The Mekong is a trans-boundary river in Southeast Asia. It is the world's 12th-longest river and the 7th-longest in Asia. Its estimated length is 4,350 km and it drains an area of 795,000 km2, discharging 457 km3 of water annually.
From the Tibetan Plateau this river runs through China's Yunnan province, Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. In 1995, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam established the Mekong River Commission to assist in the management and coordinated use of the Mekong's resources. In 1996 China and Burma (Myanmar) 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 difficult. The river is a major trading route linking China’s southwestern province of Yunnan to Laos, Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand to the south, an important trade route between western China and Southeast Asia.
A view of the Mekong River