Asia/Far East Overview
More than half the world’s population lives in Asia. And when travelling in the big urban areas of Asia, that is exactly the feeling you get: there are people everywhere. These people, their monuments, their culture, and their habits are exactly the reason to come to Asia over and over again. Of course it is a huge area with a great variety of cultures that is covered by the term "Asia." As a region, the South Pacific is filled with outstanding attractions. But each of the countries that make up Asia has its own special and individual allure. These enchanting islands and beautiful people have for hundreds and thousands of years stirred the mind and excited the imagination. Read More
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Welcome to Asia
Asia is the world's largest continent by land area and population, home to 4.4 billion people and as such is extremely varied geographically. Asia contains virtually every possible climate and terrain from the frozen plains of Siberia to the jungles of Indonesia to the deserts of Arabia.
Asia's (and the world's) highest point is Mount Everest, along the border of Tibet and Nepal, which rises to 29,029 feet above sea level. Its lowest point is the Dead Sea, located at the meeting points of Israel, Palestine and Jordan, whose surface is 1,300 feet below sea level. Asia's longest river is the Yangtze, which runs 3,900 miles through China all the way from the high Tibetan Plateau to Shanghai. Its largest lake is the 149,200 square mile Caspian Sea, which is surrounded by several Central Asian nations. Asia is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east, by Australia to the southeast, and by the Indian Ocean to the south. It is bordered by the Red Sea to the southwest, by Europe and the Urals to the west, and by the Arctic Ocean to the north.
East Asia (China, Japan, Korea) is relatively temperate with distinct seasonal differences. South and South East Asia (Thailand, Indonesia, India, Burma etc.) has a monsoon climate. Generally hot all year round but with a wet and dry season. Most of Asia's rainforests and beaches are to be found here. West Asia (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon etc.) is hot and often dry. Winters can be mild but summer can be extremely hot. Central and north Asia have continental climate with the coldest winters outside Antarctica and hot summers; in some places the difference between all-time highs and lows can be over 100°C.
Central Asia (Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) - Being one of the most closed regions in the world, these countries offer bare, spectacular landscapes and true adventure in the footsteps of Marco Polo and elsewhere forgotten communism.
East Asia (Ching, Honk Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan) - Contrasts of old versus new, the biggest of mega-cities at the front-end of technological development combines with well-preserved temples and sites of the ancient cultures and philosophies still present in everyday society. The vast, open plains of rural China and Mongolia offer something quite different.
South Asia (Bangadesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakisan, Sri Lanka) - The breathtaking roof of the world that is the Himalayas in the north, tropical, humid waterways in the south, and some of the most chaotic cities to be found in between.
Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) - Hot and humid, Buddhist monasteries and tropical beaches offer relaxed getaways from the rowdy, bustling cities popular with backpackers.
Middle East (Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestinian territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen) - Home of the first civilizations in the world's history, and the land where the three Abrahamic religions were revealed, it is now one of the fastest growing regions of the world with increasing development and a rich heritage.
Russia and the Caucasus (Abkhazia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia, South Ossetia) - Russia covers much of Asia, a huge country of vast, empty expanses. The Caucasus is a dense, warm, friendly region, but some parts of it are considered unstable. Geographically these territories have a foothold in both Europe and Asia, and are sometimes referred to as Eurasia.
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