Cambodia and Vietnam seek high-speed help from China and Japan

News: 18 January 2023. A new urban island in Phnom Penh, proposed George Town–Butterworth LRT link, new MRT lines under construction in Singapore.

Hello from Ho Chi Minh City, where the Year of the Cat is just around the corner.

This week’s articles features another new urban area in Phnom Penh, and my Phnom Penh trip report for subscribers.

In the news, Cambodia and Vietnam are seeking support for high-speed railways. It’s not mentioned what the speed of the railway would be in Cambodia, so they might just mean semi-high speed (like the Laos-China Railway that often gets called high-speed). Vietnam stated that they wanted real high-speed (up to 350km/h) though the speed will be less to reduce cost. They then have to stop talking about it and actually start building it (the first proposal dates back to 2006).

Latest posts at Future Southeast Asia

Norea City is a new urban area built on an island and reclaimed land in Phnom Penh. The island (Koh Norea) is on the Mekong River next to the mouth of the Bassac River.

Dispatches from Southeast Asia

Construction reports for Koh Pich (the fake Paris island), BKK1 (the booming expat area), and Phnom Penh City Center (the city rising out of a drained lake).


“Property sector upbeat as return of big-spending Chinese nationals expected to drive sales.”

🇰🇭 Cambodia

🇮🇩 Indonesia

[Updated: Nusantara]

🇱🇦 Laos

🇲🇾 Malaysia

[Updated: Penang South Islands]

🇵🇭 Philippines

[Updated: Mindanao Railway]

🇸🇬 Singapore

🇹🇭 Thailand

Long-haul trains moving to new hub”The decision to gradually move long-haul services to Krung Thep Abhiwat Central Terminal is in line with the State Railway of Thailand's plan to turn the new station into the country's primary rail hub under the Transport Ministry's 20-year development strategy.”

[Updated: Koh Samui Bridge]

While the controversy of the cost of replacing the station signage continues, you can make your own signage with this cool tool.

🇹🇱 Timor-Leste

🇻🇳 Vietnam

The current railway will have renovation works done while the country still proposes the high-speed railway.

“Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has asked the transport sector to absolutely prevent corruption, wastefulness and negative phenomena in transport projects.”

While the PM was talking about stamping out corruption, the president of Vietnam resigned from his postion and party in relation to covid-related scandals that brought down other party member during hs tenure.

It’s hard to feel optimistic about transport in Vietnam when the high-speed rail and Long Thanh airport projects have been delayed by years.

Join the conversation

or to participate.