Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thailand's Eastern & Oriental Express train

Q: I've been to Thailand many times but have yet to take and the luxury Eastern & Oriental Express train. I've heard it will soon operate a new route. Do you have the details? Thanks. Lenka

A: This luxury train offers you a once-in-a-life-time experience. The Eastern & Oriental Express is admittedly one of the world's great train journeys, but if you've been to Asia many times already, you may be less exited about the exotic scenery than by the luxury and charm of the train service as well as the amenities found in its suites and compartments and, of course, the fine dining and wine.

The new route will take passengers from Bangkok across the Friendship Bridge to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. The new schedule is due to start on February 23 and the four-ay, three-night trip, known as "Voyage to Vientiane" will start and end of Bangkok.

If you've never explored northeastern Thailand and have deep pockets, this trip is definitely worthwhile. Interesting stops includes Phimai Historical Park in Nakhon Ratchasima as well as a side trip to Khao Yai's vineyards to taste Thailand's premium "new latitude" wines. Arriving in Vientiane, passengers will have a full day tour of the city before returning the next day.

The short journey is rather pricey, starting from US$1,950 (Bt65,000) for a State Cabin and $3,780 for a Presidential Suite per person and based on share accommodation. The price includes all meals on board, with complimentary tea and coffee in your compartment, and sightseeing tours.

That said, the trip would add a real bonus to a holiday in Thailand. Enjoy your stay!

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