Eastern and Oriental Express

Sunday 22 March 2009 | By Stephanie Harms |

Choo, Choo, Chugga, Chugga. 

The train is as you would imagine with beautiful wood panelling and crisp linen table clothes with beautiful crystal glasses and fine china. There is also a bar car where in the evening a pianist will play or Thai dancers will perform. At the back of the train is the Observation Car which is partially open air to enable you to take in and view the passing scenery to its best potential.

 There are three cabin types. Each cabin has a private ensuite and is equipped with air conditioning, a hairdryer and safe. 

The Pullman:There are 30 Pullman compartments which are approx 62 squared feet. During the daytime the compartment is a private lounge provided by banquette style sofa. At night the seating converts to an upper and lower bed. A separate en suite shower, washbasin and WC is provided.

The State Cabin:

There are 28 state cabins which measure 84 square feet. A private lounge during the day with a banquette style sofa and fixed chair, and one moveable chair. Fixed daytime seating converts to two single beds at night. There is a separate en suite shower, washbasin and WC.

The Presidential Suite :Each Presidential Suite measures 125 square feet . The cabins are styled as a private lounge during the day with banquette style sofa and fixed chair, and two moveable chairs. Fixed daytime seating converts to two single beds at night. There is also the separate en suite shower, washbasin and WC. The extra facilities include an Ipod docking station and CD player. Guests in Presidential Suites enjoy the additional benefit of a complimentary bar in their cabin.

There are two sittings for lunch and dinner and there are 2 dining carriages where your table will be prebooked for you alternating between the two carriages to ensure you experience both carriages . You can dine on a table of 4 or a table of 2. If you are travelling as a party of 2 but wish to dine with other passengers this can also be arranged for you. 

Your Journey Begins
Day One
The Orient Express departs from Keppel Road Station where you will find the Orient Express check in desk and departure lounge. Your journey begins with a late morning departure. Your bags are brought to your cabin where your Steward offers you a warm welcome and explains all the services available to you. The train crosses into the peninsular of Malaysia via the causeway of the straits of Johor and the journey continues north whilst you savour your 3 course lunch. The passing scenery is vast oil-palms and rubber plantations and rural settlements.

Afternoon tea is served in your cabin, whilst cocktails are served in the bar or observation car. Your 4 course evening meal is a true delight with a beautiful menu, offering the most amazing western and eastern cuisine. Whilst you are having your evening meal your steward is transforming your compartment into a cosy bedroom.

After dinner the train stops at Kuala Lumpur railway station where you will disembark for a stroll along the platform.

Day 2
Through the night the train continues its journey through lush forest and rural west-cost towns of Malaysia. Breakfast is served in your compartment. At nine o’clock the train arrives at Butterworth station where you disembark for the ferry crossing to Penang and a guided introductory tour of Georgetown. Here you will walk through the local markets and jump on a tuk-tuk to explore the mosques, temples, churches, bazaars and colourful shophouses. You rejoin the train for lunch and afternoon tea. The train crosses into Thailand and the scenery changes to include Thai temples and bustling stations.

The evening is truly a chance to be wined and dined by the best chefs and attentive waiters. As you prepare for your last night on board.

Day 3
After breakfast in your compartment you disembark to see the famous River Kwai Bridge before cruising on the river. You are given the opportunity to photograph the Orient Express crossing the Bridge. There waiting for you is a local historian who is the creator of the museum who provides a very interesting overview of the railway and the bridge. At the landing point you travel by motor coach to the Thailand-Burma railway museum and the Don Rak war cemetery. It is truly an interesting and moving experience and extremely informative.

When you arrive back on the train there is time for one more delicious three course lunch as the train proceeds towards Bangkok arriving in the afternoon at Bangkok Hualampong Station.

Porters will take your luggage for you and on the platform, arrange for it to be taken to your taxi or next form of transport.

May we suggest continuing on your journey as we did and heading on to the amazing Oriental Hotel in Bangkok.  

For more information on any of the areas featured in this blog, contact World Travel Professionals to speak with one of our consultants. We encourage and welcome all user comments and aim to use our blog to interact with our interested readers!  

Bangkok, A Sensory City

Sunday 22 March 2009 | By Stephanie Harms |

The Oriental Hotel

Bangkok is a city that attacks the senses it’s noisy, smelly, busy but exciting and vibrant. It takes 45 minutes to transfer to The Oriental hotel. Which is tucked down a typical Bangkok side street which opens up to show the Oriental Hotel. The lobby is a breath taking mix of eclectic modern and traditional furnishings with the most amazing fresh flowers.

There are 258 rooms and 35 suites. The rooms are large and luxurious, featuring a huge marble bathroom, plasma television, mini bar and internet. The beds are enormous and there is a butler on every floor to attend to every room not just the club floor.

But the most amazing aspect of this hotel is its location right on the Chao Phya River. The view from the rooms is amazing and the hotel uses its position to its full potential with terraces, restaurants and breakfast being served on the terrace to make the most of the view.

The hotel boasts some of the most amazing restaurants, including; Japanese, Le Normandie – French, Lord Jims - International Seafood, Ciao – Italian and Sala Rim Naarn a traditional Thai restaurant and cooking school, this is on the opposite side on the river and the hotels launch takes you across. Here you can also book into the hotels famous cooking school or just enjoy a great evening of delicious Thai food and be entertained by the Thai dancers... Oh and the cocktails are definitely worth a try!

After an amazing meal why not go to nearby Sirocco restaurant and bar, located on the 65th floor. Here you can see the lights of Bangkok for miles around you.

By day Bangkok offers shopping galore with Thai silk, tailor-made clothing, handbags, jewellery and of course the huge market of fake and copied items. There are of course the temples and floating markets or why not just experience a Thai massage either at the hotel or at a local parlour where a 2 hour back and neck massage is only AU$ 20.00. You will need it after visiting the great, big Zara store that is also here!! 

We travelled around the city by using the sky rail which saved time by avoiding the congestion. However it is also great fun to jump on a Tuk Tuk if you are feeling really brave - just hold on.

Sadly we only had one day in Bangkok which was not nearly enough. I can’t wait to go back but already I know it’s a great destination for a stopover.

For more information on any of the areas featured in this blog, contact World Travel Professionals to speak with one of our consultants. We encourage and welcome all user comments and aim to use our blog to interact with our interested readers!