Rail journeys will always remain the romantic way to travel.
The gentle rocking, the noise of rhythmic wheels on rails, the toot of the horn, as the scenery floats by as you relax in your carriage.
Based on the 2023 Global Trend Report from American Express, train travel is still a desirable way of getting around.
The study has also found that travellers want to support local communities, and there’s the rise of ‘set-jetting’ where the influence of films and social media becomes the trigger point for a choice.
Consider travel by train. Rail journeys are a must on any bucket list.
The slower pace allows for more time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and seasonal landscapes.
There is also a much richer experience to take home, from having the time to delve into, rather than just observe the rich cultures of any area of the world.
SilverStreak explores different train journeys which allow you to explore new places, have ‘set-jetting’ and allow for the ‘taste’ of the local communities.
It’s a great way to experience the rich heritage of the Mughal empire (1526-1857). This dynasty was described as a ‘golden age’ in India’s history marked by a profusion of art, architecture and scientific achievements in astrology, mathematics and medicine.
The train journey starts in Jaipur also known as the Pink City, covers a tiger reserve, Udaipur and Jodhpur finally ending off with a visit to the magnificent Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world.
An interesting feature is the ayurvedic spa on one of the trains.
With only 39 cabins, expect top class service from a personal butler who’s available 24/7. Rates range from S$10,000 to S$14,000 for 8days, and covers accommodation, three meals a day and prepaid excursions.
It’s easy to see why — all rooms are fashioned as suites with three categories to choose from: Pullman (7sqm), Deluxe (10sqm) and Royal (16sqm).
Five-star meals are complemented by highly rated wines from South Africa and served on fine chinaware. Talk about pampering.
Interesting sights on this Capetown to Pretoria to Victoria Falls journey would be
and of course the world’s largest waterfall – the Victoria Falls, also one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Approximate cost for 8 nights is S$7000 for two persons.
From Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, the train traverses the awesome Andes mountain range. Other sights are Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America which has cave paintings that are over 8000 years old.
The two-night journey from Cusco to Puno to Arequipa is priced at S$5200 per person and includes accommodation and meals. The spa car offers Andean massages.
Not all rail journeys need to be hotels on wheels. Another way to do train travel is to just use it as a means of transport.
The Rugby World Cup, which will be held in France from 8 Sep to 28 Oct is a good reason to see cities that would not necessarily be on your itinerary.
Besides catching games in Paris, Marseille and Toulouse are two other cities which are holding the matches.
Marseille, to the southeast is just 3 hours away by bullet train from the French capital, while Toulouse in the south is just 4 hours away.
Ticket prices are about $250 (one way). At Marseille, the main port city established 2,600 years ago, enjoy the original Bouillabaisse saffron fish stew and other Provencal dishes.
This city lays claim to pastis and petanque too. Toulouse, home of Airbus, says that it has the ‘best food in the world’. Perhaps there’s some legitimacy as foie gras and duck confit originated from there.
Whichever way you choose to make that trip, these inspiring bucket list destinations will allow you to do it differently, and at an enviable pace. Enjoy!