My experience on the Orient-Express Train Bangkok – Singapore | Thailand to Singapore | As Belmond likes to call it, truly a Journey Like No Other onboard the iconic Belmond Train along South East Asia, living unique experience and rediscovering the meaning of luxury and old school flawless service. The golden age of travel lives on aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train. Winding through some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic landscapes, it voyages through Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. I have been lucky enough to try over the last few years several of the Orient-Express services and products, but I must say that their signature trains are beyond any possible expectations. The occasion was indeed very special, my 38th Birthday, and what better way to celebrate it than onboard of the Orient-Express from Bangkok to Singapore.
Orient-Express (aka. Eastern & Oriental Express South East Asia) through rainforests and paddy fields, past golden temples and misty mountains, travel straight to the heart of Asia. A unique and unusual way to experience ever-changing scenes and to discover a new and thrilling world – both on board and alongside the train. The train formation most of the times is of 22 cars. Including two restaurants, a Piano Bar, Observatory Bar, Library and a trademark Orient-Express Shop.
My first concerns about this journey were, are the rooms going to be spacious enough, will I have my own private bathroom, is the food going to be good, am I going to get bored on the train after four days. Well let me tell you, that if for me would have been, I would have taken the train back to Bangkok upon arrival to Singapore, just to experience another 3 nights of high class and impeccable service. My room, which you can see on the video above, was an intermediate room type, called State Room. The bathroom was fully equipped and have a very comfortable shower. Amenities by Bulgary.
The sofas, at night while you are enjoying drinks at the piano bar or having dinner at one of the two beautiful restaurants, will be turned up into comfortable beds by your own personal carriage butler.
During the day, the dress code is rather casual, but formal attire is always welcomed to match the exclusive atmosphere, especially for lunch. Same with the day tours that usually take place before or after lunch.
But as the sun goes down, the train transforms itself into one of the most enchanting experiences and luxurious soirees I have ever been part of. Men full on their suits, black ties and tuxedos. Women in full gowns and despite the swing of the train, rocking their high heels.
On the second day of our journey, somewhere in between Thailand and Malaysia, I celebrated my 38th. Birthday, and without a doubt this will remain always in my mind. Such and incredible and unique experience that not many travelers have the chance to live or reach. I would strongly suggest to take the Orient-Express on any of their routes around the world, to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, honeymoon or other special occasion. I would even risk to say, that due to the social environment of the whole journey, I would even feel very comfortable doing the train on my own.
Chefs on board the Eastern & Oriental Express are internationally renowned for their ability to create a tantalising variety of Eastern and European dishes, using the finest fresh seasonal ingredients. Service equals the world’s gourmet finest restaurants. Lunch and dinner are served in the two Restaurant Cars, Rosaline and Malaya, each lavishly decorated with rosewood and elm panelling. Tip: the train offers two seatings for each meal. Chose always the latest seating. Specially at night, this will allow you to enjoy the Piano Bar Car in the evening before your meal and the Observatory Car to close your night, before retiring back to your room. During the afternoons at the Library, you can relax and enjoy a traditional South East Asian style foot massage, or explore your future by the train Astrologist and Palm reader. Maybe you will be lucky enough and she will tell you that you will be able to take soon another brilliant Eastern & Oriental Train.
My personal suggestions and recommendations for Belmond to provide with an even more memorable and unique experience, after my own journey with them would be:
(1). Improve the quality and content of the ground tours, both in River Kwai (Thailand) and Penang (Malaysia). We all felt that the tours were not up to the standards of Belmond. Particularly the tour to Penang City in Malaysia, which was OK but not enough to take us away for almost 3 hours from the Orient-Express experience.
Carlos Melia LIVE from the streets of Penang, Georgetown in Malaysia. One of the two Tour stops during the 3 nights and 4 days journey in between Bangkok and Singapore. Visited an ancient Chinese Temple, then on the Trishaws through the streets of Georgetown to finish at the Orient-Express Hotel for drinks at the pool.
(2). All meals during the journey were just amazing. The setting of the two restaurants Rosaline and Malaya, and the exquisite gourmet options, were only matched by the stunning views of the landscape passing by right before your eyes. But the breakfasts in the cabins, same as the afternoon tea where a bit of a disappointment. I think they should go for a more traditional mise-en-place, and use more refined products. Teas in strands, avoid packaged butter, among others.Tea time onboard the Orient-Express should be iconic, I mean, you are in the middle of Asia, on a British serviced train… so I would have expected to have a mind blowing tea time and setting at one of the cars.
Other than this comments, there were no other flaws in either the experience or the service. The staff is train to perfection, most of the with over 17 years of experience on the Orient-Express brands with the trains or hotels. Friendly, professional, warm and engaging. At the end of the journey you become very well acquainted with them all.
Here you can see the full Photo Gallery of my unforgettable journey along South East Asia onboard of the the iconic Oriental & Eastern Express Train. A Journey Like no Other. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com
(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone # 917.754.5515. Also check our scheduled Travel Groups. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of LGTNetwork, VIRTUOSO, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network. www.carlosmelia.com