Cochin-China consists chiefly of an immense plain, flat and monotonous, traversed by the Mekong and extending from Ha-Tien in the west to Baria in the east, and from Bien-Hoa in the north-east to the southern point of the peninsula of Ca-Mau in the south-west.
The Mekong divides at Pnom-Penh in Cambodia into two arms, the Fleuve superieur and the Fleuve inferieur, which, pursuing a course roughly parallel from northwest to south-east, empty into the China Sea by means of the numerous channels of its extensive delta.
From June to October the inundations of the Mekong cover most of the country, portions of which, notably the Plaine des Jones in the north and a large tract of the peninsula of Ca-Mau, are little else than marshes.
Canals from Chau-Doc to Ha-Tien and from Long Xuyen to Rach-Gia join the Mekong with the Gulf of Siam.
Snowy to about 27° N., flow the great rivers of the Indo-Chinese peninsula, the Mekong, the Menam, the Salween, and the Irrawaddy, the valleys of which form the main portions of the states of CochinChina (including Tongking and Cambodia), of Siam (including Laos) and of Burma.
Woodthorpe was followed into Burmese fields by many others; and amongst the earliest travellers to those mysterious mountains which hide the sources of the Irrawaddy, the Salween and the Mekong, was Prince Henri d'Orleans Burma was rapidly brought under survey; Siam was already in the 'mapmaking hands of James M'Carthy, whilst Curzon and Warrington Smyth added much to our knowledge of its picturesque coast districts.
We know now for certain that the great Tsanpo of Tibet and the Brahmaputra are one and the same river; that north of the point where the great countermarch of that river from east to west is effected are to be found the sources of the Salween, the Mekong, the Yang-tsze-kiang and the Hwang-ho, or Yellow river, in order, from west to east; and that south of it, thrust in between the extreme eastern edge of the Brahmaputra basin 94 23" 94°48' 94°49' 94° 58' and the Salween, rise the dual sources of the Irrawaddy.
From the water-divide which separates the most eastern affluent of the Brahmaputra, eastwards to the deep gorges which enclose the most westerly branch of the upper Yang-tsze-kiang (here running from north to south), is a short space of loo m.; and within that space two mighty rivers, the Salween and the Mekong, send down their torrents to Burma and Siam.
The Mekong river which limits British interests in Burma limits also those Boundary of France in Tongking.
The Burmese boundary leaves the Mekong to run westwards towards the Salween, and thereafter following the eastern watershed of the Salween basin it divides the Lower Burma provinces from Siam.
The whole of Cambodia lies in the basin of the lower Mekong, which, entering this territory on the north, flows south for some distance, then inclines south-west as far as Pnom-penh, where it spreads into a delta and resumes a southerly course.
Rivers and innumerable torrents, and at flood-time serves as a reservoir for the Mekong, with which it is connected by a channel some 70 m.
In June the waters of the Mekong, swollen by the rains and the melting of the Tibetan snows, rise to a height of 40 to 45 ft.
The region to the east of the Mekong is traversed by spurs of the mountains of Annam and by affluents of the Mekong, the most important of these being the Se-khong and the Tonle-srepok, which unite to flow into the Mekong at Stung-treng.
The crocodile is found in the Mekong, and there are many varieties of reptiles, some of them venomous.
Many of them live on the borders of the Mekong and the great lake, in huts built upon piles or floating rafts.
Pnom-Penh communicates regularly by the steamers of the "Messageries Fluviales" by way of the Mekong with Saigon.
As early as the 12th century B.C., Chinese chronicles, which are almost the only source for the history of Cambodia till the 5th century A.D., mention a region called Fou-nan, in later times appearing under the name of Tchin-la; embracing the basin of the Menam, it extended eastwards to the Mekong and may be considered approximately coextensive with the Khmer kingdom.
MEKONG, or ME NAM KONG (pronounced Kawng), sometimes known as the Cambodia River, the great river of Indo-China, having its origin in the Tibetan highlands.
Of its course the Lantsan Kiang, or, as it soon becomes known among the Thai peoples inhabiting its rugged valley, the Mekong, is very little known to us.
Under the provisions of the Anglo-French agreement of January 1896, from the Chinese frontier southwards to the mouth of the Nam Hok the Mekong forms the frontier between the British Shan States on the west and the territories acquired from Siam by France in 1893.
The Lao Pong Kao, or eastern branch, appear to have migrated southwards by the more easterly route of the Nam-u and the Mekong valley.
They formed important settlements at various points on the Mekong, notably Luang Prabang, Wieng Chan (Vien-Tiane) Ubon and Bassac; and, heading inland as far as Korat on the one side and the Annamite watershed in the east, they drove out the less civilized Kha peoples, and even the Cambodians, as the Lao Pong Dam did on the west.
Of all the khiao the most powerful was the prince of Ubon (15° N., 105° E.), whose jurisdiction extended nearly from Bassac on the Mekong northwards to the great southern bend of that river.
Closely allied with the Lao are a number of tribes found throughout the hill regions of the upper Mekong, between Yunnan and Kwangsi in China and the upper waters of the Menam in Siam.
12; Archer, Report on a Journey in the Mekong Valley; Prince Henri d'Orleans, Around Tonkin and Siam (1894); M`Carthy, Report on a Survey in Siam (1894); Bulletins, Paris Geographical Society: H.
The province lies to the east of the Bay of Bengal, and covers a range of country extending from the Pakchan river in 9° 55' north latitude to the Naga and Chingpaw, or Kachin hills, lying roughly between the 27th and 28th degrees of north latitude; and from the Bay of Bengal on the west to the Mekong river, the boundary of the dependent Shan States on the east, that is to say, roughly, between the 92nd and tooth degrees of east longitude.
(f) The Upper Middle Mekong or Wa Palaung group.
Corner and separate the waters of the Yangtsze-kiang, the Mekong and the Salween.
Boundary of the province; the Mekong, which traverses the province from N.
The river Salween and its tributary the Thoung Yin form the frontier between the Siam and Burma for some distance, draining a part of northern Siam, while in the far north-east, for a few miles below Chieng Sen, the Mekong does the same.
In area, is encircled by well-defined boundaries, the great river Mekong dividing it clearly from French Laos on the N.
The right bank of the Mekong being closely flanked by an almost continuous hill range, the whole of this part of Siam is practically a huge basin, the bottom of which is a plain lying from 200 to 300 ft.
The river flows eastward and falls into the Mekong at 15° 20' N.
A good way farther north two small rivers, the Nam Kum and the Nam Song Kram, also tributaries of the Mekong, drain a small part of eastern Siam.
Farther south, at VienTiane, the Mekong passes through a gorge cut in sandstone, arkose and schists with a similar strike; while at Lakhon there are steeply inclined limestones which strike north-west.
In eastern Siam the only towns of importance are Korat and Ubon, capitals of divisions, and Nong Kai, an ancient place on the Mekong river.
The southward movement of the Lao-Tai family from their original seats in south-west China is of very ancient date, the Lao states of Luang Prabang and Wieng Chan on the Mekong having been founded at least two thousand years ago.
A Sukhotai inscription of about 1284 states that the dominions of King Rama Kamheng extended across the country from the Mekong to Pechaburi, and thence down the Gulf of Siam to Ligore; and the Malay annals say that the Siamese had penetrated to the extremity of the peninsula before the first Malay colony from Menangkabu founded Singapore, i.e.
France, while assuring the British Government that .she laid no claim to the province of Luang Prabang, which was situated on both banks of the upper Mekong, roughly between the 18th and 10th parallels, claimed that farther south the Mekong formed the true boundary between Siam and Annam, and demanded the evacuation of certain Siamese posts east of the river.
In consequence of the resistance with which they had met, the French now greatly .increased their demands, insisting on the Siamese giving up all territory east of the Mekong, including about half of Luang Prabang, on the payment of an indemnity and on the permanent withdrawal of all troops and police to a distance of 25 kilometres from the right bank of the Mekong.
With the growth of confidence negotiations with France were reopened, and, after long discussion, the treaty of 1893 was set aside and Chantabun evacuated in return for the cession of the provinces of Bassac, Melupre, and the remainder of Luang Prabang, all on the right bank of the Mekong, and of the maritime district of Krat.
Archer, Journey in the Mekong Valley (1892); C. Bock, Temples and Elephants; Sir John Bowring, The Kingdom and People of Siam (London, 1857); J.
The lake region extends from the Pangong t'so (t'so =lake) in Ladak, near the source of the Indus, to the sources of the Salween, the Mekong and the Yangtse.
Gyama nyul chu), the Yangtsze (Dre chu), the Mekong (Nya-lung chu), and the Yellow River (Ma chu).
In 1898 a Dutch missionary in China named Rijnhart started with his wife from the vicinity of Koko Nor, with the intention of reaching Lhasa, but at the upper Mekong, to the east-north-east of the city, he was murdered, and 1898.
Nevertheless he consolidated French influence in Annam and Cambodia, and secured a large accession of territory on the Mekong river from the kingdom of Siam.
It is certainly no less navigable than the Middle Mekong or the Yangtsze-kiang above I-chang.