Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent, encompassing China and India, the world’s two largest countries population-wise. Well over 4 billion of the world’s 7 billion people live in Asia and most of the fastest growing countries and cities can be found here.
From the vast frozen stretches of Siberia to the steamy jungles of Borneo and the dramatic peaks of theHimalayas in the northern part of the Indian sub-continent or the vast deserts of the Arabian Peninsula, Asia is a diverse region that defies categorisation. Modern cities like Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore herald a growingly urban landscape, but this move towards modernisation is negotiated with the desire to maintain cultural tradition.
The Asian land mass is huge and with almost 45 million square kilometres it covers around 30% of the world’s land area (just under 9% of the total surface of the planet). This section focuses on the area most travellers know as Asia, not the Middle East and Europe, which many geographers consider part of greater Asia or the Eurasian continent. The Asian land mass goes from the frozen dry Arctic in Siberia to the lush and wet jungles of Indonesia andMalaysia. Most of Northern Asia is plains and steppe that gave birth to many amazing empires like the Mongolian Empire. Between North and Central Asia are the Gobi and Taklaman deserts, the latter bordering the Tibetan Highplains. Central Asia is a series of high mountain ranges like the Himalayas, Tianshan and the Hindu Kush with deep depressions that stab way below sea level, making for some very remote cultures and people.
Further south are mountains covered with dense jungles, home to fascinating peoples that live along side wild elephants, tigers and rhinos, although not always in a good way given the extinction of the Java and Bali tiger. Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Parks in India are two of the best parks to see the great Bengal tiger in the world. Asia’s geography gives birth to some of the most densely populated places on earth and some places that see a person once every few hundred years. The diversity on this land mass allows any traveller to find what they want.
|Central Asia||Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan|
|East Asia||China (including Hong Kong, Macau and Tibet), Japan, Mongolia, North Korea,South Korea, Taiwan|
|South Asia||Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives Republic, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka|
|Southeast Asia||Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore,Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam|
|West Asia (Main article: Middle East)||Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,State of Palestine, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen|