The green and cream carriages of the Eastern & Orient-Express will cross the Friendship Bridge that links Thailand with Laos for the first time ever next month.
Trains were previously able to go only as far as Nong Khai, with travelers having to finish their journeys by other means. With the opening of the Friendship Bridge last year, E&O passengers will now be able to continue their ways in sumptuous luxury straight into the heart of mysterious Laos. Dubbed Voyage of Vientiane, the four day, three night sojourn will depart from Bangkok on 23 February, returning to the Thai capital four days later.
The adventure will take them on an overnight excursion through northeastern Thailand. The next morning they will make a stop, visiting the ravishingly beautiful Angkor-style temple of Phimai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important Khmer monuments in Thailand.
After lunch, they will continue to picturesque Khao Yai Valley, where they will visit a local vineyard and taste New Latitude Wines. They will then traverse the legendary Mekong River into Laos by way of the Friendship Bridge.
There they will embark on a full day’s tour of Vientiane, having lunch at the historic Settha Palace Hotel. The capital of Laos, Vientiane is a city of contrasts, with French colonial architecture sitting next to gilded Asian temples. In the late afternoon, they will return to Thailand across the Friendship Bridge, chatting with newly made friends, soaking in the scenery, and having one final dinner, followed by an overnight journey back to Bangkok.
Measuring a quarter of a mile in length, the air-conditioned carriages of the E&O are reminiscent of a gentler era, when travel was leisurely. Prices start at US$1,950 per person, based on shared accommodation. All table d’hôte meals on board, tea and coffee in your compartment, and sightseeing tours are included.
Pictured: Staff greet passengers