JUNE 2013 BACK ISSUE by Albertina D’Urso China, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam are countries that are very different from each other, and are often even in conflict, yet they are linked by a common denominator: the Mekong River. The longest and most important in Indochina, the river is vital to the economy of the countries that touch it, partly forming a natural boundary line between them. Although its banks have been the scene of terrible wars and its precious waters are currently at the center of fierce geopolitical conflicts related to hydroelectric power, the Mekong has always been an important source of interaction between people who live in its basin. The millions of people whose lives are connected to it are joined not only by dependence on fishing, cultivation of rice, and a similar way of life, but also by continuous exchanges, made much easier by the presence of the river compared to those with other populations, which despite belonging to the same country are separated by mountains and roads that are long, winding, and difficult to pass. Daily life on the Mekong waters, Champasak, Laos. View of the Mekong from above, Yunnan, China. Monks sitting where the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers meet, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. A woman making rice paper in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. A boat on the Mekong River near Pak Beng, Laos. Mother and daughter having a nap in Vientiane market, Laos. Floating market in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. A small village in the Boloven Plateau, near Pakse, Laos. Inle Lake, Shan State, Myanmar. An old woman in a village near Huay Xai, Laos. Rice Fields, Keng Tung province, Shan State, Myanmar Daily life, Tonle Sap lake, Cambodia. Daily life, Jinghong, Yunnan, China. A woman weaving in the Boloven Plateau, near Pakse, Laos. Fishermen, Tonle Sap lake, Cambodia.
People washing and doing their laundry in a small river in the Boloven Plateau, near Pakse, Laos. A fisherman’s house in Pakse, Laos. Back to current issue