Chasing Mirages

Xiaowan Hydropower Plant

by on Nov.30, 2010, under Posts

Need to hit the road soon, so can’t write much.  The least I can do is give you some pictures from yesterday, when we visited the Xiaowan dam and hydropower plant, completed earlier this year on the Lancang River (better known as the mighty Mekong).  At 292 meters, nearly the height of the Eiffel Tower (300 meters), it is the world’s tallest arch dam.

Here’s a picture from the reservoir side:

Here’s one from the other side.  The characters on the left side read “树立科学发展观 建设生态水电站” which means, oxymoronically, “Establish scientific development, construct an ecological hydropower station”

Further down the road, we found a public viewing platform with great direct views of the dam.  Admittedly, the dam is an impressive feat of engineering and construction:

We were happily taking photos and enjoying the sun when a band of camouflaged military police abruptly descended upon us.  Apparently this public viewing platform was not so public after all, at least not for a gang of rabblerousers like us.

I snapped a few photos and took a short video after they told us to stop.  They easily could have smashed our cameras, forced us to delete everything, or even detained us, but luckily they were quite polite as they herded us out.

It was the first public viewing platform I’d ever visited where both the public and photography were prohibited.

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