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Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions that are south of China, south-east of the Indian subcontinent and north-west of Australia. Southeast Asia is bordered to the north by
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
, to the west by
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri La ...

South Asia
and the
Bay of Bengal The Bay of Bengal is the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the water on Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia to the north, Africa to th ...

Bay of Bengal
, to the east by
Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Eart ...

Oceania
and the Pacific Ocean, and to the south by Australia and the
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Another definition is "any of the large ...

Indian Ocean
. Apart from the
British Indian Ocean Territory The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) is a British overseas territory of the United Kingdom situated in the Indian Ocean halfway between Tanzania and Indonesia. The territory comprises the seven atolls of the Chagos Archipelago with over ...

British Indian Ocean Territory
and two out of 26
atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, is a ring-shaped coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystems, ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of Colony (biology), colonies of coral polyp (zoology) ...

atoll
s of
Maldives Maldives (, ; dv, ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ, translit=Dhivehi Raajje IPA: ), officially the Republic of Maldives, is an archipelagic country in the Indian subcontinent of Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located prima ...

Maldives
in South Asia, Southeast Asia is the only other subregion of Asia that lies partly within the
Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (hemisphere Hemisphere may refer to: * A half of a sphere As half of the Earth * A hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere of Earth ** Northern Hemisphere ** Southern Hemisphere ** Eastern Hemisphere ** Western He ...

Southern Hemisphere
. The majority of the subregion is still in the Northern Hemisphere.
East Timor East Timor () or Timor-Leste (; tet, Timór Lorosa'e), officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste ( pt, República Democrática de Timor-Leste, tet, Repúblika Demokrátika Timór-Leste), is an island country in Southeast Asia. It co ...

East Timor
and the southern portion of
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
are the only parts that are south of the
Equator The Equator is a circle of latitude, about in circumference, that divides Earth into the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Southern Hemisphere, Southern hemispheres. It is an imaginary line located at 0 degrees latitude, halfway between the N ...

Equator
. In contemporary definition, Southeast Asia consists of two geographic regions: #
Mainland Southeast Asia Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula or Indochina, is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is ...

Mainland Southeast Asia
, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula and historically as ''Indochina'', comprising
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...

Cambodia
,
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Vientiane , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = Lao language, Lao , recognised_languages = , languages_type = Spoken langua ...

Laos
,
Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, John ...

Myanmar
,
Peninsular Malaysia Peninsular Malaysia (Malay language, Malay: ''Semenanjung Malaysia''), also known as West Malaysia or the Malaysian Peninsula, formerly known as Malaya (disambiguation), Malaya, is the part of Malaysia which occupies the southern half of the Ma ...
,
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
, and
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
. #
Maritime Southeast Asia Maritime Southeast Asia comprises the countries of Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore. Maritime Southeast Asia is sometimes also referred to as Island Southeast Asia, Insular Southeast Asia ...
, also known as the
Malay Archipelago The Malay Archipelago ( ceb, Kapupud-ang Malay, ms, Kepulauan Melayu, tgl, Kapuluang Malay, jv, Nusantara) is the archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of ...

Malay Archipelago
and historically as ''
Nusantara ''Nusantara'' is the Indonesian name of Maritime Southeast Asia (or parts of it). It is an Old Javanese Kawi or Old Javanese is the oldest attested phase of the Javanese language. It was spoken in the eastern part of what is now Central Ja ...
'', comprising the
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a union territory of India consisting of 572 islands, of which 38 are inhabited, at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The territory is about north of Aceh in Indonesia and separated from Thai ...

Andaman and Nicobar Islands
(India),
Brunei Brunei ( ; ), officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: ), is a sovereign state, country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coa ...

Brunei
,
Christmas Island Christmas Island, officially known as the Territory of Christmas Island, is an Australian external territory comprising the island of the same name. It is located in the Indian Ocean, around south of Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗ ...

Christmas Island
(Australia), the
Cocos (Keeling) Islands ) , anthem = , song_type = , song = , image_map = Australia on the globe (Cocos (Keeling) Islands special) (Southeast Asia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands , map_caption = Location of the Cocos (Keelin ...
(Australia),
East Malaysia East Malaysia (), also known as Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan () or Malaysian Borneo, is the part of Malaysia on and near the island of Borneo, the world's third largest island. It consists of the states and federal territories of Malaysia, Malay ...
,
East Timor East Timor () or Timor-Leste (; tet, Timór Lorosa'e), officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste ( pt, República Democrática de Timor-Leste, tet, Repúblika Demokrátika Timór-Leste), is an island country in Southeast Asia. It co ...

East Timor
,
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
, the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
, and
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
. The region lies near the intersection of geological plates, with both heavy seismic and volcanic activities. The
Sunda Plate The Sunda Plate is a minor tectonic plate straddling the Equator in the Eastern Hemisphere 250px, Eastern Hemisphere The Eastern Hemisphere is a geographical term for the half of Earth which is east of the prime meridian A prime meridia ...
is the main plate of the region, featuring almost all Southeast Asian countries except
Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, John ...

Myanmar
, northern
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
, northern Laos, northern
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
, and northern
Luzon Luzon (; ) is the largest and most populous List of islands in the Philippines, island in the Philippines. It is ranked List of islands by area, 15th largest in the world by land area. Located in the northern portion of the archipelago, it is the ...
of the Philippines. The mountain ranges in Myanmar, Thailand, and
Peninsular Malaysia Peninsular Malaysia (Malay language, Malay: ''Semenanjung Malaysia''), also known as West Malaysia or the Malaysian Peninsula, formerly known as Malaya (disambiguation), Malaya, is the part of Malaysia which occupies the southern half of the Ma ...
are part of the
Alpide belt The Alpide belt or Alpine-Himalayan orogenic belt,K.M. Storetvedt, K. M., ''The Tethys Sea and the Alpine-Himalayan orogenic belt; mega-elements in a new global tectonic system,'' Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, Volume 62, Issues 1– ...

Alpide belt
, while the islands of the Philippines are part of the Pacific
Ring of Fire The Ring of Fire (also known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Rim of Fire, the Girdle of Fire or the Circum-Pacific belt) is a region around much of the rim of the Pacific Ocean where many Types of volcanic eruptions, volcanic eruptions and e ...
. Both seismic belts meet in Indonesia, causing the region to have relatively high occurrences of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. It covers about , which is 10.5% of Asia or 3% of Earth's total land area. Its total population is more than million, about 8.5% of the world's population. It is the third most populous geographical region in Asia after South Asia and East Asia. The region is culturally and ethnically diverse, with hundreds of languages spoken by different ethnic groups. Ten countries in the region are members of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN; ( , ) officially the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is an economic union comprising 10 member states in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southe ...

Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN), a
regional organization and Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is ...
established for economic, political, military, educational and cultural integration amongst its members.


Definitions

The region, together with part of South Asia, was well known by Europeans as the
East Indies 300px, The East Indies (or simply the Indies), is a term used in historical narratives of the Age of Discovery The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration (sometimes also, particularly regionally, Age of Contact or Contact Period), ...
or simply the Indies until the 20th century. Chinese sources referred the region as ''
Nanyang Nanyang is the romanization of two common Chinese place names. It may refer to: Written as 南洋 (Southern Ocean) * Nanyang (region), a Chinese term denoting the Southeast Asian lands surrounding the South China Sea ;China * Nanyang Fleet, Qing d ...
'' (""), which literally means the "Southern Ocean". The mainland section of Southeast Asia was referred to as
Indochina Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula or Indochina, is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indochina
by European geographers due to its location between China and the Indian subcontinent and its having cultural influences from both neighboring regions. In the 20th century, however, the term became more restricted to territories of the former
French Indochina French Indochina (previously spelled as French Indo-China; french: Indochine française; vi, Đông Dương thuộc Pháp, , lit. 'East Ocean under French Control; km, សហភាពឥណ្ឌូចិន), officially known as the Indochi ...
(Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam). The maritime section of Southeast Asia is also known as the
Malay Archipelago The Malay Archipelago ( ceb, Kapupud-ang Malay, ms, Kepulauan Melayu, tgl, Kapuluang Malay, jv, Nusantara) is the archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of ...

Malay Archipelago
, a term derived from the European concept of a
Malay race The concept of a Malay race was originally proposed by the Germany, German physician Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752–1840), and classified as a brown (racial classification), brown race. ''Malay'' is a loose term used in the late 19th century a ...
. Another term for
Maritime Southeast Asia Maritime Southeast Asia comprises the countries of Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore. Maritime Southeast Asia is sometimes also referred to as Island Southeast Asia, Insular Southeast Asia ...
is '' Insulindia'' (Indian Islands), used to describe the region between Indochina and
Australasia Australasia is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. ...

Australasia
. The term "Southeast Asia" was first used in 1839 by American pastor Howard Malcolm in his book ''Travels in South-Eastern Asia''. Malcolm only included the Mainland section and excluded the Maritime section in his definition of Southeast Asia. The term was officially used in the midst of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
by the
Allies An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alli ...
, through the formation of
South East Asia Command South East Asia Command (SEAC) was the body set up to be in overall charge of Allied An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common pu ...
(SEAC) in 1943. SEAC popularised the use of the term "Southeast Asia," although what constituted Southeast Asia was not fixed; for example, SEAC excluded the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
and a large part of
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
while including
Ceylon Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO; ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island ...

Ceylon
. However, by the late 1970s, a roughly standard usage of the term "Southeast Asia" and the territories it encompasses had emerged. Although from a cultural or linguistic perspective the definitions of "Southeast Asia" may vary, the most common definitions nowadays include the area represented by the countries (sovereign states and dependent territories) listed below. Ten of the eleven states of Southeast Asia are members of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN; ( , ) officially the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is an economic union comprising 10 member states in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southe ...

Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN), while
East Timor East Timor () or Timor-Leste (; tet, Timór Lorosa'e), officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste ( pt, República Democrática de Timor-Leste, tet, Repúblika Demokrátika Timór-Leste), is an island country in Southeast Asia. It co ...

East Timor
is an observer state.
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in Oceania ...

Papua New Guinea
has stated that it might join ASEAN, and is currently an observer. Sovereignty issues exist over some .


Political divisions


Sovereign states


Geographical divisions

Southeast Asia is geographically divided into two subregions, namely
Mainland Southeast Asia Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula or Indochina, is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is ...

Mainland Southeast Asia
(or the
Indochinese Peninsula Mainland Southeast Asia (or the Indochinese Peninsula) is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consistin ...

Indochinese Peninsula
) and
Maritime Southeast Asia Maritime Southeast Asia comprises the countries of Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore. Maritime Southeast Asia is sometimes also referred to as Island Southeast Asia, Insular Southeast Asia ...
(or the similarly defined
Malay Archipelago The Malay Archipelago ( ceb, Kapupud-ang Malay, ms, Kepulauan Melayu, tgl, Kapuluang Malay, jv, Nusantara) is the archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of ...

Malay Archipelago
) ( jv, Nusantara).
Mainland Southeast Asia Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula or Indochina, is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is ...

Mainland Southeast Asia
includes: *
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...

Cambodia
*
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Vientiane , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = Lao language, Lao , recognised_languages = , languages_type = Spoken langua ...

Laos
*
Myanmar (Burma) Myanmar (; my, မြန်မာ ) or Burma ( my, ဗမာ ), officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos a ...

Myanmar (Burma)
*
Peninsular Malaysia Peninsular Malaysia (Malay language, Malay: ''Semenanjung Malaysia''), also known as West Malaysia or the Malaysian Peninsula, formerly known as Malaya (disambiguation), Malaya, is the part of Malaysia which occupies the southern half of the Ma ...
*
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
*
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
Maritime Southeast Asia Maritime Southeast Asia comprises the countries of Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore. Maritime Southeast Asia is sometimes also referred to as Island Southeast Asia, Insular Southeast Asia ...
includes: *
Brunei Brunei ( ; ), officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: ), is a sovereign state, country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coa ...

Brunei
*
East Malaysia East Malaysia (), also known as Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan () or Malaysian Borneo, is the part of Malaysia on and near the island of Borneo, the world's third largest island. It consists of the states and federal territories of Malaysia, Malay ...
*
East Timor East Timor () or Timor-Leste (; tet, Timór Lorosa'e), officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste ( pt, República Democrática de Timor-Leste, tet, Repúblika Demokrátika Timór-Leste), is an island country in Southeast Asia. It co ...

East Timor
*
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
*
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
*
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
Although
Peninsular Malaysia Peninsular Malaysia (Malay language, Malay: ''Semenanjung Malaysia''), also known as West Malaysia or the Malaysian Peninsula, formerly known as Malaya (disambiguation), Malaya, is the part of Malaysia which occupies the southern half of the Ma ...
is geographically situated in
Mainland Southeast Asia Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula or Indochina, is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is ...

Mainland Southeast Asia
, it also shares many similar cultural and ecological affinities with surrounding islands, thus it serves as a bridge of two subregions. Geographically, the
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a union territory of India consisting of 572 islands, of which 38 are inhabited, at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The territory is about north of Aceh in Indonesia and separated from Thai ...

Andaman and Nicobar Islands
of India is also considered a part of Maritime Southeast Asia. Eastern
Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-c ...

Bangladesh
and
Northeast India Northeast India (officially North Eastern Region, NER) is the easternmost region of India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-large ...

Northeast India
have strong cultural ties with Mainland Southeast Asia and are sometimes considered transregional areas between South Asia and Southeast Asia. To the east, Hong Kong is sometimes regarded as part of Southeast Asia. Similarly,
Christmas Island Christmas Island, officially known as the Territory of Christmas Island, is an Australian external territory comprising the island of the same name. It is located in the Indian Ocean, around south of Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗ ...

Christmas Island
and the
Cocos (Keeling) Islands ) , anthem = , song_type = , song = , image_map = Australia on the globe (Cocos (Keeling) Islands special) (Southeast Asia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands , map_caption = Location of the Cocos (Keelin ...
have strong cultural ties with Maritime Southeast Asia and are sometimes considered transregional areas between Southeast Asia and Australia/Oceania. On some occasions,
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
has been considered a part of Southeast Asia because of its cultural and religious ties to Mainland Southeast Asia. The eastern half of the island of
New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign ...

New Guinea
, which is not a part of Indonesia, namely,
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in Oceania ...

Papua New Guinea
, is sometimes included as a part of Maritime Southeast Asia, and so are
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
, the
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
, and
Palau Palau (), officially the Republic of Palau ( pau, Beluu er a Belau) and historically ''Belau'', ''Palaos'' or ''Pelew'', is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, t ...

Palau
, which were all parts of the
Spanish East Indies Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_an ...
with strong cultural and linguistic ties to the region, specifically, the Philippines. East Timor and the eastern half of Indonesia (east of the
Wallace Line The Wallace Line or Wallace's Line is a faunal boundary line drawn in 1859 by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace Alfred Russel Wallace (8 January 18237 November 1913) was a British naturalist Natural history is a domain ...
in the region of
Wallacea in blue has been used to separate Wallacea into a western part pertaining to Asia Asia () is a landmass variously described as part of Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Wallacea
) are considered to be geographically associated with Oceania due to their distinctive faunal features. Geologically, the island of
New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign ...

New Guinea
and its surrounding islands are considered as parts of the
Australian continent The continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in ...
, connected via the
Sahul Shelf Geologically, the Sahul Shelf is part of the continental shelf of the Australian continent, lying off the northwest coast of mainland Australia. Etymology The name "Sahull" or "Sahoel" appeared on 17th century Dutch maps applied to a submerged ...
. Both
Christmas Island Christmas Island, officially known as the Territory of Christmas Island, is an Australian external territory comprising the island of the same name. It is located in the Indian Ocean, around south of Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗ ...

Christmas Island
and the
Cocos (Keeling) Islands ) , anthem = , song_type = , song = , image_map = Australia on the globe (Cocos (Keeling) Islands special) (Southeast Asia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands , map_caption = Location of the Cocos (Keelin ...
are located on the
Australian Plate The Australian Plate is a major tectonic plate in the eastern hemisphere, eastern and, largely, southern hemisphere, southern hemispheres. Originally a part of the ancient continent of Gondwana, Australia remained connected to Indian plate, India ...
, south of the
Java Trench The Sunda Trench, earlier known as and sometimes still indicated as the Java Trench, is an oceanic trench located in the Indian Ocean near Sumatra, formed where the Australian Plate, Australian-Capricorn Plate, Capricorn plates subduct under a pa ...
. Even though they are geographically closer to Maritime Southeast Asia than mainland Australia, these two
Australian external territories The States and Territories of Australia are the regional governments in Australia, distinct from the Australian Government, federal government and Local government in Australia, local governments. States are self-administered regions with the ...
are not geologically associated with Asia as none of them is actually on the
Sunda Plate The Sunda Plate is a minor tectonic plate straddling the Equator in the Eastern Hemisphere 250px, Eastern Hemisphere The Eastern Hemisphere is a geographical term for the half of Earth which is east of the prime meridian A prime meridia ...
. The
United Nations geoscheme The United Nations geoscheme is a system which divides 249 countries and territories in the world into 6 regional In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characte ...

United Nations geoscheme
has classified both island territories as parts of
Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Eart ...

Oceania
, under the
Australia and New Zealand Australasia is a region which comprises Australia, New Zealand, and some neighbouring islands. The term is used in a number of different contexts including geopolitically, physiogeographically, and ecologically where the term covers several sl ...
(
Australasia Australasia is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. ...

Australasia
) subregion.


History


Prehistory

The region was already inhabited by ''
Homo erectus ''Homo erectus'' (meaning "upright Body relative directions (also known as egocentric coordinates) are geometrical orientations relative to a body such as a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread s ...

Homo erectus
'' from approximately 1,500,000 years ago during the
Middle Pleistocene The Chibanian, widely known by its previous designation of Middle Pleistocene, is an Age (geology), age in the international geologic timescale or a Stage (stratigraphy), stage in chronostratigraphy, being a division of the Pleistocene Epoch withi ...
age. Distinct '''' groups, ancestral to East-Eurasian (East Asian-related) populations, and South-Eurasian (Papuan-related) populations, reached the region by between 50,000BC to 70,000BC, with some arguing earlier.
Rock art In archaeology, rock art is human-made markings placed on natural surfaces, typically vertical stone surfaces. A high proportion of surviving historic and prehistoric rock art is found in caves or partly enclosed rock shelters; this type also ma ...
(parietal art) dating from 40,000 years ago (which is currently the world's oldest) has been discovered in the caves of
Borneo Borneo (; id, Kalimantan) is the third-List of islands by area, largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java Is ...

Borneo
. ''
Homo floresiensis ''Homo floresiensis'' ("Flores Man"; nicknamed "Hobbit") is a species of small that inhabited the island of , Indonesia, until the arrival of about 50,000 years ago. The remains of an individual who would have stood about in height were dis ...

Homo floresiensis
'' also lived in the area up until at least 50,000 years ago, after which they became extinct. During much of this time the present-day islands of western Indonesia were joined into a single landmass known as
Sundaland Sundaland (also called the Sundaic region) is a biogeographical Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an o ...
due to lower sea levels. Ancient remains of hunter-gatherers in Maritime Southeast Asia, such as one Holocene hunter-gatherer from
South Sulawesi South Sulawesi ( id, Sulawesi Selatan) is a Provinces of Indonesia, province in the South Peninsula, Sulawesi, southern peninsula of Sulawesi. The Selayar Islands archipelago to the south of Sulawesi is also part of the province. The capital is M ...
, had ancestry from both, the South-Eurasian lineage (represented by Papuans and Aboriginal Australians), and the East-Eurasian lineage (represented by East Asians). The hunter-gatherer individual had approximately ~50% "Basal-East Asian" ancestry, and was positioned in between modern East Asians and Papuans of Oceania. The authors concluded that East Asian-related ancestry expanded from
Mainland Southeast Asia Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula or Indochina, is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is ...

Mainland Southeast Asia
into
Maritime Southeast Asia Maritime Southeast Asia comprises the countries of Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore. Maritime Southeast Asia is sometimes also referred to as Island Southeast Asia, Insular Southeast Asia ...
much earlier than previously suggested, as early as 25,000BC, long before the expansion of
Austroasiatic The Austroasiatic languages , also known as Mon–Khmer , are a large language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and wri ...
and
Austronesian Austronesian may refer to: *The Austronesian languages *The historical Austronesian peoples who carried Austronesian languages on their migrations {{disambiguation ...
groups. Distinctive Basal-East Asian (East-Eurasian) ancestry was recently found to have originated in
Mainland Southeast Asia Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula or Indochina, is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is ...

Mainland Southeast Asia
at ~50,000BC, and expanded through multiple migration waves southwards and northwards respectively. Geneflow of East-Eurasian ancestry into
Maritime Southeast Asia Maritime Southeast Asia comprises the countries of Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore. Maritime Southeast Asia is sometimes also referred to as Island Southeast Asia, Insular Southeast Asia ...
and
Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Eart ...

Oceania
could be estimated to ~25,000BC (possibly also earlier). The pre-Neolithic South-Eurasian populations of Maritime Southeast Asia were largely replaced by the expansion of various East-Eurasian populations, beginning about 50,000BC to 25,000BC years ago from
Mainland Southeast Asia Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula or Indochina, is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is ...

Mainland Southeast Asia
. The remainders, known as Negritos, form small minority groups in geographically isolated regions. Southeast Asia was dominated by East Asian-related ancestry already in 15,000BC, predating the expansion of
Austroasiatic The Austroasiatic languages , also known as Mon–Khmer , are a large language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and wri ...
and
Austronesian peoples The Austronesian peoples, also sometimes referred to as the Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eas ...
. In the late
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
, the
Austronesian people The Austronesian peoples, also sometimes referred to as the Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan (collectively known as Taiwanese indigenous peoples), Maritime Southeast Asia, Oceania and Madagascar that ...
s, who form the majority of the modern population in Brunei, Indonesia, East Timor, Malaysia, and the Philippines, migrated to Southeast Asia from
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
in the first seaborne human migration known as the
Austronesian Expansion The Austronesian peoples, also sometimes referred to as the Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan (collectively known as Taiwanese indigenous peoples), Maritime Southeast Asia, Oceania and Madagascar that ...
. They arrived in the northern Philippines between 7,000 BC to 2,200 BC and rapidly spread further into the
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
and
Borneo Borneo (; id, Kalimantan) is the third-List of islands by area, largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java Is ...

Borneo
by 1500 BC;
Island MelanesiaIsland Melanesia is a subregion of Melanesia in Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of and a p ...
by 1300 BC; and to the rest of
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
,
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
, southern
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
, and
Palau Palau (), officially the Republic of Palau ( pau, Beluu er a Belau) and historically ''Belau'', ''Palaos'' or ''Pelew'', is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, t ...

Palau
by 1000 BC. They often settled along coastal areas, replacing and assimilating the diverse preexisting peoples. The
Austronesian Austronesian may refer to: *The Austronesian languages *The historical Austronesian peoples who carried Austronesian languages on their migrations {{disambiguation ...
peoples of Southeast Asia have been
seafarers A sailor, seaman, mariner, or seafarer is a person who works aboard a watercraft as part of its crew, and may work in any one of a number of different fields that are related to the operation and maintenance of a ship. The profession of the sa ...

seafarers
for thousands of years. They spread eastwards to
Micronesia Micronesia (, ; from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' "small" and ''nêsos'' "island") is a subregion of Oceania, consisting of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a close shared cultural history with three other isl ...

Micronesia
and
Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; fj, Kai-Polinesia; sm, Polenisia; rar, Porinetia; ty, Pōrīnetia; tvl, Polenisia; tkl, Polenihia) is a ...

Polynesia
, as well as westwards to
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic The Malagasy Republic ( mg, Repoblika Mal ...

Madagascar
, becoming the ancestors of modern-day
Malagasy people The Malagasy (french: Malgache) are an Austronesian Austronesian may refer to: *The Austronesian languages *The historical Austronesian peoples who carried Austronesian languages on their migrations {{disambiguation ...-Bantu Bantu may refer ...
, Micronesians,
Melanesians Melanesians are the predominant and Indigenous peoples of Oceania, indigenous inhabitants of Melanesia, in a wide area from the Maluku Islands, East Nusa Tenggara and New Guinea to as far east as the islands of Vanuatu and Fiji. Most speak eithe ...

Melanesians
, and
Polynesians Polynesians form an ethnolinguistic group An ethnolinguistic group (or ethno-linguistic group) is a group that is unified by both a common ethnicity An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis ...
. Passage through the Indian Ocean aided the colonisation of Madagascar, as well as commerce between Western Asia, eastern coast of India and Chinese southern coast. Gold from
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands The Sunda Islands are a group of islands in the Malay Archipelago. They consist of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia S ...

Sumatra
is thought to have reached as far west as Rome.
Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, ...

Pliny the Elder
wrote in his
Natural History Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, and plants, in their natural environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study. A person who studies natural history ...
about Chryse and Argyre, two legendary islands rich in gold and silver, located in the Indian Ocean. Their vessels, such as the
vinta vinta from Mindanao in the houseboat (''palau'') configuration (c.1920) The vinta is a traditional outrigger boat from the Philippine island of Mindanao. The boats are made by Sama-Bajau, Tausug people, Tausug and Yakan peoples living in the Sul ...
, were capable to sail across the ocean. voyage records how much more maneuverable their vessels were, as compared to the European ships.Laurence Bergreen, Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe, HarperCollins Publishers, 2003, hardcover 480 pages, A
slave Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property Property is a system of rights that gives ...
from the
Sulu Sea The Sulu Sea ( fil, Dagat Sulu; Tausug language, Tausug: ''Dagat sin Sūg''; Chavacano: ''Mar de Sulu''; Cebuano language, Cebuano: ''Dagat sa Sulu''; Hiligaynon language, Hiligaynon: ''Dagat sang Sulu''; Karay-a language, Karay-a: ''Dagat k ...
was believed to have been used in Magellan's voyage as a translator. Studies presented by the
Human Genome Organisation The Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) is a non-profit organization founded in 1988. HUGO represents an international coordinating scientific body in response to initiatives such as the Human Genome Project. HUGO has four active committees, includin ...
(HUGO) through genetic studies of the various peoples of Asia show empirically that there was a single migration event from Africa, whereby the early people travelled along the south coast of Asia, first entered the Malay peninsula 50,000–90,000 years ago. The Orang Asli, in particular the
Semang The Semang are an ethnic-minority group of the Malay Peninsula The Malay Peninsula (: ''Semenanjung Tanah Melayu'') is a in . The runs approximately north–south and, at its terminus, is the southernmost point of the Asian continental ...
who show Negrito characteristics, are the direct descendants of these earliest settlers of Southeast Asia. These early people diversified and travelled slowly northwards to China, and the populations of Southeast Asia show greater genetic diversity than the younger population of China. Solheim and others have shown evidence for a ''Nusantao'' maritime trading network ranging from
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
to the rest of the archipelago as early as 5000 BC to 1 AD. The
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
Dong Son culture #REDIRECT Dong Son culture The Dong Son culture or the Lạc Việt culture (named for Đông Sơn, a village in Thanh Hóa, Vietnam , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Hanoi , coor ...
flourished in
Northern Vietnam 200px, Regions of Vietnam Northern Vietnam ( vi, Bắc Bộ) is one of three geographical regions within Vietnam , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Hanoi , coordinates ...
from about 1000 BC to 1 BC. Its influence spread to other parts Southeast Asia. The region entered the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
era in 500 BC, when iron was forged also in northern Vietnam still under Dong Son, due to its frequent interactions with neighboring China. Most Southeast Asian people were originally
animist Animism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman R ...

animist
, engaged in ancestors, nature, and spirits worship. These belief systems were later supplanted by
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
and Buddhism after the region, especially coastal areas, came under contact with Indian subcontinent during the first century.
Jan Gonda Jan Gonda, (14 April 1905 – 28 July 1991) was a Dutch Indologist Indology or Indian studies is the academic study of the history History (from Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the ...
, The Indian Religions in Pre-Islamic Indonesia and their survival in Bali, in , pp. 1–54
Indian Brahmins and traders brought Hinduism to the region and made contacts with local courts. Local rulers converted to Hinduism or Buddhism and adopted Indian religious traditions to reinforce their legitimacy, elevate ritual status above their fellow chief counterparts and facilitate trade with South Asian states. They periodically invited Indian Brahmins into their realms and began a gradual process of
Indianisation Indianisation may refer to the spread of Indian religions, culture, diaspora, soft power, economic reach and impact since India is one of the greatest influencers since ancient times and the current century has been called the Indian Century. ...
in the region.
Shaivism Shaivism (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; , , ) is a of that belongs to the branch of the . It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had there from the northwest in the late . Sanskrit is the of , the langua ...
was the dominant religious tradition of many southern Indian Hindu kingdoms during the first century. It then spread into Southeast Asia via
Bay of Bengal The Bay of Bengal is the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the water on Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia to the north, Africa to th ...

Bay of Bengal
, Indochina, then Malay Archipelago, leading to thousands of Shiva temples on the islands of Indonesia as well as Cambodia and Vietnam, co-evolving with
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
in the region.Peter Bisschop (2011)
Shaivism
Oxford University Press
Theravada Buddhism Theravāda (; Pāli Pali () is a Middle Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also *Aryan invas ...
entered the region during the third century, via maritime trade routes between the region and
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
. Buddhism later established a strong presence in
Funan Funan (; km, ហ៊្វូណន, ; vi, Phù Nam, Chu Han During ancient times, the ancestors of the Vietnamese people, Vietnamese were considered to have been Proto-Austroasiatic (also called ''Proto-Mon–Khmer'') speaking people, pos ...
region in the fifth century. In present-day mainland Southeast Asia, Theravada is still the dominant branch of Buddhism, practiced by the Thai, Burmese, and Cambodian Buddhists. This branch was fused with the Hindu-influenced Khmer culture.
Mahayana Buddhism in Shishoin Temple (Tokyo). A unique feature of Mahāyāna is the belief that there are multiple Buddhas which are currently teaching the Dharma. Mahāyāna (; "Great Vehicle") is a term for a broad group of Buddhism, Buddhist traditions, text ...
established presence in Maritime Southeast Asia, brought by Chinese monks during their transit in the region en route to
Nalanda Nalanda (Sanskrit: नालंदा ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO; ) is an international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), such as C ...

Nalanda
. It is still the dominant branch of Buddhism practiced by Indonesian and Malaysian Buddhists. The spread of these two Indian religions confined the adherents of Southeast Asian indigenous beliefs into remote inland areas.
Maluku Islands The Maluku Islands or the Moluccas () (''Molukken'') are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piec ...

Maluku Islands
and New Guinea were never Indianised and its native people were predominantly animists until the 15th century when
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
began to spread in those areas. While in Vietnam, Buddhism never managed to develop strong institutional networks due to strong Chinese influence. In present-day Southeast Asia, Vietnam is the only country where its folk religion makes up the plurality. Recently, Vietnamese folk religion is undergoing a revival with the support of the government. Elsewhere, there are ethnic groups in Southeast Asia that resisted conversion and still retain their original animist beliefs, such as the Dayaks in
Kalimantan Kalimantan () is the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo. It comprises 73% of the island's area. The non-Indonesian parts of Borneo are Brunei and East Malaysia. In Indonesia, "Kalimantan" refers to the whole island of Borneo. In 2019, the ...

Kalimantan
, the Igorots in Luzon, and the Shans in eastern Myanmar.


Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms era

After the region came under contact with the Indian subcontinent circa 400 BCE, it began a gradual process of
Indianisation Indianisation may refer to the spread of Indian religions, culture, diaspora, soft power, economic reach and impact since India is one of the greatest influencers since ancient times and the current century has been called the Indian Century. ...
where Indian ideas such as religions, cultures, architectures, and political administrations were brought by traders and religious figures and adopted by local rulers. In turn, Indian Brahmins and monks were invited by local rulers to live in their realms and help transforming local polities to become more Indianised, blending Indian and indigenous traditions.
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
and
Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also *Aryan invasion theory (disambiguat ...
became the elite language of the region, which effectively made Southeast Asia part of the
Indosphere Indosphere is a term coined by the linguist James Matisoff for areas of Indian linguistic and cultural influence in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cult ...
. Most of the region had been Indianised during the first centuries, while the Philippines later Indianised circa ninth century when
Kingdom of Tondo In early Philippine history, the Tagalog settlement at Tondo (; Baybayin: ) was a major trade hub located on the northern part of the Pasig River delta, on Luzon island.Abinales, Patricio N. and Donna J. Amoroso, State and Society in the P ...
was established in Luzon. Vietnam, especially its northern part, was never fully Indianised due to the many periods of Chinese domination it experienced. The first Indian-influenced polities established in the region were the
Pyu city-states , conventional_long_name = Pyu city-states , common_name = Pyu City States , era = Classical antiquity , status = City , event_start = Earliest Pyu presence in Upper Burma , year_start = c. 2nd century BCE , date_start = , event_end ...
that already existed circa second century BCE, located in inland Myanmar. It served as an overland trading hub between India and China. Theravada Buddhism was the predominant religion of these city states, while the presence of other Indian religions such as Mahayana Buddhism and Hinduism were also widespread.Aung-Thwin 2005: 31–34Htin Aung 1967: 15–17 In the first century, the
Funan Funan (; km, ហ៊្វូណន, ; vi, Phù Nam, Chu Han During ancient times, the ancestors of the Vietnamese people, Vietnamese were considered to have been Proto-Austroasiatic (also called ''Proto-Mon–Khmer'') speaking people, pos ...
states centered in
Mekong Delta The Mekong Delta ( vi, Đồng bằng Sông Cửu Long, literally ''Nine Dragon river delta'' or simply vi, Đồng Bằng Sông Mê Kông, "Mekong river delta"), also known as the Western Region ( vi, Miền Tây) or South-western region ( vi ...

Mekong Delta
were established, encompassed modern-day Cambodia, southern Vietnam, Laos, and eastern Thailand. It became the dominant trading power in mainland Southeast Asia for about five centuries, provided passage for Indian and Chinese goods and assumed authority over the flow of commerce through Southeast Asia. In maritime Southeast Asia, the first recorded Indianised kingdom was Salakanagara, established in western Java circa second century CE. This Hindu kingdom was known by the Greeks as ''Argyre'' (Land of Silver). By the fifth century CE, trade networking between East and West was concentrated in the maritime route. Foreign traders were starting to use new routes such as Strait of Malacca, Malacca and Sunda Strait due to the development of maritime Southeast Asia. This change resulted in the decline of Funan, while new maritime powers such as Srivijaya, Tarumanagara, and Medang Kingdom, Medang emerged. Srivijaya especially became the dominant maritime power for more than 5 centuries, controlling both Strait of Malacca and Sunda Strait. This dominance started to decline when Srivijaya were Chola invasion of Srivijaya, invaded by Chola Empire, a dominant maritime power of Indian subcontinent, in 1025.R. C. Majumdar (1961), "The Overseas Expeditions of King Rājendra Cola", Artibus Asiae 24 (3/4), pp. 338–342, Artibus Asiae Publishers The invasion reshaped power and trade in the region, resulted in the rise of new regional powers such as the Khmer Empire and Kahuripan. Continued commercial contacts with the Mid-Imperial China, Chinese Empire enabled the Cholas to influence the local cultures. Many of the surviving examples of the Hinduism in Southeast Asia, Hindu cultural influence found today throughout Southeast Asia are the result of the Chola expeditions. As Srivijaya influence in the region declined, The Hindu Khmer Empire experienced a golden age during the 11th to 13th century CE. The empire's capital Angkor hosts majestic monuments—such as Angkor Wat and Bayon. Satellite imaging has revealed that Angkor, during its peak, was the largest pre-industrial urban centre in the world. The Champa civilisation was located in what is today central Vietnam, and was a highly Indianised Hindu Kingdom. The Vietnamese people, Vietnamese launched a massive conquest against the Cham (Asia), Cham people during the 1471 Vietnamese invasion of Champa, ransacking and burning Champa, slaughtering thousands of Cham people, and forcibly assimilating them into Vietnamese culture. During the 13th century CE, the region experienced Mongol invasions and conquests, Mongol invasions, affected areas such as Vietnamese coast, inland Burma and Java. In 1258, 1285 and 1287, the Mongols tried to invade Đại Việt and Champa. The invasions were unsuccessful, yet both Dai Viet and Champa agreed to become tributary states to Yuan dynasty to avoid further conflicts. The Mongols also invaded Pagan Kingdom in Burma from 1277 to 1287, resulted in fragmentation of the Kingdom and rise of smaller Shan States ruled by local chieftains nominally submitted to Yuan dynasty. However, in 1297, a new local power emerged. Myinsaing Kingdom became the real ruler of Central Burma and challenged the Mongol rule. This resulted in the second Mongol invasion of Burma in 1300, which was repulsed by Myinsaing. The Mongols would later in 1303 withdrawn from Burma. In 1292, The Mongols sent envoys to Singhasari Kingdom in Java to ask for submission to Mongol rule. Singhasari rejected the proposal and injured the envoys, enraged the Mongols and made them sent a large invasion fleet to Java. Unbeknownst to them, Singhasari collapsed in 1293 due to a revolt by Kadiri, one of its vassals. When the Mongols arrived in Java, a local prince named Raden Wijaya offered his service to assist the Mongols in punishing Kadiri. After Kadiri was defeated, Wijaya turned on his Mongol allies, ambushed their invasion fleet and forced them to immediately leave Java. After the departure of the Mongols, Wijaya established the Majapahit Empire in eastern Java in 1293. Majapahit would soon grow into a regional power. Its greatest ruler was Hayam Wuruk, whose reign from 1350 to 1389 marked the empire's peak when other kingdoms in the southern Malay Peninsula,
Borneo Borneo (; id, Kalimantan) is the third-List of islands by area, largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java Is ...

Borneo
,
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands The Sunda Islands are a group of islands in the Malay Archipelago. They consist of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia S ...

Sumatra
, and Bali came under its influence. Various sources such as the Nagarakertagama also mention that its influence spanned over parts of Sulawesi, Maluku Islands, Maluku, and some areas of western New Guinea and southern
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
, making it one of the largest empire to ever exist in Southeast Asian history. By the 15th century CE however, Majapahit's influence began to wane due to many war of successions it experienced and the rise of new Islamic states such as Samudera Pasai Sultanate, Samudera Pasai and Malacca Sultanate around the strategic Strait of Malacca. Majapahit then collapsed around 1500. It was the last major Hindu kingdom and the last regional power in the region before the arrival of the Europeans.


Spread of Islam

Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
began to make contacts with Southeast Asia in the eighth-century CE, when the Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyads established trade with the region via sea routes. However its spread into the region happened centuries later. In the 11th century, a turbulent period occurred in the history of
Maritime Southeast Asia Maritime Southeast Asia comprises the countries of Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore. Maritime Southeast Asia is sometimes also referred to as Island Southeast Asia, Insular Southeast Asia ...
. The Indian Chola navy crossed the ocean and attacked the Srivijaya kingdom of Sangrama Vijayatungavarman in Kadaram (Kedah Kingdom, Kedah); the capital of the powerful maritime kingdom was sacked and the king was taken captive. Along with Kadaram, Pannai in present-day
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands The Sunda Islands are a group of islands in the Malay Archipelago. They consist of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia S ...

Sumatra
and Malaiyur and the Malayan peninsula were attacked too. Soon after that, the king of Kedah Phra Ong Mahawangsa became the first ruler to abandon the traditional Hindu faith, and converted to Islam with the Sultanate of Kedah established in 1136. Samudera Pasai converted to Islam in 1267, the King of Malacca Parameswara (sultan), Parameswara married the princess of Pasai, and the son became the first sultan of Malacca. Soon, Malacca became the center of Islamic study and maritime trade, and other rulers followed suit.
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
n religious leader and Islamic scholar Hamka (1908–1981) wrote in 1961: "The development of Islam in Indonesia and Federation of Malaya, Malaya is intimately related to a Chinese Muslim, Admiral Zheng He." There are several theories to the Islamization process in Southeast Asia. Another theory is trade. The expansion of trade among West Asia, India and Southeast Asia helped the spread of the religion as Muslim traders from Southern Yemen (Hadramout) brought Islam to the region with their large volume of trade. Many settled in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. This is evident in the Arab-Indonesian, Arab-Singaporean, and Arab-Malay populations who were at one time very prominent in each of their countries. Finally, the ruling classes embraced Islam and that further aided the permeation of the religion throughout the region. The ruler of the region's most important port, Malacca Sultanate, embraced Islam in the 15th century, heralding a period of accelerated conversion of Islam throughout the region as Islam provided a positive force among the ruling and trading classes. Gujarati Muslims played a pivotal role in establishing
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
in Southeast Asia.


Trade and colonisation

Trade among Southeast Asian countries has a long tradition. The consequences of colonial rule, struggle for independence, and in some cases war influenced the economic attitudes and policies of each country.


Chinese

From 111 BC to 938 AD northern Vietnam was under Chinese rule. Vietnam was successfully governed by a series of Chinese dynasties including the Han dynasty, Han, Eastern Han, Eastern Wu, Cao Wei, Jin dynasty (266–420), Jin, Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang dynasty, Liang, Sui dynasty, Sui, Tang dynasty, Tang, and Southern Han. Records from Magellan's voyage show that
Brunei Brunei ( ; ), officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: ), is a sovereign state, country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coa ...

Brunei
possessed more cannon than European ships, so the Chinese must have been trading with them. Malaysian legend has it that a Chinese Ming emperor sent a princess, Hang Li Po, to Malacca, with a retinue of 500, to marry Mansur Shah of Malacca, Sultan Mansur Shah after the emperor was impressed by the wisdom of the sultan. Han Li Po's well (constructed 1459) is now a tourist attraction there, as is Bukit Cina, where her retinue settled. The strategic value of the Strait of Malacca, which was controlled by Sultanate of Malacca in the 15th and early 16th century, did not go unnoticed by Portuguese people, Portuguese writer Duarte Barbosa, who in 1500 wrote: "He who is lord of Malacca has his hand on the throat of Venice".


European

Western influence started to enter in the 16th century, with the arrival of the Portuguese in Malacca, Maluku Islands, Maluku and the Philippines, the latter being settled by the Spanish years later. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries the Dutch established the Dutch East Indies; the
French Indochina French Indochina (previously spelled as French Indo-China; french: Indochine française; vi, Đông Dương thuộc Pháp, , lit. 'East Ocean under French Control; km, សហភាពឥណ្ឌូចិន), officially known as the Indochi ...
; and the British Straits Settlements, Strait Settlements. By the 19th century, all Southeast Asian countries were colonised except for
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
. Chronology of European exploration of Asia, European explorers were reaching Southeast Asia from the west and from the east. Regular trade between the ships sailing east from the Indian Ocean and south from mainland Asia provided goods in return for natural products, such as honey and hornbill beaks from the islands of the archipelago. Before the eighteenth and nineteenth century, the Europeans mostly were interested in expanding trade links. For the majority of the populations in each country, there was comparatively little interaction with Europeans and traditional social routines and relationships continued. For most, a life with subsistence-level agriculture, fishing and, in less developed civilizations, hunting and gathering was still hard. Europeans brought Christianity allowing Christian missionaries to become widespread. Thailand also allowed Western scientists to enter its country to develop its own education system as well as start sending Royal members and Thai scholars to get higher education from Europe and Russia.


Japanese

During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, Empire of Japan, Imperial Japan invaded most of the former western colonies. The Shōwa period, Shōwa occupation regime committed violent actions against civilians such as the Manila massacre and the implementation of a system of Unfree labour, forced labour, such as the one involving 4 to 10 million ''romusha'' in Indonesia. A later UN report stated that four million people died in Indonesia as a result of famine and forced labour during the Japanese occupation. The Allied powers who defeated Japan in the South-East Asian theatre of World War II then contended with nationalists to whom the occupation authorities had granted independence.


Indian

Gujarat, India had a flourishing trade relationship with Southeast Asia in the 15th and 16th centuries. The trade relationship with Gujarat declined after the Portuguese invasion of Southeast Asia in the 17th century.


American

The United States took the Philippines from Spain in 1898. Internal autonomy was granted in 1934, and independence in 1946.


Contemporary history

Most countries in the region enjoy national autonomy. Democracy, Democratic forms of government and the recognition of human rights are taking root. ASEAN provides a framework for the integration of commerce and regional responses to international concerns. China has asserted broad claims over the South China Sea, based on its nine-dash line, and has Great Wall of Sand, built artificial islands in an attempt to bolster its claims. China also has asserted an exclusive economic zone based on the Spratly Islands. The
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
challenged China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2013, and in ''Philippines v. China'' (2016), the Court ruled in favor of the Philippines and rejected China's claims.


Geography

Indonesia is the largest country in Southeast Asia and is also the largest archipelago in the world by size (according to the The World Factbook, CIA World Factbook). Geologically, the list of islands of Indonesia, Indonesian Archipelago is one of the most volcanology, volcanically active regions in the world. Geological Tectonic uplift, uplifts in the region have also produced some impressive mountains, culminating in Puncak Jaya in Papua (Indonesian province), Papua, Indonesia at , on the island of
New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign ...

New Guinea
; it is the only place where ice glaciers can be found in Southeast Asia. The highest mountain in Southeast Asia is Hkakabo Razi at and can be found in northern Burma sharing the same range of its parent peak, Mount Everest. The South China Sea is the major body of water within Southeast Asia. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, and Singapore, have integral rivers that flow into the South China Sea. Mayon Volcano, despite being dangerously list of active volcanoes in the Philippines, active, holds the record of the world's most perfect cone which is built from past and continuous types of volcanic eruptions, eruption.Davis, Lee (1992). Natural disasters: from the Black Plague to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. New York, NY: Facts on File Inc.. pp. 300–301.


Boundaries

Geographically, Southeast Asia is bounded to the southeast by the
Australian continent The continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in ...
, the boundary between these two regions runs through
Wallacea in blue has been used to separate Wallacea into a western part pertaining to Asia Asia () is a landmass variously described as part of Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Wallacea
. Geopolitically, the boundary lies between
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in Oceania ...

Papua New Guinea
and the regions of Indonesia, Indonesian region of Western New Guinea (Papua (province), Papua and West Papua (province), West Papua). Both countries share the island of
New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign ...

New Guinea
.


Climate

The climate in Southeast Asia is mainly tropical–hot and humid all year round with plentiful rainfall. Northern Vietnam and the mountainous parts of Laos and Myanmar are the only regions in Southeast Asia that feature a subtropics, subtropical climate, which have a milder winter with maxima as low as . The majority of Southeast Asia has a wet and dry season caused by seasonal shifts in winds or monsoon. The tropical rain belt causes additional rainfall during the monsoon season. The rainforest is the second largest on Earth (with the Amazon rainforest being the largest). Exceptions to this rainforest climate and vegetation are: # mountain areas in the northern region and the higher islands, where high altitudes lead to milder temperatures # the "dry zone" of central Myanmar in the rain shadow of the Arakan Mountains, where annual rainfall can be as low as , which under the hot temperatures that prevail is dry enough to qualify as Semi-arid climate, semi-arid. Southeast Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change in the world.Overland, Indra et al. (2017)
Impact of Climate Change on ASEAN International Affairs: Risk and Opportunity Multiplier
', Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and Myanmar Institute of International and Strategic Studies (MISIS).
Climate change will have a big Climate change and agriculture, effect on agriculture in Southeast Asia such as irrigation systems will be affected by changes in rainfall and runoff, and subsequently, water quality and supply. Climate change is also likely to pose a serious threat to the fisheries industry in Southeast Asia. Despite being one of the most vulnerable regions to the effects of climate change in the world, Southeast Asian countries are lagging behind in terms of their climate mitigation measures.


Environment

The vast majority of Southeast Asia falls within the warm, humid tropics, and its climate generally can be characterised as monsoonal. The animals of Southeast Asia are diverse; on the islands of
Borneo Borneo (; id, Kalimantan) is the third-List of islands by area, largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java Is ...

Borneo
and
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands The Sunda Islands are a group of islands in the Malay Archipelago. They consist of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia S ...

Sumatra
, the orangutan, the Asian elephant, the Malayan tapir, the Sumatran rhinoceros and the Bornean clouded leopard can also be found. Six subspecies of the binturong or ''bearcat'' exist in the region, though the one endemic to the island of Palawan is now classed as vulnerable. Tigers of three different subspecies are found on the island of Sumatra (the Sumatran tiger), in peninsular Malaysia (the Malayan tiger), and in Indochina (the Indochinese tiger); all of which are endangered species. The Komodo dragon is the largest living species of lizard and inhabits the islands of Komodo (island), Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang in Indonesia. The Philippine eagle is the national bird of the Philippines. It is considered by scientists as the largest eagle in the world, and is endemic to the Philippines' forests. The wild Asian water buffalo, and on various islands related dwarf species of ''Bubalus'' such as anoa were once widespread in Southeast Asia; nowadays the domestic Asian water buffalo is common across the region, but its remaining relatives are rare and endangered. The mouse deer, a small tusked deer as large as a toy dog or cat, mostly can be found on Sumatra, Borneo (Indonesia), and in Palawan Islands (Philippines). The gaur, a gigantic wild ox larger than even wild water buffalo, is found mainly in Indochina. There is very little scientific information available regarding Southeast Asian amphibians. Birds such as the green peafowl and drongo live in this subregion as far east as Indonesia. The babirusa, a four-tusked pig, can be found in Indonesia as well. The hornbill was prized for its beak and used in trade with China. The horn of the rhinoceros, not part of its skull, was prized in China as well. The list of islands of Indonesia, Indonesian Archipelago is split by the
Wallace Line The Wallace Line or Wallace's Line is a faunal boundary line drawn in 1859 by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace Alfred Russel Wallace (8 January 18237 November 1913) was a British naturalist Natural history is a domain ...
. This line runs along what is now known to be a tectonic plate boundary, and separates Asian (Western) species from Australasian (Eastern) species. The islands between Java/Borneo and Papua form a mixed zone, where both types occur, known as Wallacea. As the pace of development accelerates and populations continue to expand in Southeast Asia, concern has increased regarding the impact of human activity on the region's environment. A significant portion of Southeast Asia, however, has not changed greatly and remains an unaltered home to wildlife. The nations of the region, with only a few exceptions, have become aware of the need to maintain forest cover not only to prevent soil erosion but to preserve the diversity of flora and fauna. Indonesia, for example, has created an extensive system of national parks and preserves for this purpose. Even so, such species as the Javan rhinoceros face extinction, with only a handful of the animals remaining in western Java. The shallow waters of the Southeast Asian coral reefs have the highest levels of biodiversity for the world's marine ecosystems, where coral, fish, and molluscs abound. According to Conservation International, marine surveys suggest that the marine life diversity in the Raja Ampat (Indonesia) is the highest recorded on Earth. Diversity is considerably greater than any other area sampled in the Coral Triangle composed of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea. The Coral Triangle is the heart of the world's coral reef biodiversity, the Verde Passage is dubbed by Conservation International as the world's "center of the center of marine shorefish biodiversity". The whale shark, the world's largest species of fish and 6 species of sea turtles can also be found in the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean territories of the Philippines. The trees and other plants of the region are tropical; in some countries where the mountains are tall enough, temperate-climate vegetation can be found. These rainforest areas are currently being logged-over, especially in Borneo. While Southeast Asia is rich in flora and fauna, Deforestation in Southeast Asia, Southeast Asia is facing severe deforestation which causes habitat loss for various endangered species such as orangutan and the Sumatran tiger. Predictions have been made that more than 40% of the animal and Flora, plant species in Southeast Asia could be wiped out in the 21st century. At the same time, haze has been a regular occurrence. The two worst regional hazes were in 1997 Southeast Asian haze, 1997 and 2006 Southeast Asian haze, 2006 in which multiple countries were covered with thick haze, mostly caused by "slash and burn" activities in Sumatra and Borneo. In reaction, several countries in Southeast Asia signed the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution to combat haze pollution. The 2013 Southeast Asian haze, 2013 Southeast Asian Haze saw API levels reach a hazardous level in some countries. Muar experienced the highest Air pollution index, API level of 746 on 23 June 2013 at around 7 am.


Economy

Even prior to the penetration of European interests, Southeast Asia was a critical part of the world trading system. A wide range of commodities originated in the region, but especially important were spices such as pepper, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. The spice trade initially was developed by Indian and Arab merchants, but it also brought Europeans to the region. First, Spain, Spaniards (Manila galleon) who sailed from the Americas and Kingdom of Portugal, then the Dutch, and finally the British and French became involved in this enterprise in various countries. The penetration of European commercial interests gradually evolved into annexation of territories, as traders lobbied for an extension of control to protect and expand their activities. As a result, the Dutch moved into Indonesia, the British into Malay Peninsula, Malaya and parts of Borneo, the French into Indochina, and the Spanish and the US into the Philippines. An economic effect of this imperialism was the shift in the production of commodities. For example, the rubber plantations of Malaysia, Java, Vietnam, and Cambodia, the tin mining of Malaya, the rice fields of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, and the Irrawaddy River delta in Burma, were a response to the powerful market demands. The overseas Chinese community has played a large role in the development of the economies in the region. The origins of Chinese influence can be traced to the 16th century, when Chinese migrants from southern China settled in Indonesia, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries. Chinese populations in the region saw a rapid increase following the Communist Revolution in 1949, which forced many refugees to emigrate outside of China. The region's economy greatly depends on agriculture; rice and rubber have long been prominent exports. Manufacturing and services are becoming more important. An emerging market, Indonesia is the largest economy in this region. Newly industrialised countries include Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, while Singapore and Brunei are affluent developed country, developed economies. The rest of Southeast Asia is still heavily dependent on agriculture, but Vietnam is notably making steady progress in developing its industrial sectors. The region notably manufactures textiles, electronic high-tech goods such as microprocessors, and heavy industrial products such as automobiles. Oil reserves in Southeast Asia are plentiful. Seventeen telecommunications companies contracted to build the Asia-America Gateway submarine cable to connect Southeast Asia to the US This is to avoid disruption of the kind caused by the cutting of the undersea cable from Taiwan to the US in the 2006 Hengchun earthquakes. Tourism has been a key factor in economic development for many Southeast Asian countries, especially Cambodia. According to UNESCO, "tourism, if correctly conceived, can be a tremendous development tool and an effective means of preserving the cultural diversity of our planet." Since the early 1990s, "even the non-ASEAN nations such as Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Burma, where the income derived from tourism is low, are attempting to expand their own tourism industries." In 1995, Singapore was the regional leader in tourism receipts relative to GDP at over 8%. By 1998, those receipts had dropped to less than 6% of GDP while Thailand and Lao PDR increased receipts to over 7%. Since 2000, Cambodia has surpassed all other ASEAN countries and generated almost 15% of its GDP from tourism in 2006. Furthermore, Vietnam is considered as a rising Power (international relations), power in Southeast Asia due to its large foreign investment opportunities and the booming tourism sector, despite only having their trade embargo lifted in 1995.
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
is the only member of G20, G-20 major economies and is the largest economy in the region. Indonesia's estimated gross domestic product for 2020 was US$1,088.8 billion (nominal) or $3,328.3 billion (PPP) with per capita GDP of US$4,038 (nominal) or $12,345 (PPP). Stock markets in Southeast Asia have performed better than other bourses in the Asia-Pacific region in 2010, with the Philippines' PSE Composite Index, PSE leading the way with 22 percent growth, followed by Thailand's SET Index, SET with 21 percent and Indonesia's JSX Composite, JKSE with 19 percent. Southeast Asia's GDP per capita is US$4,685 according to a 2020 International Monetary Fund estimates, which is comparable to South Africa, Iraq, and Georgia (country), Georgia.


Demographics

Southeast Asia has an area of approximately . As of , around million people live in the region, more than a fifth live (143 million) on the Indonesian island of Java, the most densely populated large island in the world.
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
is the most populous country with million people, and also the fourth most populous country in the world. The distribution of the religions and people is diverse in Southeast Asia and varies by country. Some 30 million overseas Chinese also live in Southeast Asia, most prominently in
Christmas Island Christmas Island, officially known as the Territory of Christmas Island, is an Australian external territory comprising the island of the same name. It is located in the Indian Ocean, around south of Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗ ...

Christmas Island
, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, and also as the Hoa people, Hoa in Vietnam. People of Southeast Asian origins are known as Southeast Asians or Aseanites.


Ethnic groups

The Orang Asli, Aslians and Negritos were believed as one of the earliest inhabitants in the region. They are genetically related to the Papuan people, Papuans in Eastern Indonesia, East Timor and Australian Aborigines. In modern times, the Javanese people, Javanese are the largest ethnic group in Southeast Asia, with more than 100 million people, mostly concentrated in Java, Indonesia. The second-largest ethnic group in Southeast Asia is Vietnamese people, Vietnamese (Kinh people) with around 86 million population, mainly inhabiting in Vietnam, thus forming a significant minority in neighboring Cambodia and Laos. The Thai people, Thais is also a significant ethnic group with around 59 million population forming the majority in Thailand. In Burma, the Bamar, Burmese account for more than two-thirds of the ethnic stock in this country, with the Indo-Aryan Rohingya make up a significant minority in Rakhine State. Indonesia is clearly dominated by the Javanese people, Javanese and Sundanese people, Sundanese ethnic groups, with hundreds of ethnic minorities inhabited the archipelago, including Madurese people, Madurese, Minangkabau people, Minangkabau, Bugis, Balinese people, Balinese, Dayak people, Dayak, Batak (Indonesia), Batak and Malay Indonesian, Malays. While Malaysia is split between more than half Malaysian Malay, Malays and one-quarter Chinese, and also Indian minority in the West Malaysia however Dayaks make up the majority in Sarawak and Kadazan-dusun makes up the majority in Sabah which are in the
East Malaysia East Malaysia (), also known as Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan () or Malaysian Borneo, is the part of Malaysia on and near the island of Borneo, the world's third largest island. It consists of the states and federal territories of Malaysia, Malay ...
. The Ethnic Malay, Malays are the majority in West Malaysia and Brunei, while they forming a significant minority in
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
, Thai Malay, Southern Thailand,
East Malaysia East Malaysia (), also known as Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan () or Malaysian Borneo, is the part of Malaysia on and near the island of Borneo, the world's third largest island. It consists of the states and federal territories of Malaysia, Malay ...
and Malay Singaporean, Singapore. In city-state Singapore, Chinese Singaporean, Chinese are the majority, yet the city is a multicultural melting pot with Malays, Indians and Eurasian also called the island their home. The Chams form a significant minority in Central and South Vietnam, also in Central Cambodia. While the Khmer people, Khmers are the majority in Cambodia and form a significant minority in Khmer Krom, Southern Vietnam and Thailand, the Hmong people are the minority in Vietnam, China, and Laos. Within the Philippines, the Tagalog people, Tagalog, Visayan people, Visayan (mainly Cebuano people, Cebuanos, Waray people, Warays and Hiligaynon people, Hiligaynons), Ilocano people, Ilocano, Bicolano people, Bicolano, Moro people, Moro (mainly Tausug people, Tausug, Maranao people, Maranao, and Maguindanao people, Maguindanao) and Central Luzon (mainly Kapampangan people, Kapampangan and Pangasinan people, Pangasinan) groups are significant.


Religion

Countries in Southeast Asia practice many different religions. By population,
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
is the most practised faith, numbering approximately 240 million adherents, or about 40% of the entire population, concentrated in
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
,
Brunei Brunei ( ; ), officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: ), is a sovereign state, country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coa ...

Brunei
,
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
, Southern Thailand and in the Southern Philippines. Indonesia is the most populous Muslim-majority country in the world. There are approximately 205 million Buddhists in Southeast Asia, making it the second-largest religion in the region, after Islam. Approximately 38% of the global Buddhist population resides in Southeast Asia.
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
is predominant in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Singapore. Ancestor worship and Confucianism are also widely practised in Vietnam and Singapore. Christianity is predominant in the Philippines, eastern Indonesia, East Malaysia, and East Timor. The Philippines has the largest Roman Catholic population in Asia. East Timor is also predominantly Roman Catholic due to a history of
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
n and Portuguese rule. In October 2019, the number of Christians, both Catholic and Protestant in Southeast Asia, reached 156 million, of which 97 million came from the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
, 29 million came from
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
, 11 million came from
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
, and the rest came from
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
,
Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, John ...

Myanmar
,
East Timor East Timor () or Timor-Leste (; tet, Timór Lorosa'e), officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste ( pt, República Democrática de Timor-Leste, tet, Repúblika Demokrátika Timór-Leste), is an island country in Southeast Asia. It co ...

East Timor
,
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
,
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Vientiane , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = Lao language, Lao , recognised_languages = , languages_type = Spoken langua ...

Laos
,
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...

Cambodia
and
Brunei Brunei ( ; ), officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: ), is a sovereign state, country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coa ...

Brunei
. No individual Southeast Asian country is religiously homogeneous. Some groups are protected ''de facto'' by their isolation from the rest of the world.CNN (11/21/2018) Tribespeople believed to have 'killed' 27-year-old missionary who trespassed on the remote island
/ref> In the world's most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia, Hinduism is dominant on islands such as Bali. Christianity also predominates in the rest of the part of the Philippines,
New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign ...

New Guinea
, Flores and Timor. Pockets of Hindu population can also be found around Southeast Asia in Singapore, Malaysia, etc. Garuda, the Phoenix (mythology), phoenix who is the mount (''vahanam'') of Vishnu, is a national symbol in both Thailand and Indonesia; in the Philippines, gold images of Garuda have been found on Palawan; gold images of other Hindu gods and goddesses have also been found on Mindanao. Balinese Hinduism is somewhat different from Hinduism practised elsewhere, as Animism and local culture is incorporated into it. Christians can also be found throughout Southeast Asia; they are in the majority in East Timor and the Philippines, Asia's largest Christian nation. In addition, there are also older tribal religious practices in remote areas of Sarawak in East Malaysia, Highland Philippines, and Papua in eastern Indonesia. In Burma, Sakka (Indra) is revered as a ''nat (spirit), Nat''. In Vietnam, Mahayana Buddhism is practised, which is influenced by native animism but with a strong emphasis on veneration of the dead, ancestor worship. The religious composition for each country is as follows: Some values are taken from the ''The World Factbook, CIA World Factbook'':


Languages

Each of the languages has been influenced by cultural pressures due to trade, immigration, and historical colonization as well. There are nearly 800 native languages in the region. The language composition for each country is as follows (with official languages in bold):


Cities

* Jabodetabek , * Metro Manila , * Bangkok Metropolitan Region , * Eastern Economic Corridor , * Gerbangkertosusila , * Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley , * Greater Penang Conurbation, Greater Penang , * Indonesia–Malaysia–Singapore Growth Triangle, Sijori Triangle , * Ho Chi Minh City Metropolitan Area , * Hanoi Capital Region , * Da Nang, Da Nang City , * Yangon Region , * Greater Bandung, Greater Bandung Metropolitan Area , * Metro Cebu , * Metro Davao , * Metro Iloilo-Guimaras , * Metro Cagayan de Oro * Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh City , * Vientiane, Vientiane Prefecture , * Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei-Muara , * Dili , File:Moonrise over kuala lumpur.jpg, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia File:0008871 - Krung Thep Bridge 001.jpg, Bangkok, Thailand File:Skyline of the Central Business District of Singapore with Esplanade Bridge.jpg,
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
File:Manila Bay at Night.jpg, Manila, Philippines File:Saigon skyline night view.jpg, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam File:SCBD, Jakarta.jpg, Jakarta, Indonesia


Culture

The culture in Southeast Asia is very diverse: on mainland Southeast Asia, the culture is a mix of Burmese, Cambodian, Laotian, and Thai (Greater India, Indian) and Vietnamese (East Asian cultural sphere, Chinese) cultures. While in Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia the culture is a mix of indigenous Austronesian people, Austronesian, Indian, Islamic, Western, and Chinese cultures. Also Brunei shows a strong influence from Arabia. Vietnam and Singapore show more Chinese influence in that Singapore, although being geographically a Southeast Asian nation, is home to a large Chinese majority and Vietnam was in East Asian cultural sphere, China's sphere of influence for much of its history. Indian influence in Singapore is only evident through the Tamil migrants, which influenced, to some extent, the cuisine of Singapore. Throughout Vietnam's history, it has had no direct influence from India – only through contact with the Thai, Khmer and Cham peoples. Moreover, Vietnam is also categorized under the East Asian cultural sphere along with China, Korea, and Japan due to a large amount of Chinese influence embedded in their culture and lifestyle. Paddy field, Rice paddy agriculture has existed in Southeast Asia for millennia, ranging across the subregion. Some dramatic examples of these rice paddies populate the Banaue Rice Terraces in the mountains of Luzon in the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
. Maintenance of these paddies is very labour-intensive. The rice paddies are well-suited to the monsoon climate of the region. Stilt houses can be found all over Southeast Asia, from Thailand and Vietnam to Borneo, to Luzon in the Philippines, to Papua New Guinea stilt house, Papua New Guinea. The region has diverse metalworking, especially in Indonesia. This includes weaponry, such as the distinctive kris, and musical instruments, such as the gamelan.


Influences

The region's chief cultural influences have been from some combination of
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
, Culture of India, India, and Culture of China, China. Diverse cultural influence is pronounced in the Philippines, derived particularly from the period of Spanish and American rule, contact with Indian-influenced cultures, and the Chinese and Japanese trading era. As a rule, the peoples who ate with their fingers were more likely influenced by the culture of India, for example, than the culture of China, where the peoples ate with chopsticks; tea, as a beverage, can be found across the region. The fish sauces distinctive to the region tend to vary.


Arts

The arts of Southeast Asia have an affinity with the arts of other areas. Dance in much of Southeast Asia includes movement of the hands as well as the feet, to express the dance's emotion and meaning of the story that the ballerina is going to tell the audience. Most of Southeast Asia introduced dance into their court; in particular, Khmer classical dance, Cambodian royal ballet represented them in the early seventh century before the Khmer Empire, which was highly influenced by Indian Hinduism. Apsara Dance, famous for strong hand and feet movement, is a great example of Hindu symbolic dance. Puppetry and shadow plays were also a favoured form of entertainment in past centuries, a famous one being Wayang from Indonesia. The arts and literature in some of Southeast Asia are quite influenced by Hinduism, which was brought to them centuries ago. Indonesia, despite conversion to Islam which opposes certain forms of art, has retained many forms of Hindu-influenced practices, culture, art, and literature. An example is the Wayang Kulit (Shadow Puppet) and literature like the Ramayana. The wayang kulit show has been recognized by UNESCO on 7 November 2003, as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It has been pointed out that Khmer and Indonesian classical arts were concerned with depicting the life of the gods, but to the Southeast Asian mind, the life of the gods was the life of the peoples themselves—joyous, earthy, yet divine. The Tai peoples, Tai, coming late into Southeast Asia, brought with them some Chinese artistic traditions, but they soon shed them in favour of the Khmer and Mon people, Mon traditions, and the only indications of their earlier contact with culture of China, Chinese arts were in the style of their temples, especially the tapering roof, and in their lacquerware.


Music

Traditional music in Southeast Asia is as varied as its many ethnic and cultural divisions. Main styles of traditional music can be seen: Court music, folk music, music styles of smaller ethnic groups, and music influenced by genres outside the geographic region. Of the court and folk genres, Gong chime ensembles and orchestras make up the majority (the exception being lowland areas of Vietnam). ''Gamelan'' and ''Angklung'' orchestras from ''
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
'', ''Piphat'' /''Pinpeat'' ensembles of Thailand and Cambodia and the ''Kulintang'' ensembles of the southern Philippines,
Borneo Borneo (; id, Kalimantan) is the third-List of islands by area, largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java Is ...

Borneo
, Sulawesi and Timor are the three main distinct styles of musical genres that have influenced other traditional musical styles in the region. String instruments also are popular in the region. On 18 November 2010, UNESCO officially recognized angklung as a ''Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity'', and encourage the Indonesian people and government to safeguard, transmit, promote performances and to encourage the craftsmanship of angklung making.


Writing

The history of Southeast Asia has led to a wealth of different authors, from both within and without writing about the region. Originally, Culture of India, Indians were the ones who taught the native inhabitants about writing. This is shown through Brahmic family, Brahmic forms of writing present in the region such as the Balinese script shown on split palm leaf called ''lontar'' (see image to the left – magnify the image to see the writing on the flat side, and the decoration on the reverse side). The antiquity of this form of writing extends before the invention of paper around the year 100 in China. Note each palm leaf section was only several lines, written longitudinally across the leaf, and bound by twine to the other sections. The outer portion was decorated. The alphabets of Southeast Asia tended to be abugidas, until the arrival of the Europeans, who used words that also ended in consonants, not just vowels. Other forms of official documents, which did not use paper, included Javanese copperplate scrolls. This material would have been more durable than paper in the tropical climate of Southeast Asia. In Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore, the Malay language is now generally written in the Latin script. The same phenomenon is present in Indonesian, although different spelling standards are utilised (e.g. 'Teksi' in Malay and 'Taksi' in Indonesian for the word 'Taxi'). The use of Chinese characters, in the past and present, is only evident in Vietnam and more recently, Singapore and Malaysia. The adoption of Chữ Hán in Vietnam dates back to around 111 B.C. when it was occupied by the Chinese. A Vietnamese script called Chữ Nôm used modified Chữ Hán to express the Vietnamese language. Both Chữ Hán and Chữ Nôm were used up until the early 20th century. However, the use of the Chinese script has been in decline, especially in Singapore and Malaysia as the younger generations are in favour of the Latin Script.


Sports

Association Football is the most popular sport in the region, with the ASEAN Football Federation, the region's primary regulatory body, formed on 31 January 1984, in Jakarta,
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
. AFF Championship is the highest football competition in the region since its inaugural in 1996 AFF Championship, 1996 with Thailand national football team, Thailand becoming the most title in the competition with 5 titles. The reigning winner is Vietnam national football team, Vietnam, who defeated Malaysia national football team, Malaysia in the 2018 AFF Championship, 2018 final. Thailand national football team, Thailand is the most numerous appearance in AFC Asian Cup with 7 while the highest-ranked result in the Asian Cup for a Southeast Asian team is second place in the 1968 AFC Asian Cup, 1968 by Myanmar national football team, Myanmar in Iran. Indonesia national football team, Indonesia is the only Southeast Asian team to be played at the FIFA World Cup in 1938 FIFA World Cup.


See also

* Southeast Asian Games * List of Southeast Asian leaders * Northeast Asia *
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri La ...

South Asia
* Southeast Asia Treaty Organization * Tiger Cub Economies * Military build-up in Southeast Asia * ASEAN * List of firsts in Southeast Asia


Notes


References


Citations


Further reading

* Acharya, Amitav. ''The making of Southeast Asia: International relations of a region'' (Cornell UP, 2013). * Ang, Cheng Guan. ''Southeast Asia After the Cold War: A Contemporary History'' (Singapore: NUS Press, 2019
online review
* Ang, Cheng Guan. ''Southeast Asia’s Cold War: An Interpretive History'' (University of Hawai’i Press, 2018).
online review
* Barwise, J. M., and Nicholas J. White. ''A traveller's history of Southeast Asia'' (2002
online
* Cady, John F. ''Southeast Asia: its historical development'' (McGraw-Hill, 1964
online
* Cady, John F. ''The roots of French imperialism in Eastern Asia'' (1954
online
* Coedes, George. ''The Making of South East Asia'' (2nd ed. U of California Press, 1983). * Dutt, Ashok K. ''Southeast Asia: A Ten Nation Region'' (1996
excerpt
* Embree, Ainslie T., ed. ''Encyclopedia of Asian history'' (1988) *
vol. 1 onlinevol 2 onlinevol 3 onlinevol 4 online
* Heidhues, Mary Somers. ''Southeast Asia : a concise history'' (2000
online
* Leinbach, Thomas R., and Richard Ulack. ''Southeast Asia: diversity and development'' (Prentice Hall, 1999
online
* Levinson, David, and Karen Christensen, eds. ''Encyclopedia of Modern Asia''. (6 vol. Charles Scribner's Sons, 2002). * Osborne, Milton. ''Region of revolt: focus on Southeast Asia'' (Elsevier, 2013)
online
* Osborne, Milton (2010; first published in 1979)
''Southeast Asia: An Introductory History''
Allen & Unwin.
online
* Osborne, Milton. ''River at risk: the Mekong and water politics of China and Southeast Asia'' (Longueville Media, 2004). * Reid, Anthony (1999). ''Charting the Shape of Early Modern Southeast Asia'' Silkworm Books. * Swearer, Donald K. ''The Buddhist World of Southeast Asia'' (2nd ed. 2010
online
* Ulack, Richard, and Gyula Pauer. ''Atlas of Southeast Asia'' (Macmillan, 1989
online
* Williams, Lea E. ''Southeast Asia : a history'' (1976
online


External links


Topography of Southeast Asia in detail
(Portable Document Format, PDF)
previous version
*
Southeast Asia Digital Library
at Northern Illinois University *
Southeast Asia Visions, a collection of historical travel narratives
Cornell University Library Digital Collection
Official website of the ASEAN Tourism Association

Art of Island Southeast Asia
a full text exhibition catalogue from The Metropolitan Museum of Art {{Authority control Southeast Asia, Regions of Asia Asia-Pacific