The Mekong River

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The 25 Longest Rivers in the World
The River as a Lifeline
The River as a Boundary
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The Mekong is the world's 12th-longest river at 2,600 miles. 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 and Thailand.

The river is navigable year-round, but some part of it are particularly difficult to pass through. In the upper part of the river, swift rapids and sharp drops punctuate the river flow.

The earliest known civilization dates to the 1st century A.D. The first European to explore the river was Portugal's Antonio de Faria, in 1540.

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.



 Facts About the Mekong River


2,635 miles


Qinghai Province, China


South China Sea

Countries Flows Through

China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam

Cities Flows By/Through

Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Savannakhet, Laos; Can Tho, Vietnam

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David White