Southeast Asia refers to the 10 nations south and east of China and India, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Tourism has become a significant source of revenue for all these nations.
Southeast Asia is composed of mainland Asian coastal nations (known as Indochina) and island nations (known as Maritime Southeast Asia or Nusantara). The area includes many of the world's finest beaches, and the mainland nations include diverse geography with mountains, rivers and plains.
Southeast Asia is a tropical area that is hot year-round, with wet and dry seasons caused by shifts in wind or monsoons. It is predominately rain forest, with the exception of high-altitude northern regions with milder temperatures.
The most popular travel destinations (Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia) are easy to enter and do not require visas from American or European visitors. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia and Laos offer visas on arrival and are generally easy to enter. Only Vietnam and Myanmar require advance paperwork.
The nations of Southeast Asia offer outstanding beaches, every conceivable water sport, rain forest wildlife and flora. The northern areas include temperate areas for mountain climbing and mountain biking. Cultural and religious sites, tours, and health and spa facilities also abound.
The remote areas of Southeast Asia are often pristine and untouched by development. It is one of the favorite destinations of low-impact travelers interested in ecological and social consciousness.
Article Written By Timothy Aldinger
Timothy Aldinger brings 20 years of experience as an instructional design consultant and corporate training strategist in the automotive, environmental, health and insurance industries. His professional writings have been published by Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Corporation, General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan and many other major corporations. Aldinger received his Bachelor of Arts in political theory from Michigan State University.