Since I was a child, I was always fascinated with train journeys. Hearing the clickety-clackety sounds the train wheels make while passing the metal tracks made me sleep good for some weird reason. There is nothing like seeing the country side from inside the comfort of sitting in the train.
It is the most relaxing way to enjoy the stunning scenery outside the window – rolling hills, colorful lakes, wild nature, barren deserts, dramatic landscapes, farmers tilling the field with their trusty cows.
I have traveled quite a bit by train all around the world. But I pick a few ones that might help you out in your future plannings.
1. Trans Siberian train
Where it goes? Moscow to Vladivostok. However I recommend that you to go until Irkutsk/Lake Baikal region and not to the complete journey.
Duration: 5000 kms (4 days).
You can stop by different cities along the way from Moscow to Irkutsk – Kazan, Ekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk. I wrote a separate blog post on how to explore Russia by Trans Siberian train.
2. Bosnian train
Where it goes? Sarajevo to Mostar
Duration: 2:30 to 2:30 hours
The 129km distance between Sarajevo & Mostar can only be appreciated by taking the scenic train. If you sit on the left hand side on the train from Sarajevo to Mostar you will get to see the colorful Neretva river known for its emerald green color. The train ride goes through several tunnels and hairpin bends.
3. Pacific West coast Cascade train
Where it goes? Seattle to Vancouver
Distance: 229 kms (4 hours)
I generally don’t recommend Amtrak trains in the U.S as it is known for its delays and cancellations. But this ride is not bad and the train goes along the Pacific coast with some impressive scenic view of the coast. Best view can be had when you sit on the left hand side of the train. Pay attention when you get closer to San Juan island off the coast of north part of Washington state.
4. Burma / Myanmar
What’s the path? Mandalay to Yangon (Rangoon)
Distance: 622 kms (10 hour journey)
The train ride is painfully slow and bumpy. The train network that was laid out during the old British empire has never been upgraded by the post-independent Burmese governments. But the ride is really adventurous as you feel like you are in a roller coaster ride. I recommend doing half the journey from
5. Japan Shinkansen
Path: While Shinkansen network covers the entire Japan I recommend taking the Hiroshima to Kagashima as I find this path the most interesting in Japan.
Distance: 550 kms (3.5 hours)
Experience riding in one of the fastest, cleanest trains in the world. At a top speed of 250 kms / hour you can cover the entire Japan in a day. As you get closer to the southern tip of Japan you will see a drastic change in the landscape. You will even see palm trees.
6. Peruvian Andes Train
Path: Cusco to Machu Picchu
Distance: 75 kms uphill (2 hours)
Most backpackers hike the Andes mountains from Cusco to Machu Picchu which takes a 3 days time. But if you are not up for oxygen deprivation and altitude sickness you probably want to choose the train ride. This touristy train has transparent glass windows on the top of the train which allows you to admire the huge hills and tunnels along the way.
Let me what is your favorite train ride in the comment section.