Rail link planned between HCM City and Cambodia's casino kingdom

Transport officials from Vietnam and Cambodia have agreed to push forward with a plan to build a railway between Ho Chi Minh City and Bavet, home to a special economic zone and a casino kingdom.

The plan was revealed this week at a meeting between Cambodian Transport Minister Sun Chanthol and Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat, the Khmer Times said on February 8.

Sun said the two governments are currently working on a feasibility study and looking for private investment. The Bavet-Ho Chi Minh City line will be around 250km long, shorter than a previously planned line from Binh Phuoc Province that was scrapped due to high costs.

The new link will be part of a region-wide railway to connect Singapore to China’s Yunnan Province via Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, Sun said, as cited in the report.

Bavet is the largest city in Svay Rieng Province and one of Cambodia’s special economic zones. It is home to textile and bicycle factories, but its core business is casinos that are often frequented by Vietnamese gamblers who are not allowed to place their bets at home.

Cambodia and Vietnam are also planning an expressway linking Phnom Penh with Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's commercial hub.