In this article we take you on our Asia train journeys. Imagine the following: You are standing in front of a magnificent station building. The golden yellow facade shines in the evening sun. Hectic hustle and bustle all around you. A conductor whistles loudly because the next train is about to leave. Next to you is a street food stand selling Pad Thai. And then it drives in: one of the most magnificent luxury trains in Asia – the Eastern & Oriental Express. You are on your way back to Singapore from Bangkok.
Train travel offers an adventure factor that you can hardly experience with any other form of transport. Traveling by train is an absolutely unique experience, especially in Asia. Whether with a high-speed train from Tokyo, a night train from Bangkok to Chang Mai or a line train through the Indian province – everything is offered here, from the most modern trains to adventurous routes through the jungle and over the sea.
Trans-Siberian Railway: Facts and Figures
A trip with the Trans-Siberian Railway is on the list of goals in life for many adventurers and train lovers. Not only the construction of the Trans-Siberian, as the railway is affectionately known, was absolutely legendary, but also its diverse route. After a total of 25 years full of sweat and hard work, 9288 kilometers of track have been laid and you can now travel from Russia via Mongolia to China. To do this, tunnels were blasted, bridges were built and 80,000 employees were required. The Transsib stops in a total of 990 train stations and crosses 87 cities. If you want to break out with it and pay attention to sustainability, you can even do so directly from Switzerland. For example, some of our trips take us by ship and train from Switzerland via Finland to Russia.
But it is not only the scenic diversity and the cult status of the train route that make the Trans-Siberian Railway so special. Nowhere else do you get to know so many exciting people so easily. You travel in a small space, but you also experience the most extraordinary moments together. After the train journey, you move on with a multitude of colorful stories and exciting life stories in your luggage.
Right in the middle of the market in Thailand
In Samut Songkhram, Thailand, you can even go shopping during the train ride. The Mae Klong market will be set up exactly where the train tracks run. When the train passes, the traders frantically jump out of the way to protect your goods.
Through Cambodia on bamboo poles
In Cambodia, too, you will find a very special kind of train journey: the bamboo train in Battambang. The track simply consists of two axles and a seat made of bamboo beams, but can even reach speeds of up to 40 kilometers per hour. It gets particularly exciting when two bamboo trains meet on the single-lane route. Then the rule of thumb applies: the train with fewer passengers must be dismantled.
With the Shiki-Shima through Japan
What do the train stations in Tokyo and London have in common? Not that much at first glance. However, there is one hidden detail that unites Kings Cross and Ueno Train Station. And that will especially delight the Harry Potter fans among you. Both stations have added a magical track to the station building. Only this is called 13 ½ in Tokyo and 9 ¾ in London, based on the story of JK Rowling. The train that starts its journey from the Japanese platform is fantastic in the truest sense of the word. The Shiki-Shima Train takes its exclusive guests to the most hidden corners of Japan and offers a top-class train experience. Only 34 passengers in total can travel in the grand suites. That’s why you have to apply for tickets in a kind of lottery.
Luxury train in Southeast Asia – Eastern & Oriental Express
Although the Eastern & Oriental Express is just as much a luxury train as the Shiki-Shima in Japan, it exudes a completely different charm. The magnificent interior is beautifully ornate and gives a feeling of nostalgia. The rust-red cushions are decorated with gold details, the train crew is wearing chic dark blue uniforms and oriental lamps hang in the dining car. While the train drives through wide fields, past countless palm trees, you can watch the golden-red sunset from the open window. After an exciting day, you can end your evening in the dining car. A pleasure, not just for your palate.
Culinary art on wheels – Zugessen in Asia
The way to a man’s heart goes through his stomach. This also applies to the love for the most beautiful travel destinations that you visit in the course of your life. Because the culinary arts are an essential part of the culture of a country and each dish tells its own exotic story. Anyone traveling by train in Asia will always come across the most extraordinary and delicious snacks and meals on offer at the train station, in the open-plan compartment or in the dining car.
In India, you can even buy hot meals from the vendors on the train. Whether masala curry, dal or paneer, here you will try the most delicious Indian specialties. There is even chai tea to take away. But not only local food is offered on trains. On the night trains in Thailand you will be served breakfast in first class, but it looks very different than expected. For example, on the train to Chiang Mai there is a club sandwich and french fries. So if you’re homesick for western meals, you’ve come to the right place. Food also plays an important role on Chinese trains. But not because of its extraordinary dishes. No, instead in China the food brought is used to reserve seats. Instead of luggage,