Koh Lanta plans a bridge, but what about an airport or railway
Bangkok Dangerous (a festival of street-crossing articles), Indonesia's tallest skyscraper, building Singapore's Tuas Mega Port, and more construction, transport, and infrastructure news from SE Asia
Happy Lunar New Year! Hope the year of the tiger is a good one for you 🐯.
I’m in Koh Lanta now, and I turned 50 years old today. I've been reflecting on this milestone as it relates to my work and this website. I told a friend recently that Future Southeast Asia is now my forever job. It sounds dramatic when I put it like that, but when I consider that if I was to "retire" at 70, then that is 20 years of work. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of me being a professional web publisher, and I am still happily in this line of work. Thus, I can easily see myself doing this for the next 20 years (unless I'm made an offer I can't refuse for the site).
Ironically I find myself in Thailand on my 50th - a country where you can apply for a retirement visa at 50 years old. In Australia, the retirement age is 66 years and 6 months. Either way, I don’t ever see myself not thinking about the topics on this site after I am officially allowed to retire.
I post a minimum of one article a week, and to keep consistent I post a newsletter every Wednesday (even if it is Christmas or my birthday). Every week that I post an article I add more articles in my ideas draft box, so I am confident that I will never run out of topic ideas.
It is my 20-year web publishing business that subsidises my work on this site. My ultimate aim is to get this site fully self-supporting with display advertising on the main website, and through supporter subscriptions on the weekly newsletter. The subscriptions support my work, such as spending days wandering around construction sites in Sihanoukville.
Another way to support the site is to link to it from related websites and to share it among friends via email or social media.
This week's articles are related to where I am now in Koh Lanta and Krabi Province.
[Long Beach, Koh Lanta (via @nomadicnotes.]
Latest Posts At Future Southeast Asia
After spending a week in Phuket (which has a bridge to the mainland), I’m now in Koh Lanta, which is considering building a bridge to the mainland.
While writing about the bridge I wondered to myself why there isn’t an airport in Koh Lanta.
Spoiler alert: this is unlikely to happen, but it has been officially proposed over the years by people high up enough to pitch the idea to the government. I file this under “it would be nice to see this in my lifetime”. It would be a sweet way to spend my so-called retirement by travelling along the Andaman Coast by rail.
I published this article as I am in Krabi Province now, and I realised that the Southern Line doesn’t pass through Krabi. An Andaman Railway would pass through Krabi Province, but you would have to settle for a rail+bus combo to get to Koh Lanta.
[Updated: Nusantara - New Capital City of Indonesia]
“The Government of Laos and Thakhek Dry Port Company Limited on Friday signed a 30-year concession agreement on the Thakhek Dry Port project.”
“California-based Intel Corporation announced last month that it will invest RM30bil over 10 years to expand its manufacturing capabilities in advanced semiconductor packaging technology at the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone of Penang.”
“They are the silent giants, lying beneath the waters. Each weighing about 25 jumbo jets, caissons are prefabricated concrete structures used in land reclamation for the upcoming Tuas Port. We look at how these monoliths are built for phase two of the project.”
“The present rail project will connect Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports in Bangkok with U-Tapao airport in Rayong which will include a Rayong-Chanthaburi-Trat link, stretching 190 kilometres.”
"The 244-room Andaz One Bangkok will open in the fourth quarter of 2023 as part of the city’s One Bangkok development, the largest integrated development in the central business district."
[Updated: One Bangkok]
“Activists campaign after a doctor's tragic death at a zebra crossing.”