A report on Laos and Mekong

Mekong River south of Chamdo.
Pha That Luang in Vientiane is the national symbol of Laos.
The Mekong from Phou si
Fa Ngum, founder of the Lan Xang Kingdom
The confluence of the Mekong and the Nam Ou Rivers, Laos
Local Lao soldiers in the French Colonial guard, c. 1900
Floating homes on the Mekong, Cambodia
French General Salan and Prince Sisavang Vatthana in Luang Prabang, 4 May 1953
Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Ruins of Muang Khoun, former capital of Xiangkhouang province, destroyed by the American bombing of Laos in the late 1960s
The Mekong in Laos
Pathet Lao soldiers in Vientiane, 1972
Floating market, Cần Thơ, Mekong delta
Mekong River flowing through Luang Prabang
Cầu khỉ (monkey bridge) and small nước mắm (fish sauce) workshop on the bank of the Tiền River (branch of Mekong), Binh Dai District, Ben Tre Province, Vietnam
Paddy fields in Laos
Hamlet, Tiền River, Binh Dai District, Ben Tre Province, Vietnam
Laos map of Köppen climate classification.
19th century map showing the Mekong river as the "Mei-Kong" river
Flag of the ruling Lao People's Revolutionary Party
Members of the Mekong expedition of 1866–1868
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ASEAN heads of state in New Delhi on 25 January 2018
Extirpated from most of its pan-Asian range, Cantor's giant softshell turtle can still be found along a stretch of the Mekong in Cambodia (Khmer called "Kanteay")
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2016
Bank erosion on the Song Tien, a Mekong branch, Binh Dai District, Ben Tre Province, Vietnam.
Hmong girls in Laos, 1973
Fish Farming on Mekong branch, Song Tien, Đồng Tháp Province, Vietnam
A proportional representation of Laos exports, 2019
Mekong ferry, Neak Loeung, Cambodia
GDP per capita development in Laos
Slow cruise boats, Pakbeng, Laos
Near the sanctuary on the main upper level of Vat Phou, looking back towards the Mekong River
Rivers are an important means of transport in Laos.
Pha That Luang in Vientiane. The Buddhist stupa that is a national symbol of Laos.
Mahosot Hospital in Vientiane.
National University of Laos in Vientiane.
An example of Lao cuisine
Lao women wearing sinhs
Lao dancers during the New Year celebration
New Laos National Stadium in Vientiane.
Wat Nong Sikhounmuang - buddhist pagoda in Luang Prabang.

From the Tibetan Plateau the river runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

- Mekong

Fa Ngum, with 10,000 Khmer troops, conquered many Lao principalities in the Mekong river basin, culminating in the capture of Vientiane.

- Laos

13 related topics with Alpha



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Country in Southeast Asia, located at the centre of Mainland Southeast Asia, spanning 513120 km2, with a population of almost 70 million.

Country in Southeast Asia, located at the centre of Mainland Southeast Asia, spanning 513120 km2, with a population of almost 70 million.

SPPM Mongkut Rex Siamensium, King Mongkut's signature
Map showing geographic distribution of Tai-Kadai linguistic family. Arrows represent general pattern of the migration of Tai-speaking tribes along the rivers and over the lower passes.
Taksin the Great enthroned himself as a Thai king, 1767.
Coronation of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, Red Shirts, protest in 2010
Thailand map of Köppen climate classification.
The population of Asian elephants in Thailand's wild has dropped to an estimated 2,000–3,000.
Sappaya-Sapasathan, the current Parliament House of Thailand
King Bhumibol Adulyadej in a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, 18 November 2012
The HTMS Chakri Naruebet, an aircraft carrier of the Royal Thai Navy
A Royal Thai Air Force JAS 39 Gripen
A proportional representation of Thailand exports, 2019
Sathorn in Bangkok is a skyscraper-studded business district that is home to major hotels and embassies.
Development of real GDP per capita, 1890 to 2018
A proportional representation of Thailand's exports
Thailand has long been one of the largest rice exporters in the world. Forty-nine percent of Thailand's labour force is employed in agriculture.
Scientists are working in the lab
The BTS Skytrain is an elevated rapid transit system in Bangkok
Population pyramid 2016
Hill tribes girls in the Northeast of Thailand
Samanera of Theravada Buddhism, the most practised religion in Thailand.
Chulalongkorn University, established in 1917, is the oldest university in Thailand.
Thailand is a country where school uniform is mandatory.
Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, the oldest and largest hospital in Thailand.
Thai women wearing sabai, Jim Thompson House
People floating krathong rafts during the Loi Krathong festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Scene from the Ramakien depicted on a mural at Wat Phra Kaew.
Two sculptures guarding the eastern gate to the main chapel of Wat Arun.
Sculptures of Phra Aphai Mani and the Mermaid from the epic poem Phra Aphai Mani, a work of Sunthorn Phu.
Khon show is the most stylised form of Thai performance.
Muay Thai, Thailand's signature sport
Lumpinee Boxing Stadium

The country is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the extremity of Myanmar.

He also created a network of states through political alliances to the east and north of the Mekong.

Kingdom of Lan Xang (green) in 1400 CE

Lan Xang

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The Lao Kingdom of Lan Xang Hom Khao (ລ້ານຊ້າງຮົ່ມຂາວ lān sāng hôm khāo, ; "Million Elephants and White Parasols") existed as a unified kingdom from 1353 to 1707.

The Lao Kingdom of Lan Xang Hom Khao (ລ້ານຊ້າງຮົ່ມຂາວ lān sāng hôm khāo, ; "Million Elephants and White Parasols") existed as a unified kingdom from 1353 to 1707.

Kingdom of Lan Xang (green) in 1400 CE
Statue of Fa Ngum, founder of the Lan Xang kingdom
Mainland Southeast Asia in the early 15th century
Teal: Lan Xang
Purple: Lan Na
Orange: Sukhothai Kingdom
Blue Violet: Ayutthaya Kingdom
Red: Khmer Empire
Yellow: Champa
Blue: Đại Việt
Lan Xang and Mainland Southeast Asia in 1540 CE
Wat Visoun, as seen by Louis Delaporte c.1867
Wat Visoun, Luang Prabang
Statue of King Sai Setthathirath at Pha That Luang, Vientiane
Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang
Seated Buddha figure from Lan Xang, 17th century
Pha That Luang and its place in Vientiane
Monk repainting a Nāga at Pha That Luang
The Khone Falls, on the Mekong River.

The kingdom is the precursor for the country of Laos and the basis for its national historic and cultural identity.

The fertile northern Mekong valleys were occupied by the Dvaravati culture of the Mon people and subsequently by the Khmer, where the principal city-state in the north was known then as Muang Sua and alternately as Xieng Dong Xieng Thong "The City of Flame Trees beside the River Dong", (modern city of Luang Prabang).


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Glazed stoneware dating back to the 12th century
Khmer army going to war against the Cham, from a relief on the Bayon
A map of Indochina in 1760
Norodom Sihanouk and Mao Zedong in 1956
Rooms of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum contain thousands of photos taken by the Khmer Rouge of their victims.
Choeung Ek, a known site of mass grave for genocide victims during the Khmer Rouge era
Antigovernment protests in support of opposition party CNRP took place in Cambodia following the 2013 general election.
Geographic map of Cambodia
Regional map of Cambodia
Köppen climate classification map of Cambodia
Macaques at Phnom Pros, Kampong Cham Province
Waterfall at Phnom Kulen
Prey Lang Forest
Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia
Cambodian foreign minister Prak Sokhonn meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, D.C., 13 May 2022.
Prime minister Hun Sen with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow, 19 May 2016.
Royal Cambodian Army officers marching
Left to right: Senate President Say Chhum, National Assembly President Heng Samrin and Prime Minister Hun Sen, on Independence Day, 9 November 2019.
Cambodia's deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha (left) has been arrested in September 2017 while opposition leader Sam Rainsy (right) has lived in exile since November 2015
Real GPD per capita development of Cambodia
A proportional representation of Cambodia exports, 2019
The Cambodian position on the Human Development Index, 1970–2010
Food stands in Siem Reap.
Paddy field in Siem Reap Province
Farmers harvesting rice in Battambang Province
Cambodian Exports Treemap in 2017.
Every year, nearly 2.6 million tourists visit Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
National Highway 4
Phnom Penh airport shuttle train
An ethnic map of Cambodia
Cambodian couple wearing traditional wedding outfit (Sompot, Sbai, Chong Kben).
Pchum Ben, also known as "Ancestors Day", is an important religious festival celebrated by Khmer Buddhists.
Cambodian medical students watching a surgery operation
The Institute of Foreign Languages of the Royal University of Phnom Penh
The 19th-century illustration tale of Vorvong & Sorvong
Boat racing during Bon Om Touk
Sinn Sisamouth, a famous Cambodian singer
Hun Sen and ASEAN leaders with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House during the U.S.–ASEAN Summit, 13 May 2022.

Cambodia (also Kampuchea ; កម្ពុជា, Kâmpŭchéa ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese Peninsula in Southeast Asia, spanning an area of 181035 km2, bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the north, Vietnam to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.

Cambodia's landscape is characterised by a low-lying central plain that is surrounded by uplands and low mountains and includes the Tonle Sap (Great Lake) and the upper reaches of the Mekong River delta.

Ban Tha Lat, Mon inscription (9th CE), was found in 1968, in an area where other pieces of 
archaeological evidence testified to an ancient Mon presence. It is now at Ho Phra Kaeo Museum, Vientiane, Laos


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Ban Tha Lat, Mon inscription (9th CE), was found in 1968, in an area where other pieces of 
archaeological evidence testified to an ancient Mon presence. It is now at Ho Phra Kaeo Museum, Vientiane, Laos
Buddha sculptures at Pha That Luang
Haw Phra Kaew or Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Wat Si Muang
Buddha Park
Vientiane from Patuxai
Wattay International Airport
Older taxis in Vientiane are being replaced by newer Chinese-made cars, like this Soueast Lioncel.
Thanaleng Train Station

Vientiane (, ; ວຽງຈັນ, Viangchan, ) is the capital and largest city of Laos.

Vientiane is divided administratively into 9 cities with a total area of only approx. 3,920 square kilometres and is located on the banks of the Mekong, close to the Thai border.


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Country in Southeast Asia.

Country in Southeast Asia.

Pyu city-states, c. 8th century; Pagan is shown for comparison only and is not contemporary.
Pagodas and kyaungs in present-day Bagan, the capital of the Pagan Kingdom
Temples at Mrauk U.
Toungoo Empire under Bayinnaung in 1580
A British 1825 lithograph of Shwedagon Pagoda shows British occupation during the First Anglo-Burmese War.
The landing of British forces in Mandalay after the last of the Anglo-Burmese Wars, which resulted in the abdication of the last Burmese monarch, King Thibaw Min
British troops firing a mortar on the Mawchi road, July 1944
British governor Hubert Elvin Rance and Sao Shwe Thaik at the flag-raising ceremony on 4 January 1948 (Independence Day of Burma)
Protesters gathering in central Rangoon, 1988.
Protesters in Yangon during the 2007 Saffron Revolution with a banner that reads non-violence: national movement in Burmese. In the background is Shwedagon Pagoda.
Cyclone Nargis in southern Myanmar, May 2008.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Aung San Suu Kyi and her staff at her home in Yangon, 2012
Map of Myanmar and its divisions, including Shan State, Kachin State, Rakhine State and Karen State.
Protesters against the military coup in Myanmar
Myanmar map of Köppen climate classification.
The limestone landscape of Kayin State
Assembly of the Union (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw)
Myanmar President Thein Sein meets US President Barack Obama in Yangon, 2012
The former Secretary-General of the United Nations, U Thant (1961–1971)
A Myanmar Air Force Mikoyan MiG-29 multirole fighter
Map of conflict zones in Myanmar. States and regions affected by fighting during and after 1995 are highlighted in yellow.
Mae La camp, Tak, Thailand, one of the largest of nine UNHCR camps in Thailand
Displaced Rohingya people of Myanmar
A Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh
A proportional representation of Myanmar exports, 2019
The trains are relatively slow in Myanmar. The railway trip from Bagan to Mandalay takes about 7.5 hours (179 km).
Rice is Myanmar's largest agricultural product.
Tourists in Myanmar
U Bein Bridge in Mandalay.
A block of apartments in downtown Yangon, facing Bogyoke Market. Much of Yangon's urban population resides in densely populated flats.
Population pyramid 2016
Ethnolinguistic Groups of Burma/Myanmar
Praying Buddhist monks in Shwedagon Pagoda
Students on their way to school, Kalaymyo, Sagaing Region, Myanmar
Burmese Kinnayi Kinnaya dance
A Buddhist Shinbyu ceremony in Mandalay.
An Arakan (Rakhine) girl pours water at revellers during the Burmese New Year Thingyan Water Festival in Yangon.
Men playing chinlone
Kayan women in a village near Inle Lake, 2010

Myanmar is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos and Thailand to its east and southeast, and the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal to its south and southwest.

Myanmar is also endowed with renewable energy; it has the highest solar power potential compared to other countries of the Great Mekong Subregion.


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Country in Southeast Asia, at the eastern edge of mainland Southeast Asia, with an area of 311699 km2 and population of 96 million, making it the world's fifteenth-most populous country.

Country in Southeast Asia, at the eastern edge of mainland Southeast Asia, with an area of 311699 km2 and population of 96 million, making it the world's fifteenth-most populous country.

A Đông Sơn bronze drum, c. 800 BC
Vietnam's territories around 1838
The Grand Palais built for the 1902–1903 world's fair, when Hanoi was French Indochina's capital
Partition of French Indochina after the 1954 Geneva Conference
Three US Fairchild UC-123B aircraft spraying Agent Orange during the Operation Ranch Hand as part of a herbicidal warfare operation depriving the food and vegetation cover of the Việt Cộng, c. 1962–1971
Nature attractions in Vietnam, clockwise from top: Hạ Long Bay, Yến River and Bản-Giốc Waterfalls
Hoàng Liên Sơn mountain range, the range that includes Fansipan which is the highest summit on the Indochinese Peninsula.
Köppen climate classification map of Vietnam.
Nha Trang, a popular beach destination has a tropical savanna climate.
Native species in Vietnam, clockwise from top-right: crested argus, a peafowl, red-shanked douc, Indochinese leopard, saola.
Sa Pa mountain hills with agricultural activities
The National Assembly of Vietnam building in Hanoi
Examples of the Vietnam People's Armed Forces weaponry assets. Clockwise from top right: T-54B tank, Sukhoi Su-27UBK fighter aircraft, Vietnam Coast Guard Hamilton-class cutter, and Vietnam People's Army chemical corps with Type 56.
A Communist Party propaganda poster in Hanoi
Historical GDP per capita development of Vietnam
Tree map showing Vietnam's exports
Vietnam's tallest skyscraper, the Landmark 81 located in Bình Thạnh, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
Terraced rice fields in Sa Pa
A Vietnamese-made TOPIO 3.0 humanoid ping-pong-playing robot displayed during the 2009 International Robot Exhibition (IREX) in Tokyo.
Vietnamese science students working on an experiment in their university lab.
Hội An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a major tourist destination.
HCMC–LT–DG section of the North–South Expressway.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the busiest airport in the country.
The port of Hai Phong is one of the largest and busiest container ports in Vietnam.
Sơn La Dam in northern Vietnam, the largest hydroelectric dam in Southeast Asia.
In rural areas of Vietnam, piped water systems are operated by a wide variety of institutions including a national organisation, people committees (local government), community groups, co-operatives and private companies.
Development of life expectancy in Vietnam since 1950
Vietnam population pyramid in 2019
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
Urbanisation in west Hanoi
Vietnamese calligraphy in Latin alphabet.
Vietnamese traditional white school uniform for girls in the country, the áo dài with the addition of nón lá, a conical hat.
Vietnamese dragon on Emperor Khải Định's c. 1917 scroll in British Library collection.
Ca trù trio performance in northern Vietnam
Some of the notable Vietnamese cuisine, clockwise from top-right: phở noodle, chè thái fruit dessert, chả giò spring roll and bánh mì sandwich.
Vietnam Television (VTV), the main state television station
Special Tết decoration in the country seen during the holiday
Mỹ Đình National Stadium in Hanoi.

Vietnam borders China to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west, and shares maritime borders with Thailand through the Gulf of Thailand, and the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia through the South China Sea.

The Ba Bể Lake and Mekong River are the largest lake and longest river in the country.


Greater Mekong Subregion

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Mekong River sunrise, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The Mekong River, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand (more images)

The Greater Mekong Subregion, (GMS) or just Greater Mekong, is a trans-national region of the Mekong River basin in Southeast Asia.

It came into being with the launch of a development program in 1992 by the Asian Development Bank that brought together the six Asian countries of Cambodia, China (specifically Yunnan Province and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and Vietnam.

Khmer Empire

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Term used by historians to refer to Cambodia from the 9th to the 15th centuries, when the nation was a Hindu-Buddhist empire in Southeast Asia.

Term used by historians to refer to Cambodia from the 9th to the 15th centuries, when the nation was a Hindu-Buddhist empire in Southeast Asia.

Expansion of the Khmer Empire, 802-1203
Archers mounted on elephants
The Khmer Empire around 900 CE
The pyramid of Koh Ker. Koh Ker was briefly the capital of the Khmer Empire
The Khmer Empire at its height of territorial expansion in 1203 CE after the conquest of Champa
11th-century Cambodian sculpture of the Buddha
Seated Buddha from the 12th century
A satellite image of Angkor, the dried East Baray suggests the environmental changes in the region
Reconstruction of Prasat Bayon, the center of Angkor Thom.
Khmer market on Bayon
Women of the royal court
A naval battle against Cham, Bayon
Bas-relief depicting home life, Bayon
Bas-relief depicting childbirth, Bayon
A bas-relief depicting Khmer naval soldiers using bow and arrows. Located at the Bayon(12th/13th century)
Helmets, weapons and armory of the Khmer Empire's military as depicted at Angkor Wat. Depicted from French explorer Henri Mouhot's book.
Cockfighting on Bayon
A bas-relief depicting people playing a chess-like game
Vishnu, Baphuon style
The Khmer Empire's bridge of Spean Praptos, a corbel bridge in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.
Phimai, the site of an ancient Khmer city of Vimayapura
Khmer soldier on the left fights against his Cham rival on the right. The Cham of Champa were the main rivals of the Khmer Empire. At the bas-reliefs in the Bayon temple, the Cham are always seen wearing helmets in the shape of Magnolia champaca flower.
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{{center|Preah Khan}}
{{center|Ta Keo}}
{{center|Chau Say Tevoda}}
{{center|Banteay Samré}}
{{center|Terrace of the Elephants}}
{{center|Phanom Rung}}
{{center|Prasat Phimai}}
{{center|Prang Sam Yot}}
{{center|Prasat Sikhoraphum}}
{{center|Prasat Muang Tam}}
{{center|Prasat Muang Singh}}
{{center|Sdok Kok Thom}}
{{center|Vat Phou}}

At that time, Sailendras allegedly ruled over Java, Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula and parts of Cambodia, around the Mekong delta.

His father-in-law, the King of Cambodia, gave him a Khmer army to create a buffer state in what is now Laos.

Luang Prabang

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View of Luang Prabang, 1897
Market in Luang Prabang, pre-1901
Damage caused by a communist ground attack on Luang Prabang airfield, 1967
Statue of Sisavang Vong, King of Luang Phrabang 1904–46, King of Laos 1946–59
A riverboat and marchers in the Lao New Year parade in Luang Prabang
O-lam, the most popular dish in Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang International Airport
Monks collecting alms at dawn
Buddhist Temple at Haw Kham (Royal Palace) complex
Royal Palace
Primary school
Luang Prabang night market
Buddha images at Vat Visounarath
Boats on the Mekong
Pak Ou Caves
Landscape with a wooden footbridge crossing the Nam Khan river, where two workers are working at the consolidation of this structure, holding a big beam during the monsoon
Wat Nong Sikhounmuang

Luang Phabang, (Lao: ຫລວງພະບາງ/ຫຼວງພະບາງ) or Louangphabang (pronounced ), commonly transliterated into Western languages from the pre-1975 Lao spelling ຫຼວງພຣະບາງ (ຣ = silent r) as Luang Prabang, literally meaning "Royal Buddha Image", is a city in north central Laos, consisting of 58 adjacent villages, of which 33 comprise the UNESCO Town Of Luang Prabang World Heritage Site.

The centre of the city consists of four main roads and is located on a peninsula at the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong River.

Khmer people

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Khmer people (ជនជាតិខ្មែរ, ) are a Southeast Asian ethnic group native to Cambodia.

Khmer people (ជនជាតិខ្មែរ, ) are a Southeast Asian ethnic group native to Cambodia.

A map of ethnic groups in Cambodia.
Preah Thong and Neang Neak are the national personification of Cambodia. They represent the symbolic birth of Cambodia’s civilization, culture and traditions.
Ancient Khmer script from the Chenla era.
Map of South-east Asia c. 900 AD, showing the Khmer Empire in red.
Angkor Wat in the 1900s.
Upper class Khmer ladies in the 1800s.
Court ladies of King Sisowath I, late 1800s.
Khmer dancers at Angkor Wat, 1920s.
Pchum Ben, also known as Ancestors Day
Khmer groom and bride
Khmer New Year celebration
Khmer elder washing Buddha statues
Khmer trot dance
Khmer traditional dancers
Young Khmer children
Group of young Khmer girls
Group of Khmers at a village meeting

They speak the Khmer language, which is part of the larger Austroasiatic-language family found in parts of Southeast Asia (including Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia), parts of central, eastern, and northeastern India, parts of Bangladesh in South Asia, in parts of Southern China and numerous islands in the Indian Ocean.

That is to say the Cambodians have historically been a lowland people who lived close to one of the tributaries of the Mekong River.