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Mekong River


Digital relief map of Mekong River


The Mekong River is the longest river of southeast Asia.  It flows 2,610 miles from its source in the Tibetian Himalayas to the South China Sea. It is navigable south of Louangphrabang in what is now Laos.

The Mekong River delta is one of the richest rice-producing regions of the world.  Its fertility is maintained through a unique natural flood control system:  Lake Tonle Sab, in what is now Cambodia, is a large, shallow lake (the largest lake in Southeast Asia) that absorbs substantial floodwaters during the monsoon.  During the dry season, the water returns to the Mekong, maintaining enough flow to prevent salt water from penetrating the delta.


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