Kra Canal of Thailand, changing the shipping world

Something I read many years ago caught my attention again today. It was a Facebook sharing about Kra Isthmus. What’s that? Kra Canal? What’s that? Well, this is where Thailand digs a water canal route from one end to the other, thus literally splitting Thailand into two parts. It will provide a link from the Andaman Sea to the Gulf of Thailand. What’s the benefit to Thailand? Economically, it’s huge. Imagine half of all the shipping lines if not more choosing to pass through this canal instead of going through the Straits of Melaka.
Well, if this project really do complete, it would mean the Singapore Port would cease to be a major port of the world. Not immediately but definitely in the decade after Kra Canal is completed. In fact, it would also affect the Port Klang and even Port Tanjung Pelepas tremendously. Yes, the Indonesian ports too. Passing through the canal would save the shipping lines a 2 or 3 days not to mention that they would be free from the dangers of piracy in the Straits of Melaka.
kra canalOkay, now for the possibility of this happening? There has been many reports, each with their own views and some said that this project is now given serious consideration at the highest level in Thailand. Personally, for those who are worried about this project, you may start to be afraid really slowly. Without a very strong government which can withstand the protests from the Thai people, this project is not likely to be given the nod to go ahead.
Secondly, even if we assume the project actually starts within the next year, it would definitely take much longer than the time to build the HSR KL – Singapore. In other words, if HSR can only be completed by 2022 or later, this Kra-Canal would have to be even further. I would want Thailand to be always peaceful but do note that historically, the government of Thailand do change much more often that many other nations, often by the army. Today the Prime Minister is from the army but after the election, if he is still the Prime Minister, I think he cannot continue to hold his army post at the same time. That would be really bad for his image.
So, I think the project may take off in the future because it seems that China is the one helping Thailand in deciding and I have to say that economically, the project should help the Thai economy tremendously too. As for the timeline, I may have to retire first before the project can be completed. That’s many years away. Happy reading and knowing about Kra-Canal.
written on 18 May 2015
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  1. Coelling avatar

    Nice article but it won’t happen under the current King

    1. Hi Coelling, I personally think it depends more on the government of the day.

      1. Coelling avatar

        Agree… The reason why not under the present King is because he doesn’t want Thailand to be separated into TWO by the symbolic canal. You can check with your Thai friends….

        1. Coelling, I only know that all my Thai colleagues and Thai ex-colleagues love the King. As for the canal separating the country into two, even I would find it hard to accept, not just the King of Thailand. 🙂

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