Information on the length of the Mekong River vary between 4350 km and 4909 km. He takes depending on the configuration about the tenth place among the longest rivers of the earth one. The total catchment area of the Mekong comprises 800,000 square kilometers, so it is the lifeline of continental Southeast Asia to characterize.
The source of the Mekong is not yet determined exactly, since it consists of several confluences in some hard to reach areas of the highlands of Tibet is created. Chinese researchers give as the origin, an approximately 5,200 m high lying area near the village Ganasongdou on the northern slope of the Dangla Mountains in Circle Zadoi of the autonomous area Yushu in the Chinese province of Qinghai on. An earlier by the French anthropologist and documentary filmmaker Michel Peissel guided expedition located the source of the river further west on Rupsa-La Pass at 4975 m altitude.
Following the Tibetan highlands, the Mekong flows through the Chinese province of Yunnan . About half of its total length is within Chinese territory. At an altitude of 500 meters, he left for China and is 200 km to the border between Myanmar and Laos . At the end of this range of flows Ruak River into the Mekong, making the triangle ( Golden Triangle ) between Laos, Myanmar and Thailand will be formed. This passage marks the transition from the upper to the lower Mekong.