Monday, September 03, 2007


One of the most awaited ASEAN vision to materialize is the Singapore-Kunming Rail Link (SKRL). This will connect 8 countries; Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Vietnam and China which would be very useful for greater economic integration, China and the ASEAN would have easier access to each other’s market and promote tourism. *I can almost hear the backpackers cheer from here!*

Just like any project of this magnitude, SKRL faces funding problems since its proposal in 1995. Southeast Asian nations are determined to raise US$1.5 Billion and make sure its up and running by 2015 the year of the ASEAN Single Market. This was announced in Manila last Monday by Secretary-General Ong Keng Yong of Singapore (the country holding the current ASEAN chair).

At present... one can take a train from Singapore through Malaysia all the way to Thailand *such amazing adventure, highly recommended!* using KTM and SRAT sharing one continuous track. The other part is from Saigon to Kunming in China using Vietnam’s State railways. If we can connect Thailand to Vietnam, our trains will go all the way to China. *more cheers from the backpackers! Woohooo!*

One country is the only missing piece to this big puzzle – Cambodia. *OH C’MON! Are you kidding? lol* The missing links are in their territories; the 200km track to link Phnom Penh to Saigon and the 48km stretch from Poi Pet (a Cambodian town with lotsa casinos in the Thai border) to Sisophon, another sleepy Cambodian town. Separate lines will connect Laos to Vietnam and Burma to China.

By 2015 – when the ASEAN declares Single Market Community, the cities of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Yangon, Vientiane, and Saigon all the way to Kunming will be connected by rail – with the exception of archipelago countries of Indonesia and the Philippines, of course. *unless somebody come up with a tunnel crossing the Strait of Malacca and the South China Sea. Ha!* Brunei…would you mind donating one please?

This region will be united as one – and you better be ready for it.


-- Thanks to Manami for the news clippings. Such a sweet girl.

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eyron said...

it is not practical to built a tunnel connection between indonesia and the philippines; 1)distance 2)earthquake prone 3)funds

but i think there is a sub regional plan for that the BIMP-EAGA that will connect the different ports in Brunei, part of Indonesia, West Malaysia or Sabah and the southern Philippines.

conan_cat said...

ehh, cool lor! :D if all link together already then i can go find you easily liao~~ yay~~ XD

but hopefully they will have a better train servicing lo.. maybe like the china's bullet train, KTM is darn slow... took us 6+ hours just to go penang from KL, sigh

Manami said...

Hey thats the news article i sent! XD
On one hand i feel that this is a good idea cuz it means i can probably travel to Bangkok easily to catch Golf-Mike without all the hassle that you get atthe airport, checking in and all that suff.
But, the journey is gonna take a REALLY REALLY long time. The train better make sure they have lotsa different entertainment mediums to keep people who cant sit still for long period of time (a la ME) occupied.

travelphilippines said...

i really hope they will have a budget for underwater tunnel just like sweden and denmark.

Sofia for BiSEAN said...

Hi Manami, this is Sofia. I guess you're BISEAN's new link? That's sweet. Yes, we extracted this article from the news clippings you sent. Did you see the "thank you" note on the post? :-)

savante said...

Cool idea! I've taken the rail to Bangkok as well - and can't wait to continue one day to China.

Manami said...

@ Sofia- yes i did! :D

EriKa said...

Good news and nice blog :)
I've got something in common

Brent a.k.a. yourkidatheart said...

@ travelphilippines: Dont forget the UK and France!

If the underwater tunel were to come true, it may be by 2030. Hahahahah! But really... I wish we can be linked too. Hm.. Now Im wondering what could be the cons if there were to happen...

Brent a.k.a. yourkidatheart said...

ack. typo error. sorry... "if they were to happen."

@ eyron: Really there's a plan to connect us! I wish it goes as far as Manila.

MischMensch said...

That would be great. Currently, you can take a train from China, Shanghai or Beijing if I am not wrong to Europe! But it takes like 2 weeks. It goes through Russia and Siberia. I would wanna try that when I have loads of time :)

danyhael said...

yay!now it's easier to be an illegal alien!

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