Top 3 Beautiful Asia Train Journeys for Culture, Scenery, and Food

Many family reunions, destination weddings, and long-awaited excursions have been canceled as a result of current international events. While some would-be globetrotters miss the frenetic pace of travel in 2019, others aim to radically change their travel habits, using a train.

train tracks

According to American Express’s 2021 Global Travel Trends poll of 8,000 passengers throughout the world, 68 percent want more environmentally friendly travel, 78 percent want stress-relieving travel experiences, and 61 percent desire slower, longer vacations than in the past.

Train Rides Can Be Relaxing

A train ride could be exactly the ticket for anyone planning a trip to Asia in 2022. These scenic train lines display some of Asia’s most gorgeous landscapes and provide a much-needed time to rest and reconnect with loved ones, from zigzagging across the rough highlands of central Taiwan to a Rajasthan rail excursion fit for a maharaja.

#1. Seven Stars, Kyushu, Japan

Seven Stars, Kyushu, Japan
There are a few contenders for Japan’s best rail journey. The Seven Stars, on the other hand, is difficult to surpass when it comes to scenery and luxury. Unlike Japan’s famous bullet trains, Seven Stars travels at a leisurely pace across Kyushu’s seven prefectures, allowing passengers to enjoy the magnificent mountain and ocean views in peace. The island is located just south of the Japanese mainland and is a natural wonderland.

Guests will have the opportunity to warm up in an onsen (hot spring bath) in Beppu, stay in a five-star ryokan (Japanese inn), learn about local crafts in the city of Oita, and much more throughout the four-day excursion.

#2. Sri Lanka Main Line, Kandy to Ella

Sri Lanka Main Line, Kandy to Ella
The link between Kandy, Sri Lanka’s ancient kingdom, and Ella, a mountain community in the south, stands up to its reputation as a must-see attraction. It’s also ideal for those who don’t mind a little disarray. Passengers can enjoy the sweeping green views of rolling hills, stone bridges, cliffs, rainforests, and great estates from the first-class carriage on the bright-blue train, which has air conditioning and panoramic windows. With no assigned seating, second and third-class cabins will be more packed. Travelers let their legs dangle out of an open train entryway or stick their heads out a window to enjoy the mountain breeze in their hair in these cabins. Along the way, sellers squeeze their wares between the masses, selling samosas, baked goods, and tea. The journey takes seven to nine hours, and tickets range from $0.80 to $20 depending on the fare class: all in all, a fantastic day.

#3. Palace on Wheels, Rajasthan, India

Palace on Wheels, Rajasthan, India
Few rail journeys can compare to the Palace on Wheels, which travels across northern India’s old princely republics. To begin with, let’s look at the train itself: It was founded in 1982 and includes pre-independence cars used privately by Rajasthan royalty that was refurbished in 2009. Guests may expect a tapestry of silk and shining wood, elegant furniture, and silver silverware to recreate the splendor of the Raj. In the common rooms, two dedicated dining carriages, a Royal Spa, and a bar and lounge complete out the sumptuous experience. When it comes to train accommodations, the 14 guest coaches, each named after a former princely state of Rajputana, give five-star hotels a run for their money.