World-Famous Eastern & Oriental Express Train to Run in Vietnam

Luxury trains are set to revolutionize the tourism sector and give a significant boost to the country's travel industry. These opulent trains promise an unparalleled experience for tourists, showcasing the epitome of luxury and elegance. With their state-of-the-art amenities and world-class services, they aim to redefine the way people travel and explore the country. Designed to provide a unique and unforgettable journey, luxury trains are poised to become the go-to choice for discerning travelers seeking both comfort and adventure. This exciting development is expected to attract a new wave of tourists, eager to embark on a remarkable voyage through the country's breathtaking landscapes while indulging in the finest luxuries and amenities. It is anticipated that luxury trains will play a pivotal role in positioning the country as a premier destination and contribute significantly to the growth of the tourism industry.

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A number of world-renowned trains, including France’s Eastern & Oriental Express (Belmond), would run on the national North-South railroad, according to the Ministry of Transport.

The Eastern & Oriental Express train travels through Malaysia. Photo: Savile Row Travel

“The Ministry of Transport highly appreciates the efforts of Belmond and Vietnam Railway Corporation (VNR) in signing a framework agreement to bring 10 coaches of the Eastern & Oriental Express to Vietnam,” emphasized the Ministry’s latest notification sent to the firm.

This luxury tourist train will operate throughout the year, connecting tourist destinations such as Hanoi, Danang, Nha Trang, and others with Ho Chi Minh City.

“The Ministry of Transport welcomes Belmond to expand its operations in Vietnam. It is believed that cooperation would contribute to the development of Vietnam’s tourism sector,” it wrote.

According to Nguyen Danh Huy, Deputy Minister of Transport, rail transport in Vietnam is “a kind of conditional service business” controlled by many binding regulations on machinery import rules, traffic law, and passenger transport business conditions, among others.

The Ministry of Transport asked Belmond to continue to work closely with VNR to meet the requirements in accordance with Vietnamese law.

“The Vietnam Railways Department needs to create favorable conditions and provide maximum support to Belmond and VNR in the process of cooperation and project implementation,” he asked.

Eastern & Oriental Express train. Photo: Nanthawit Sonaya

In December 2023, Gary Franklin, Vice President of the Belmond Company, asked Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and the Ministry of Transport to allow the Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train to operate on some railway lines in Vietnam.

Eastern & Oriental Express is considered one of the world’s most iconic luxury train lines, along with other Belmond trains such as Simplon Orient Express, Royal Scotsman, and Andean Explore.

In Southeast Asia, the company has operated the Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train between Bangkok, Thailand, and Singapore since 1993.

In addition to Belmond, Vietravel Airlines and VNR are also cooperating to roll out the “5-Star Cross-Vietnam Train Project”, with trains offering multi-purpose entertainment rooms, gyms, childcare services, and more.

Famous fashion company Louis Vuitton has also expressed its intention to operate a luxury antique train between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to serve tourists soon.