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This Fancy Eastern & Oriental Express Train Takes You From SG To Penang With A Beach Stop At Langkawi

Eastern & Oriental Express – Singapore to Penang via train

Singaporeans have no lack of ways to reach our neighbouring country, Malaysia. JB transport options alone span bus, train, car, and ferry. We even have the latest SG to JB Grab bus, priced from just $3. So while the travel modes are aplenty, you might be gunning for a more unique and exhilarating experience – even before you set foot in Malaysia.

If you haven’t already heard of it, the Eastern & Oriental Express is a premium train service operated by Belmond, a luxury hospitality organisation. Having been offering all-inclusive trips across Southeast Asia since 1993, they’re back with their latest route: a 4D3N Singapore to Penang itinerary, named “Essence of Malaysia”. Très atas! 

What to expect on Eastern & Oriental Express trains

For most of us, the extent of train rides that we’re familiar with are none other than the MRT, and the KTM shuttle at most. So if you’ve never embarked on a luxury transnational train ride, here’s what you can expect from Eastern & Oriental Express’ fancy fixings.

Eastern & Oriental Express Singapore - Luxury TrainImage credit: via Instagram

Aesthetics wise, it’s the stuff you see in classy, old-timey movies. Besides the regal cherry wood finishes, there are thoughtful ASEAN influences shining through to make the cabins stand out from typical European trains. These include intricate Malaysian embroidery and lavish fabrics spun from Thai silk.

Eastern & Oriental Express Singapore - CabinsImage credit: Eastern & Oriental Express via Facebook

For the Singapore-Penang journey, you’ll be provided with 3 nights of accommodation in air-conditioned comfort. Hop aboard at Woodlands Train Checkpoint, where the train will set off at 3pm. You’ll be returning to the same spot at 10am, 3 days later.

Eastern & Oriental Express Singapore - Daily MealsImage adapted from: @easternoriental via Instagram, Eastern & Oriental Express via Facebook

Throughout your journey, you can call for 24-hour steward service any time you need assistance. And if you’re expecting the refreshments onboard to be along the lines of packaged tidbits and basic sandwiches, think again. Daily meals include:

Continental breakfast3-course lunch Afternoon tea 4-course dinner, with petit fours

Eastern & Oriental Express Singapore - CocktailsImage adapted from: Eastern & Oriental Express via Facebook

Those who can hold their alcohol are in luck, as your ticket entitles you to all the house wine, house spirits, and local beer you wish to sip on within the Dining Car. Just note that drinks marked “premium” on the menu will come at a charge, as will house drinks ordered to your cabin.

4D3N itinerary – Journey through KL, Langkawi, Penang & Johor

Day 1: Singapore to KL

Kampung Rice Field ViewsImage adapted from: Eastern & Oriental Express via Facebook

The comfy ride will take you from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur overnight. Come morning, you’ll wake up to idyllic views of western Malaysia kampungs and see charming farm life across sprawling rice fields.

Day 2: KL to Langkawi

Make sure you gobble down as much of that hearty 3-course lunch as you can, ‘cause your first stop will roll around shortly after noon. Passengers will alight at Alor Setar Station and make their way to Langkawi’s Pulau Payar Marine Park via a 25-minute boat ride.

Scuba Diving in Pulau Payar Marine Park, Alor Setar, Kedah 兰卡威潜水play buttonScuba Diving in Pulau Payar Marine Park, Alor Setar, Kedah 兰卡威潜水

Spot the island’s diverse wildlife, with exotic species like angelfish, parrotfish, and moray eels. And what’s a beach adventure without some water sports? Try your hand at paddle boarding and snorkelling. There are also wellness and relaxation activities available on the island, ranging from massages to guided meditation and tai chi sessions.

Langkawi Pulau Payar Marine ParkImage credit: @titova.natalia via Instagram

Trust that you won’t go hungry before boarding the train again, as a range of luxury picnic sets will be offered to all passengers. Feel free to set up your picnic station with your ideal view as the scenic backdrop. Eastern & Oriental Express ticket holders also have credits for a dedicated bar offering cocktails and BBQ food, so prepare for some island feasting. 

Day 3: Langkawi to Penang

Penang Street Art MuralsSee how many of Penang’s famous street art pieces and interactive murals you can find.

After your “let’s go to the beach, -each” moment à la Nicki Minaj, you’ll arrive at Georgetown, Penang on Day 3. Because the cultural hotspot has so much to offer, passengers are given various itineraries to choose from so they can delve into what they love most, instead of cramming activities into their day which might not be up their alley. The choices are as follows:

Peranakan cuisine appreciation & cooking workshops.Arts & culture guided tour with temple visits, opera & puppet shows.Free and easy day with driver & trishaw rides provided.

Eastern & Oriental Express Singapore - Entertainment OnboardImage for illustrative purposes only.Image adapted from: Eastern & Oriental Express via Facebook

After a full day of exploration, it’s back on the train but don’t let those post-trip blues sink in just yet. As a last hurrah, there’ll be an array of entertainment programmes onboard to accompany your dinner. We shan’t spoil it too much, but prepare for a rousing evening of song, dance, and stunning costumes. 

Day 4: Penang to SG, through Johor

Luxury Train AccommodationImage for illustrative purposes only.Image adapted from: Eastern & Oriental Express via Facebook

Alas, all good things must come to an end. The train will chug along from Penang back to KL as you nestle in the comfy beds for the last leg of the trip. When you tuck into the final continental breakfast spread the next day, you’ll be accompanied by the sight of Johor’s lush rainforests and sandy beaches.

Thereafter, it’s past the straits you go before pulling into Woodlands Train Checkpoint once more. Home sweet home, and what a journey it will have been.

Experience a luxury train ride from Singapore to Penang

The Eastern & Oriental Express brings the same thrill and variety of setting sail on a cruise, where you can hop off and explore different destinations while also having a ball of a time onboard the journey itself. 

At slightly over S$4,500/pax, it’s definitely not a spur-of-the-moment trip you’d take to cross the causeway for a quick weekend getaway. But if you’re saving up for an unforgettable experience with your loved ones, or planning the ultimate solo trip, this charming and action-packed mode of travel is well worth considering. All aboard! Next stop: priceless memories.

Find out more & book your Essence of Malaysia tickets

Price: From S$4,513.22/paxContact: 0845 077 2222 |

Cover image adapted from: Eastern & Oriental Express via Facebook, @ingaheadland via Instagram


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