Boten bordertown blues

New Phnom Penh International Airport hits 30% milestone, Sulawesi railway update, Cebu monorail update, new Bangkok governor vows to fix Green Line mess, and more

Greetings from Vientiane. I have returned to the capital after completing the round-trip journey by train from Vientiane to Boten. My original plan was to stay at all of the places with an express stop. I stayed in Luang Prabang, Muang Xai, and Vang Vieng. I turned up with my bags at Boten, only to find out that the city-under-construction is sealed off and requires a covid test to enter. There was also the added chaos of hundreds of trucks queued up to enter China. I can understand why truck drivers get mad about queue jumpers. I saw enough of Boten that day to decide not to stay.

[Photo via @nomadicnotes.]

I will do a blog post at Nomadic Notes about my day at Boten. When I visit a place in Southeast Asia, I post travel notes on Nomadic Notes, and the infrastructure stuff goes here at Future Southeast Asia. For the Laos-China Railway, I will be doing reviews on both sites, so if you are interested you can subscribe to Nomadic Notes here.

I will go back to Boten when the border has fully reopened without covid testing. A trip I want to do is to travel by train from Vientiane to Kunming, and then by train from Kunming to Hanoi.

This week’s article is a fact sheet about the history of Boten as a casino border town, and its plan to become a city of 300,000 people.

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