Ho Chi Minh City – Phnom Penh Railway

The proposed railway connecting Vietnam and Cambodia.

Greetings from rainy Saigon. It’s the end of the rainy season so that is to be expected. I’m more worried about the floods that are happening in Central Vietnam, as well as Cambodia and Thailand. I’m scheduled to go to Da Nang on the weekend, so we shall see what happens until then.

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The Ho Chi Minh City - Phnom Penh Railway is a proposed railway that would connect the capital of Cambodia with the largest city in Vietnam.

The proposed Ho Chi Minh City - Phnom Penh railway made the news this month so I’ve put together a fact sheet for everything that is known about the project. This one is high on my wish list as it would mean I could just pop over to Phnom Penh for the weekend.

Aside from my travel wishes, it’s a route that has been on regional development lists for decades. This route represents the missing link that would enable travel from Europe to Singapore by train (pending the Thailand-Cambodia railway connection as well). Not that there is a demand for that, though some of my friends travelled from Lisbon to Saigon by train. It would be useful though for connecting the countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion for freight and passenger services.

The major challenge on the Cambodia side (apart from money) is crossing the Mekong River and other waterways. On the Vietnam side the land is already heavily urbanised with no land reserved for such a project. The proposed station is not even in Ho Chi Minh city itself but in a neighbouring province that makes up Greater Ho Chi Minh City.

If the railway does go ahead on the Cambodia side, it would most likely be coordinated by China (as has been the case with the China-Laos railway). On the Vietnam side they will be entering unchartered territory as there hasn’t been a new railway built in decades.

I don’t expect this to happen anytime soon, but then again I thought the same about the China-Laos railway. After years of talk it actually got started and looks like it will be finished next year.

Other News


“The government is studying the possibility of a railway from Phnom Penh to Bavet town, the Cambodian-Vietnamese international border checkpoint.”

“China and Cambodia signed a landmark free trade agreement on Monday, which envisages broader bilateral economic and trade cooperation between the two countries in a host of sectors.”


“Beijing’s foreign investments are often money-losing and driven by recipients’ own agendas.”

“Beijing promises to build more charging facilities and filling stations, and encourage the wider use of new-energy vehicles by government agencies.”

“Its successes and failures provide an invaluable model for today's reforestation efforts.”





The view from the Merdeka 118 worksite in KL, which will eventually be 644 metres high.




“In the future, motorists can order and customise an electric car on their phone, and watch it being built in a highly automated factory right here in Singapore.”

“Hidden between the skyscrapers of Singapore’s urban jungle sits Kampong Lorong Buangkok - the only surviving traditional village in this modern city-state of 5.7 million people.”


This is another developing news story that I’m going to have to push to the top of the publishing calendar, such is its ridiculousness. 900 billion baht is about 29 billion USD, and the bridge would be 80-100 km long 🤔.

“After years of stuttering progress on a 250km high-speed rail link, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is expected to sign a deal in Bangkok this week.”

“Along Charoenkrung Road, Bangkok’s first paved road and home to several of the Thai capital's historic landmarks, old spaces give rise to new ideas in one of the city's few remaining heritage areas not swallowed by rapid development.”


Vietnam’s handling of COVID-19 has made the news around the world, including the NY Times.

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