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In this third 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. Today, the beauty of its landscapes and people is bringing in foreign tourists - backpackers in search of unspoilt Asia. Sue spends time with Bounsom, a fisherman who's turned to tourism, setting up a restaurant on the beach. And she visits Luang Prabang, a beautiful town which was once the Royal City of Laos and is now a Unesco World Heritage site, famed as the centre of Buddhism. Thought to be the home of more monks than anywhere else in Asia, Sue spends a day with the novice monks and gives a surprising English lesson in the temple's school.

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By TonyMayhew on Sep 24, 2016

Laos is on the verge of huge and irreversible change - massive dams are being built to harness the power of the river. After months of access negotiation, Sue films at the Xayaburi hydroelectric dam, south east Asia's biggest and most controversial engineering project. It's the first dam to be built across the Lower Mekong and will completely block the flow of the river, changing water levels, blocking fish migration and destroying fish stocks. Under strict supervision, Sue is told about the mer…

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