Eastern & Oriental Express

Eastern & Oriental Express

Eastern & Oriental Express

When I visited Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station on Tuesday afternoon I was lucky to see the Eastern & Oriental Express preparing for departure.
The Green Carpet Treatment
This train was due to leave at 15:00 and travel overnight to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. The train looks absolutely splendid in its green, cream and gold colours. Such a contrast from the worn rolling stock the state-owned railway has to use.

I remembered Michael Willem’s advice here and under-exposed for the back light on the platform. It’s not as dramatic as his example, but I think it works photographically.

Each entrance was guarded by a uniformed security officer. I didn’t have the cheek to ask if I could take a look around the interior.

According to the E&O web site this is the last departure to Chiang Mai in 2009. The fares are eye-watering: US$1,400 for a “Pullman Superior / Single”, US$1,890 for a “State Cabin” and US$2,500 for the “Presidential Suite”. The site says that:

Prices are per person based on sharing accommodation and include: All table d’hôte meals on board, with complimentary tea and coffee in your compartment, and sightseeing tours.

Table d’hôte is a hi-so phrase for a fixed menu.

Since it is an overnight train passengers miss most of the scenery. The sun sets about 6:30pm at this time of the year. I don’t think the Bangkok Frugal Photographer will be taking this train any time soon.

According to the State Railway of Thailand web site here the regular train fares from Bangkok to Chiang Mai are: 593 Baht First Class, 281 Baht Second Class and 121 Baht Third Class. According to the online currency converter at Oanda.com thats US$17.91, 8.49 and 3.65 respectively. But you do have to bring your own food.

Note: there are supplements for sleeper accommodation in First and Second Class that I have not included here.

The SRT makes huge losses and safety is a challenge, but the difference is immense.

I wish I had waited to see how many passengers boarded the train.

Note that the SRT could not provide a posh engine for the journey. It was a regular 34 year old Alstholm ALS diesel locomotive.

Eastern & Oriental Express Locomotive


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5 Responses to “Eastern & Oriental Express”

  1. sartenada Says:

    Love the first photo. First when looking it I thought that the photo was taken in some museum.

  2. BKKPhotographer Says:

    Picapp has nothing, zero, zilch on the E&O Express. I thought they’d have some antique pictures. Sometimes the are very disappointing.

  3. Thanksgiving Dinner in Bangkok – Where I Went « Bkkphotographer's Blog Says:

    […] Thanksgiving Dinner in Bangkok – Where I Went By bkkphotographer I ended up going to the excellent Queen Victoria Pub on Sukhumvit Soi 23. Despite its British theme they made an excellent fixed price meal – table d’hôte as they’d say on the E&O Express. […]

  4. Singapore to Bangkok by Train – FOOC « Bkkphotographer's Blog Says:

    […] from Singapore to the Thai border and the second from Sungai Kolok in Thailand to my favourite Hua Lamphong Station in […]

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