A Journey to Remember

by Anton D. Javier
Video by Chino Sardea
Photos courtesy of Belmond
03 Apr 2017

All aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express, which perfectly marries old world charm with modern amenities and services

In this age of instant gratification, an idyllic train ride through romantic, pastoral landscapes is the ultimate luxury — and that’s exactly what you’d expect on board the Eastern & Oriental Express (E&O). The journey, which starts from Singapore, traverses through Malaysia and culminates in Bangkok, takes about two to three days, bringing passengers back to an age where overseas trips were enriching experiences, as opposed to simply racing from point A to B in the quickest way possible.

However, times have changed and everyone has a pressing need to be connected and entertained. The E&O understands this and is doing its part to give younger, savvier passengers something to look forward to and remember on their journeys.

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Arnaud Champenois, SVP Brand & Marketing, shares, “E&O is an icon of luxury travel in Asia; the colonial carriages have always evoked the spirit of the golden age of travel and today, as we look to our future heritage, we are revealing a contemporary new look and feel in partnership with some of Asia’s leading creative talent.” He continues, “We are creating experiences that invite our guests to enjoy classical hospitality whilst immersed in modern culture — we call it ‘tradition re-imagined’.”


Starting With Art

Rajesh Kumar by Helen Cathcart

The most obvious addition to the E&O would be the art featured on two of its iconic carriages, created by Singapore-based street artist Rajesh Kumar. Titled “The Koi Pond”, the artwork features a calming blue background with an assortment of multi-colored koi fish swimming about, resulting in a visual surprise as the train weaves through Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Rajesh, who is known for his artistic style that blends old and new school techniques, says, “The Koi Pond has always been something I have been fascinated about. Throughout my journey, I felt like a koi fish in a pond, with the colors and vibrancy of the fish and the water stirring emotions both within others and myself. I also felt that it would beautifully represent E&O in aspects of luxurious travel.”


Fancy A Tipple?

The new cocktail menu on board the E&O, which was created by leadings mixologists, Cocktail Professor, takes guests on a sensory journey along the train’s route, all while tickling taste buds to create a memorable cocktail experience.

The new signature cocktails worth trying include “Mist of the Rice Paddies”, which was created to evoke the aroma of mist at sunrise over paddy fields during harvest. Meanwhile, the “Malay Jungle” uses fresh natural botanicals for a green concoction that’s fresh, full of life, and surprisingly healthy


The Perfect Soundtrack

Make your way down to the very end of the train and unwind at the bar car, which is the train’s social hub. This area, which overlooks the tracks and scenery, is the perfect setting for forming friendships with other passengers as you raise a glass to shared adventures. 

Socializing aside, the music played here is worth listening to, as it creates the right atmosphere — think contemporary sounds combined with the classical environment, which inspires an atmosphere of modern nostalgia. To capture this, Mr Has, an award-winning Singapore-based DJ and champion of electric sound, was tapped on to curate a soundscape that sets a timeless pace and tone for the train. The result is pure aural sensation, which combines live recordings of cool jazz with uplifting future classics and deep grooves.