Which countries are included in Southeast Asia?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia, located to the south of China, to the east of India, and to the north of Australia. It is a region of diverse cultures and religions, with a rich history and a vibrant present. Southeast Asia is also known for its natural beauty, with stunning landscapes, beaches, and tropical forests.

The geographical boundaries of Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is defined by its geography, which includes the mainland and the archipelagos. The mainland is composed of Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, while the archipelagos are Indonesia and the Philippines. The region is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east, and it includes some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and vital trade routes.

Countries included in mainland Southeast Asia

Mainland Southeast Asia includes five countries: Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. These countries share similar cultural and historical roots and form a distinct geographical and political subregion within Southeast Asia.

Myanmar – the first country on the list

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia that borders Thailand, Laos, China, India, and Bangladesh. It is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia with a population of over 54 million people. Myanmar is known for its diverse ethnic groups, including the Bamar, Shan, Karen, Rakhine, and Kachin. It is also home to some of the world’s most iconic landmarks, such as the ancient city of Bagan and the Shwedagon Pagoda.

Thailand – the land of smiles

Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia that is known for its stunning beaches, delicious cuisine, and friendly people. It is a popular destination for tourists, with over 38 million visitors in 2018 alone. Thailand is also known for its rich cultural heritage, with ancient temples, palaces, and ruins scattered throughout the country.

Cambodia – land of the Khmer civilization

Cambodia is a country in Southeast Asia that is home to the famous Angkor Wat temple complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also known for its vibrant culture, with traditional dances, music, and festivals showcasing the country’s rich history. Cambodia was once the center of the powerful Khmer civilization, and its legacy can still be seen in the country’s architecture and art.

Laos – the land of a million elephants

Laos is a country in Southeast Asia that is known for its stunning natural beauty, including the Mekong River, waterfalls, and caves. It is also home to some of the region’s most important Buddhist temples and monasteries. Laos was once known as the "land of a million elephants," and the country’s national symbol is an elephant.

Vietnam – a country of diverse landscapes

Vietnam is a country in Southeast Asia that is known for its diverse landscapes, from the mountains of the north to the beaches of the south. It is also home to some of the region’s most important historical sites, including the ancient city of Hue and the Cu Chi tunnels. Vietnam is also famous for its cuisine, which is considered one of the world’s best.

Malaysia – a melting pot of cultures

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia that is known for its diverse cultures, including Malay, Chinese, Indian, and indigenous tribes. It is a melting pot of religions, languages, and traditions, making it one of the most vibrant countries in the region. Malaysia is also home to some of the world’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Petronas Twin Towers and the Batu Caves.

Singapore – the city-state of Southeast Asia

Singapore is a city-state in Southeast Asia that is known for its modernity, cleanliness, and efficiency. It is one of the most prosperous countries in the region, with a high standard of living and a diverse economy. Singapore is also home to some of the world’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Marina Bay Sands and the Gardens by the Bay.

Indonesia – the largest archipelago in the world

Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia that is made up of over 17,000 islands, making it the largest archipelago in the world. It is also the fourth most populous country in the world, with over 270 million people. Indonesia is known for its diverse cultures, languages, and traditions, as well as its stunning natural beauty, including volcanoes, beaches, and rainforests.

The Philippines – an archipelago of over 7,000 islands

The Philippines is an archipelago in Southeast Asia that is made up of over 7,000 islands. It is known for its stunning beaches, coral reefs, and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular destination for tourists. The Philippines is also a melting pot of cultures, with influences from Malay, Chinese, Spanish, and American traditions.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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