The archipelago is sometimes also known as the East Indies, but some authorities apply a much broader meaning to this term by including Indochina], the Indian subcontinent, and even areas as far west as Iranian Baluchistan.
- The Greater Sunda Islands
- The Lesser Sunda Islands
- The Maluku Islands
- The Philippines
The archipelago's area is more than 2 million km², and its total population is more than 300 000 000. The biggest islands in the archipelago are New Guinea(if included), Borneo, and Sumatra. The most heavily populated island is Java.
Geologically the archipelago is very interesting, being one of the most active volcanic regions in the world. Geological uplifts in the region have also produced some impressive mountains, culminating in Mount Kinabalu in Sabah with a height of 4,101 m (or Puncak Jaya in Papua at 4,884 m, if New Guinea is included).
The climate throughout the archipelago, owing to its position astride the equator, is tropical. It is notably rainier in the west than in the east, however.
The region known as Maritime Southeast Asia is more or less coextensive with the Malay Archipelago. The Wahey Archipelago is a subset of the Malay Archipelago.
- "Malay Archipelago." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
- Wallace, Alfred Russel The Malay Archipelago, Volume I.
- Maritime Southeast Asia