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This article is about the geographical term. For the historical French colony, see French Indochina.
Peninsulas of Asia
Countries Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, (peninsular) Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Topographic map of Indochina
Topographical map of Indochina

Indochina or Indo-China is a peninsula in Southeast Asia[1] lying roughly south or southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French Indochine as a combination of the names of "India" and "China", referring to the location of the territory between those two countries. It is also referred to as mainland Southeast Asia. The term may also be used in biogeography for the "Indochinese Region",[citation needed] a major biogeographical region within the Indomalaya ecozone.

The countries of mainland Southeast Asia however received cultural influence from both India and China to varying degrees.[1] Some cultures, such as those of Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand are influenced mainly by India with a smaller influence from China. Others, such as Vietnam, are more heavily influenced by Chinese culture with only minor cultural influences from India, largely via the Champa civilization that Vietnam conquered during its southward expansion.


Indochina 1886

The territories of Indochina comprise the following:


In biogeography the term Indochinese Region is used to mean a major biogeographical region in the Indomalaya ecozone, and also a phytogeographical floristic region in the Paleotropical Kingdom. It includes the native flora and fauna of all the countries above. The adjacent Malesian Region covers the Maritime Southeast Asian countries, and straddles the Indomalaya and Australasian ecozones.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Marion Severynse, ed. (1997). The Houghton Mifflin Dictionary Of Geography. Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-395-86448-8. 

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