This is the preview of our upcoming series on the mighty Mekong, the most important river of Southeast Asia. We start in Vietnam and will go upstream by boat to meet the people who depend on the Mekong.
Did you ever hear about Doudart de Lagrée or Francis Garnier? Chances are you would have to say ‘no’. They are French, but they don’t have a statue or a boulevard in Paris that carries their names. Yet they did something extraordinary, given they lived in the 19th century.
Lagrée and Garnier were the first ones to go upstream the Mekong river, from 1866 till 1868. They were the Stanley and Livingstone of Asia. But somehow their names got lost in history.
150 years later
Today the mighty Mekong is still as exciting as it was in that time. In total, a number of 70 million people throughout Southeast Asia live along this river. That is more than the population of France.
But the river is facing a lot of challenges: dams disrupt the ecosystem, pollution makes the fish population go down, saline water affects the rice production,…
And again these stories are rarely told. This is why we decided to start a personal journey upstream the river, 150 years after the first exploration.
Along the way we want to talk to people who need the river for their living. We want to know what the impact of the big changes is on their daily lives.
This video shows the start of the big journey in the Mekong delta in Vietnam. But this is only the beginning. We’ll also travel through Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar. All the way to the source of the Mekong in China.
Those six countries all have very different, but always very interesting histories.
Let’s explore them and let’s meet the people of the Mekong!