Southeast Asia has an area of approx. 4,000,000 km² (1.6 million sq miles). As of 2004, more than 593 million people lived in the region, far over a sixth of them (+114 million) on the Indonesian island of Java, the most densely populated island in the world. The distribution of the religions and people is diverse in Southeast Asia and varies by country. And about 28 million Overseas Chinese are living here.
The name for the region was first coined in the 20th century . It was previously known as Further India (as opposed to the Indian subcontinent ). The subregion includes 11 countries, some on the mainland, which is also known as Peninsular Southeast Asia or Indochina and some wholly in the archipelago.
Southeast Asia lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic and volcanic activity. Island arcs and archipelagoes lie southeast and also east of the Asian mainland. Southeast Asia is geographically divided into two regions, namely Indochina and the Malay Archipelago.
South East Asia Fun Stuff
Facts people might not know about South East Asia:
1. Angkor Wat, in Cambodia, is the largest religious temple in the world. It is estimated it took 30 years to build!
2. When visiting Angkor, in Cambodia, you can ride an elephant from the South Gate of Angkor Thom to Bayon temple.
3. A golden urn, containing the remains of Buddha, is housed in a stupa (shrine), located on a hilltop in Oudong, 30 miles north of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.
4. Though Vietnam is 1,650 kilometers (1,031 miles) from north to south, the country's most narrow point, traveling east to west, is only 50 kilometers (31 miles) across.
5. Vietnam is the second largest exporter of coffee in the world. Only Brazil exports more coffee, by volume, than Vietnam. Most of Vietnam's coffee is exported to the U.S.
6. In Thailand barbers are usually closed on Wednesday because Thais think it will bring bad luck to cut their hair that day of the week.
7. All Thai men are expected to be a monk for a short period sometime in their life. Traditionally it was three months but today the time is reduced to a week or two.
8. Some people in Malaysia wash their babies in beer to protect them from diseases.
9. Indonesia is the world's biggest archipelago with over 17,000 islands. One of them is internationally well known for being The Island Of Gods for its beauty and surely one of the top places people have to visit before they die, Bali.
10. There is a saying in Thailand that you don't have to worry about falling coconuts because coconuts have eyes. Since more people get killed by falling coconuts than sharks each year, they obviously don't worry about sharks either!
11. People in East Timor will understand Portuguese language more than Indonesian.
12. Singapore is one of the most sought after fashion capitals in South East Asia.
13. Many good looking Asian models in the world are from South East Asia, they mostly come from Philippines and Thailand.
14. South East Asian people barely meet any Asian stereotypes out there that people globally joke about.
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