Along the Mekong
China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam are very different from each other in many ways, yet they are linked by a common denominator: the Mekong River. As the longest and most important river in Southeast Asia, it ensures the existence of at least 70 million people. It is vital to the economies of the countries through which it flows while simultaneously forming a natural boundary 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 a very important means of communication between the people who live in its basin. The millions of people whose lives are connected to it are united not only through the fishing industry, the cultivation of rice, and their similar lifestyles, but also through their continuous exchanges, which are made much easier due to the presence of the river. While mountains and treacherous winding roads separate individual populations within these countries, the people living along the Mekong have developed a community that transcends nationality and is facilitated by the river, which is easy to navigate for long stretches.