Indochina or Indo-China is a peninsula in Southeast Asia lying roughly 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, though the majority of people in the
region are neither Chinese nor Indian. The term may also be used in biogeography
for the "Indochinese Region", a major biogeographical region within the Indomalaya
The countries of mainland Southeast Asia received cultural influence from both India
and China to varying degrees. Some cultures, such as those of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar
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.
The historical term French Indochina was a federation of French colonies and protectorates,
that France named Cochinchina, Tonkin, Annam, Laos and Cambodia. France had an imperial
presence in the region between 1884 and 1954. France withdrew from southeast Asia
following the loss of the Indochina War.
Indochina had boundaries imposed by France as a result of military conquests in
the region, encompassing areas that are now modern Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
The subjects of the colony were not homogenous; rather, Indochina was a "separate
entity, it was largely unrelated to the cultural, geographical, and racial elements
which shaped the people and governments of its constituent parts".
A diverse range of indigenous cultures exist in Burma, the majority culture is primarily Buddhist and Bamar.
Cambodian culture not only includes the culture of the lowland ethnic majority, but also some 20 culturally distinct hill tribes colloquially known as the Khmer Loeu.
Theravada Buddhism is a dominant influence in Lao culture. It is reflected throughout the country from language to the temple and in art, literature, performing arts.
Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia.
Places to see: Indo China
Itinerary Ideas: Indo China