Mekong River

© Adam Oswell / WWF-Greater Mekong Aerial of Mekong River at dawn.

© Adam Oswell / WWF-Greater Mekong
Aerial of Mekong River at dawn.

The Basin

The Mekong River begins in the Tibetan Plateau and runs nearly 5,000 kilometers (approximately 3,000 miles) through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia before flowing from Vietnam into the South China Sea. This vast region supports a variety of species, from Asian elephants to freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins, as well as almost 100 distinct ethnic groups. More than 60 million people depend on the river and the surrounding area for food, fresh water and security.