The Mekong River winds its way from the Tibetan plateaus of China’s Yunnan province, through the rainforests, plains and rice fields of five Southeast Asian countries before meeting the South China Sea. In terms of length, it’s the 12th largest river in the world, but in terms of historic, cultural and ecological richness-the Mekong has no equal. The sagas of ancient empires, colonial powers and modern conflicts have unfolded along her banks. And, through it all, the Mekong remains first and foremost a lifeline. Temples, trade routes and fishing villages in the river’s path are today untouched by time, just as the way of life they represent. And nowhere are the river’s riches more apparent than in the neighboring-but distinct countries-of Vietnam and Cambodia.