After a temporary hiatus during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Eastern & Oriental Express, the Southeast Asia counterpart to the renowned Orient Express, ia making a comeback. Operated by Belmond, the train is preparing to launch two exceptional return-trip routes from Singapore in February 2024, set to reignite the spirit of adventure and indulgence. These carefully crafted journeys will transport passengers through the breathtaking landscapes of Malaysia, offering a unique and luxurious travel experience.
Renowned for its lavishness and illustrious history, the Eastern & Oriental Express has undergone a redesign to encapsulate the essence of the region’s culture and nature. The train’s signature carriages, previously adorned in green and cream hues, have been enhanced with Malaysian embroidery, silks, and elegant cherry wood paneling.
“The Pullman cabins are inspired by the radiance of Kuala Lumpur, boasting red sofas juxtaposed with blue cushions, drapery and pelmets that reflect the city’s dramatic skies, while the State cabins reflect Penang’s marine locale, with a bright blue and green color palette,” Belmond wrote in an announcement for their upcoming routes.
With eight sleeper cars and four different cabin categories to choose from, guests can revel in various levels of luxury throughout their journey. To ensure utmost comfort, each cabin is equipped with private bathrooms. “The Presidential cabins celebrate regional opulence, with hues of gold and embroidered decor elements”, reads Belmond’s news release.
On board of the train, guests can enjoy fine dining in one of two restaurant cars. The menu features dishes inspired by local Peranakan cuisine. Guests can also enjoy live entertainment in the piano bar car or relax in the observation car, located at the back of the train.
Both captivating itineraries span three nights, with rates commencing at €3,045 per person for a Pullman cabin. Inclusive of delectable meals, a selection of refreshing beverages, captivating entertainment, and an array of engaging activities, the journeys promise an unforgettable experience.
The first route, aptly named “Essence of Malaysia: A Gateway into Malay Culture,” will be whisking passengers through Kuala Lumpur, before venturing to the idyllic islands of Langkawi and Penang. Langkawi beckons visitors with its alluring Pulau Payar Marine Park, inviting them to partake in snorkeling escapades or simply bask in the island’s mesmerizing natural beauty. Penang is the destination for the 3rd day on the itinerary. Known for its historic architecture and vibrant street food scene, Penang offers guests an opportunity to immerse themselves in the captivating ambiance of George Town, its capital city.
The second expedition is appropriately named “Wild Malaysia: Exploring Sights Unseen.” Venturing through the eastern side of the Malaysian peninsula, this itinerary unveils a plethora of breathtaking experiences, like a visit to the revered Taman Negara National Park, one of the oldest tropical rainforests on Earth. Nestled within its lush embrace, the Park houses an astonishing array of species, including majestic tigers and the endangered Sumatran rhinos.
As guests delve deeper into this verdant paradise, they have the unique opportunity to learn about edible jungle ingredients, take a photography course in the rainforest or venture on a wildlife excursion to support the endangered Malayan tiger. Following this awe-inspiring encounter with nature, day three heralds a journey westward, to the island of Penang.
Belmond Train has also assured they are working on reopening the traditional routes through Thailand its maiden voyage, in 1993, connecting Singapore and Bangkok. The historical town of Kanchanaburi, in Thailand’s west, along with various locations in Malaysia, were encompassed scenic stops for a variety of the train’s sought-after routes before the pandemic.