Southeast Asia

Pagan Kingdom

Around AD 840s  people called Burmmans established the Kingdom of Pagan in Myanmar. It was located in Irrawaddy a fertile river valley, which was great for rice farming. The first king was Anawrahta who ruled from 1044 to 1077. He began to conquer surrounding areas and by 1057 he had united what is now Myanmar under his rule. He also supported Buddhism, they built thousands of magnificent Buddhist temples. Pagan became the center of Buddhist learning. Kublai Khan of the Mongol tribe demanded a tribute, which the King of Pagan refused to pay. The Pagan King sent his troops to attack, and they got destroyed. The king fled and his son later killed him then agreed to pay the tribute. Pagan survived but lost its power.

Khmer Empire

The Khmer empire arose in what is now  Cambodia. They were located to the southeast of Pagan. In 800s the Khmer began to conquer the kingdoms around them to make a empire. The Khmer Empire reflected a strong Indian influence. They adopted both Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. The design of there capital (Angkor) symbolized the shape of the Hindu Universe. The Khmer were rich from rice farming. They devised an irrigation system that  covered millions of acres. With this the Khmer could grow several crops of rice a year. The decline of the empire came from expensive building and invaders.


Vietnam was influenced by China. Under Chinese rule Vietnam took many aspects of Chinese civilization. The Chinese forced the vietnamese  to adopt their language, clothing, and hairstyles. The Vietnamese also had adopted features of Chinese government. 2 sisters Trung Trac and Trung Nhi briefly drove the chinese from Vietnam. Later the Chinese regained power. When the Tang dynasty fell the Vietnamese had another chance at independence. they got independence in 939.

Trading Kingdoms

   To the south of the mainland several trading Kingdoms developed on the islands of Southeast Asia. On the island Java , the kingdom of Sailendra flourished from 750 to 850. The people in this kingdom relied on agriculture for trade. The Kingdom adopted Mahayana Buddhism and is known for its Buddhist art and architecture. On the island Sumatra the Srivijaya Empire flourished from the 600s to  the 1200s. The Empire extended to the Malay Peninsula and Borneo. The Empire gained its wealth from its control of overseas traders through the Malacca and Sunda straits. The people of Srivijaya adopted Hinduism and Buddhism, which they blended with local beliefs.