The rhythmic organization of speech can vary between languages. In the present research we studied rhythmic variability between Mandarin, Cantonese and Thai using automatically retrieved prosodic temporal characteristics from read speech. We measured the variability of intervals between amplitude peaks in the amplitude envelope (<10 Hz) and the durational characteristics of intervals with and without glottal activity (voiced and unvoiced intervals) in speech. Results for between language comparisons revealed significant differences between languages in both amplitude peak interval variability and voiced-voiceless interval durational characteristics. Results are discussed in connection with language specific phonotactic/phonological properties and hypotheses about the perceptual significance of the acoustic measurements in terms of speech rhythm.