Welcome to Navigating the Mekong. This is an educational site inspired by the 2007 Smithsonian Folklife Festival program, Mekong River: Connecting Cultures. The Festival program brought together numerous culture groups living along the Mekong River, from Yunnan Province, China, through Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

This Web site is meant to serve as an introduction to this part of the world for teachers and students (grades 6 -10). By clicking on the map, students can read travel journals from other young people who journeyed down the Mekong by boat, stopping at different ports to take in the local culture. At each stop students will learn a bit about the geography, culture, food, and music of that country. There are also craft projects, recipes, and music to help enhance understanding of these cultures through direct participation. Younger students can download coloring pages about the Mekong and have fun with the craft projects, too. They can also download a PDF version of the family guidebook, which has activities and information about the Mekong River: Connecting Cultures program.

If you want to continue your learning journey in the Mekong region, click on the "More About…” links to open a list of additional books, music links, and Web sites on each country. You can also look for Mekong cultural experiences in your home town. Visit a Thai or Vietnamese restaurant, rent a Chinese film, ask if a Cambodian dance troupe will perform at your local arts venue, or try to cook a traditional Lao dish at home. There is so much to explore in the Mekong
.

Open the Map!

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Support for this Web site came from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee,
the Ford Foundation, and the Henry Luce Foundation