Tropical Asia stretches from the Indian subcontinent in the west through the mainland of continental Southeast Asia to the islands of Sumatra, Borneo, and Java in the south and to New Guinea in the Far East. The region is characterized by mountains, plains, and deltas. The elevations of the mountains of northern Myanmar or the islands of New Guinea, for example, reach more than 4000 m (asl), and the highest elevations of Sumatra and Borneo are more than 2500 m (asl). On the mainland, there are huge plains and deltas formed by large rivers, including the Ganges, Irrawaddy, and Mekong. In insular Southeast Asia, «atlands along the coastal zones or in river plains as for example formed by the Fly River (Papua New Guinea) are often covered by extensive areas of swampland. The climate of tropical Asia is dominated by the regime of the monsoon winds, causing a typical annual pattern of a dry and a rainy season on the mainland, with notable differences in precipitation and temperatures. South Asia (Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan) has very large ecoclimatic amplitude, ranging from alpine conditions in the Himalayas to hot and arid zones in the west and humid tropical climate in the south and the east of the subregion. Continental Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam) shows a rather homogenous seasonal monsoon pattern, characterized by a distinct dry season from December to April and rainfall between May and October. In contrast, insular Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, and the Philippines, including Papua New Guinea) displays a typical equatorial climate pattern, where rainfall is rather evenly distributed throughout the year and annual variations of temperatures are much lower than those on the continent. The local seasonal patterns in this subregion are largely in«uenced by the geographical location in relation to the hemisphere and to coastal zones (Worldclimate, 2011; Figure 18.1).