Episode Info

Sue Perkins continues her epic journey up the Mekong, south east Asia's greatest river. In this episode, Sue reaches Laos, one of the poorest and least developed of all the Mekong nations. It's a country shaped by both Buddhism and Communism and has hardly changed for centuries. Sue spends time with Bounsom, a fisherman who's turned to tourism, setting up a restaurant on the beach. She also visits Luang Prabang, a town which was once the Royal City of Laos and is now a Unesco World Heritage site, famed as the centre of Buddhism. She also films at the Xayaburi hydroelectric dam, SE Asia's biggest and most controversial engineering project. Under strict supervision, Sue is told about the merits of the dam by the vice minister for energy and mines, Mr Viraphonh Varavong. Having seen the effects of damming in Vietnam and Cambodia, Sue grapples with the complexities of projects such as these.