Water transport disrupted

January 7, 2021

Waterway travel has become impossible in the last two weeks between the river towns of Muang Ngoi and Muang Khua on the Nam Ou River in Lao PDR. 

Boats grounded at the tourist river town of Muang Ngoi.

The winding waterway and views of karst mountains have drawn international tourists for many years. The current low water levels mean that access to Muang Ngoi is no longer possible. Local tour guides say there has been no warning of these unusual conditions. 

The area affected is close to the Nam Ou 2 and Nam Ou 3 dams, which are part of a larger cascade. There are now seven dams on the Nam Ou, built by China’s Sinohydro Corporation in a joint venture with the Lao government’s Électricité du Laos (EDL), which has a 15% stake in the project. 

Thanks to @nongkhiawadventure for these photos. 

River rocks jut out of the Nam Ou on a low stretch at Hat Chan village.

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