Bueng Kan – The Mekong River in Bueng Kan has been measured at a height of 3.8 meters, 12.2 meters below its shoreline and the lowest it has been in a year. The situation is particularly concerning as it is only March and the drought season has yet to peak.
Sand dunes have begun to be visible in the river and transport as well as ferry boats between Thailand and Laos have been significantly affected. The dunes have made some boats have to travel twice their distance around, imposing heightened costs on ferry operators who have maintained fares at 60 baht per person.
High temperatures between 35 and 36 degrees Celsius in the other northeastern province of Nong Khai has prompted both locals and tourists to relax along the Mekong River’s shore, with a 200 meter stretch of shoreline in Ponpisai district of the province proving particularly popular. The local community has facilitated tourism to the area and has for a second year erected over 60 shops providing services to tourists, including banana boat rides. Local authorities have also implemented waste management and security efforts to accommodate visitors.