The dream of a Thai land bridge, a transport route that would cross the Malay Peninsula to connect ports on either side, has surfaced again in Thailand. If it becomes a reality, a land bridge could cut shipping times by about two days, compared with the current shipping route through the Malacca Strait.
The idea of a trade route cutting across the peninsula dates back to the 17th century. Thailand’s current government is looking to large public works projects to rejuvenate the economy. The proposed land bridge certainly qualifies, but the project has attracted criticism over huge cost and potential environmental damage.
Squint a bit and the map of Thailand looks like an elephant, with the Malay Peninsula that stretches to the south forming the nose. The narrowest part, the Kra Isthmus,” is just 44 km across, with the Gulf of Thailand to the east and the Andaman Sea to the west.
YOHEI MURAMATSU, Nikkei staff writer