Originally called Mae Nam Khong (the mother of waters), the world’s twelfth longest river and the seventh longest in Asia is 4,350 km long, rising on the Tibetan Plateau and running through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam

Those are the facts. But, far more than that, the Mekong is somehow a unifying and ever-present spirit that animates so much of what it means to be in Laos and to be Lao. 

The Mekong is the artery of life in Laos: a trading route, a source of food and water, and a social center for the settlements along its banks. Known locally as The Mother of Waters, the Mekong river has been venerated and worshiped for thousands of years.” – Vat Phou Cruises

Explore the Mekong

History of The Mekong: Learn about Mekong civilizations dating back more than 1,000 years. Read about early river settlements, battles for control of the waterway, and periods of prosperity. Travel with early explorers as they navigate The Mighty Mekong. To discover the History of The Mekong, click here.

Life on The Mekong: What makes the Mekong tick? The river is the lifeblood for the people on its banks. Learn about its route as it enters Laos from China. Explore their environs and experience river folks’ Life on the Mekong.To discover Life on The Mekong, click here.

Meet The Upper Mekong: Meet the Upper Mekong, after it rushes some 2,000 km from the Tibetan Plateau. Follow the Nam Kong as it flows past Luang Namtha, breaks north to Luang Prabang, and continues to Vientiane. 

Meet The Central Mekong: Enter the Central Mekong at Ban Sanakhan, where the river resumes its Thai border role. Here, the Mother River starts its 850-km flow between north-eastern Thailand’s Rice Basket, and historic Lao ports like Thakaek and Savannakhet. 

Meet The Lower Mekong: Cruise into the Lower Mekong at Salavan Province, where it skirts the Phou Xiang Thong Biodiversity Area. The river enters Champasak, again breaking from the Thai border, and continues for more than 200 km to Cambodia.

Mekong Ports & Landings: Laos presents 18 ports and landing on The Mekong, each immersed in culture and history. Explore them on a multiday cruise, local boat, or kayak. Or, relax onshore and watch the world float by.

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