Cambodia's railway wish list
Sinking cities of Southeast Asia, Singapore ready to look at HSR proposals on ‘clean slate’, and a casino plan in Vietnam's Central Highlands.
Greetings from Chiang Mai. I knew it was the wrong time of year to be visiting, but I took my chances. It is now burning season in Thailand, where farmers set their fields on fire to clear waste crops. There were reportedly over 300 hotspots detected in Chiang Mai Province on the weekend, which explains why the air has gotten so bad. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I will be heading to Bangkok to get a breath of fresh air.
While I can move about, it sucks for people who live here that have to put up with this health hazard every year. Read more about this issue at Thailand Clean Air Network.
Latest posts at Future Southeast Asia
If you have been subscribed to this newsletter since at least the start of this year, you may have noticed a spike in news mentions about future railway plans in Cambodia. This week I saw the most wishful-thinking article of all:
Cambodia-Laos discuss building high-speed rail between two countries
This has been proposed before as a railway through Northeast Cambodia, connecting with Southern Laos in Champasak province. This would also be contingent on Laos building a railway from Vientiane to the far south. Unlikely to happen, but people said the same thing about the Laos-China Railway.
I have made a fact sheet to keep track of all of the proposed railways of Cambodia. You can view that here: Current and proposed railways in Cambodia.
Dispatches from Southeast Asia: Da Nang
Revisiting the construction sites in the city and along the coastal road to Hoi An, including a mini Dubai by the sea, and the apartment that Ronaldo didn't build.
• Danang construction report for 2023
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Broken links and dead sites
As a news aggregator that links out to news articles every week, it’s inevitable that there will be broken links on the site over time. Some of these links are from stupid issues like when a news site decides to change the URL link structure. I have found a bunch of broken links this week from Channel News Asia that have not redirected links.
More depressing is when links are broken after a news site is taken down by order of the government. This week Cambodia's Hun Sen shut down independent media outlet Voice of Democracy. VOD has been a consistent source of news about urban development issues in Cambodia. There are two VOD articles featured this week in the Cambodia news section, and you can guess which links they are just from the headline. Hopefully, their news archive will remain online if the site is hosted outside of the country. I also save news articles at archive.org and archive.today in case news articles go missing in the future.
Future Southeast Asia around the web
I did a podcast chat with Gary at The Southeast Asia Travel Show. Here is the link:
Ep 164: South East Asia’s top 10 new airport, high-speed rail & transport projects, with James Clark, Future South East Asia
• As Southeast Asia cities sink amid rising sea levels, Asean should push climate policies as a bloc
• Asean cities face uphill battle to preserve heritage
• Yunnan Construction group spearheads Chinese influence in Southeast Asia
• China’s Xi announced $44M grant to Kingdom
“Chinese President Xi Jinping on February 10 announced a 300 million yuan ($44 million) grant package to support the Kingdom’s railway ambitions, which are expected to improve the livelihoods of many Cambodians, according to National Television of Cambodia (TVK).”
• Cambodian railway regauging study completed
“A feasibility study for a further rebuild of the 382 km line from Phnom Penh to Poipet on the Thai border was submitted to the government on January 24.”
• Development sweeps Koh Rong Sanloem amid government secrecy
• Kep cuts down beachfront trees for SEA Games beautification plan
• Indonesia high-speed railway still beset by problems
• New capital Nusantara: A work in progress
• Jokowi presses for mass transport system development in major cities
• World's next debt disaster seen brewing in Indonesia's builder binge
• Laos, China, Thailand operate first round-trip freight train
• Agreement signed to set up SPS inspection unit at Thanaleng Dry Port
• Laos to bury tangled overhead cables across the country
• Majestic moody drone pic of M'sia-S'pore border still shows ghastly Causeway traffic jam
• Myanmar’s troubled Sittwe International Seaport awaits opening by
• Over two years with no Myanma Railways train service to Upper Burma
• Myanmar, the General and their EV dream
• P157-B Japan loans keep PH rail project on track
• DOTr’s Bautista: 3-4 more subways in Metro Manila all the way to Cavite being discussed with Japan
• LRT-1 design concept from the ’80s had bookstores, outdoor cafes underneath stations
• A town in Cebu apparently planted trees within potholes on the road, to people’s confusion
• Singapore ready to look at HSR proposals on ‘clean slate’
• Northern stretch of Rail Corridor opens to offer 21km of green trails
• Reopening of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station after 2026 among Rail Corridor upgrades to look forward to
• LTA testing out new road mix incorporated with plastic waste at PIE & West Coast Highway
• ComfortDelGro Driving Centre holding S'pore's 1st electric motorcycle familiarisation course
• Thailand’s four major international airports being expanded to cope with return of foreign tourists
• Train passenger numbers in Bangkok hit record high
• Pre-feasibility studies of two railway projects to be submitted in 2024
“The Railway Project Management Board is moving forward with the pre-feasibility studies for the Thủ Thiêm-Long Thành and Biên Hòa-Vũng Tàu railway projects, as it aims to submit the results in 2024. “
• Delay in planned completion of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line approved
• Vietnam PM Chinh seals green deals on Singapore visit
• Da Lat plans to build casino to boost nighttime economy
• Vietnam to have 30 airports by 2030: draft planning