Southeast Asia is situated in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, below China and to the east of India. Influences from both of these countries can be seen in the cultures, traditions and cuisine of the many Southeast Asian countries, particularly Cambodia, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand.
The region is home to more than 600 million people. It includes the Indochina and Malay Peninsulas, as well as more than 20,000 islands. This mountainous area contains lush vegetation and large rivers, and is prone to volcanic activity and earthquakes. The climate is generally tropical, with a rainy monsoon season. The sea is an important feature, being used for food, tourism and transport.
Rice, tea, spices and rubber are produced there, as well as the bulk of the world’s supply of the mineral tin. Southeast Asia is widely known, however, as a popular tourist destination, with fine food, low prices and beautiful beaches as some of the main attractions.