Intro to 5 countries in South East Asia

September 2, 2019
General , Travelling
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Intro to 5 countries in South East Asia

Whether you are curious of the places the South East Asia semester entails or you’ve already secured your spot, it’s always better to learn a little about the places you will be seeing. Guides for the cities which students will be staying in (Chiang Mai, Da Nang and Kuala Lumpur) will be given upon arrival, but for now, here is a quick introduction to the five countries that will be visited- Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.

Note: The climates are based on the study hub locations for Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, whereas for Cambodia and Singapore they are based on their capitals.

 

THAILAND

Capital City: Bangkok

Population: 69.3 million

Main ethnic groups: Ethnic Thai (75%), Thai Chinese (14%), Malay (3%)

Main language: Thai (used daily by over 90% of the population)

Main religions: Buddhism (94.6%), Islam (4.3%), Christianity (1%)

Climate (January semester): Cool and dry season. Sunny during the day with temperatures dropping at night. Temperatures from teens to thirties (Celsius)

Climate (September semester): Warm but rainy season. Monsoon season runs from around June to October. Temperatures from mid-twenties to thirties (Celsius)

You will be staying in: Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Khao Sok National Park, Koh Samui

 

CAMBODIA

Capital City: Phnom Penh

Population: 16.5 million

Main ethnic groups: Khmer (97.6%), Cham (1.2%), Chinese (0.1%)

Main language: Khmer (97% use it regularly)

Main religions: Buddhism (95%+), Islam (2%), Christianity (1%)

Climate (January semester): Rain is very uncommon. Temperatures will be in the twenties and low thirties (Celsius)

Climate (September semester): Nearing the end of monsoon season. Temperatures will be in the twenties and low thirties (Celsius)

You will be staying in: Siem Reap, Koh Rong, Phnom Penh

VIETNAM

Capital City: Hanoi

Population: 97.5 million

Main ethnic groups: Kinh/Viet (86%), Tay (1.9%) and Thai (1.8%)

Main language: Vietnamese (86% are native speakers)

Main religions: No religion (82%), Buddhism (7.9%), Christianity (7.5%)

Climate (January semester): Temperatures in the twenties (Celsius). Driest period of the year. The sea is the coolest it will be in the year.

Climate (September semester): Warm but rainy. Temperatures range from mid-twenties to thirties (Celsius), but make sure to bring a rain jacket. The sea is still fairly warm.

You will be staying in: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Nha Trang, Da Nang

 

MALAYSIA

Capital City: Kuala Lumpur

Population: 32.5 million

Main ethnic groups: Malay (50.4%), Chinese (22.6%), indigenous Malay groups (11.8%). Almost 1 in 5 people living in the country are migrants.

Main language: Malay (62.4%), Kedah Malay (8.1%), Hokkein (5.9%)

Main religions: Islam (60.4%), Buddhism (19.2%), Christianity (9.1%)

Climate (January semester): One of the rainiest periods of the year, which usually will occur in the early evening. Temperatures ranging from mid-twenties to mid-thirties (Celsius).

Climate (September semester): Rainy period, although nowhere near as bad as Vietnam. Again, will mostly happen in early evenings. Temperatures from mid-twenties to early thirties (Celsius).

You will be staying in: George Town, Chendoroh Lake, Cameron Highlands, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka

 

SINGAPORE

Capital City: Singapore

Population: 5.9 million

Main demographics: Chinese (74.2%), Malay (13.2%), Indian (9.2%)

Main language: English is the de facto language, spoken by 36.9% of the population at home. Mandarin is spoken by 34.9% and other Chinese dialects make up 12.2%.

Main religions: The biggest religion is Buddhism, although followed by less than half the population. There are prominent Muslim, Christian, Hindu and Sikh communities.

Climate (January semester): Expect rain around half of the days you’re there, but nothing major. Temperatures from mid-twenties to early thirties (Celsius).

Climate (September semester): It will rain roughly 2/3 of the days you’re there, but nothing major. Temperatures from mid-twenties to early thirties (Celsius).

You will be staying in: Singapore.

About the author

Jasmin Dawling is one of Global Grad’s January 2019 students and is completing a full-time Bachelor’s degree with the Open University in International Studies. While this is her first time formally blogging, she has had plenty of writing experience in the past, from novel writing since the age of six to working on the school newspaper. Apart from seeing the sights of South East Asia and working on her degree, Jasmin spends most of her time either procrastinating or writing down her novel ideas, be it on her travelling-inspired new ideas or the 7-part series she’s been toying with for almost ten years.

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