Kok River

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

Kok River
Kok River in Amphoe Mae Ai.jpg
Kok River, Mae Ai District, Chiang Mai Province
Topography of northern Thailand.png
Map of the Thai highlands
Native nameน้ำแม่กก
CountryBurma, Thailand
StateShan State, Chiang Mai Province, Chiang Rai Province
DistrictMae Ai, Mueang Chiang Rai, Mae Chan, Wiang Chai, Chiang Saen
CityChiang Rai city
Physical characteristics
 • locationDaen Lao Range, Shan State, Burma
MouthMekong River
 • location
Sop Kok, Wiang Chai, Chiang Rai Province
 • 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
 • elevation
358 m (1,175 ft)
Length285 km (177 mi)
Basin size10,875 km2 (4,199 sq mi)
 • locationChiang Rai city
 • average120 m3/s (4,200 cu ft/s)
 • minimum5 m3/s (180 cu ft/s)
 • maximum848 m3/s (29,900 cu ft/s)
 • locationSob Kok
 • average170 m3/s (6,000 cu ft/s)
Basin features
 • rightFang, Lao River


The river originates in the Daen Lao Range, Shan State, Myanmar. It flows eastwards across the Myanmar–Thailand border, crossing 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 Tha Ton and Chiang Rai.

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 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]


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 GearEdit

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

Following production of the episode, the bridge was taken down, despite the producers and crew wanting it to stay in use for the locals.


  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. Archived from the original on 2014-03-17. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Top Gear: Trucking in Burma". AFF. 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014.

External linksEdit