Construction projects in "Neo Pattaya"

Butterworth-Kulim airport link planned, Line 2 East metro extension opens in Manila, land-reclamation for airport rail link in Bangkok, and more construction and transport news in Southeast Asia.

This week I’ve restarted the “Future Cities” series with a look at Pattaya, where I last visited in January 2019. I was on my way there in March 2020 until, well, you know what happens next. On that trip I was planning to do a report on the Eastern Economic Corridor, and then fly from U-Tapao Airport to Saigon with a newly-launched flight with VietJet Air. I made it as far as Bang Saen (the closest beach to Bangkok) before returning to Vietnam to ride out the coming Covid storm.

I prefer to have at least visited a city when doing these Future reports, so Pattaya is one I can do until I get to visit again. The city is trying to rebrand itself as “Neo Pattaya”, which I have listed why in the article. There is also talk of demolishing this abandoned tower, though given how things work here it might end up rivalling the Sathorn Unique Tower (the Ghost Tower of Bangkok).

Also this week I take a look at the Den Chai – Chiang Rai – Chiang Khong Railway. Chiang Khong is in Chiang Rai province, so it’s easier to call this the Chiang Rai railway. There hasn’t been a lot of news about it in the English media, but I am seeing more updates via the Southeast Asia Railways group on Facebook. Most railway attention in Thailand has been on the high-speed railway to Laos, and the 3-airport railway project. Fair enough, as they are both active. After years of delays, it looks like the Chiang Rai railway is happening. With a railway connecting Bangkok, could Chiang Rai finally rival Chiang Mai as an alternative northern city hub?

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The Den Chai – Chiang Rai – Chiang Khong Railway is a proposed new railway in Northern Thailand. 

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