Names of Mekong River - Mekong River Overview

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.

In the Lao-Thai toponymy, all great rivers are considered "mother rivers" signaled by the prefix "mae", meaning "mother", and "nam" for water. In the Mekong's case, Mae Nam Khong means Khong, Mother of Water. "Khong" is derived from the Sanskrit "ganga", meaning the Ganges. Many Northern Thai and Laos locals refer to it as the "River Khong". The Tonle Sap in Cambodia is a similar example – where Tonle translates as "Great lake or river", making the Tonle Sap River an unnecessary repetition of what is in fact the "Sap River".

The source of the Mekong River is in Tibet mountains and is called Dza Chu River (River of Rock). After running through very narrow valley paralling Yangz Jiang and Salween River, the Mekong reaches to Yung-Nan Province of China and is called Lancang Jiang (Turbulent River). Via Golden Triangle, the crossing of China, Myanmar and Laos boarder, the Mekong flow into Vientiane Plain. The term, Lower Mekong means downstream segment from the point. There are some notorious rapids for French navigation plan in colonial period before the Mekong get to Cambodia, and the last segment is the Mekong Delta in Viet Nam, which distributes grate influences to agriculture, especially paddy fields there. According to a sketch on the right, we can see this long river with some segments hereinafter.

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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
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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