Traveller Tips

Sister train to Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Asia journeys are made unforgettable aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express. Find some general information below that will be useful as you prepare to travel.

Passports and Visas

All visitors to South East Asia must be in possession of a valid passport, with at least 6 months validity from the date of your return. It is the responsibility of each individual passenger to ensure that they are in possession of any necessary and valid visas and/or documentation. The company assumes no responsibility for the consequences of any failure to comply. It is not possible to obtain a visa on board the train or at the respective border points for entry into Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Unlike at the airports, there are no Visa-On-Arrival facilities when the Eastern & Oriental Express crosses land borders. Please note that nationals entitled to a 30-day visa exemption in Thailand are only eligible to enter Thailand without a visa through land border checkpoints twice per calendar year.

With the uncertainty surrounding 'Brexit', we would recommend (and it may become law) the following for all travel requiring passports:

1. You should ensure you have at least 6 months’ validity left on your passport from your date of arrival. This applies to both adult and child passports.
2. If you renewed a passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe.

While the law is only likely to change for UK and EU passport holders, we recommend that all passport holders check with your national government agency for up-to-date information.

We would also note that security and immigration checks are likely to be increased, adding time to your journey at entry and exits points within Europe and the UK, so we would recommend you allow extra time at these points.


No special health certificates are required, but you should request advice from your medical practitioner or travel specialist. Quarantine arrangements apply to travellers affected by yellow fever.


Customs regulations are in line with those prevailing elsewhere in the world, however the importation of prohibited items carries serious penalties. In particular, the importation of narcotics into Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore is treated very seriously. On conviction, the death penalty is still applied in certain cases.

During your journey, staff and agents of Eastern & Oriental Express will provide assistance to facilitate border formalities. You will be required to provide relevant information and hand over your passport at the appropriate times. Please note, however, that it is the responsibility of each individual passenger to ensure that they are in possession of the necessary and valid documentation. The Company assumes no responsibility for the consequences of any failure to comply.

At the Malaysian Customs and Immigration facility, the E&O stops and passengers must disembark and pass through Customs and Immigration. Passengers must take all their hand baggage with them while their main luggage is removed for security screening procedures. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for these formalities when organizing you onward arrangements.

Passport and customs formalities take place at the Malaysian/Thai border. Passengers will not normally be disturbed during the journey. Passports will be held during the journey by the stewards and will be returned immediately prior to disembarking.


We strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance as soon as you book your journey or holiday. If you have not already done so, we suggest you contact your travel agent or the Belmond Reservations Office in your home country to assist you.


Luggage is limited to 30kg per person for Pullman and State Compartment passengers. There is no limit for passengers travelling in a Presidential Suite. Please keep your tickets, passports and any medication with you; do not pack them in your through or compartment luggage. Please note, durian fruit must not be taken on board.

We recommend that you label your luggage with a contact address, your hotel and your destination. It will be taken care of as follows:

Through luggage:

We suggest that items not required for your journey are packed separately in a sturdy case. At check-in this luggage will be labelled by our staff, after which it will not normally be accessible until you reach your destination. Ideally, large and/or hard cases should be checked in as through luggage.

Compartment luggage:

This should contain clothing and items you need during your journey. When you plan your luggage, please bear in mind that storage space is limited. There is a luggage rack, plus an additional storage cupboard with hangers. One or two soft-sided suit carriers or similar can be comfortably accommodated in each compartment.

Hand luggage:

Your passport, tickets, jewellery, money, camera, fragile items and any medication should be kept in your hand luggage and not checked in. We advise that you take out insurance to cover any loss or damage to your luggage.


The train features elegant private cabins, most with twin beds. All are fully air-conditioned with en-suite shower, toilet, hairdryer and a personal safe. Sockets are suitable for 3-pin UK standard plugs (220 volts).

During the day, berths, or single beds, are converted into comfortable seating.

Pullman Single Cabins
Daytime seating converts at night to a single bed at floor level. Dimensions are 5 sq m.

Pullman Cabins
Daytime seating converts to upper and lower berths at night. Dimensions are 5.8 sq m.

State Cabins
Daytime seating converts to two single beds at floor level at night. Dimensions are 7.8 sq m.

Presidential Suites
Daytime seating converts to two single beds at floor level at night. There is ample room to entertain one or two of your fellow guests in daytime configuration. They also feature a complimentary minibar, CD player and an adaptor for your personal iPod/MP3 player. Dimensions are 11.6 sq m.

Sightseeing and Excursions

Qualified guides escort all sightseeing and excursions. These are designed to provide the perfect balance between relaxing on board and the opportunity for fascinating experiences off the train.

Please respect local cultures when visiting temples and pagodas. At any stop, please remember that it is your responsibility to ensure you have embarked before the train departs.

Passengers not wishing to join any excursion are advised to remain on board the train at all times unless otherwise advised by the Train Manager.

First Aid

A first aid kit is carried on board for emergency use. If it becomes apparent that a doctor is required, please inform the Train Manager who will arrange for the passenger to alight at the next station enabling medical attention.


Gratuities for staff and guides are at the passenger’s discretion.

Restaurant Cars & Dining

There are three restaurant cars—two of which join the Eastern & Oriental Express for every journey. Each car is decorated in floral motifs reflecting the culture of the region and featuring either elm panels with light-wood design inlays or rosewood with decorative lacquered panels hand-painted with delicate flowers.

Distinctive European cutlery and hand-cut crystal glassware are used. Table d’hôte meals are included in your fare. On most journeys there are usually two sittings for lunch and dinner. Your preference for the first or second sitting will be noted by the Maitre D’ at check-in. Breakfast and afternoon tea are served in your cabin.

For those passengers wishing to rise early to take advantage of the beautiful scenery, tea and coffee will be served in the Observation Car from 7am onwards.

We endeavour to cater for special dietary requirements. To avoid disappointment, please inform us fully of your personal requests at least 14 days in advance. We regret that we are unable to provide meals requiring strict religious observance in their preparation.

Onboard Drinks

Complimentary tea and coffee are available at all times. For our Chronicles of Southeast Asia journeys, all wines and bar drinks are included in your fare.

For other journeys, house wines, house spirits and local beers are included, premium drinks and drinks served to your cabin will be an additional charge. Bar drinks may be ordered in the Observation Car, Bar Car or served in your cabin by your steward.

The Bar Car stays open as long as you wish, but drinks service may be temporarily suspended at the Singapore/Malaysian/Thai border for Customs formalities or at the Train Manager’s discretion.

Onboard Payment

Items on board are priced in US Dollars, all payments must be made by credit or debit card, all major cards are accepted. American Express, MasterCard, Visa and JCB are accepted.


In keeping with Indoor Air Quality regulations in the region, and as a courtesy to your fellow travellers, smoking is not permitted throughout the air-conditioned carriages of the train.

Guests may smoke in the open-deck area of the Observation Car.