8 photo

Laos River Life ( 8 photo)

The 1,880km stretch of the Mekong River that winds through Laos is the lifeblood of this landlocked country, sandwiched between Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, China and Thailand. The river feeds the population of one of Asia’s poorest and least developed nations, providing irrigation, energy and a vital transportation link. For years an undisturbed backwater, environmental campaigners are concerned that construction of the Xayaburi dam will have a negative impact on Mekong River life. Photos by Pornprom Sarttarbhaya.

20 Sep 2011
A statue of Chao Anuwong (left), the fifth and last king of the Kingdom of Lan Xang, is situated on the banks of the Mekong River in Vientiane.

A statue of Chao Anuwong (left), the fifth and last king of the Kingdom of Lan Xang, is situated on the banks of the Mekong River in Vientiane.

A little girl enjoys the sunset by the Mekong in Vientiane.

A little girl enjoys the sunset by the Mekong in Vientiane.

Rollerblading by the Mekong is a popular form of exercise at this public park in the Laos capital.

Rollerblading by the Mekong is a popular form of exercise at this public park in the Laos capital.

Water taxi captains in Luang Prabang take a break after ferrying tourists to riverside attractions.

Water taxi captains in Luang Prabang take a break after ferrying tourists to riverside attractions.

This woman is from Huay Sui village. She will be forced to leave her home, along with the rest of the village, if construction of the Xayaburi dam continues.

This woman is from Huay Sui village. She will be forced to leave her home, along with the rest of the village, if construction of the Xayaburi dam continues.

A man from Talan village near the site of the Xayaburi dam project squats by his village’s own hydropower generator. Locals depend solely on hydropower because they don’t have an electricity supply.

A man from Talan village near the site of the Xayaburi dam project squats by his village’s own hydropower generator. Locals depend solely on hydropower because they don’t have an electricity supply.

A child holds a chicken on a ferry across the Mekong in Luang Prabang. Water transport is essential in Laos because many roads are in poor condition.

A child holds a chicken on a ferry across the Mekong in Luang Prabang. Water transport is essential in Laos because many roads are in poor condition.

A bird’s-eye view of Luang Prabang and the Mekong River. The city is a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Laos.

A bird’s-eye view of Luang Prabang and the Mekong River. The city is a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Laos.