Da Nang construction update for 2020 - projects that are continuing despite the pandemic

Battambang airport revival, Yangon Central Railway Station, the proposed Chiang Rai railway, and 5 new rail projects in Southern Vietnam.

Hello from Ho Chi Minh City! This week I’ve posted the last construction update for 2020. Lets hope that in 2021 I get to do more updates from around Southeast Asia.

This week’s news articles have a lot of updates about railways, which is not a bad thing.

Latest Posts at Living In Asia

Da Nang construction update – 2020 edition

An update on major building projects in Danang under construction in 2020.

Updated Posts

Malaysia

PM Lee, Muhyiddin discuss KL-Singapore High Speed Rail project ahead of Dec 31 deadline

Malaysia seeks HSR changes, including direct connection to KLIA

Philippines

Last batch of Taliptip residents move in to new homes ahead of airport construction

Thailand

French ambassador discusses monorail development with Pattaya mayor

“France’s ambassador to Thailand discussed a possible role for his country in developing the planned Pattaya monorail and the Eastern Economic Corridor during a visit here.”

Vietnam

Civil aviation agency could empty cash reserves for new airport

"The Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) might have to use up five years of cash reserves for building the Long Thanh International Airport."

Other News

Cambodia

A Kingdom of sand

“Much of Cambodia's rapid economic growth in recent decades can be attributed to one substance: sand. Homes are built with it, islands created and wetlands filled. But while it's being extracted en masse from the Kingdom's rivers, environmental considerations in the shadowy industry are hard to come by.”

In shell of a city, locals pick through a spiritless recovery for work

“In December, Sihanoukville appears stripped to its components: Bright blue sky streaks through the metal and concrete frames of half-built, abandoned skyscrapers, and scraggly trees and grasses take hold of empty lots marked by for-sale signs.”

Battambang Airport officially begins its ‘re-birth’ process

Battambang is an underrated destination in Cambodia, partly because there is no airport, and it’s on the longer way between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. I spent 2 weeks there once, and I thought that it would be an ideal provincial city destination for the likes of AirAsia.

Airport rail system off track for now

“The Phnom Penh International Airport railway tracks spanning busy Russian Boulevard will be covered over with a protective layer of sand and bitumen in order to save on maintenance costs, according to the Royal Group.”

India

Indian PM Modi inaugurates metro to help curb Taj Mahal pollution

“The rail network, in the northern city of Agra, will connect the 17th Century monument and other historic sites with railway stations and bus stops.”

Indonesia

Japan pledges $4b to Indonesia's sovereign wealth fund

The Jakarta-Bandung rail project: 5 years on and still going nowhere

“The railway, China’s landmark BRI project in Indonesia, has failed to account for its economic and social impacts.”

Laos

Is an alleged drug kingpin from China investing millions in a port in Laos?

“On October 6, news of a $50 million dollar investment to build a port in the Laotian town of Ban Mom led the business section of the Vientiane Times, a prominent state-run newspaper. In the second paragraph, readers were told that a man named Zhao Wei participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the project.

What they weren't told is this: According to the United States, Zhao is one of the world's most notorious narcotics traffickers.”

Malaysia

Canceled $10.5bn Malaysia port project plays down China role

“Melaka Gateway faced scrutiny amid rising number of Belt and Road deals.”

Tale of two Belt and Road Initiative port projects in Malaysia shows limits of Chinese money

Malaysia looks high, China hides Low

“China denies but Malaysia insists fugitive 1MDB fraudster Jho Low is living quietly and comfortably in Macau.”

Myanmar

Mitsubishi wins $663m train car contract in Myanmar

“Japanese trading house will deliver 246 cars for two rail projects.”

Here is what a future Yangon Central Railway Station will look like, according to Oxley (a Singaporean property developer).

Construction of highway connecting Dawei SEZ, Thailand, to commence next year

Singapore

Punggol sheltered walkway with 'dumbest design' gets fixed 3 days after viral TikTok video posted

I’ve resisted using TikTok, but if it means getting urban design fails fixed up then maybe I should start.

Thailand

Pattaya to splash out B775m to help revive tourism industry

“The schemes are called "Neo Koh Lan" and "Old Town Na Klua", after two of the city's main tourism magnets.”

Den Chai to Chiang Rai Railway

The new railway to Chiang Rai appears to be making progress with the approval of land acquisition along the corridor from Den Chai to Chiang Rai. After Chiang Rai the line will travel to Chiang Khong on the Laos border, and there is another line planned for Mae Sai for the Myanmar border. This was posted at the Thailand.Infra Facebook page. Here is a map in Thai of the route:

The Chiang Rai railway will begin at Den Chai on the current Bangkok-Chiang Mai line. There is also a Google Map showing a detailed route of the Denchai-Chiang Rai project.

For more news like this, join the Southeast Asia Railways group on Facebook (I’m the admin there).

Vietnam

The big news in Vietnam this week was the announcement of five new railway lines in and around Ho Chi Minh City. Here is a map of the route from a Vietnamese news site:

Before we get too excited, these lines have been in planning for years, and they have been announced over and over again over the years. In fact I keep the receipts, so to speak, where you can see how often these projects are reannounced. Here are the projects I’ve featured before:

Being based in Saigon I’m eagerly awaiting for any kind of new railway, so I was happy to see that they are aiming for railways to be built by 2025. I also know not to believe this until I see equipment on the ground, and even then you should expect construction delays.

Sweden proposes $2-billion credit for aviation development in Vietnam

Brahmaputra Bridge will link Bhutan with Vietnam

This one should be filed under Bhutan, as that is where the bridge is. This is in relation to the East-West Economic Corridor, which ends in Vietnam.