Young Pioneer Tours

10 Most Epic Train Journeys in the World

At YPT we truly love a train journey, but it would be true to say that not all are created equal. We have therefore put together our 10 most epic train journeys in the world, at least in our opinion. 

How to pick the most epic train journeys in the world?

For us at least epic train journeys are not done on new fangled fast trains, but are done the good old fashioned way. This means long journeys, usually a sleeper compartment and amazing views of the countryside. 

For YPT too it also means ones we have actually done, or ideally do tours to. We are sure that going across Canada by train is great, but it is also not exactly our bag.

This is the most epic train journeys in the world for the adventure traveler.

10 Most Epic Train Journeys in the world

10) Bangkok to Poipet

Starting this countdown with the Bangkok to Poipet (Cambodia) train. Actually we could say any train journey in Thailand for this one. Great views, open windows and amazing street food delivered to your seat.

9) Beijing to Lhasa

Another treat that just missed out. This journey not only has epic views, but more amazingly hits altitudes so high that oxygen needs to be pumped through the train.

8) Cambodian Bamboo Train

The bamboo train is a small plywood-framed cart, with a bamboo mat placed on top whilst resting on top of two independent rail axles recycled from damaged tanks left over from the Cambodian genocide war. A simple two stroke motor sits at the back and accelerates the bamboo train a steady 50km/h. Welcome to the Cambodian Bamboo Train.

Click to read more about it here.

7) The Hershey Train in Cuba

This very slow route was you can imagine originally intended for the workers of Hershey on the sugar plantations. Nowadays it is a very slow ride through the Cuban countryside from Matanzas to Havana. A slightly better train option than the regular Cuban railway which seems to move whenever it wants.

You can read about our Cuban tours here.

6) The Eritrea Railway 

Not ac actual railway in that it no longer runs, but once upon a time this was the oldest railway in Africa and built by the Italians. Nowadays you rent it by charter and go through some amazing scenery. And honestly you truly cannot beat a steam train.

You can read about our independent Eritrea tours here

5) Bucharest to Kishinev 

OK so this one is not so regular now and pretty much next to a war zone, but for a while one of the most epic train journeys in the world. There is lots to make this special, but crossing from the wild east into the EU, as well as having you carriage lifted to change the gauge are highlights in our books. Oh and you are that bit closer to Transnistria 

4) Beijing to Hanoi and Beyond!

If it is good enough for Marshall Kim Jong Un then it is good enough of for you! We love taking the train into Vietnam and through Vietnam, with things such as the bar street on the tracks in Hanoi to the pristine scenery making this all the better.

To read about the Trump-Kim summit click here

3) Beijing to Pyongyang

Our favourite way to travel into North Korea and one of the vest ways to not only see the real North Korea, but actually hang out with North Koreans. 

To read about our North Korean Tours click here

2) The Trans-Mongolian Railway 

A mainstay of our Eurasian Adventure Tour, as well as a firm favourite of ours. Six days on a train in winter might seem like a lot, but in reality the time flies by as you pass through 3 countries, enjoy the food and drink your share of vodka. Another one that is off now, but will be back.

To read bout train travel here check out the Seat 61 website

1) Mauritania Iron-Ore Train 

And finally the most epic train journey in the world! The Mauritania Iron Ore train. The longest train in the world, but not the longest train journey. It might not be luxurious, but what you lose in luxury you surely make up for in experience. A true breathtaking travel highlight. 

You can check our our next Mauritania Tour here

Ans that some up what we feel are some of the most epic train journeys in the world, but also a list we shall undoubtedly be expanding upon on. 

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