STS087-768-084 Mekong River, Laos November 1997 The southerly draining Mekong River has formed a series of complex, multi-braided stream channels as the river crosses the Laos-Cambodia border (middle left) in southwest Laos. The muddy-looking Mekong has developed a series of paralleling stream channels to accommodate the abundance of water that flows through this river basin during the annual wet summer monsoons that Southeast Asia experiences. The lighter-colored speckled-looking landscape adjacent to the river shows a flooded rural countryside. The Laotian city of Muang Khong is located along the east bank of the Mekong River (slightly below and left of center). Sections of a north-south aligned highway (thin, light-colored lines) are visible along the east side of the river. The dark area along the right edge of the image (looks like a shadow) is caused by the edge of the Space Shuttle's window obscuring part of the scene.