Seat 61 says "You'll appreciate the extra room if you upgrade to a Stateroom.  It's a really nice layout - One of you can lounge on the sofa during the day, or you can each have a seat next to the double windows, which are better for watching the scenery, too, compared to the single window in a Pullman."

The Eastern & Oriental Express   Presidential suite on the Eastern & Oriental Express

Presidential Suite:  This is the E&O's best accommodation.  There are just two Presidential Suites on the train.  Sofa, chairs and table during the day, it converts to two lower beds by night, in a similar arrangement to the Stateroom shown above.  There's a small en suite washroom with toilet, washbasin & shower.

The Man in Seat 61 says: "The Presidential suites are slightly bigger than a Stateroom, and the en suite is fractionally bigger too.  But personally, I think I actually prefer the cosier but still relatively spacious Staterooms, with their sofa & armchair arrangement!"

Food & dining on board the E&O...

The Eastern & Oriental Express owns three dining-cars, of which two will be attached to any given departure.  There are usually two sittings for lunch and dinner, at 12:00 or 14:00 for lunch and 18:00 or 21:00 for dinner, although times vary.  You can choose your sitting at the beginning of the journey, or make a request when you book.  Food is included in the fare, although drinks are extra, expect a bottle of wine to start at about US$40.  The currency used on board is US dollars, although credit cards are accepted.  One of the nice things is that they give you a different table reservation for each meal, so you share a table with different people each time.  It's a very sociable experience!  You may also get to eat in both of the dining-cars, each with its own decor.

'Rosaline', one of the three dining cars owned by the Eastern & Oriental Express   Dinner on the Eastern & Oriental Express:  Lamb cutlets

Dining-car 'Rosaline', although personally I think 'Malaya' is even nicer...

 

Excellent lamb cutlets...

An E&O dessert...   Lunch on the Eastern & Oriental Express:  Sea bass

Ice cream in a chocolate ball...

 

Sea bass, wonderful...

Breakfast & afternoon tea...

Breakfast on the Eastern & Oriental Express, served in your compartment   Afternoon tea on the E&O, also served in your compartment

Breakfast is served in your sleeper compartment by your steward at the time you specify...

 

Afternoon tea is also served in your compartment, with a selection of cakes or pastries.

Bars, lounges & the E&O's observation car...

Apart from the two kitchen-dining cars, the Eastern & Oriental Express has an observation-lounge car at the rear of the train, and in the centre a piano-bar car and a saloon car.  Whilst an after-lunch nap and afternoon tea in your compartment can be nice, you'll spend most of your day in one of these sociable cars...

The Eastern & Oriental Express's observation car at the end of the train, at Singapore station   Inside the E&O's teak-panelled observation deck

Observation car...  In many ways this is the Eastern & Oriental's signature car.  It features an open-air observation deck at the rear of the train where you can look back along the tracks, excellent for watching and photographing the scenery.  A steward will keep you supplied with coffee, although this being Southeast Asia it's not exactly cold outside!  Smokers can indulge here, although few do so it's not a problem if you're an ardent non-smoker.  On a Singapore-Bangkok or Bangkok-Singapore journey, the train reverses at Butterworth and the observation car is turned round and moved to the other end of the train.  The open-air deck gets busy at times as you can see in the photo, but you'll always find a place when you want one...

The lounge in the Eastern & Oriental Express observation car   The E&O's piano bar car in the centre of the train

Observation car lounge:  With a colonial tea-planter theme, complimentary tea, coffee and nibbles are available in the observation car's lounge at the rear of the train. You can always dash out to the observation deck with your camera when you spot something interesting outside!

 

Piano bar car:  Located in the centre of the train, the piano bar is also the social centre of the train.  A place for cocktails, a G&T (purely for anti-malarial purposes, of course), socialising and of course listening to Singapore Pete on the piano...

Saloon car, dining area   The E&O's saloon car, reading room & library

Saloon car with reading room & boutique:  The Saloon car features a small private dining area (above left), a small gift shop selling Eastern & Oriental Express souvenirs, and a narrow reading room with small library (above right).  The tables are used as an overflow diner, but also for small groups who want private dining...

Sponsored links...

 

Departure dates & timetable 2014...

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...

An illustrated journey on the Eastern & Oriental Express from Singapore to Bangkok.

Singapore railway station   Inside Singapore station

Day 1, Check-in at a luxury hotel in Singapore city centre.  Until June 2011, the E&O checked its guests in at Singapore's historic 1932 art deco colonial railway station pictured above.  Sadly, largely for political reasons explained here, Singapore station closed on 30 June 2011, and the regular trains and the Eastern & Oriental Express now leave from Woodlands Train Checkpoint, located some 15 miles north of downtown Singapore, just south of the causeway to Malaysia.  The E&O now check their guests in at a luxury city centre hotel, and they will bus you to Woodlands when the train is ready for boarding...

The Eastern & Oriental Express boarding at Singapore   The E&O at Woodlands

Day 1:  Departure from Singapore Woodlands station.  At Woodlands Train Checkpoint, you pass through Singapore exit formalities and Malaysian immigration checks, head onto the platform & board the train.  The photo above left shows the E&O boarding at the original downtown Singapore station, the photo above right shows the train at Woodlands, where it now starts.

The Eastern & Oriental Express crosses the Causeway between Singapore and Malaysia   Crossing the Causeway

Day 1:  The Causeway.  The Eastern & Oriental Express rolls across the famous Causeway, built in 1923 to link Singapore island with mainland Malaya.  The Causeway carries the single-track railway, a road, and several huge pipes carrying Singapore's fresh water supply.  The E&O enters Malaysia, passes through Johor Bharu's new Central Station and heads up the Malay peninsula past many palm oil plantations, passing wayside colonial station such as Gemas and Tampin...

The E&O calls at Kuala Lumpur's historic station   The Eastern & Oriental Express train at KL station.

Day 1, late night:  The train stops for a while at Kuala Lumpur's famous colonial Moorish-style station, built in 1911.  If you're still up, you're free to get out onto the platform and stretch your legs here.  This historic building is still used as a station for commuter trains, but long-distance trains to Singapore and to Penang now use Kuala Lumpur's shiny new KL Sentral station instead...

The E&O in thick jungle...   The E&O crossing a lake in northern Malaysia

Above:  The E&O passes through a stretch of Malaysian jungle.

 

Above:  The train crosses another causeway across a lake.  Note the British-style semaphore signals in the background.

The Penang-Butterworth ferry   E&O passengers are treated to a trishaw ride in Georgetown, Penang.

Day 2 Butterworth & Penang:  The Eastern & Oriental Express arrives at Butterworth, the railway station for the ferry to Georgetown on Penang island, once capital of British Malaya.  At Butterworth E&O passengers alight and board coaches which cross over to Penang island on the ferry.  There's a ferry every 10 minutes and the crossing takes just 15 minutes.  In Georgetown, guests are treated to a trishaw tour (above right).  You're back on board the train at Butterworth in time for lunch to be served.

Yet more Thai scenery from the train   Evening fun in the Eastern & Oriental Express's piano bar car.

Day 2, afternoon:  The E&O crosses into Thailand at Padang Besar.  This time, you can remain on board the train.

 

Day 2, evening:  Enjoying a Singapore Sling in the E&O's bar car and listening to Pete on the piano...

The E&O passes a Thai local train   More scenery in Thailand

How the other half live:  Passing a State Railways of Thailand 3rd class local train...

 

Above:  Heading north on the single track railway towards Bangkok.  The observation car is the place to be...

The Eastern & Oriental Express visits the Bridge on the River Kwai   You can walk across the Bridge on the River Kwai

Day 3 morning:  The Bridge on the River Kwai.  Very early in the morning, the Eastern & Oriental Express briefly halts at Nong Pladuck, the junction where the infamous Death Railway to Burma leaves the Singapore to Bangkok main line.  The train changes direction and heads up the branch line to River Kwae Bridge station, 5 km (3 miles) beyond Kanchanaburi and 200 yards before the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai.  Guests get off the train here, and are treated to a short river cruise under the Bridge while the coaches of the E&O are hauled across the Bridge for the photo opportunity.  The Bridge is still used by three passenger trains each day, although they only as far as Nam Tok, not all the way to Burma.  For more information on the significance of the Bridge on the River Kwai and other sights in the area, see the Bridge on the River Kwai page.  Guests leave the river barge at Kanchanaburi with time to visit the war cemetery and museum before rejoining the E&O at Kanchanaburi station in time for lunch...

The Eastern & Oriental Express arrives in Bangkok   Bangkok's Hualamphong railway station, in the morning sun

Day 3 afternoon, arrival in Bangkok at the wonderful Italian-designed Hualamphong station, opened in 1916. 

 

You'll find more information about Bangkok Hualamphong station & its facilities on the Thailand page.

Onward connections from Bangkok...

Many people buy a trip on the Eastern & Oriental Express from Singapore to Bangkok as part of a longer tour around Southeast Asia.  Rather than fly, stay on the ground!  Here is some useful information on onward connections from Bangkok by regular scheduled daily trains:

Watch the video:  Bangkok to Singapore by Eastern & Oriental Express...


Hotels in Singapore & Bangkok...

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

You might also want to check Tripadvisor:  Tripadvisor Singapore hotels   Tripadvisor Malaysia hotels

Raffles Hotel, Singapore...    Click here to book

Easily the best place to stay before or after your trip on the Eastern & Oriental Express.  Book a room at Raffles online...

Raffles Hotel, Singapore   Raffles Hotel suite

Raffles Hotel, a little colonial island in a sea of modern high-rise blocks.

 

A suite at Raffles:  This is a suite in the main building with sitting room, bedroom, bathroom & veranda...

Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Georgetown, Penang...   Click here to book

If you like Raffles, try another of the Sarkies brothers' hotels, the historic Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Georgetown, Penang (no direct connection with the E&O train, as far as I know) , equally historic but a bit cheaper at around 150 for a double room.  It's grand, well-located with gardens to the rear backing the sea.

A suite at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang   The Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Georgetown, Penang

Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bangkok...   Click here to book

Known by locals (and taxi drivers) as plain 'Oriental Hotel', this is Bangkok's oldest and grandest hotel, located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.  Outdoor restaurant tables sit alongside the river, and they do a great evening buffet.  Most of the rooms are now housed in two huge modern tower blocks, but hidden behind palm trees in the courtyard is the diminutive original block, today restored to within an inch of its life and housing just a few of the more expensive suites.

   

The original block at the Oriental Hotel...

 

Breakfast on the riverbank terrace...


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