Top 15 Amazing Facts You Should Know about Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia (SEA) has been an increasingly popular destination among travelers. Home to some of the most visited countries in the world, beautiful beaches, fascinating history, and mouthwatering food, Southeast Asia boasts some truly amazing facts.
Here are the top 15 things you should know about Southeast Asia before you visit this beautiful region.
1. 11 Countries are included in Southeast Asia.
Southeast Asia is comprised of 11 countries squeezed between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. They are Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, East Timor, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and Vietnam.
The entire region is in the same time zone, GMT+8.
2. Southeast Asia is a perfect vacation destination combining sun, sea, and culture.
Known for its idyllic islands, endless beaches, plenty of resorts, tasty cuisine, world-class restaurants, and diverse cultures, Southeast Asia is one of the best vacation destinations on the planet. It has everything you need to have a luxurious holiday on a budget.
3. The climate in Southeast Asia is tropical all year round.
Due to its location on and around the equator, Southeast Asia stays warm throughout the year, with midday temperatures of 30°C (86°F) on most days. Most countries have two seasons: wet and dry.
Generally speaking, the wet season extends from June through October and the dry season runs roughly from November through May.
In dry months, famous tourist destinations are usually crowded with people. In the rainy season, you might encounter some inconvenience but you’ll see fewer tourists and gain better prices on accommodation.
Click to know the best time to visit Southeast Asia.
4. Southeast Asia is one of the cheapest parts of the world to travel in.
Compared to traveling in Europe or America, Southeast Asia is extremely cheap for travel. You can live on an average daily budget of about $50–60/day for two people (about $35–40/day for solo travelers).
Laos is the cheapest country, lacking mass tourism. You can easily find rooms costing less than 10 USD per night. Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand are all countries where you can enjoy a wonderful vacation at a good price.
Singapore is the wealthiest country in Southeast Asia and one of the most expensive cities to travel to but still acceptable.
It is no problem to travel around Southeast Asia for years with one year’s salary as a white-collar worker in America.
5. There are over 20,000 islands in Southeast Asia.
Southeast Asia includes over 20,000 islands scattered through the Pacific and Indian oceans. Indonesia has over 13,500 islands on its own!
Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines provide a wide range of beach options. No matter whether you are seeking islands for scuba diving, snorkeling, breathtaking beaches with luxury resorts, or amazing sunsets, you will find one.
Click to see the Top 10 Beautiful Islands in Thailand.
6. Southeast Asia offers a variety of choices for shore excursions.
There are many cruise ports in Southeast Asia. The popular ports of call include Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang in Vietnam, and Singapore, among others.
It is very convenient for cruise ship passengers to enjoy a variety of choices for shore excursions, day trips, and tours.
7. Southeast Asia’s culture is predominantly influenced by Indians and Chinese people.
The history and culture of Southeast Asia are diverse but are mostly influenced by the Indian and Chinese cultures.
Chinese people make up significant minority populations in most Southeast Asian countries, especially in Malaysia and Singapore.
You can see many temple ruins that relate to Indian religion, astrology, and architecture. Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is the largest Hindu temple in the world.
8. Southeast Asia is a land of temples.
One must-do activity when traveling around Southeast Asia is visiting ancient temples. Blessed with a deep history and unique culture, this region is home to some of the most impressive temples in the world. There are about 35,000 temples in Thailand alone.
You should not miss the world’s largest religious monument, Angkor Wat, in Cambodia. Make sure you pay a visit to Bagan in Myanmar —this ancient city is lined with gorgeous temples. You can explore over 2,000 temples from above with a hot-air balloon ride.
Visiting temples requires modest clothing, meaning no shorts or sleeveless shirts.
9. The local people across Southeast Asia dress conservatively.
Locals in Southeast Asia usually dress traditionally and conservatively. You need to know something about the dress code before you travel around, especially if you plan to visit temples.
When visiting a temple, you should dress modestly, covering your shoulders and your legs. Remove your shoes before entering and don’t point the soles of your feet at worshippers or sacred objects.
10. Southeast Asia is extremely diverse in religion.
Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam are generally Buddhist countries while Indonesia and Brunei are mostly Muslim countries.
The Philippines and East Timor are two predominantly Catholic countries.
11. Southeast Asia is a perfect region for coffee lovers.
Coffee has been grown and consumed in Southeast Asia since the late 17thcentury. You can taste a different type of coffee in each country in the region.
Laos is said to be home to the best coffee in Southeast Asia. In fact, coffee is its biggest export. Don’t forget to take some coffee back home with you.
12. Males in Thailand were all Buddhist monks for a while.
There was a time when all young men in Thailand (including royalty) were required to become Buddhist monks–even if only for a short time–before they turned 20. This practice, however, is not observed anymore like it used to be.
13. Vietnam is the country of motorbikes.
When you visit Vietnam, you will find that the roads are filled with motorbikes. Motorbikes are the main form of transportation in Vietnam.
There are more than 45 million registered motorbikes in the country, which means that almost half of the population owns their own motorbike. In Vietnam, motorbikes are everywhere!
It is a great experience to take a motorbike ride in Vietnam.
14. Most countries in Southeast Asia have relaxed visa policies.
Visa requirements differ for every country in Southeast Asia, depending on where you're from and where you're going. Generally, it is not a problem to get a visa. Most countries in Southeast Asia allow fairly easy visa-free entry, or a visa upon arrival, for stays ranging from 2 weeks to 3 months.
Click to see visas for Southeast Asian Countries.
15. Southeast Asia is a backpacker's adventure playground.
With convenient inter-country transport, affordable prices, rich outdoor adventures, and diverse cultural and historic sites, Southeast Asia has long been a haven for backpackers.
Visit Southeast Asia Your Way with Us
Can’t wait to explore this incredible region? Contact one of our local experts for a more authentic experience to enrich your once-in-a-lifetime Southeast Asia tour.
Our specialists have explored the region’s facets and can help plan your vacation as a unique tailor-made trip to match your preferences.