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Land and Resources, Rivers and Lakes

Khone, hydroelectric dams, river forms, Mekong River, east bank

Historically the Mekong River lay at the center of the Lao world. People living on both of its banks shared a common language and culture, and the river served as the major axis of communication for these societies. Now the river forms most of Laosís western border, separating the Lao people on the east bank from their neighbors in Myanmar and Thailand on the west bank. Nevertheless, the river still serves as an important artery of transportation and communication. The river is navigable for most of its course in Laos, from where it emerges at the gorges of southern China to where it pours over the Khone Falls into Cambodia. Two series of rapids divide the middle Mekong into three reaches, each of which corresponds to a distinct region: the area centering on Louangphrabang in the north; the area around Vientiane and Muang Khammouan (Thakhaek) in the center; and the region around Champasak in the south. The Mekong is fed by a series of swift-flowing tributaries draining the mountains in the north and east of the country. Laos has only a few small lakes and natural wetlands, but hydroelectric dams form huge artificial lakes. A notable example is the Nam Ngum dam near Vientiane.



Article key phrases:

Khone, hydroelectric dams, river forms, Mekong River, east bank, notable example, Champasak, Vientiane, small lakes, west bank, common language, mountains, neighbors, Cambodia, Myanmar, banks, Thailand, reaches, societies, Lao people, course, country, culture

 
 

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