The Mekong: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Danube of the East’

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The Mekong: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Danube of the East’

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:31 pm

The Mekong: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Danube of the East’

The world’s 12th longest river flows through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, supporting a population of 70 million
Drought, rising sea levels and a rush to build dams are threatening the livelihoods of those who rely on the delta to survive

Topic | Travel pros and cons
Tim Pile
Published: 3:00pm, 9 Jan, 2020

To Tibetans, it’s known as Dza Chu, or the River of Rocks, and to the Chinese it’s the Lancang Jiang, the Turbulent River. The Lao refer to it as the Mother of Waters, in Cambodia it’s the Great Water and by the time it reaches Vietnam, at the end of a 4,350km journey, it’s referred to as the River of Nine Dragons. The Mekong , as it is best known, is the world’s 12th longest river but only the Amazon has more biodiverse ecosystem.

From its source high in the Himalayas, the “Danube of the East” slices through six countries, providing food, water and livelihoods for more than 70 million people before eventually emptying into the South China Sea.

Large stretches of the iconic waterway are unnavigable but there are plenty of places where riverboat tourism is booming. You could book an overnight cruise aboard a converted rice barge or the two-day slow boat from Thailand to Laos. Sign up for a speedboat expedition or a sightseeing canoe tour through countryside framed with emerald paddy fields. Many of the trips incorporate shore excursions enlivened by cultural performances in villages and visits to riverbank temples, pagodas and statues.

The Mekong isn’t only about rural experiences, though. A number of towns and cities, many popular with tourists, line the Mekong.

Jinghong, in the tropical Chinese region of Xishuangbanna, is home to 13 ethnic groups (and dozens of languages) while the city of Luang Prabang, in Laos, is an enchanting blend of Buddhist and French colonial heritage. The river takes on an inviting shade of aquamarine as it flows past the Thai town of Nakhon Phanom and, on the border between Laos and Cambodia, lies Si Phan Don, or Four Thousand Islands. The beauty spot sneaks under the tourist radar but rewards those who make the effort to reach the remote location with a series of roaring waterfalls, secluded swimming holes and sandy beaches.

Boats can be hired to explore the islands and for Irrawaddy dolphin-watching tours. Despite being critically endangered, 13 dolphin births were recorded in Cambodia last year.

Talking of Cambodia, the capital, Phnom Penh, is a good place in which to organise a boat trip to Tonle Sap, the biggest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and the world’s largest inland fishery. Many of the day-long voyages terminate at Siem Reap, gateway to the ancient Khmer ruins of Angkor Wat.
More here: https://www.scmp.com/print/magazines/po ... anube-east
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Re: The Mekong: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Danube of the East’

Post by pczz » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:04 am

There will be a smash hit movie in 10 years - The Great RIver Robbery, how china stole the mekong
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Re: The Mekong: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Danube of the East’

Post by Duncan » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:01 am

pczz wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:04 am
There will be a smash hit movie in 10 years - The Great RIver Robbery, how china stole the mekong


I''ll wait for the smash hit comedy on who stole this
and while everyone is laughing someone will steal the Tonlie Sap Lake
Cambodia,,,, Don't fall in love with her.
Like the spoilt child she is, she will not be happy till she destroys herself from within and breaks your heart.
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Re: The Mekong: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Danube of the East’

Post by pczz » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:54 pm

Duncan wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:01 am
pczz wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:04 am
There will be a smash hit movie in 10 years - The Great RIver Robbery, how china stole the mekong


I''ll wait for the smash hit comedy on who stole this
and while everyone is laughing someone will steal the Tonlie Sap Lake
They will not have to steal it. It will be a dried up remnant of the mekong before the taps were turned off. lucky to give it away. Just a thought for the chinese developers across cambodia. how easy will it be to sell condos in a land without water?
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Re: The Mekong: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Danube of the East’

Post by hiway5 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:10 am

CHIANG KHONG: Ninety-seven kilometres of rocks in Thai waters stand between Beijing and dominance over the Mekong, a mighty river that feeds millions as it threads south from the Tibetan plateau through five countries before emptying into the South China Sea.

China has long wanted to dredge the riverbed in northern Thailand to open passage for massive cargo ships — and potentially military vessels.

Ultimately a link could be carved from Yunnan province thousands of kilometres south through the Mekong countries — Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

There, the river emerges into the South China Sea, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes and the centrepiece of Beijing's trade and security strategy for its Asian neighbourhood.

Under the tagline "Shared River, Shared Future", China insists it seeks only the sustainable development of the river and to split the spoils of a trade and energy boom with its Mekong neighbours and their market of 240 million people.

But squeezed for value by the dams lacing China's portion of the river, and further downstream, the Mekong is already changing.
Fish stocks have collapsed say Thai fishermen, and nutrient-rich land in the Vietnamese delta is sinking as the sediment flow shrinks.

The river is rivalled only by the Amazon for its biodiversity, environmentalists say, but now endemic species like the giant Mekong catfish and river dolphins are facing extinction.

Environment versus big business. Geopolitics throttling a lifeline to 60 million people — big themes are playing out on a slow-moving river.

I used to live near Chiang Khong. The locals are against any clearing of those rocks tho people in Chiang Saen seem to be more in favor. There are more rocks in the section between Loei and Nong Khai where the river is very narrow and major rocks in southern Laos. Also shallow near Stung Treng. Would take a lot of work to clear the whole way to the coast.


The strategy behind the recent plan dates to 1992 when the Asian Development Bank initiated a US$40 billion (275 billion yuan) programme to bring superhighways, power transmission grids, large dams, and mass tourism to the Greater Mekong sub-region.

China’s plan to dredge the river to allow commercial shipping kicked-off when the Commercial Navigation Agreement was signed by China, Laos, Burma and Thailand in April 2000, with the approval of a three-phase plan. Cambodia and Vietnam were not consulted.

Those who seek to “smooth-out” the Mekong generally refer to the river islands as rocks. But these “rocks” are far from lifeless. Many are vegetated, some with trees, and their presence in the river creates a range of pools, shoals, bars, shallows, and waterfalls, perfect for breeding countless varieties of fish.
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Re: The Mekong: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Danube of the East’

Post by phuketrichard » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:07 am

The Mekong’s last stand against Chinese domination and potential collapse
Eventually China is “going to do what it wants,” according to Thitinan Pongsudhirak, of the Institute of Security and International Studies, Chulalongkorn University, citing the build-up of dams, SEZs and cultivation of allies Laos and Cambodia.

“This is China's way of power,” he adds.
more on the above post

https://www.thephuketnews.com/the-mekon ... uV1cS5oqpM
In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely. HST
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Re: The Mekong: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Danube of the East’

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:40 am

phuketrichard wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:07 am
The Mekong’s last stand against Chinese domination and potential collapse
Eventually China is “going to do what it wants,” according to Thitinan Pongsudhirak, of the Institute of Security and International Studies, Chulalongkorn University, citing the build-up of dams, SEZs and cultivation of allies Laos and Cambodia.

“This is China's way of power,” he adds.
more on the above post

https://www.thephuketnews.com/the-mekon ... uV1cS5oqpM
Link to the full article of above post : https://theaseanpost.com/article/china- ... ery-mekong
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Re: The Mekong: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Danube of the East’

Post by BR549 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:03 pm

One of the best days of my life was catching large Mekong Catfish at a private lake in Chiang Mai with my tuktuk driver. Incredible fun. Like catching a submarine with a funky bread ball and tiny hook rig I had never seen before .. Catch..a couple quick pics and back they go into the sanctuary.
I fought 2 fish for 45 minutes each. We caught at least 10 fish anybody would be proud to land.
$8us for the day...
My hot thai babe was at a fancy mall.
Best time I ever had in Thailand.
Jeremy of River Monster fame has been documenting the demise of the great rivers he once caught incredible fish on.
I am going back to Siem Reap in a few days and am going to get out and fish in 2020.
The nets and habits of keeping even the smallest of fish is quite disturbing..
The dams are a menace.
My first week in PP years ago in August I had a balcony on the Riverside..Niron hotel..i was smoking a doob and I thought the tonle sap was flowing right to left...I looked at that just acquired doobage and shook my head that it was so strong.
A month later I read an article about the river changing course during the rainy season.
Ahhhh sooooo.
Prahok price is high this year.
I wonder why?
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