Kok River

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Kok River (น้ำแม่กก)
Kok River in Amphoe Mae Ai.jpg
The Kok River in Amphoe Mae Ai, Chiang Mai Province
Countries Burma, Thailand
States Shan State, Chiang Mai Province, Chiang Rai Province
Districts Mae Ai, Mueang Chiang Rai, Mae Chan, Wiang Chai, Chiang Saen
 - right Fang, Lao River
City Chiang Rai city
 - location Daen Lao Range, Shan State, Burma
Mouth Mekong River
 - location Sop Kok, Wiang Chai, Chiang Rai Province
 - elevation 358 m (1,175 ft)
 - coordinates 20°14′39″N 100°8′19″E / 20.24417°N 100.13861°E / 20.24417; 100.13861Coordinates: 20°14′39″N 100°8′19″E / 20.24417°N 100.13861°E / 20.24417; 100.13861
Length 285 km (177 mi)
Basin 10,875 km2 (4,199 sq mi)
Discharge for Chiang Rai city
 - average 120 m3/s (4,238 cu ft/s)
 - max 848 m3/s (29,947 cu ft/s)
 - min 5 m3/s (177 cu ft/s)
Topography of northern Thailand.png
Map of the Thai highlands

The Kok River (Thai: น้ำแม่กก, RTGSNam Mae Kok, pronounced [náːm mɛ̂ː kòk]) flows in Southeast Asia.


The river originates in the Daen Lao Range, Shan State, Burma. It flows eastwards across the Myanmar-Thailand border, coming in at the Thai border town of Tha Ton (Thai: ท่าตอน, also spelled Thaton ). It flows to Mae Ai district, Chiang Mai Province. Most of its length in Thailand is in Chiang Rai Province where it passes Mueang Chiang Rai District after which it bends northeastwards and flows through Mae Chan, Wiang Chai and Chiang Saen districts.

It is a wide, shallow, and slow-moving river. There is about 600 metres (2,000 ft) of small-scale whitewater halfway between the towns of Taton and Chiang Rai. Alongside the Mae Kok river, an hour's boat ride upstream from Chiang Rai town, is a touristy "elephant camp" on its north shore.

For several kilometres downriver from Chiang Rai, the river becomes a lake, until it reaches the irrigation dam near Wiang Chai.

The Kok River is a tributary of the Mekong River, with its mouth at Sop Kok in Chiang Saen district, opposite the Lao border.[1]

Phahonyothin Road crosses this river near Chiang Rai City. Altogether, there are five bridges crossing the Mae Kok river near Chiang Rai city.


The main tributaries of the Kok River are the Fang and the Lao River, the latter having its source in the Phi Pan Nam Range.[2]

Boating and rafting[edit]

Small long-tail boats ply the Mae Kok between the towns of Taton and Chiang Rai.


There is a small dam with 11 gates which provides irrigation for rice fields east of Chiang Rai. The dam is 11 kilometres (7 mi) east of the Hwy 1 bridge. It turns the river into a lake, several miles long, for eight months of the year. Additionally, there is a dam planned on the Burmese side of where the river flows into Thailand, about 32 kilometres (20 mi) upstream from the border.

Top Gear[edit]

In October 2013 [3][4] the cast and crew of the British television show Top Gear constructed a bridge over the river Kok as part of their Burma Special. The bridge was originally planned to be built over the River Kwai, but the River Fang which flows into the River Kok was chosen "accidentally". The show aired in two parts on 9 March 2014 and 16 March 2014.


  1. ^ Tue Kell Nielsen, Kok River Basin, North Thailand
  2. ^ Kok River Basin Archived 2016-01-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Khiri Travel and Asia Film Fixers Make Top Gear Myanmar a Reality". Khiri Travel. 13 March 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Top Gear: Trucking in Burma". AFF. 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 

External links[edit]