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South East Asia

Video courtesy of VisitSingapore tourism

Southeast Asia is a sub-region of Asia consisting of the countries south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia.

Mainland Southeast Asia includes: Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Myanmar(Burma), Laos, Cambodia, Brunei and Timor-Leste.

Known as the “Land of Smiles”, Thailand has become South East Asia’s primary holiday destination. Despite a vast influx of visitors, the country’s unique cultural heritage remains intact and the kingdom has managed to absorb Western influences without losing its own rich character. Bordered by Myanmar to the north-west, Laos to the north-east, Cambodia to the south-east, and Malaysia to the south, Thailand is truly at the heart of South East Asia and offers something for everyone, be it exploring ancient temples, shopping at gleaming modern malls, lounging on tropical island beaches, or trekking the rugged mountains of the northern provinces.
Although many westerners might still view Vietnam through the lens of history and war, in reality the country is an oasis of harmony and peace; offering captivating natural beauty and tranquil villages. Its highlands and rainforests continue to yield new species and offer an abundance of exotic wildlife. The tropical islands and beaches are among the finest in the Asia-Pacific region. Decades have passed since Vietnam was officially united and during this time the country has done a remarkable job of healing its wounds. Today, this stunningly beautiful land is an outstanding travel destination that offers something for everyone –be it history, cultural heritage, or exploring the country’s abundant exotic fauna and flora.
The world’s fourth most populated country with approximately 250 million people is a huge archipelago of 17,508 islands that runs along the equator for 5,000 km. Lying across a region of immense volcanic activity, Indonesia has some 400 volcanoes, with at least 70 that are still active. The country shares land borders with Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, East Timor and Papua New Guinea, and maritime borders with Singapore, the Philippines and Australia.

It is a land of so many cultures, ethnic groups, customs, fauna and flora that it is like 100 separate countries united under one flag. The main islands are Java, Sumatra, Bali, Lombok, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi (Celebes), Papua, Flores, Timor and Seram.

The capital city of Jakarta lies in the lowlands of West Java –the most populated island in the archipelago. The tropical paradise of Bali is arguably the jewel in Indonesia’s crown. This is home to the only large-scale Hindu society in South East Asia and the island has attracted tourists, artists, and adventurers for generations. The island of Lombok lies close by and its untouched charm often earns the description: “Like Bali 20 years ago”.

Other popular tourism destinations include the island of Komodo, famous for the Komodo Dragon, the largest species of lizard on the planet, and Borobudur, the site of the world’s largest Buddhist monument which is located on a remote hilltop in central Java. Adventure-seekers often head for Kalimantan’s remote jungle interior to visit the world’s foremost orang-utan research and conservation centres, or explore Sumatra, with its teeming wildlife and abundance of tribal groups.

Rightly referred to as the “last frontier of untouched Asia” as it boasts rugged mountain terrain; wide sweeping plains dotted with glittering golden pagodas; floating village communities; and a 2,000-km long sweeping coastline. It offers intrepid travelers a glimpse of the old Indochina. Each destination in the country offers a different geographical vista; wide rivers and expansive plains characterize the central regions, whereas rugged mountains rise to the east along the Thai border and to the north to meet the eastern end of the Himalayan range. Besides the stunning scenery,

Myanmar is also a melting pot of rich cultural heritage. Once referred to as Amarapura, the “Land of Immortality” –today it is known as the Golden Land,due to its abundance in gilded pagodas an temples. Once you have experienced the rich heritage and natural beauty of this nation you will see why these titles are a true reflection of this enchanting land.

Present day Cambodia is the successor state to the mighty Khmer empire which once ruled vast swathes of land across what is now Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. The remains of this empire can be seen at the fabled temples of Angkor –monuments that are unrivaled in scale and grandeur anywhere else in South East Asia.

The country covers a land area of 181,035 sq.-km. It is bounded on the west by Thailand; on the north by both Thailand and Laos; on the east by Vietnam; and on the south by the Gulf of Thailand. Administratively, the country is composed of 22 provinces, three municipalities, 165 districts, 1,621 communes, and 14,073 villages. Cambodia’s two dominant topographical features are the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake.

The “Kingdom of One Million Elephants and the White Parasol” offers a refreshing change from the modernity of the rest of the world. This landlocked mountainous nation offers misty mountains, beautiful French colonial towns and Buddhist stupas.

Laos offers a mostly mountainous, steep terrain with meandering narrow river valleys where a relaxed lifestyle gives each visitor a sense of timelessness. With an estimated population of nearly 7 million, Laos is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Asia. Natural landmarks include the Annamite Mountains close to the border with Vietnam, as well as the Mekong River, which flows from China and along Laos’ border with Thailand. Part of the Laotian landscape is still forest. The country is teeming with wildlife including elephants, leopards, panthers, gibbons and black bears

A harmonious land of races and religions in which Malays, Indians, Chinese and other ethnic groups live harmoniously in a tropical paradise. Multiculturalism has made Malaysia a model society, a gastronomic paradise and home to a wealth of art, culture and hundreds of colorful festivals that represent the rich cultures of these ethnic groups.

Visitors have a wealth of opportunities and fascinating destinations to choose from including endless white sandy beaches, world class golf courses, mountain retreats and modern cities with an abundance of shopping, dining and nightlife choices.

Geographically, Malaysia is as diverse as its vibrant culture. It is divided into 13 states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea, with 11 states and two federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) across Peninsular Malaysia, and two states and one federal territory (Labuan) in East Malaysia. The country provides travelers with a wealth of tourism experiences, including an abundance of Malay, Chinese and Indian influences on Peninsular Malaysia, whereas Borneo offers a complete contrastof wildly differing fauna and flora, including the famed orang-utans, towering granite peaks and lush jungles.

Vibrant with multi-cultural colors, ethnicity, and the excitement of a cosmopolitan city, Singapore is Asia’s premier destination for holiday play. With quaint heritage enclaves, iconic architecture, lush gardens, mouthwatering cuisines and a spectacular lineup of activities and events all year round, Singapore offers a spectrum of wondrous experiences for every preference.
A Southeast Asian country in the Western Pacific, comprising more than 7,000 islands. Its capital, Manila, is famous for its waterfront promenade and centuries-old Chinatown, Binondo. Intramuros, a walled city in colonial times, is the heart of Old Manila. It’s home to the baroque 17th-century San Agustin Church as well as Fort Santiago, a storied citadel and military prison.
The Climate in Southeast Asia is mainly tropical–hot and humid all year round with plentiful rainfall. Northern Vietnam and the Myanmar Himalayas are the only regions in Southeast Asia that feature a subtropical climate, which has a cold winter with snow.

The average temperature per year is 80° F. Ninety five degrees Fahrenheit, however, is the high temperature for tropical rainforests. The climate is very humid and sticky because Southeast Asia is surrounded by oceans. The average humidity is from 70 to 90%.

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