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Southeast Asia is the tropical region between China and Australia. It comprises 11 states, all are member of the ASEAN organization.
The total population is about 625 million with 40% of them being Indonesians.
Homo Erectus lived here from 1.8 million years ago and one of them left us his Java Man fossils. Remains of  Homo Floresiesis, nicknamed the Hobbit, were discovered on Flores in 2003. Modern humans appeared 50.000 years ago, some of them moved on to colonize Australia.
Rising sea levels created the archipelago and made good sailors. By 5000 BC an extensive marine trading network covered Southeast Asia and beyond.Over time Kingdoms and Empires rose and faded, the Kmer Empire being the greatest of them all.
Starting from 1500 Europeans colonized all of SE Asia exept for Thailand.
During WWII Japan captured most of the area and imposed a harsh regime of forced labour while committing wide scale atrocities.
After the war the colonial shackles were thrown away and independence was gained.
The Vietnam War was the last major conflict.
Today the region is brimming with activity and is on its way to become one of the world`s major economic powerhouses.