News: 26 July 2023

Binh Duong Urban Railway, KL trip report, light-rail line to new Siem Reap airport, calls for common ticket system for Bangkok, and a proposed HCMC airport-to-airport metro line.

Hello from Melaka! It’s been a while since I’ve been here (maybe 10 years) so it is good to be back having a look around. After a day of admiring the UNESCO World Heritage area, I was back in my natural habitat wandering around new urban areas under the equatorial sun. There are lots of new buildings here, none of which were around on my first visit. I have a list of projects at Future Melaka, and I will be updating that list and posting a subscriber trip report.

Latest posts at Future Southeast Asia

“Binh Duong Urban Railway is a proposed railway system in Binh Duong Province, north of Ho Chi Minh City. 7 railway lines have been proposed (6 overhead lines and 1 ground line) and 3 lines will connect to lines of the HCMC Metro.”

This is not a new proposal or one that is likely to happen anytime soon. I only found one government article about it in Vietnamese, so I have made a resource page for future reference.

Subscribers Report

The KL city skyline continues to bulk up. Merdeka 118 (2nd tallest building in the world), the second-tallest building in KL, and more 300m+ buildings that look small in comparison.


🇰🇭 Cambodia

🇮🇩 Indonesia

🇱🇦 Laos

“People and investments flow into Laos, making it ‘more like China’”

🇲🇾 Malaysia

“…the government should develop the state’s railway network.”

🇵🇭 Philippines

🇸🇬 Singapore

🇹🇭 Thailand

I have written about the ticketing mess of Bangkok’s rail transit, so it’s good to see this in the news again.

🇻🇳 Vietnam

There are currently 8 metro lines planned, in addition to monorail and light rail lines. Even though they are still building the first line, it is good to plan ahead. One of the proposed lines caught my interest:

“The first new line would connect terminals of Tan Son Nhat airport to downtown HCMC and Thu Thiem urban area. The line would also connect Thu Thiem-Long Thanh railway to the Long Thanh Airport in Dong Nai.”

This is a route that I proposed on my HCMC concept map that combines all proposed lines and my own additions. Line 11 on my map is my airport-to-airport line, as inspired by Line 2 of the Shanghai Metro. I called this map “If Saigon had a subway like Shanghai”.

Any time I am on an elevated expressway, I always wonder where all the sand comes from. It turns out there is no bottomless pit of sand that can be mined. I have been collecting links about sand in Southeast Asia, so I will publish that at some point.

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