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Where Is Southeast Asia?

Where is Southeast Asia (SEA)? You might as well ask: What is Southeast Asia? It is a concept as well as a subregion of Asia.

You might have heard Southeast Asia, but not sure about the location or exactly which countries are considered "Southeast Asian".

Where is Southeast Asia Located on the World Map?

Southeast Asia is scattered in the southeastern corner of the Asian continent, bordered to the north by China/Taiwan (East Asia), to the south and east by Australasia/Oceania, and to the west by the Indian subcontinent — India/Bangladesh (South Asia).

See the location of Southeast Asia on a map. 

What Countries Are in Southeast Asia?

There are 11 countries in Southeast Asia: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), Singapore, the Philippines, East Timor (Timor Leste), and Brunei.

Southeast Asia is geographically divided into two subregions, namely Mainland Southeast Asia and Maritime Southeast Asia.

  • Mainland Southeast Asia: Myanmar, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
  • Maritime Southeast Asia: Indonesia, East Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, the Philippines, East Timor.

The full Southeast Asia countries list is shown in the table below:

CountryCapitalPopular Travel DestinationsFamous for
ThailandBangkokBangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, PhuketIslands and beaches; world-famous food; elephants
VietnamHanoiHanoi, Sapa, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Hue, Da NangBeaches, mountains, rice terraces, local markets
CambodiaPhnom PenhSiem Reap, Phnom Penh, BattambangThe ancient ruins of Angkor Wat
LaosVientianeVientiane, Luang PrabangGorgeous mountain views; temples
MyanmarNay Pyi TawYangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Nay Pyi TawThousands of temples
SingaporeSingaporeSingaporeNightlife, Shopping, food, and high-tech adventures
MalaysiaKuala LumpurKuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi, SabahIslands and beaches, multicultural city life, ancient rainforests
IndonesiaJakartaJakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, BaliIslands, volcanoes, scuba diving
The PhilippinesManilaManila, Boracay, Puerto GaleraBeautiful islands, snorkeling, volcanoes
BruneiBandar Seri BegawanBandar Seri Begawan, Ulu TemburongHistorical heritages
East TimorDiliNot yet considered a tourist destination

9 Interesting Facts about Southeast Asia

  1. Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. Many countries in this region have beautiful islands and beaches.
  2. Singapore is a city, country, and island all at the same time. 
  3. The richest country in Southeast Asia is Singapore (by GDP per capita). It is also the most expensive destination to visit among 11 Southeast Asian countries.
  4. The poorest country in Southeast Asia is Myanmar. It is one of the cheapest countries in all South East Asia to visit.
  5. The oldest country in Southeast Asia is Cambodia. And the newest/youngest country is East Timor.
  6. The largest country in Southeast Asia is Indonesia, which is composed of about 17,508 islands. And the smallest country is Singapore. Its area is roughly 719 square km (276 square miles).
  7. The most populous country in Southeast Asia is Indonesia with over 270 million people. SE Asia has 666 million people, 8.5% of the world’s population.
  8. Malaysia lies both on the mainland and in the islands of the region. 
  9. Indonesia is the world"s most populous Muslim country. 

Travelling to Southeast Asia: 10 Things to Know

  1. Southeast Asia is famous for its gorgeous beaches, warm climate, diverse culture, tasty food, and amazing heritage sites.
  2. Southeast Asia has long been a popular destination for backpackers. Travelling with a local expert like us will enable you to discover more authentic experiences.
  3. Southeast Asia is full of beaches and luxury resorts. It is home to some of the most exotic honeymoon destinations.
  4. All of the countries in Southeast Asia are in the tropics except for Myanmar, which just extends over the Tropic of Cancer. Most of its countries have two seasons, wet and dry. Their temperatures hover around the 30°C (86°F) mark throughout the year.
  5. There are many languages in Southeast Asia. English is the most useful language.
  6. 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. Some countries are visa-free, some offer visas on arrival.
  7. It is easy to spend 3-6 months travelling around Southeast Asia. Thailand, with well-oiled tourism infrastructure, has become the most visited country in Southeast Asia.
  8. The main international gateways to Southeast Asia are Bangkok (Thailand) and Singapore.
  9. Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar share land borders with China. It is convenient to extend a tour to Southeast Asia after your China trip.
  10. There are many popular ports of call in Southeast Asia, providing a wide range of options for ocean cruise shore excursions. 
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Tour Southeast Asia Your Way with Us

When traveling with Asia Highlights, we can arrange all the transportation for you. Our travel advisors will help you make decision between these two countries and also suggest the best possible route for you. Check out some related tours and articles for inspiration.

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