The proposed Bandung Light Rail Transit

KL–Singapore high-speed rail revival talk, China’s BRI projects in Malaysia, and more parks for Bangkok.

Greetings from Montenegro (still far from Southeast Asia!) I’m plotting my return for the end of the year, and there have been some positive signs over the last few weeks regarding opening up again. Thailand has reduced quarantine times, Bali is opening up for some international flights, and Malaysia is experimenting with a travel bubble for Langkawi.

The two main charts I watch are the daily case and death rate, which has been subsiding after ghastly highs.

And the other chart is the overall vaccination rates for each country. Cambodia and Malaysia now have high vaccination rates, so they may be the next countries to open up to vaccinated visitors.

[Chart by (click for interactive view).]

I’ve been making the most of my time outside the region by catching trains where ever I can. While the Western Balkans does not have an extensive rail network, I’ve been impressed with the central locations of the main train stations. This has got me thinking about the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway. The station for Bandung will be on the outskirts of the city, so time won by taking the high-speed train will be lost by driving through the notorious Bandung traffic to get to the city centre.

There are plans to connect the new station to the city centre with a monorail or light rail, but so far there has been nothing confirmed yet. This week’s article is a fact sheet on the proposed Bandung LRT, and other transit systems that have been proposed for the city.

And speaking of stations that are inconviently located, I am hoping to get to Laos as soon as it opens up again so I can see the China-Laos railway. The stations in Luang Prabang and Vientiane are also on the city outskirts, so it will be interesting to see how they go about transporting passengers to the stations.

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“Over the past decade, the country’s property market has become heavily reliant on inward flows of Chinese investment.”

“The 184ha island, also known as Rabbit Island, is about 4.5km southeast from Kep town and renowned for its pristine white sand beaches, coral reef and vibrant marine life.”


“China-Laos railway will open on December 2 but it's not clear the BRI-built line will extend anytime soon to wider SE Asia.”


“Of the slew of BRI megaproject deals signed over the first five years of the initiative, most have either been canceled or come to a standstill.”

“Former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has suggested that the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project be expanded north to Bangkok.”




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