Myanmar • Was once called Burma and is about the size of Texas. • They have two main rivers the Irrawady and the Salween. • About 2/3 are farmers and they do not have modern technology. • They also have manufacturing. They produce soap, noodles, paper, textiles, and glass bottles. • They also export precious gems- valuable gemstones such as rubies, sapphires, and jade.
They also produce most of the worlds teakwood. • Their forests are decreasing because of deforestation- widespread cutting of trees. • Most people live in the Irrawady valley along the river.
Myanmar was part of British India until it gained independence in 1948. • Myanmar is now a socialist country. Socialism- is an economic system in which most businesses are owned and run by the government. • Myanmar has struggled to become a democracy. • In 1991 Aung San SuuKyi was awarded the nobel peace prize
Thailand • Was once called Siam. Thailand means “land of the free” • It is the only country in Southeast Asia that was never ruled by a European country. • They trace their independence back to the 1200s AD.
Thailand's main agricultural export is teakwood and rubber. They government has limited deforestation to preserve this resource. • They also export tin and gemstones. • Most manufacturing is located near the capital of Bangkok. • They make cement, textiles, clothing, and metal products. • Tourism is an important industry as well.
Most of the people of Thailand are Buddhist. • 80% of the people live in rural villages. • There is a lot of urbanization from the people of Thailand moving to Bangkok to look for jobs in industry.
Laos • Laos is landlocked and covered in mountains. • Laos is a very poor country. The government recently began to allow tourism to help the economy out. • 80% of the people live in rural areas.
They do not have a lot of manufacturing because of isolation from other countries and civil war- a fight among different groups within a country. • The country lacks railroads and only a few cities have electricity. Vientiane is the largest city and capital. • The communist government discourages religion but most of Laos remains Buddhist.
Cambodia • Their economy began to falter in the 1980s because of civil war and harsh communist rule. • They also have very few factories. • Most are part of the Khmer ethnic group. • 80% live in rural villages. • The rest live in cities like the capital Phnom Penh • Buddhism is the main religion.
In 1953 Cambodia gained its independence from the French. • They have fought amongst themselves since then. In the 1970s Communist leaders took over and ruled Cambodia very harshly. • In 1993 they brought back their King but political fighting continues.
Vietnam • Vietnam has a very long eastern coastline. It borders the Gulf of Tonkin, South China Sea, Gulf of Thailand. • The north of Vietnam has a fertile delta on the red river. • The south has wide swampy deltas on the Mekong River • Monsoons bring wet and dry seasons.
Farmers grow rice, sugarcane, cassava, sweet potatoes, corn, bananas, and coffee. • With 80 million people Vietnam is the largest population in Southeast Asia. • 80% of the people live in the country side. • The largest urban area is Ho Chi Minh City, it is named after the communist leader. • It used to be called Saigon before the communists took over.
Hanoi is located in the North and is the capital of Vietnam. • Most people are Buddhist and belong to the Vietnamese ethnic group. The rest are Chinese, Cambodians, and other Asian ethnic groups. • Vietnamese is the major language but Chinese, English, and French are also spoken.
Vietnamese people came from China over 2,000 years ago. From the late 1800s to the mid 1950s Vietnam was under French control. • In recent years, Vietnam’s communist leaders have opened up to western ideas, businesses, and tourists. They also have loosened government control on the economy. • They hope to raise Vietnam’s standard of living.