Smiling Albino reimagines train travel

BANGKOK, 29 January 2021: Smiling Albino, a Bangkok-based Destination Management Company, will launch customised train trips across Thailand this year once international travel resumes.

Introducing half, full and multi-day rail journeys, Smiling Albino’s co-founder and CEO Daniel Fraser says he intends to bring back the era of train adventures once inbound tourism restarts.

The travel company will charter the State Railway of Thailand’s newer SRT Prestige railway cars at a starting price of THB200,000 for a half-day inclusive train experience for 10 to 30 guests.

With more than 4,5000 km of track, Thailand’s railway network has so far not appealed to luxury travellers for obvious reasons. It behaves and looks like a budget operation. But Smiling Albino is counting on the  new SRT  Prestige bogies, coupled with customised themed carriage decoration to “reimagine train travel.”

“With trains, embarkation and disembarkation are easy and accessible. On arrival, you’re immediately immersed in the region you are visiting. Most of all, it uses existing infrastructure, so it is both fun and also a sustainable form of upcountry travel”, explains Fraser.

Smiling Albino’s rail travel kicked off with a trial run last month for local travellers on the northern line from Lamphun to Phrae (Den Chai), featuring an onboard revue with performers, magicians, as well as music and catered food and beverage.

“The inaugural trip was launched for a honeymoon group as a mission to ‘recapture the glory and spontaneity of early 20th Century train journeys.”

The rollout plan is to curate railway experiences for private groups and companies, plus event organisers.