Mekong River Overview - Mekong River Overview

The Mekong River is the heart and soul of mainland Southeast Asia. The 12th longest river in the world, the Mekong runs 4,800 kilometers from its headwaters on the Tibetan Plateau through Yunnan Province of China, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam. It is the largest river in Southeast Asia. The river forms the border between Laos and Myanmar (Burma) and most of the border between Laos

The Mekong River (known in Tibet as Dza-chu, China as Lancang Jiang and Thailand as Mae Nam Khong), is a major river in southeastern Asia. It is the longest river in the region. From its source in China's Qinghai Province near the border with Tibet, the Mekong flows generally southeast to the South China Sea, a distance of 4,200 km (2,610 mi). The Mekong crosses Yunnan Province, China, and forms the border between Myanmar (Burma) and Laos and most of the border between Laos and Thailand. It then flows across Cambodia and southern Vietnam into a rich delta before emptying into the South China Sea. In the upper course are steep descents and swift rapids, but the river is navigable south of Louangphrabang in Laos.
The river is navigable year-round, but some parts of it are particularly difficult to pass through. In the upper part of the river, swift rapids and sharp drops punctuate the river flow.
Since the early days of civilization in the region, the river has been a source of power also in the constant wars that have battered the region. Struggles continue today over where to build dams and tame rapids.
Over 60 million people depend on the Mekong and its tributaries for food, water, transport and many other aspects of their daily lives. Its annual flood drought cycles are essential for the sustainable production of rice and vegetables on the floodplains and along the riverbanks during the dry season. Known as the Mother of waters, the river supports one of the world's most diverse fisheries, second only to the Amazon.

Length 4,200 km (2,610 miles)

Countries China, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam

Basin population 60 Million

Country population total 242 Million

Per Capita GDP Varies from US$ 2,565 (Thailand) to US$ 265 (Cambodia)

Uses  Irrigation, fisheries, power generation, transportation, industrial and domestic supply

Primary Legal Agreement Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 5 April 1995 - (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam)

Institutional arrangements Mekong River Commission (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam)

Tips : You can discover Mekong river in Myanmar with truly experiences of all kinds of Myanmar river cruises : heritage, culture, river...

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Names of Mekong River

Names of Mekong River

The Mekong River is one of the world's 10th rivers in its river length and has great influences upon nature and societies of the Indo-china Peninsula. In English the river is called "the Mekong River", derived from "Mae Nam Khong", a term of both Thai and Lao origin.
Life in the Mekong Delta

Life in the Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta was an ancient Khmer territory. The area was mostly marshland and forest. When the Nguyen Lords took control of this region, a series of canals were built and a system of transportation was implemented in the maze of water ways in the area.
Mekong Map

Mekong Map

Mekong Map...
Mekong Weather

Mekong Weather

The ideal time to visit the Mekong region is during the November-to-January dry season; it's the coolest time of year in often sweltering Southeast Asia. If you are traveling to the river's headwaters, in China, the month of September is your best bet...
How to discover Mekong & around

How to discover Mekong & around

Most travellers head to the Mekong Delta on an organised tour – a cheap and easy way to get a taste of the delta. Those travelling on their own will have greater access to areas off the beaten track, with many little-visited places to discover.

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