Thai Land Bridge - An alternative to the Thai Canal

The Wakanda-esque New Indonesia Capital, the Vientiane railway station is on the map, and more construction, transport, and infrastructure news from around Southeast Asia.

Hello from Ho Chi Minh City. I’m back from my trip to Phu Quoc, and I’m still processing what I saw there. I kept being told that there is construction happening everywhere, but I really wasn’t prepared for just how much. I would say that there is more tourism construction happening here than anywhere else in Southeast Asia. For example, there is this mock Venetian theme park town at the north of the island, that borrows the look of several European cities over centuries of architectural styles mashed together. I posted a preview on my Instagram account.

A post shared by @nomadicnotes

I don’t get it, but what do I know about having a good time and what people want. What does concern me is what appears to be a glut of hotel construction. I’m still sifting through hundreds of construction photos, and I expect I should have a report ready next month.

This week I have put together a fact sheet for the Thai “Land Bridge”, which is being offered as an alternative to the long-held dream of building a canal across Southern Thailand. I started writing some editorial to go with this newsletter, but it’s going to require a separate article, so I will post that next week.

Latest Posts At Future Southeast Asia

Thai Land Bridge

The Thai Land Bridge is a proposed rail and road transport corridor in Southern Thailand that would connect the Andaman Sea to the Gulf of Thailand.

Updated Posts

Indonesia

KCIC appoints new chief to speed up delayed Jakarta-Bandung railway project

Here is a video render of a Wakanda-esque New Indonesia Capital, as Tweeted by the president of Indonesia.

Laos

Laos-China railway track 80 percent complete

"The laying of railway track for the Laos-China Railway project is now 80 percent complete, with the final sections of track scheduled to be completed by May this year."

On the China-Laos Railway page I’ve made a map that includes the approximate location of each station in Laos. The line and stations don’t show up on the map yet, but you can now see the main Vientiane station on Google Maps by using satellite view. You can also follow the path of the railway with satellite view.

I made a direction map from Vientiane Station to the Patuxay Monument to illustrate how far out of the city the station is, and it’s a 13.8 km tuk-tuk ride away.

Malaysia

Transport Ministry restores ECRL to BN-era ‘Northern Alignment’

“The original alignment for Section C, which is also known as the Northern Alignment, will see the ECRL traverse from Mentakab to Port Klang via Bentong, Gombak and Serendah, compared to the Southern Alignment via Negri Sembilan.”

Other News

Cambodia

City in the clouds: ‘Bokor’ created on mountain in Kampot’s national park

“Prime Minister Hun Sen has signed a sub-decree to establish a new city in Bokor National Park, Kampot province, to be completed in the next five to six months.”

Tourism developments threaten Cambodia’s forests and coastline

“Ream National Park was once meant to be a model of sustainable ecotourism, but powerful business interests have other plans for the richly diverse beauty spot.”

Indonesia

Bridge over the Malacca Strait: Gateway to nowhere

”Southeast Asia is anxiously anticipating the proposed construction of a land bridge across the Kra Isthmus in southern Thailand. Many, however, have forgotten the long-overdue proposed bridge project across the Strait of Malacca connecting the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra.”

Indonesia: UN experts denounce mega tourism project that ‘tramples on human rights’

“UN rights experts, on Wednesday, raised alarm over forced evictions of locals and indigenous peoples, and threats against human rights defenders, to make way for a $3 billion tourism project on the Indonesian island of Lombok.”

Malaysia

Construction of MRT3 project to continue, says Wee

“The construction of the Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT3) project, which was suspended by the previous government, will begin in the second half of this year.”

Selangor requests RM64b for public transport in 12MP

“The Selangor state government is hoping that Putrajaya will agree to incorporate the state’s Public Transportation Master Plan 2035, which was submitted four years ago, into the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).”

Singapore

More homes, commercial projects can be built on Jurong land meant for cancelled HSR project: Experts

Can Singapore’s office rents outprice Hong Kong as Alibaba, ByteDance, Tencent set up shop in rival financial hub?

Thailand

35km of new Korat motorway to be open for Songkran

Hopewell, the ‘ghost’ transport project still haunting Thailand 3 decades on

Even if you don’t know what Hopewell is, if you are a regular user of Don Muang Airport you would have noticed all the decaying concrete pillars that run alongside the freeway. These pillars were built for the failed Bangkok Elevated Road and Train System, which preceded the BTS railway.

Vietnam

HCMC proposes policy to pilot electric bus project

Locals on tenterhooks as Vietnamese resort developer allowed to use dynamite for site clearance

“A resort developer in Nha Trang, a beach city in the south-central Vietnamese province of Khanh Hoa, has been permitted to level a hill with over 64 metric tons of dynamite, which sparked concerns among residents living nearby.”