Read the article and name the countries the Mekong River runs through.
The Mekong River
The Mekong River, which is over 4,000 kilometres long, is the world's twelfth longest river and the Southeast Asia's longest transboundary river. The Mekong started round 17 million years ago due to increased erosion from monsoon precipitation. Its original name is Mae Nam Khong. In Lao language, Mae Nam (Mother of Waters) means large rivers, and Khong is a proper name.
From Tibetan Plateau the Mekong runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Viet Nam. It not only is rich in plant and fish diversity but also provides very important transport links in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Viet Nam. The Mekong River plays an important role in the life of the people in Southeast Asia, providing a means for people to access natural resources, social facilities such as schools, health services. Passenger transport along the river makes a nice contribution to tourism development.
The Mekong River is also a major trade route in Southeast Asia. A lot of cargo is transported along this river every day, and the cargo ranges from petroleum, coal to fertilisers and farming products. However, though the river brings about great income and different job opportunities, the navigation potential of this river is not fully exploited. The geographical features greatly vary along its length. For instance, the upper part of this river in Laos contains a number of physical obstacles and turbulent sections and only experienced skippers and boats that are small in size can safely navigate this part of the river. Improvements are expected to make the river passable for much larger cargo boats, which will develop both regional and international exchange of goods.