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Mekong River

There are many rivers in Laos, but the biggest and most important river of all is the Mekong River (Nam Mekong or Nam Khong) which means "Mother of Waters".

At 4500 km, the Mekong River is one of the longest rivers in the world. Its source lies in Tibet in southern China from where it flows to the sprawling delta in Vietnam. Its journey through Laos covers about 1,800 km.

All three capital cities in Laos is situated alongside the Mekong River and it has long served as a lifeline of the country because it is the main drinking water source. The Mekong River also supports agriculture, transport, and cultural traditions of a large number of Lao people living along its banks.

Seasonal tides of the Mekong River create varied lifestyles. During low tides, people grow vegetables close to its banks. Fishermen in Laos know well that the levels of their catches are related to the tides. When the tide is high between May and June, there are considerable fish in the river. Their number drops during the low tides between November and April, yet fishing is possible all year long because the Mekong River is very large.

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