Will the Mekong Survive Globalization?

The Mystery of the Mekong River During the cool and dry season of 2001, I sailed down the Mekong River on a 200-kilometer journey beginning in southern China, passing through Burmese and Lao territory on my right and left – a designated economic quadrangle “which has not yet succeeded in becoming a hub of economic activities” – eventually reaching the Golden Triangle in Chiang Saen [...]

Mainstream Development— The Mekong

Plans to make the Mekong navigable to bigger boats by blasting rapids and shoals threaten to end a way of life for thousands of villagers. The sky rumbles in the distance and cold wind blasts 59-year-old Malee Luangvises as he looks up at the thunderclouds above his village by the Mekong River in Chiang Rai’s Chiang Khong District. The coming of rain in the summer should make a fisherman such [...]

Globalization from the Lao Hinterlands

“Globalization” is only the most recent buzzword to describe the spread of ideas and material goods worldwide. Whether one personally considers globalization to be boon or bane, it is nonetheless a reality that affects almost everyone’s life. With products from around the world on local store shelves, most of us associate globalization closely with modern trade. Archaeological records, [...]