Southeast Asia – A Small Geography Lesson Before You Go Packing

According to Wikipedia ( )

“Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions that are geographically south of China, east of the Indian subcontinent and north-west of Australia.”

It has 11 Sovereign states, 1 Administrative subdivisions, and 2 Dependent territories, divided by 2 regions:

  • Mainland Southeast Asia, or historically – Indochina.
  • Maritime Southeast Asia, or historically – Nusantara, the East Indies, or the Malay Archipelago.

We will go by each country with some brief details to help you in your travels.

Mainland Southeast Asia


This one is pristine as it had been off limits to tourists until very recently. They used to go by the name of Burma. Their main attractions include, really old temples, wine and whiskey, and beaches.


Thai culture is very colorful as its people. They are very popular for tropical beaches and Buddhism. Recently they have opened up more leniency towards digital nomads and quickly became a haven for such people.


Malaysia has been known recently by shopping districts. It is also home to different cultures, making it a mixing pot people from china, India, and even up to Europe. Malay people as with most of their other Asian neighbors are generally hospitable.


Now this country has a great European influence. They even have French architecture preserved from the colonial era. It is also a Buddhist country so expect those beautiful temples attributed to Buddhism. A lesser known knowledge is that they have great food in there.


One thing that always reminds me of Cambodia is Angkor Wat. Coffee is good, so is their food. It has a rich history that archaeologists love this country. When in their capital,  Phnom Penh, don’t forget to visit their art deco Central Market.


From being war torn and a long standing communist era, Vietnam has managed to rise into a good mix of a booming industrial country. It has preserved its culture well and is still maintaining its heritage in this modern era. You could be in a high rise filled business district and in a country side farm within a day. This country has so much to offer

Maritime Southeast Asia

Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India

Not much is known about these groups of islands since most of them are either uninhabited or off limits to tourists. It can even be fatal to just set foot into some its 300 islands. There are still tribes that remain untouched by modernism.


You might have heard of Bali, that very picturesque beach where celebrities and rich people want to spend their vacations at. Indonesia is also home to a great variety of great food that are influenced by many different cultures.


This small kingdom has a long history of Royalties. They love nature so much that some of its forests are protected by law. They have awesome beaches like their tropical neighbors.


This country is where you want to be when it comes to innovation. They rose into fame from being a trading port to what is known right now as the Silicon Valley of Asia.


This booming country is home to a lot of outsourced work. The people are generally nice and always smiling. They speak good english although that is not their first language. Philippines has been colonized by many countries with the longest occupancy being held by Spain. It is a good relief for western travelers to be in tropical Asia but still feel a bit like home. People come for the beach and stay for the food.

East Timor

Not a popular destination to tourists so do not expect to meet any other foreigner while you are there. Timor-Leste as others would call it, is situated right in the middle of Australia and Indonesia.

Christmas Island

Just south of Indonesia is a tiny island popular with divers. It is still a territory of Australia with less than 2000 people living there.

Having known these countries briefly, you can now start booking your flights. Start your wonderful experience now!