HCMC Metro report - 2021 edition

Indonesia's capital relocation plan 'still on,' abandoned train carriages upcycled into luxury suites, Vietnamese modernist architecture, and more construction and transport news in Southeast Asia.

Greetings from not in Southeast Asia. I’m now in Croatia after spending over 17 consecutive months in Vietnam. With the combination of visa uncertainties and an even harder lockdown, it was time to leave. It pains me to watch Southeast Asia in the mess it is right now.

With little prospect of returning to Vietnam this year, I post this construction report for the HCMC Metro. I did a report for 2020, which I plan to make an annual event. For this year’s report, I had planned to visit every metro station on the under-construction Line 1. I went for a big walk one day where I visited 5 stations. The next day we went into restricted movement, so I never got to visit the other stations.

This week’s article features photos of the stations I did visit, as well as a summary of news articles about all of the planned metro lines.

As I am not in Southeast Asia at the moment I will be working my way through articles that don’t require a field trip. Once travel opens up again (hopefully by 2022) I will be doing more construction updates.

There is a possibility that I end up in Singapore this year, via Singapore's Covid-19 travel lane with Germany. A system like this might be what the future of travel looks like for the next year. Another possibility is going to the Phuket Sandbox, if it is still holding up. Laos is also looking to reopen in time for the new railway, but they could follow its neighbours with a delta surge.

All this to say that I don’t really know what I will be doing at this point. I will just continue with my weekly publishing schedule at Future Southeast Asia, covering construction, transport, and infrastructure news and developments.

Latest Posts At Future Southeast Asia

Updated Posts


"President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Tuesday said the government will proceed with its $32 billion plan to relocate Indonesia's capital city from Jakarta to the island of Borneo, while the strongest candidate to succeed him so far assured he supports the move."

Other News




“Debts are tied mainly to the development of infrastructure projects, with money owed to lenders in China and other nearby countries.”


“Ongoing multibillion ringgit projects and several policies introduced by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government could come under review and be delayed should a fresh government be installed.”

“Malaysia is now officially an exporter of heavy locomotives to the world with the successful launch of the H10 Series by SMH Rail Sdn Bhd.”


“At a meeting of the Naypyidaw City Development Committee, the senior general called for the development of Naypyidaw transit with a metro rail system and electric buses to residents.”


“The Quezon City government is allowing construction activities of essential projects during the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until Aug. 31.”



“Prolific Bangkok-based architect and interior designer Bill Bensley is going full steam ahead with a railway- themed resort that will see abandoned train carriages upcycled into luxury suites. We talk to the mastermind behind the unique project currently under construction in Thailand.”


“Construction of seven urgent projects in HCM City, including key traffic projects, have been licensed to continue working during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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