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Michael Aquino

Orient-Express Explores Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Malaysia in 2013.

By November 12, 2012

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If you have Southeast Asia on your list and have more than enough cash to spare, why buy first class on airplanes (and just fly over some of the region's most interesting sights) when you can see more local charms at ground level?

Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, and Malaysia's railways and waterways are ripe for exploring, and Orient-Express' trains and cruises are ready to deliver. The venerable travel operator's just released its new offerings for the coming year, with new itineraries and voyages all around Southeast Asia. 

Orcaella river cruiser casts off. Orient Express' new river cruiser Orcaella begins cruising from summer 2013, exploring Myanmar's Ayeyarwady River between Yangon and Bhamo and stopping at key cultural sites and towns along the way.

Orcaella also steams up the Chindwin River, past a series of scenic mountain ranges in western Myanmar to reach as far north as Homalin, only 30 miles from Myanmar's border with India. Guests can book seven and 11-night cruises on Orcaella, with prices starting from £3,270 for a seven-night cruise per person.

Road to Mandalay's new 11-night cruise. The venerable Road to Mandalay river cruiser has made the Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar its home for over 17 years now, and this coming year she continues to do what she does best. Its 2013 11-night expedition to Bhamo in Myanmar will depart three times from its home port in Mandalay - on August 14 and 28, and on September 11 - and return to Bagan. The cruise costs £2,620 per person, including internal flights and tours.

Three-, four- and seven-night cruises aboard the Road to Mandalay are available as well, along with several extensions to Inle Lake, Ngapali and Golden Rock.

e and o express train

Slow train through Indochina. Southeast Asia's most glamorous train, the Eastern & Oriental Express, relaunches a schedule of unique rail voyages in 2013, each trip taking visitors deep into the heart and soul of each country the train passes through.

Highlights of the E&O Express' 2013 schedule include the Chronicles of South-East Asia, a trio of insightful adventures that cover two six-night journeys and one three-night journey for up to 60 guests in spacious State and Presidential cabins. Visitors get an eyeful of the scenery as the train winds through the jungle-clad hills of the Cameron Highlands, across the Mekong River to Vientiane, Laos or through Thailand's lush exotic landscape.

Epic Thailand will depart on February 3 and  November 23, Fables of the Hills will depart on March 2 and October 26, and the Tales of Laos journey will depart on October 1. Prices start from £2,500 for a three-night rail voyage.

For more on Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.'s 2013 voyages, visit their website: www.orient-express.com.

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