Along the Mekong
China, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam are countries that are very different from each other, and are often even in conflict, yet they are linked by a common denominator: the Mekong River. The longest and most important in Indochina, the river is vital to the economy of the countries that touch it, partly forming a natural boundary line 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 an important source of interaction between people who live in its basin. The millions of people whose lives are connected to it are joined not only by dependence on fishing, cultivation of rice, and a similar way of life, but also by continuous exchanges, made much easier by the presence of the river compared to those with other populations, which despite belonging to the same country, but are separated by mountains and roads that are long, winding, and difficult to pass.