From Singapore to Malaysia by Luxury Rail Travel

Luxury rail travel The Eastern Oriental Express afternoon tea

Image Credit: Eastern & Oriental Express via Instagram

Have you ever dreamed of travelling by luxury train and journeying through magical landscapes while being treated like a Hollywood movie star? Thanks to the Eastern & Oriental Express, this dream could become a reality, and this once-in-a-lifetime journey could begin right at your front door. Read on to find out more!

Is Rail the Best Way to Travel?

If you talk to anyone who has experienced a luxury train journey, they will likely tell you it’s the only way to travel. There are many reasons why train enthusiasts will tell you that a train beats a plane, bus, car, or any other form of transport.

For a start, there’s the convenience. Unlike with air travel, when travelling by train, you don’t need to arrive 2-3 hours before the departure time. The Swiss know this well; they travel more km by train yearly than their European neighbours. As train networks are extensive in most countries, you generally don’t have to travel far to reach your departure train station. Better still, luxury rail companies often pick you up at your home or hotel, so your experience starts at your doorstep!

Then there’s the issue of comfort. Unless you’re flying business class, you’ll unlikely have ample legroom on a plane journey. The same is true of bus and car travel. However, train seats generally have plenty of legroom, plus passengers can move around the train, visit dining cars, or just stretch their legs. Luxury trains are even better in this respect as the comfort levels can be similar to your home living room.

For those concerned about the environmental cost of travel, journeying by train is one of the most ecological ways to get around. Indeed, trains are one of the most environmentally friendly forms of transport, generating far less carbon than planes.

Although trains will never beat planes in their travel speed, they are generally far faster than the usual road transportation modes. Modern trains can travel as fast as 300 km/h, making them faster than buses or cars and giving them a better safety record.

Famous Luxury Train Journeys

If you embark on a luxury train journey, you’ll join the privileged ranks of people who have travelled on some of the world’s famous train journeys. Some of the most famous of these include:

  • The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express – travelling on possibly the most famous luxury train of them all, passengers experience authentic 1920s vintage carriages on this iconic journey between Paris and Istanbul. 
  • The Maharajas’ Express – this luxury train journey links some of India’s most famous destinations, such as Jaipur, known as ‘the pink city’; passengers can view the splendour of India while eating exquisite Indian cuisine and being treated like Royalty. 
  • The Ghan – running from north to south across the vast continent of Australia, The Ghan is a luxury train journey on which passengers can experience the unique Australian outback from the comfort of a luxury carriage. 
  • The Rocky Mountaineer – with stunning views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, this sophisticated train journey is renowned as one of the most scenic in the world; passengers sometimes see Grizzly bears from the safety of their train compartment.
  • The Hiram Bingham – travelling between the ancient city of Cusco and one of the modern wonders of the world, Machi Picchu, this Peruvian railway journey has the motto ‘dine and dance’; with Peruvian food the toast of all Latin America, passengers never go hungry! 
  • The Royal Scotsman – racing through the Scottish Highlands in luxury compartments with tweed interiors, passengers on this high-class train journey are treated to famous Scottish cuisine, such as haggis and vintage whiskey. 

The Eastern & Oriental Express 

Luxury rail travel The Eastern Oriental Express renewed trips

Image Credit:

Although each of these world-famous train journeys would be worth undertaking, you don’t need to travel halfway across the world to experience luxury rail travel and stunning scenery. Indeed, you can embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey here in Singapore, thanks to the Eastern & Oriental Express. One of Asia’s premier train journeys, the Eastern & Oriental Express, is owned by Belmond, the hotel group that runs the Simplon-Venice-Orient Express. Although you won’t get to see the historical features of Venice, the Rocky Mountains of Canada, or the Australian outback on this train journey, you’ll get to experience the royal towns, tea plantations, and sleepy coastal villages of Malaysia. By day, the train journey pauses as passengers are invited to join excursions to see Malaysian cities or explore the lush mountains or mysterious jungles until the journey recommences in the late afternoon, and guests can enjoy the glamour and luxury of the Eastern & Oriental Express. 

The Train

Luxury rail travel The Eastern Oriental Express

Image Credit:

Eastern & Oriental Express offers 4 distinct train journeys, but for each, you will be collected from your home or hotel and transported to and from Woodlands train station for your departure and eventual return. Passengers will travel on the same train for each journey option, so the different routes only depart at set times during the year. However, on each journey, you will experience the same wood-panelled interiors, silk furnishings, and thick carpets that provide a feeling of total luxury.

Passengers are served meals curated by the head chef, André Chiang, in the dining car with elm panels and decorated lacquered panels that give it a distinctly Asian feel. The chef’s modern take on Southeast Asian cuisine includes laksa bouillabaisse, ‘nine peppers,’ sixteen-hour-braised beef cheek, and jungle spices cacao ganache. Many guests enjoy whiling away the hours in the observation car at the rear of the train – this teak-floored carriage is open at the back (protected with guard rails) so that passengers can feel the breeze and breathe in the fresh country air. For those who enjoy music, the piano bar in the Bar Car is often a highlight; passengers can enjoy champagne and signature cocktails while listening to nostalgic melodies.

The Accommodation

Luxury rail travel The Eastern Oriental Express accommodation

Image Credit: Eastern & Oriental Express via Instagram

Guests can choose from three categories of luxury cabins.

  • The Pullman Cabin has plush seats, which convert to two beds at night, with an upper and lower berth.
  • The State Cabin offers more significant space and comfort, and its luxury sofas are converted to two single beds on the floor level.
  • However, the ultimate cabin is the Presidential Suite, with a double bed, a larger bathroom, and delights like free-flowing champagne, luxury toiletries, caviar, a fruit basket, and flower onboarding. 

The Journeys

Luxury rail travel The Eastern Oriental Express Malaysia

Image Credit:

For each of the four routes, passengers are treated to fine dining at each mealtime, including a continental breakfast, three-course lunch, and four-course dinner, with house drinks included. However, each three-night train journey offers a different opportunity to experience Malaysia.

  • The Wild Malaysia tour travels to Malaysia’s world-famous Taman Negara National Park, home to the endangered Malayan tiger, tapirs, and numerous other animals. Passengers can take guided tours of the national park and visit the communities striving to conserve the park’s tigers. They can also visit Penang Island and immerse themselves in its unique culture.
  • The Essence of Malaysia trip takes place in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, famed for street art, and the paradise island of Langkawi, renowned for its turquoise seas and snorkelling. Excursions include a cultural visit to Georgetown and a wellness experience in Langkawi’s Pulau Payar Marine Park.
  • Festive Malaysia is a seasonal journey that departs just before Christmas and follows the same path as the Essence of Malaysia. It offers guests the opportunity to experience Christmas Day as they’ve never experienced it before – onboard a luxury train and excursions to Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Langkawi.
  • The Malaysia Celebration is another seasonal journey that departs after Christmas and allows guests to celebrate New Year’s Eve in an exhilarating style onboard the train. It includes a New Year’s Eve celebration with exquisite cuisine, champagne, and fireworks. Passengers also experience a luxury picnic on Langkawi’s beaches and opportunities to visit Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

Guests on all the trips can also participate in a Peranakan cooking class, during which they will learn how to prepare a traditional blend of Malaysian and Chinese cuisine, such as laksa.

A Beautiful Way Travel

Luxury rail travel The Eastern Oriental Express

Image Credit: Eastern & Oriental Express via Instagram

A luxury rail journey could change your view on the best way to travel and see the world. These journeys offer comfort and exquisite service while allowing passengers to see the changing landscapes pass them by. They might seem like a luxury that only a few can afford. Still, with the Eastern & Oriental Express departing directly from Singapore, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime journey worth considering.

What's New?

Scroll to Top