THE TRIP'S COST

* The price of the Eastern & Oriental Express is not for the thin of wallet. A one-way ticket on the Singapore-Bangkok route can range from $1,081 to $3,554, depending on your choice of room, but it includes fine meals and a two-hour bus excursion to Penang Island.

Offered separately are one-day train rides to the River Kwai near Bangkok and to Melaka, a multicultural gem of a coastal town north of Singapore that was the opulent trading center of Asia in the 15th and 16th centuries.

For more information on either the Eastern & Oriental Express or the Venice Simplon-Orient Express, contact most major travel agents; or, in the United States or Canada, call 1-800-524-2420; in Britain, call (71) 928-6000.

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