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Mekong River

Biggest River on Earth ::--|| 1.Nile River|| 2.Amazon River|| 3.Yangtze River|| 4.Missisipi River|| 5.Yenisei River|| 6.Yellow River|| 7.Ob River|| 8.Parana River|| 9.Congo River|| 10.Amur River|| 11.Lena River|| 12.Mekong River|| 13.Mackenzie River|| 14.Niger River|| 15.Murray/Darling River|| 16.Tocantins River|| 17.Volga River|| 18.Purus River|| 19.Madeira River|| 20.Sao Francisco River||List of River's.||

Mekong River (Mae Nam Khong)
View of the Mekong before sunset.
Countries Burma, Cambodia, Laos,People's Republic of China, Thailand,Vietnam
Source Lasagongma Spring
 - location Mt. Guozongmucha, Zadoi,Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,Qinghai, China
 - elevation 5,224 m (17,139 ft)
 - coordinates 33°42.5′N 94°41.7′E
Mouth Mekong Delta
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Length 4,350 km (2,703 mi)
Basin 795,000 km2 (307,000 sq mi)
Discharge for South China Sea
 - average 16,000 m3/s (570,000 cu ft/s)
 - max 39,000 m3/s (1,400,000 cu ft/s)
mekong river map

The Mekong is a river that runs through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is the world's 10th-longest river and the 7th-longest in Asia. Its estimated length is 4,909 km (3,050 mi), and it drains an area of 795,000 km2 (307,000 sq mi), discharging 475 km3 (114 cu mi) of water annually.
From the Tibetan Plateau this river runs through China's Yunnan province, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam established the Mekong River Commission (MRC) in 1995 to assist in the management and coordinated use of the Mekong's resources. In 1996 China and Burma became "dialogue partners" of the MRC and the six countries now work together within a cooperative framework.
The extreme seasonal variations in flow and the presence of rapids and waterfalls in this river have made navigation extremely difficult.


The Mekong rises in the "Three Rivers Area" on the Tibetan Plateau in the Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve as the Lancang, together with the Yangtze and Salween Rivers. It flows southwest through Yunnan Province through the Three Rivers Area in the Hengduan Mountains. After leaving China, it flows southwest and forms the border of Burma and Laos for about 100 kilometres (62 mi) then turns southeast to form briefly the border of Laos with Thailand. The Mekong then flows east and south into Laos for some 400 kilometres (250 mi) and defines the Laos-Thailand border again for some 850 kilometres (530 mi) as it flows east, turning south through central Southeast Asia, passing through the capital of Laos, Vientiane. The Mun River's confluence with the Mekong occurs right before it crosses into Cambodia, where it receives the Sap River, flowing by Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The Mekong slows as it enters Vietnam, where it divides into nine channels of the Mekong Delta (these include: Tiền, Mỹ Tho, Hàm Luông, Cổ Chiên, Ba Lai, Hậu), emptying into the South China Sea.

Natural History of the Mekong River Basin

The Mekong basin is one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world. Only the Amazon boasts a higher level of biodiversity. Biota estimates for the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) include 20,000 plant species, 430 mammals, 1,200 birds, 800 reptiles and amphibians and an estimated 850 fish species. In 2009, 145 new species were described from the Mekong Region, comprising 29 fish species previously unknown to science, two new bird species, ten reptiles, five mammals, 96 plants and six new amphibians The Mekong Region contains 16 WWF Global 200 ecoregions, the greatest concentration of ecoregions in mainland Asia
No other river is home to so many species of very large fish. The biggest include the giant river carp (Probarbus jullieni), which can grow up to 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) and weigh 70 kilograms (150 lb), the Mekong Freshwater Stingray (Himantura chaophraya), which can have a wingspan of up to 4.3 metres (14 ft), the giant pangasius (Pangasius sanitwongsei), Siamese giant carp (Catlocarpio siamensis) and the endemic Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas), all three of which can grow up to about 3 metres (9 ft 10 in) in length and weigh 300 kilograms (660 lb). All of these are in serious decline, both because of dams and flood control and overfishing.
One species of freshwater dolphin, the Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), was once common in the whole of the Lower Mekong but is now very rare.
Among other wetland mammals that have been living in and around the river are the smooth-coated otter (Lutra perspicillata) and fishing cat (Felis viverrina).
The endangered Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) occurs in small isolated pockets within the northern Cambodian and Laotian portions of the Mekong River. The Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) once ranged from the Mekong Delta up the river into Tonle Sap and beyond but is now extinct in the river, along with being extinct in all of Vietnam and possibly even Cambodia.


The Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge connects Nong Khai city with Vientiane in Laos. The 1,170-metre (3,840 ft)-long bridge has two 3.5-metre (11 ft)-wide lanes with a single railway line in the middle. On March 20, 2004, the Thai and Lao governments agreed to extend the railway to Tha Nalaeng in Laos, this extension has since been completed.
The Second Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge connects Mukdahan to Savannakhet. The two-lane, 12-metre (39 ft)-wide, 1,600-metre (5,200 ft)-long bridge opened to the general public on January 9, 2007.
There are only three bridges, located in Champasak province, in Laos. Unlike the Friendship bridges, this bridge is not a border crossing. It is 1,380 metres (4,528 ft) long, and was completed in 2000 (Pakxe bridge 15°6′19.95″N 105°48′49.51″E).
A new bridge over the Mekong is to be completed by 2011, connecting the border towns of Chiang Khong (Thailand) and Ban Houayxay (Laos), as part of Asian Highway 3. The Chinese and Thai governments agreed to build the bridge and share the estimated $33USD million dollar cost of the project.
Another new bridge is to be built at [Neak Leung] on the Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh highway with Japanese government assistance, anticipated to be opened in 2014.
Cambodia has one two-lane bridge, the Kizuna bridge in the city of Kompong Cham, on the road linking Phnom Penh with the remote provinces of Ratanakiri and Mondolkiri, and further away Laos.
The Prek Tamak Bridge, 40 km north of Phnom Penh will provide another link in 2011.
Phnom Penh itself has no bridge under construction yet, although two new bridges have recently opened on the Tonle Sap, and the main bridge on the highway to Ho Chi Minh was duplicated in 2010.
In Vietnam, since the year 2000 My Thuan Bridge (Mỹ Thuận), crosses the first channel a dozen km ahead of Vinh Long (Vĩnh Long) and since 2008 Rach Mieu Bridge (Rạch Miễu) crosses it a dozen km ahead of de My Tho (Mỹ Tho), between the provinces de Tien Giang (Tiền Giang) and Ben Tre (Bến Tre).
Can Tho Bridge (Cần Thơ), cross the second channel, inaugurated in 2010, is the longest main span cable-stayed bridge in Southeast Asia.