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The Foundation

The Mekong Press Foundation was initiated in 2005 by Trasvin Jittidecharak, the publisher of Silkworm Books, with the financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation. Its aim is to encourage and support the work of local scholars, writers, and publishing professionals in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and the other countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion. It was registered as non-profit organization in 2007.

Books published by Mekong Press are marketed and distributed internationally.

Mekong Press also holds seminars and training workshops on different aspects of book publishing, and helps find ways to overcome some of the huge challenges faced by small book publishers in the region.

Welcome to Mekong Press

Chronicle of Sipsong Panna cover

The Face of Resistance

Latest Release The Face of Resistance takes an insider’s perspective to explore the inspirational role of Aung San Suu Kyi and demystify the volatile state of contemporary Burmese politics and the background of Burma’s current president, Thein Sein. It poses questions about the ongoing debate of international sanctions versus investment in the light of Burma’s untapped natural resources. More information


Chronicle of Sipsong Panna cover

Chronicle of Sipsòng Panna

Recent Release Chronicle of Sipsòng Panna offers the first English translation of four different versions of the Chronicle of Moeng Lü (also known as Sipsòng Panna) from the oldest extant manuscripts. Along with extensive annotation, this volume provides a comprehensive analysis of Tai Lü historical sources and, based on these sources, a valuable introduction to the history and society of the Upper Mekong region. It will appeal to scholars of Thai/Tai history, society, culture, and philology, and to general readers who are interested in this region. More information


Cashing In across the Golden Triangle cover

Thai Sex Talk

Recent Release The Thai language has extraordinarily rich, varied, and multi-leveled vocabularies for sexual anatomy, sexual behaviors, sexual identities, and attitudes to sexuality. The authors of this in-depth study of twenty-one keywords deal directly and unflinchingly with the language of sex in Thailand in all its raw, sometimes humorous, and often derogatory immediacy. Much more than a vocabulary list, this book engages the language of sex and sexuality in Thailand from critical feminist and queer studies perspectives. More information


Cashing In across the Golden Triangle cover

Cashing In across the Golden Triangle

The new transnational “economic corridors” connecting northern Thailand and southwestern China via key border towns in Myanmar and Laos have greatly increased the volume of trade and transshipment in the region. By combining available official data and observations and interviews with a wide range of participants in this new border economy, this book provides an important and unique perspective on the impact of the new economic linkages in the region. More information


Publishing Strategies for Non-profit Organisations

On Monday, 21 February 2011, Mekong Press hosted a day-long workshop on publishing strategies for NGOs and university centers at the Furama Hotel in Chiang Mai. The workshop introduced participants to developments in publishing, particularly the introduction of e-publishing. A range of topics were covered, including current and emerging publishing and technology trends; formats and products; current business models and distribution channels; IPR in the digital age; and how to develop a publishing strategy. The workshop was attended by participants from Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, and Vietnam. It was conducted by Pippa Smart, a British national that has worked in academic and research publishing for over 20 years. Read more


Frankfurt Book Fair

Mekong Press Foundation attended the Frankfurt Book Fair (October 2–11, 2010) as an invited guest of Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We were joined by twenty-three other guests from Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe, including publishing staff from countries as diverse as Nepal, Zimbabwe, Moldova, Haiti, and Egypt. Representing Mekong Press Foundation were Pannida Bhumiwat and Dueanrung Phusiri, who participated in a three-day seminar. Read more


Buddhist Murals of Northeast Thailand cover

Buddhist Murals of Northeast Thailand

Books on mural painting in Thailand have tended to focus on works commissioned by royalty or other elites from the centers of power. This volume is the first to examine a vibrant sub-school of painting from the rural heartland of the Northeastern Region, also known as Isan. It is a multifaceted and empathetic study of these lovely and lively paintings, and will appeal to anyone interested in the Mekong Region as well as to scholars of art history, Buddhism, and anthropology in Southeast Asia. More information


Publications Law in Laos

After one year of deliberation, May 2009 saw the quiet introduction of a publications law to the Lao PDR. Read more


Bangkok International Book Fair

Mekong Press, along with Silkworm Books and Paragon Asia, attended Thailand’s 8th International Book Fair and the 38th National Book Fair (2010) held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok. Joining us were three interns from Cambodia who were participating in the 2010 Mekong Press Internship Training Program. This was the first time they had attended an international book fair. One of them created this slide show of photographs to express her feelings about the book fair and to help promote a reading culture in Cambodia. See Book Fair slide show (Adobe PDF, 2 MB).


The Politics of Decentralization cover

The Politics of Decentralization: Natural Resource Management in Asia

The Politics of Decentralization brings together empirically grounded studies of the decentralization of natural resource management in seven South and Southeast Asian countries. It provides a clear explanation of the key concepts and debates in decentralization relevant to the management of forests, fisheries, and water in the region.


Publications Law in Laos

After one year of deliberation, May 2009 saw the quiet introduction of a publications law to the Lao PDR. Read more


Workshop: Getting Published in the English World

4 November 2009, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre, Bangkok. Getting published is not always easy. The Mekong Press Foundation invites you to a special workshop that focuses on how authors should review their manuscripts, and how publishers “imagine” books. More information


Looking to begin that long shelf life

UC Riverside has a trove of rare Thai books waiting to finally join its Southeast Asian library. Read the full article


Book Launch: History of Aid to Laos

Wednesday 23 September 2009, at the Madsen Conference Room (449), University of Sydney, Australia. Hosted by the Australian Mekong Resource Centre. Refreshments provided. If you would like to attend please contact Natalia before Tuesday 15 September by email at nscurrah@usyd.edu.au or by phone on (02) 9351-7796.


History of Aid to Laos

History of Aid to Laos cover

History of Aid to Laos is the first comprehensive publication on development assistance to the aid-dependent country of Laos. Written by a former senior Lao official in international cooperation, the book investigates the situation of a country dependent on foreign aid for more than half a century and the ways in which donor nations have shaped Lao development and political relationships through the aid process.


Scanning the Past

At Chiang Mai University in Thailand, pages of history are being digitized as part of a global effort to protect written heritage. Read the full article


Mekong Delta Under Threat

Climate change impacts will force the displacement and migration of large populations in Vietnam, particularly the Mekong Delta, international experts reckon. Read more …


Damming the Mekong

China is now building a series of dams that will restrict its natural flow and threaten the sustenance of tens of millions of Southeast Asians. Read the full article


Recent Book Reviews

Reinhard Hohler reviews The Enduring Sacred Landscapes of the Naga and Hero and Deity: Tran Hung Dao and the Resurgence of Popular Religion in Viet Nam.


On Books, Teaching and Nationalism

Teaching Against the Grain: Benedict Anderson reflects on the modern nation-state as an imagined construct, the value of pedagogy and the nature of being human.

The Riddle of Nationalism: The recent Thai translation of Benedict Anderson's seminal Imagined Communities could help redefine the Thai nation.


IPA Protests Ban on Vietnamese Publisher

Deeply concerned about a three-month ban imposed on the Da Nang Publishing House in Vietnam, the International Publishers Association (IPA) has written to the Vietnamese Minister of Information and Communications, seeking clarification and transparency about the motives and circumstances leading to the temporary ban, and on the “severe mistakes” committed by Da Nang, as reported in State media. Read the full press release


Getting Published in the English World

Getting published is not always easy. The Mekong Press Foundation and RCSD (the Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development) at Chiang Mai University recently conducted a special workshop that focused on how authors should review their manuscripts, and how publishers “imagine” books.

Update Read what Chiang Maiʼs Northern Thai News thought about the workshop.


Hero and Deity cover

New Titles from Mekong Press

Hero and Deity has been released and is now available for purchase.

“I suddenly understood that I had overlooked the big, bold, and wild Tran Hung Dao who was still ʻaliveʼ in the streets, in dreams, who shook bodies and left them exhausted or energized. . . . Clearly something much more interesting was going on in people’s lives than could be discovered by mapping temple floors.”

The Enduring Sacred Landscape of the Naga cover

Mekong Press is also pleased to announce that The Enduring Sacred Landscape of the Naga has also been released and is available for purchase. Capturing the vanishing memory of ancient rituals, recited texts, and places imbued with echoes of the past, the book recounts the lived texture of human experience in the Mekong River valley.


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