The devastation of Laos’ rivers

Hitchhiking, Laos
The peaceful, perfect Nam Ou river in northern Laos

The peaceful, perfect Nam Ou river in northern Laos

I meet Sydney for the first time in the night market in Luang Namtha. I tell her about my Grand Plan to travel by boat down the Nam Ou river to Luang Prabang and retrace a journey I took seven years ago. There’s a catch, though: public boats no longer run down the river because a huge dam has been built by an evil corporation. I want to hire a boat to the dam and witness the destruction of what was once the most beautiful area in the whole of Laos. Then I want to hitchhike in the areas where it’s not possible to sail. Sydney’s never hitchhiked before, but within half an hour of meeting, she says, “it sounds fun. Let’s do it!”

Waiting for a truck or car in Pakmong...

Waiting for a truck or car in Pakmong…