New Asian Rail Journeys From Orient – Express

Luxury travel group Orient-Express has announced it will be launching a new series of 3- and 6-night Southeast Asian rail voyages onboard its Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train in November 2010. Entitled the “Chronicles of Southeast Asia”, the 4 unique itineraries are designed to let guests immerse themselves in the region’s unique panoramas and cultures in luxury with each voyage limited to just 60 guests and will be offered alongside the train’s regular journeys between Bangkok and Singapore.

 

Legends of the Peninsula 

A 6-night journey from Bangkok to Singapore, guests travel via the Tham Kasae viaduct, one of the most scenic stretches of the railway, to Wang Po where a variety of tours await before continuing to the River Kwai Bridge for a leisurely cruise and visit to the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum and Don Rak War Cemetery. Arriving in the town of Trang, guests will transfer to the luxurious Anantara Si Kao Resort and spend a day at leisure before reboarding the Eastern & Oriental Express to cross the border into Malaysia. 

 

In Penang, excursion options are available to explore colonial Georgetown and its blend of Chinese, Indian, Malay and Peranakan cultures. The train then travels south towards Kuala Lumpur, crossing the exquisite Bukit Merah Lake and Malaysia’s lush highlands for a day in the Malaysian capital, before departing again for Singapore. 

 

Fables of the Hills   

From Singapore, the Eastern & Oriental Express travels north towards Kuala Lumpur and Cameron Highlands, where guests will check-in to the deluxe Cameron Highlands Resort and visit tea plantations, strawberry farms and flower galleries amongst the different tours and activities. Reboarding the train again in Ipoh, guests will travel to Kuala Kangsar, home to the Sultan of Perak, and the island of Penang where the regal Eastern & Oriental Hotel awaits.   

 

The next morning, the train crosses the border into Thailand, stopping at the agricultural town of Surat Thani. The highlight of the stop is a private tour of the Monkey Training College, before continuing to the River Kwai Bridge and Wang Po. Guests return to the train for its overnight journey to the Thai capital city.   

 

Epic Thailand   

Showcasing the very best that Thailand has to offer, this roundtrip journey presents an opportunity to visit the country’s remote yet beautiful countryside that is largely untouched by foreign visitors. The 6-night itinerary brings guests east from Bangkok to the Isan region, where a walking tour through a local village introduces customs, rituals and daily life of the people. The train then proceeds to the town of Sikhoraphum for a visit to the 12th century Khmer temple, Prasat Sikhoraphum, followed by a visit to Phanom Rung, another 12th century Khmer temple nominated for World Heritage status the next day.   

 

The northern city of Chiang Mai plays host to guests next, where they have a choice of excursions to tour the city, visit its temples and monastries, as well as visit an elephant camp, before returning to the Eastern & Oriental Express for the overnight journey to Lampang. The itinerary makes a final stop at Khao Yai National Park, Thailand’s oldest wildlife reserve, where an expert naturalist guides visitors in their exploration, with lunch at the nearby Gran Monte vineyard and concludes with the train’s return to Bangkok.   

 

Tales of Laos   

Travellers seeking a shorter itinerary can select this 3-night roundtrip journey that takes them into northeast Thailand and neighbouring Laos. Following a overnight departure, the train arrives in Hin Dat where guests disembark to visit Phimai, an UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Thailand’s most important Khmer ruins, after which lunch is served as the Eastern & Oriental Express heads to Khao Yai and its vineyards.   

 

The next day, guests cross the Mekong River via the Friendship Bridge into Laos, where they can spend a full day in Vientiane, including lunch at the historic Settha Palace Hotel. After taking in the French colonial architecture and gilded Buddhist temples of the city, they will reboard the train in the late afternoon for a leisurely journey back to Bangkok.   

 

Regarded as one of the most luxurious rail travel experiences in the world, the Eastern & Oriental Express combines luxuriously appointed accomodation, gourmet dining and attentive personal service to discerning travellers as they explore the exotic landscape of Southeast Asia. For more information, visit www.orient-express.com.

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