There's some exciting news regarding the Kunming–Singapore Rail Network. We now know that a portion of the high-speed railway that is being built to connect Thailand and China will be ready for operation within four years. Of course, this is just one piece of what will eventually be a vast rail network.

Where will travelers be able to go once the first leg of the new Asian high-speed railway is ready? The first leg will connect Bangkok with a province called Nakhon Ratchasima. Thailand is responsible for covering all of the construction costs for the first phase of this very ambitious railway project. China is responsible for costs related to system designs and train procurement. The total price tag for the first leg is expected to be more than $8 billion.

It has also been revealed that the second leg of the railway system will connect Nakhon Ratchasima to a province called Nong Khai. The railway will ultimately link China and Singapore. It has been a long road for the Kunming–Singapore railway project. The idea was originally introduced back in 2006 as part of something called the Trans-Asian Railway Network Agreement. However, negotiations regarding how the project should be financed have led to delays along the way.

The construction of some parts of the railway officially began back in 2014. The ambitious railway network is expected to boost China's economic ties with nations throughout Southeast Asia once it is complete. Ticket prices for riders on various legs are expected to range from $4 to $18.

Scott Dylan is a contributing writer at GET.com and has been to (almost) every country in North, Central and South America with nothing more than a backpack, a laptop and the desire to explore. He speaks Spanish fluently and has logged enough time in planes, trains, rideshares, buses, taxis and rickshaws to know how to rack up rewards and points to get anywhere his heart desires for pennies on the dollar. Email: scott.dylan@get.com.