Location:

The Mekong River is the heart and soul of mainland Southeast Asia. The 12th longest river in the world, the Mekong runs 4,800 kilometers from its headwaters on the Tibetan Plateau through Yunnan Province of China, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao and Vietnam.

Weather:

The ideal time to visit the Mekong region is during the November-to-January. It’s the dry season and is the coolest time of year.

Highlights:

Known as the Mother of waters, the river supports one of the world’s most diverse fisheries, second only to the Amazon.
This vital ecosystem and lifeblood of the region are currently under threat. Over the past ten years, more than 100 large dams have been proposed for the Mekong basin by institutions like the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Mekong River Commission. Some of these projects have already been built. The sunset of Ben Tre One of the greatest threats is China s plans to construct eight dams on the Upper Mekong / Lancang. Two of these dams have already been completed, and construction on the third project, Xiaowan, began in January 2002. These dams will have widespread impacts on the livelihoods of Mekong communities and on the natural ecology of the river system. The Mekong river is the dominant geo-hydrologic structure in mainland SE Asia. Recent rapid agricultural and economic development has led to increasing competition among water-using sectors and countries for these water resources. The main issue to be addressed is how to achieve sustainable agricultural, fisheries and economic development, while alleviating poverty and preserving the unique environment and biodiversity of the basin. This includes determining the prospects for increased agricultural, fisheries and livestock intensification, optimization of fisheries, farming and forest systems, measures for preserving unique ecosystems, such as wetlands and upland catchment areas, and identifying efficient, equitable and sustainable water allocation mechanisms for agriculture, fisheries, electricity generation, and urban and industrial use, acceptable to all basin stakeholders.