How Many Countries in Southeast Asia?

There are 11 countries in Southeast Asia. I already explained how many countries in Asia in this blog post (52 if you count Kurdistan, Tibet etc). And on my personal trip to 197 countries, I figured out how many countries in the world! When you start to break down the regions of the 7 continents, it can get a little confusing. For example, there are 23 countries in North America, right? But North America, as a continent, actually includes all the countries in the Caribbean (13 countries there). And it’s the same for Asia and Southeast Asia. Anyway, I love this kind of stuff, but let me get back to the issue. How many countries in South East Asia? 11.

2 days in Bangkok
Lumpini Park, Bangkok, Thailand

List of countries in Southeast Asia

  1. Cambodia

  2. Laos

  3. Myanmar (Burma)

  4. Malaysia

  5. Thailand

  6. Vietnam

  7. Brunei

  8. East Timor

  9. Indonesia

  10. Philippines

  11. Singapore

Temples in Bagan
Temples in Bagan, Myanmar

Southeast Asia Countries Map

countries in southeast asia map
countries in southeast asia map

What about Papua New Guinea? And Christmas Island etc?

There are a couple of places that almost squeeze into the list of countries in Southeast Asia, but not quite.

  • Papua New Guinea: An independent country, and one of the 197 countries in the world. PNG takes up half the island of New Guinea. The other half of that island belongs to Indonesia (which is considered a country within SE Asia). However, the island of New Guinea falls within the continent of Australia/Oceania/Australasia. Separated by the Sahul Shelf in terms of tectonic plates below the water. So PNG isn’t part of Southeast Asia, or Asia for that matter.
  • Andaman and Nicobar islands: Within the Southeast Asian area, but belongs to India, so therefore not a country.
  • Christmas Island: Within the Southeast Asian area, but belongs to Australia, so therefore not a country.
  • Cocos (Keeling) island: Within the Southeast Asian area, but belongs to Australia, so therefore not a country.
  • Guam: Sometimes considered within the Southeast Asian area, but belongs to the USA, so therefore not a country.
  • Palau: An independent country, and one of the 197 countries in the world. But it lies just outside what is considered Southeast Asia.
countries in Southeast Asia?
countries in Southeast Asia? Me in Papua New Guinea (not in SEA!)

Final thoughts on how many countries in Southeast Asia?

Normally when we talk about how many countries in Europe, South America, North America, Asia, Africa, Antarctica, and Australia, the answers are quite controversial. And they require a lot of political thought. But ‘how many countries in Southeast Asia’ is actually an easy question to answer. There are 11 countries in South East Asia. It’s definitive. Thankfully!

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