The Mekong is one of the great rivers of the world and the third longest in Asia, after the Yangtse and the Yellow rivers. From its source 4920m up on the east Tibetan plateau it roars down through China’s Yunnan province – where it’s known as Lancang Jiang, the “Turbulent River” – before snaking its way a little more peaceably between Burma and Laos, and then, by way of the so-called “Golden Triangle”, as the border between Thailand and Laos. After a brief shimmy into rural Laos via Luang Prabang, the river reappears in Isaan to form 750km of the border between Thailand and Laos. From Laos it crosses Cambodia and continues south to Vietnam, where it splinters into the many arms of the Mekong Delta before flowing into the South China Sea, 4184km from where its journey began.

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