I’ve been wanting to share this post for a while, phase two of covid-19 in Singapore has meant a lot more time ferrying the kids around and a bit less ‘me-time’ or writing time. But today is an uncharacteristically rainy day, so I’ve put a cardigan on (this only happens twice a year here in Singapore), made a cup of tea and am looking forward to getting lost in some exotic train travel.
My first sleeper train experience was only last year as we travelled down from Hanoi to Danang in Vietnam. Within two minutes my daughter piped up with ‘mummy I just saw a cockroach’, we’d booked 1st class too. That aside the scenery was breathtaking as we wound our way down the creaky tracks through the endless rice fields and jungle.
I couldn’t help but think there must be some more luxurious train experiences out there. I’d heard of the Great Orient Express from when we lived in the UK, but I took it upon myself to look up some other train experiences to add to my bucket list.
Coincidently my husband bought me a lovely print this month of a lady hanging off the back of a train. So I’ve thus been imaging myself on a Belmond train going through the jungle sipping on a Singapore Sling. So on that note, let’s live vicariously through these images of the top 9 train journeys in the world.
This is the one on this list which excites me the most. Mainly as the train leaves from Singapore, our home town at the moment, and goes all the way to Bangkok, Thailand. I can’t wait to sit on one of their green and gold carriages and while away my time on the way to Thailand.
One of the most famous trains in the world. When you step aboard you’re converted to exquisite 1920’s glamour and comfort. Plus it visits one of the best cities in the world (Venice).
Travel through Russia from East to West, Moscow to Vladivostok, see the world’s largest fresh water lake and take in some of Russia’s finest cities along the way.
4. Palace on Wheels, India
What a beautiful way to explore India’s finest delights, without being stuck in a traffic jam. With 24/7 concierge service and daily excursions so you can hop around India like royalty.
5. The Ghan, Australia
From the top to the bottom of Australia through the hottest epicentre of a country. You can sit back and sip on some of Australia’s finest wines and enjoy dining under a million stars with some great off train day excursions all included. My friend Vics has done this trip whilst she lived in Australia and loved it.
6. The Blue Train, South Africa
A rail journey which had planned to connect South Africa to Cairo now goes between Pretoria and Cape Town on a whopping 31-hour journey of 1,600 kilometres (994 miles). Taking you through some of the most spectacular scenery offered by the African sub-continent. You can also opt for a shorter 19-hour journey from Pretoria to The Kruger National Park and enjoy a ‘rail-safari’.
7. Rovos Rail’s Namibia Safari, South Africa
A nine-day 3,400-kilometre train journey takes you from the savannahs of the Highveld to the Atlantic in the west. From Pretoria to Walvis Bay. See sights such as Fish River Canyon – second in size to the Grand Canyon, take excursions to see game-rich Etosha National Park and more.
8. Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru
I love how they’ve brought Peruvian style to this timeless train, a fun twist of colour in the cabins. Sit back and let yourself be taken through Peru, if the views leave you exhausted you can take yourself along to the spa carriage to massage away any knots. I also hear that the cocktails are as bewitching as the views.
9. Belmond Royal Scotsman, Scotland
Sit back and sip on a dram whilst the Scottish Highlands pass by. You can tailor each day perfectly to you. Set off into the great outdoors with a guided mountain bike tour or a round of golf on a world famous course. Even indulge in a private outdoor dinner on the shores of a glistening Scottish loch.
There were many train journeys which I found during my research but these are the standout amazing train journeys. There were some which were just day trips or a couple of hours, like the blue train in Sri Lanka but I’ll include those in another round-up. Do you have a favourite train journey? One that stands out? Leave me a note in the comments, I’d love to hear about it.