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The region includes Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world, as well as very prominent Buddhist countries, and quite significant Christian, Hindu and Animist communities.Southeast Asia has long been a favourite corner of the world for globe-tramping backpackers, known for its perfect beaches, tasty cuisine, low prices, and good air connections.Indonesia The world's largest archipelago nation with over 16,000 islands, spanning three time zones, and the largest Muslim-majority country in the world, but also nominally secular and deeply influenced by Hindu and Buddhist culture Malaysia Multicultural country (including Muslim Malays, mainly Buddhist Chinese, mainly Hindu Indians, and many Orang Asli aboriginal people, especially in Borneo) that ranges from skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur to jungle-dwelling tribes in Borneo Myanmar (Burma) Ancient country with staggering ethnical diversity, whose history includes both an indigenous empire and being part of the British Empire, now emerging from isolation under a strict military junta and opening up to tourism Philippines A unique fusion of the Asian traditions of non-confrontation and respect for elders combined with Spanish ideas of machismo, romance and sophistication (plus modern Americanization), the largest Christian nation in the region, and second largest archipelago with 7,641 islands – most with beautiful tropical beaches, warmth and friendly smiles Vietnam Firmly marching down the road to capitalism as one of the world's fastest growing economies, Vietnam has a blend of Southeast Asian and Chinese values and culture, and a huge diversity of both natural and cultural attractions Aside from East Timor, the other ten nations listed above are members of ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.Hainan (part of China) and Taiwan have similar nature and cultural heritage to Southeast Asia.After some ideological conflicts, Singapore was expelled from Malaysia in 1965 and became a sovereign state.In contrast to the relatively peaceful withdrawals by the British and Americans, the Dutch and the French fought bloody wars in an effort to hold on to their colonies, and earned humiliating defeats.Some of the more notable ones were the Funan and the Khmer Empire in the Indochinese peninsula, as well as the Srivijaya, the Majapahit Kingdom and the Melaka Sultanate in the Malay Archipelago.Southeast Asian history is very diverse and often tumultuous, and has to an important extent been shaped by European colonialism.

Prior to WWII, Southeast Asia was referenced in terms of their colonial powers; farther India for Burma and Thailand, with reference to the main British colony of India, although Thailand itself was never formally colonised; Indochina referred to the French colonies of Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, while Indonesia and parts of maritime Southeast Asia were called the Dutch East Indies.Indonesia gained independence from the Dutch in 1949, and Indochina forced the French military to withdraw and separated into the countries of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam in 1954; see Indochina Wars.However, Vietnam would be split into two, with Ho Chi Minh establishing a communist regime with the support of the Soviet Union in the north, and Ngo Dinh Diem establishing a capitalist regime with the support of the United States in the south.Contact us if you experience any difficulty logging in.Southeast Asia is a group of diverse states between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, featuring cultures influenced by both India and China and hosting large communities of Overseas Chinese.

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