There is nothing quite like travelling by train, looking through the windows as the world flashes past your compartment. Below are some of the world’s best train trips: from day outings to long, luxury sojourns, these should all be on our bucket list.
1. The Rovos Rail through Southern Africa
The Rovos Rail takes you accross Dar es Salaam rail route up across five southern African countries.
This particular train leaves from cape town in South Africa and stays overnight in the relatively familiar village of Matjiesfontein in the Karoo, as well as stopping to admire flamingos at Kamfer’s Dam. It then crosses the border to Botswana where tourists can enjoy lots of animal sightings from their windows. The Rovos Rail goes Onwards and upwards, as it makes its way through Zambia, Victoria Falls and some of Tanzania’s smaller urban areas, with its final destination at the vibrant coastal city of Dar es Salaam.
2. Hiram Bingham Orient-Express from Cusco to Machu Picchu
If you’ve always dreamed of visiting the fascinating but iconic Incan citadel, you can take the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express from Cusco, Peru, it would take you there. Not only will you get to see Machu Picchu, you will also be able to do some spectacular Peruvian sight-seeing along the way. The train departs from the city of Cusco, a Unesco World Heritage Site which boasts a truly eclectic mix of Incan and colonial architectural wonder. While on the way, you will pass through the town of Ollantaytambo, which is dominated by two massive Inca ruins and is the best surviving example of Inca city-planning, with cobbled streets and burbling irrigation channels. The train continues on to The Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu. The famous temple is said to have been built around the mid-15th century and was only discovered by outsiders in 1911, by the American explorer Hiram Bingham, after whom the train is named.
3. Edinburgh and the Highlands on The Royal Scotsman
This five-day-four-night journey helps tourists to discover ancient castles, beautiful lochs and glens, and babbling brooks among Scotland’s lush green landscapes.The Royal Scotsman departs from edinburgh and stops at several noteworthy villages, it also rolls through the verdant vistas of the Scottish Highlands. The journey encompass a visit to the beautiful Ballindaloch Castle on Speyside – the area in Scotland with the most concentration of single malt whisky distilleries. Here you can embark on a tour of the castle, play golf on the castle’s golf course or tour around Scotland’s first single estate distillery – Ballindalloch. From there on to Rothiemurchus Estate, where visitors can enjoy fishing, clay pigeon shooting or a tour of the estate, and then Glamis Castle, the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth.
4. Singapore to Bangkok on The Eastern & Oriental Express
The Eastern & Oriental express departs from Singapore and enjoy the scenery of southern Malaysia like georgetown, penang, arriving the next day at Kuala Kangsar. Here, passengers can view the sights of this historic city, including the Ubudiah Mosque, the Royal Museum of Perak and the Sultan Shah Gallery. On the third and last day, there is a river cruise along the picturesque River Kwai before the train arrives in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok which is the final destination.
5. The Ghan from Darwin to Adelaide
The Ghan takes you from one coast to another, north to south across the Land Down Under. The trip starts in Darwin, before arriving at Nitmiluk Gorge where passengers can cruise down the Katherine River under towering sandstone cliffs, or meet the Jawoyn people, the traditional owners of Nitmiluk. The next day affords a visit to the fascinating town of Coober Pedy, ‘the opal capital of the world,’ where most of the residents live underground to escape the scorching heat. Their underground world boasts restaurants, churches and hotels. After this, the train travels through Breakaways, an arid area of rocky desert and flat-topped mesas. Finally, the parched outback forms into the lush green landscapes of Southern Australia as you make your way into Adelaide, Australia’s City of Churches.
6. The Maharajas’ Express from Delhi to Mumbai
The Maharajas Express ‘Indian Splendour’ train journey offers an unforgettable trip on India’s most Iconic and luxurious train. The train journey starts in the capital, Delhi, and ends in Mumbai. It takes seven nights and eight days to complete. The train departs from Delhi heading to Agra, home to the Taj Mahal. The following day begins with a game drive in the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan preceded by a visit to The Pink City, Jaipur, renowned for its historical centre built out of rosy-pink stone. Next stop is the desert kingdom of Bikaner, with its astonishing fort, the result of intense building under the reign of four rulers. From there, on to Jodhpur, also known as ‘The Blue City’ for the aquamarine hues of the buildings in the old quarter. The scenery on the way to Udaipur is mind-blowing, and the lakes around the city are known as some of the most beautiful in India.
You can begin planning your journey right now, I’m sure you would have a swell time travelling on each of them.
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