Alixe Lay is a travel and lifestyle photographer based in London. She recently travelled on Belmond’s Eastern & Oriental Express, a luxury sleeper train that goes from Singapore to Bangkok via Malaysia. Read on for her experience on this enchanting journey and the beautiful photos she’s captured on the Leica Q.

Travelling on the Eastern & Oriental Express has been at the top of my bucket list for as long as I can remember. From the moment I first saw the train sat stationary in my hometown of Johor Bahru, I knew that I had to one day board this train on a timeless adventure.


The Eastern & Oriental Express was a truly unique way to experience Thailand and my home country of Malaysia. Although it was my first time using the Leica Q, I knew that I could rely on this camera to document this very special journey.

The thing I love the most about the Q is its lightness. Small but mighty, the Q is a game-changer for travel photography. The camera is so light that I was barely aware of carrying it with me on the trip, which allowed me to be present and connect to my surroundings without distractions.

Onboard the Eastern & Oriental Express, I moved frequently between two of my favourite spaces, the open-air observation car and the piano bar. Switching between shooting indoors and outdoors was a breeze with the Q. It performs exceptionally well in both settings, reliably returning stunning photos straight out of the camera. The richness and vibrancy of the interiors on Eastern & Oriental Express are also captured wonderfully by the Leica Q.

Whether it’s from the comfort of my cabin, the windows in the restaurant cars or the panoramic balcony of the observation car, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching how the landscapes changed as we moved through different regions of Malaysia and Thailand. The elegance of Leica’s design means that I’m only one or two buttons away from my shot, making it possible for me to capture fleeting scenery that’s inherent to train rides.

Experiencing the Eastern & Oriental Express was a dream come true; it was every bit as romantic as I imagined it to be. As the photos can attest, I’m in no rush to forget this trip of a lifetime.

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