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Asia

Photo © Utrecht

Travel Guide Asia

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Introduction

Lopburi  - Affenstadt

Lopburi - Affenstadt

© All Rights Reserved sandrita8


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[1] 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 the Himalayas 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.

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Geography

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 and Malaysia. 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.

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Sights and Activities

Mosque and Mount Kinabalu

Mosque and Mount Kinabalu

© All Rights Reserved Monsk

Major cities

Asia is home to some of the largest and fastest growing cities in the world. Many of these cities have upwards of 15 or 20 million people living in or around them. It is expected that in China alone during the next 15 years, about 150 cities will have an additional 2 million inhabitants each! A visit to a massive Mega-Asian city can be a bit overwhelming especially on a first trip. Although seeing that many people living, working and operating in such a close area is truly stunning. Many of the cities have great public transportation systems in them making it easy to get around. Here is a list of some of the major cities in Asia:

Landmarks

See also: Famous Landmarks

Kid in RED shirt

Kid in RED shirt

© All Rights Reserved AgnesFun

How do you create a short list of the most amazing landmarks on the largest continent and one of longest inhabited places on earth? Asian landmarks range from modern buildings to ancient temples, some abandoned and some that have been used for thousands of years. Then on top of the human accomplishments are some of the most stunning natural beauty the world has ever seen. Therefore no matter where you visit in Asia there is some sort of landmark to be experienced. Here is a short list of just a fraction of what Asia has to offer:

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Getting There

Kashmiri pots

Kashmiri pots

© All Rights Reserved Marusk

Asia is one of the most popular continents for travellers and as a result, flight connections to other areas are extremely good, especially to India, South East Asia, China and Japan, which all have direct flights from Europe, North America and Australia. There are few, if any, ferry options to get to Asia from North America or Australia, other than hoping for a ride on a cargo boat or yacht. Popular overland routes usually start from Europe, either through Russia by Trans-Siberian Railway towards Mongolia and China (the northern route) or by taking the popular overland route from Istanbul through Turkey and Iran to India (southern route).

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Learning Asian Languages

These language phrasebooks were created by Travellerspoint members to help travellers pick up some basic phrases, grammar and pronunciation skills before their trip:

Find out about contributing to or starting a new phrasebook on our project page: Project:Language phrasebooks.

References

  1. 1 World Population Clock. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2009–03–13.

Contributors

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Asia Travel Helpers

  • Degolasse

    My interest tends to lie in India, where I spent half a year travelling in 2004. I love to talk about it, so if you got some question, send me a message.
    I have also travelled to alot of Southeast Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and China)on a few different trips. Though I'm sure my info on accomidation and stuff is out of date, I can give lots of advice on the highlights and what to see and do.

    Ask Degolasse a question about Asia
  • vin.pri

    Travel and accomodation questions having done it independantly - without joining any tours.

    Ask vin.pri a question about Asia
  • Lisa Eldridge

    Hi everyone. I've been lucky enough to travel to 78 countries and 40 of them as a solo female so I know a bit about travelling alone :) My solo countries are: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, South Africa, Nepal, Mongolia, Bhutan, China, India, Hungary, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Canada, Guatemala, Holland, Germany, Czech Republic, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Peru, Italy, France, Monaco, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Ireland.

    Ask Lisa Eldridge a question about Asia
  • sebelasgal

    I live in Indonesia and traveled to countries in South East Asia, Europe, New Zealand and India - if you need any information, I will try to guide you!

    Ask sebelasgal a question about Asia
  • myanstar

    All travel information and travel consultant.

    Ask myanstar a question about Asia

This is version 132. Last edited at 8:37 on Feb 18, 14 by Utrecht. 288 articles link to this page.

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