3 years of Future Southeast Asia News
News: 19 April 2023. Second Singapores, Phan Thiet trip report, Laos-China Railway launches crossborder passenger service, more metro delays for HCMC
Hello from Da Nang! April in Da Nang usually means clear blue skies, but the transboundary haze that has been hanging over Northern Thailand and Laos is now in Central Vietnam. Today’s AQI in Da Nang is 155, while in Chiang Mai it is 169 (not nice).
- Son Tra Peninsula in Da nang shrouded in haze.
I am doing a visa run next week to Thailand and I thought of going to Malaysia, but it turns out to be hazy there as well.
3-year anniversary Future Southeast Asia News
This newsletter was launched on 14 April 2020 under the name Living In Asia. I remember because we were midway through a 1-month lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City. The newsletter became my pandemic project, and I have published a weekly news round-up every Wednesday since then. I enjoy going through my pile of bookmarked news every week for the latest news in transport and urban development in Southeast Asia.
I also publish articles approximately twice a month for paid subscribers, so if you would like to support this site please consider becoming a paid Future Southeast subscriber. A subscription costs US$5 per month and gives you full access to the site.
Latest posts at Future Southeast Asia
NovaWorld Phan Thiet is a new urban development area in Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan Province. This is a fact sheet for the project, and I was going to include a larger write-up in the trip report listed below. I will have a separate trip report next week because it needs its own article. Spoiler alert, it’s bad.
Dispatches from Southeast Asia
• Binh Thuan trip report (2023 edition) (for paid subscribers)
Construction update on the Southeast coast of Vietnam. The weird building in a land corruption scandal, a mega-hotel on top of a sand dune, empty new urban developments, and the lost beach of Mui Ne.
- A seawall where a beach used to be.
A list of cities in Southeast Asia that aspire to be "The Second Singapore"
• $40 million more tourist development for 2 Cambodian islands
• Lost Lands: Andy Ball photographs the devastating impact of sand mining in Cambodia
• ‘Debt trap’ danger looms in Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train project
"President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo can only blame himself for the prolonged delay of the Jakarta-Bandung high speed train project, and the huge cost overrun which hit US$982 million according to China, and $1.49 billion according to Indonesia. There were too many loopholes in the contract when it was signed in 2016, clearly because Indonesia was so ambitious to realize the mega project as soon as possible. So, do not blame China."
• Indonesia to discuss railroad cooperation with Japan at G7 Summit
• Kura-Kura Bali designated as Special Economic Zone
• KPK names 10 suspects in railway construction projects' graft case
• Impossible for infrastructure projects to be graft-free: Jokowi
• Laos-China Railway launches crossborder passenger service
• Southeast Asia's 'battery' Laos embraces wind power to sustain energy exports
• Anthony Loke: ECRL works 42pc complete, on track for 2027 launch
• Govt welcomes private sector collaboration with Railway Assets Corporation
• Gov't eyes private sector help to improve NAIA, other gateways
• FACT CHECK: Marcos has no plans of shutting down NAIA
• Metro Manila urban cable car? DOTr teases new rail projects
• Unsolicited proposals received for rail projects
• UOB to invest $500m in smart-tech business district in Punggol
• Cycling lane on road in Seletar to be permanent after 6-month trial, LTA studying more locations
• Uncertainty over sustainable buildings and costs stand in the way of Singapore’s green future: Report
• Golden Mile Complex: A final look at Singapore’s ‘Little Thailand’
“What gives this architectural icon in Beach Road character and personality? Is it its bold design or unique Thai identity? Ahead of Golden Mile Complex’s closure in May following its sale to a consortium, The Straits Times explores the landmark through this series of visuals.”
• Purple Line plans worry art chiefs
“The Fine Arts Department has raised concerns over the need to avoid as many historic sites as possible along a new extension of the Purple Line which will run through Bangkok's Rattanakosin Island old town area.”
• Thai Northeast braces for boom as China-Laos passenger railway opens
• Here is a video of the queue for the Koh Chang ferry during the Songkran holiday period. It is around this time every year when calls go out for a bridge to Koh Chang.
• Samui ferry sinks at Don Sak pier
And expect renewed calls for the Koh Samui Bridge (or even better, put a train line on the bridge).
• Swiss firm eyes Vietnam’s Thap Cham-Da Lat railway restoration
• Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line required to be completed by end of 2023
• HCMC's second metro line pushed back 4 years
• Viet Nam's first electric taxi service launched
• Vietnam strives to use all-electric buses, taxis by 2050
• Ground-breaking ceremony held for new $1.2b US Embassy in Hà Nội
• Da Nang starts dismantling all unlawfully-built facilities on Son Tra Peninsula
• Over 2,000 land-use violations found on Phu Quoc Island
• Hanoi sidewalk barricades block both vehicles and pedestrians