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Mekong River facts for kids

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Mae Num Khong, Lancang Jiang, Mae Khaung, Menam Khong, Mekongk, Tonle Thom, Song Cu'u Long
The Mekong in Laos
Countries China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam
Source Lasagongma Spring
 - location Mount Guozhongmucha, Qinghai, China
 - elevation 5,224 m (17,139 ft)
 - coordinates 33°42′31″N 94°41′44″E / 33.70861°N 94.69556°E / 33.70861; 94.69556
Mouth Mekong Delta
 - location South China Sea, Vietnam
Length 4,350 km (2,703 mi)
Basin 795,000 km² (306,951 sq mi)

The Mekong River is a river in the south-east of Asia. It flows through many countries: China, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and finally Vietnam. The Mekong begins in the Lasagongma Spring which is in the plateaus of Tibet, disputed part of China, and flows about 2,703 miles (4,350 km) south-east to the South China Sea. Its watershed covers 307,000 square miles (797,000 square kilometers). Its name comes from the Thai language's Mae Num, or literally, "Mother Water".

The Mekong is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world, with hundreds of types of fish, as well as river dolphins, crocodiles, and otters. Fishing is a very important activity on the river. However, the Mekong River is also used extensively for navigation.


The river has dams:

  • Guoduo Dam
  • Miaowei
  • Gongguoqiao
  • Xiaowan
  • Manwan
  • Dachaoshan
  • Nuozhadu
  • Jinghong

Dams that are being built in China, are:

  • Gushui
  • Wunonglong
  • Huangdeng
  • Dahuaqiao

Dams that are being built in Laos, are:

  • Xayaburi
  • Don Sahong

Dams that are planned (as of 2017), include:

  • Pak Beng Dam (planned finished in 2022)
  • Latsua (planned finished in 2023)
  • Sanakham (planned finished in 2024)

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