Thailand and Cambodia agree to speed up international rail connection
The prime-minister of Thailand and his Cambodian counterpart have agreed to speed up the reconnection of a rail link between the two nations. The leaders set a target of 2019 to relaunch the Phnom Penh to Bangkok link at a meeting in Phnom Penh yesterday.
The aim is to inaugurate passenger services on the line to facilitate ease of travel between the Southeast Asian neighbours. The Thai side of the connection is good to go. The State Railway of Thailand operates trains between Bangkok and Aranyaprathet.
The last six-kilometre stretch of the line from Aranyaprathet to the border was last used for passenger traffic just after WWII. Thailand has refurbished this section of the line and the only thing missing now is trains.
On the Cambodian side of the border, trains between Poipet and Battambang have not since run WWII either and the tracks have been ripped up in numerous places. Services ran on the Battambang-Phnom Penh section until eight years ago, but were scrapped due to the poor state of repair of the line and the trains.
Cambodia has been relaying missing sections of track and renewing ones that are extant. 12GO ASIA notes that the projects have been mired in delays with problems such as heavier than normal monsoon rains last year.
With effect from Sunday 1 October, the sale of beer and other alcoholic drinks will not be allowed on the beaches of Pattaya and Jomtien. Food, drink and deckchair vendors who operate on the beaches were informed about the new rule last week.
Park rangers at Hat Noppharat Thara–Koh Phi Phi National Park say a higher than usual number of jellyfish have washed up on the Phi Phi islands. The chief-ranger explained that islanders had found lots of fire jellyfish on Ao Ling Beach.
Serious storms and rainfall in the southern provinces of Thailand have left large swathes of land flooded. Local authorities in Satun have reported floodwaters are up to 30 metres in depth and sandbag barriers have been put up to keep residential and business zones dry.