Really worth it. Expensive but you will not regret it. Food on board was excellent and varied as we travelled through the countries. To achieve such a level of cuisine and service in such an environment is impressive.
Pullman cabins are quite small but well equipped and nothing was missing. In particular, there is a good shower with hot water at all times. Worth going for the larger cabin obviously but beds were comfortable even in the Pullman with one bed above the other. What makes the trip is the observation car, in particular in Thailand. Go there early in the morning. The train goes at different speeds and sometimes the track is old, so you can feel it during your sleep but that has to be expected. It is quite an achievement to take such a train through 3 countries.
The train stops at Butterworth in Malaysia so that guests can take the ferry to Penang island and visit Georgetown. We found this excursion quite boring. Unesco has added the city to its list of heritage sites because of a mix of Chinese, Indian and colonial buildings. Nice but we were not particularly impressed by the city. The train has to stop somewhere for excursions... The second stop was considerably much better : river Kwai bridge, little cruise on the river, visit of the Burma-Thai railway museum and cemetery. That was very interesting.
On the train, they do provide entertainment with pianist and Thai dancer. Time flies but 2 / 3 nights on board seems enough.
Overall, service levels and standards are very high. It is all superbly organized with a large number of staff in the kitchen, in the restaurants, in the bars and in the carriages, plus the managers, train drivers, mechanical staff, porters, guides, et . We spent close to 40pc of our 20 day trip in south east asia on that train journey and we did not regret it.
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