Asia is the world’s largest continent as it covers 30% of the total land area. With vast lands comes great diversity in wildlife, climatic conditions, races, languages, religions and cultures. Keep reading to learn more about Asia facts and secrets.
Asia covers 17.2 million square miles of land. Most of the Asian countries lie in the eastern and northern hemispheres. The continent has 48 countries as listed by the UN. China is the largest country located entirely in Asia while the Maldives is the smallest nation by land area.
Pin On The Map
Asia is surrounded by the Arctic, Pacific and Indian oceans. Globally known as the Continent of Contrast; Asia has the highest point on Earth of Mount Everest which is 8.848 meters high, but it also has Earth’s lowest elevation on land. That’s the shores that surround the Dead Sea with 420 meters below sea level.
Asia has the world’s largest forest area in Russia but you can also find countries with almost no trees at all, such as Qatar and Oman.
Nearly all the world climatic conditions are found in Asia. Most of the countries around the Equator are tropical. These include The Philippines, Singapore, Maldives and Indonesia.
Subtropical regions are found in Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Qatar, China and Japan. Siberia in central northern Asia is in the Tundra region.
Even Arctic regions are found in Asia; Verkhoyansk and Oymyakon in Russia hold the record of coldest temperature ever recorded outside Antarctica.
Asia is home to plenty of amazing land features that hold world records. These include the largest plateau in the world. The Tibetan Plateau stretches through Tibet, China and India covering 2.5 million square kilometers.
The second deepest and the third-longest river in the world is the Yangtze River which runs across China. Asia has some of the world’s highest mountains. Over 130 mountains in Asia are higher than the highest mountain outside Asia.
Thousands of animal and botanical species have taken Asia as a habitat. You can find friendly species, such as the pandas and the moon orchid of Indonesia. However, be aware of the dangerous species that can easily kill you like oleander, komodo dragon, the deadly sharks of Asia.
The Asian Pacific region is a hazardous place as it lies in the most disaster-prone area of the world; the ring of fire. It’s a volcanic active area responsible for earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines and Japan are the main countries that suffer the most. Urbanization near the coasts and poorly designed cities increase the number and severity of disasters.
Asia suffered from many deadly epidemics and outbreaks throughout history especially from wild animals that can harbor viruses. These include the 2002 SARS pandemic originating from Guangdong in China and 2019 covid-19 starting in Wuhan in China. Other local epidemics are the 1997 avian flu in Hong Kong and the 1998 Nipah virus in Malaysia.
Meet the people
Asia is the most populous continent in the world with 4.64 billion people speaking nearly 2.300 languages. The most spoken languages in Asia are Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian and Japanese.
China has the highest population in Asia and the world with 1.4 billion people speaking nearly 302 different Chinese languages.
Asia was the birthplace of many religions and beliefs like Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism.
Islam and Hinduism are the most practiced religions in Asia.
You might be used to a handshake but it’s not the best way to greet people in Asia. Bring your hands together in a prayer gesture and give a slight bow or head-nodding. If you started a handshake, don’t be too firmly as it might mean that you’re aggressive and rude, Keep it light! This practice is common in Thailand, Japan, China and South Korea.
It’s disrespectful to enter a temple or a mosque with your shoes on. This tradition is applied in homes and sometimes restaurants; kicking off your shoes before entry is an act of courtesy in Vietnam, India, China, Cambodia, Japan and South Korea.
Many powerful economies are found in Asia such as Singapore, China, South Korea, Japan and Qatar. On the other hand, very poor countries such as, Myanmar, Nepal, Syria and Tajikistan are also located in Asia.
Asian countries are the pioneers of many sports and games. Early forms of chess go back to India. The “Go” or “weichi” is believed to be the oldest board game continuously played till the current time. It was invented in China. The world-famous mind training game, the Sudoku, first appeared in Japan.
Asian countries are really famous for their martial arts which are fighting sports and other disciplines to maintain ultimate development of body and spirit. Many countries in Asia have their own forms of martial arts; Kung Fu and Sanda in China, Judo and Karate in Japan, Sambo in Russia and Taekwondo in Korea.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games were the first Olympics to adopt karate into the competition as (the International Olympic Committee IOC) now allows the host country to add authentic popular sports to the list of Olympic Games.
Get your musical ears ready to enjoy a wide spectrum of tunes. Music differs from one region to another, starting with the Hindustani classics in India and electronic K-pop in South Korea, to the maqam in classical Iranian and Turkish music.
Take a Walk
From megacities to magnificent islands, Asia is a pot of scenic natural wonders that will take your breath away.
Tat Kuang Si Falls – Laos
A spectacular place for swimming, hiking, picnics and enjoying nature with turquoise water and green scenery. A legend claims that a wise man dug deep into the ground and revealed the water, then a golden deer made a home under a big rock in the falls. The sound of water falling on the rock was a calling echo to draw people to the site. In the Lao language “Tat” means waterfall, “Kuang” means deer and “Si” means dig; the name says it all!
Kelimutu National Park – Indonesia
Kelimutu National Park is located on the island of Flores where mount Kelimutu is known for the tri-colored volcanic lakes that change colors over time. Locals believe that the lakes carry the spirit of the ancestors; there’s a lake for old people, another for young men and the third one for wicked souls. It’s a beautiful place to watch the sun casting its rays over the sacred lakes.
It would be your lucky day if you ran into some of the world’s most endangered animals that live there such as, Javan Rusa, Red Junglefowl and Drongos birds.
Valley of Flowers National Park – India
It’s a 47 kilometers Himalayan trek in Uttarakhand and it became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1988. No words can describe the beauty of this valley. It’s a piece of heaven on earth, an open pallet of natural colors of mesmerizing wildflowers, such as lilies, daisies, petunia, calendula and the rare blue primula. We advise you to take snacks and water bottles with you as this place hasn’t been ruined by local shops yet.
Petra – Jordan
Let’s head south to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It’s a city fully carved in pink stone so it was called “The Red Rose city” by the Nabateans around 150BCE.
It’s a jaw-dropping place witnessing how handy and artistic the first Arabs were about 2000 years ago.
The Rain Vortex – Singapore
It’s the world’s tallest indoor waterfall surrounded by beautiful green features in Jewel Changi Airport. It’s a 40 m tall rain vortex that will draw your attention the moment you walk through the doors. Inspired by Singapore’s heavy tropical rains and thunderstorms, the site was designed by Moshe Safdie’s architecture firm and built from 2014 to 2019 to recapture the rainwater and then reuse it again inside the building. It’s truly a man-made wonder.
The Great Wall of China – China
It’s probably the first thing that crosses your mind when you hear about Asia. Located in the center of Asia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and one of the largest man-made structures. This wall is an eyewitness to the rise and fall of dynasties, neighborly conflicts, and even a world war. Don’t miss taking a picture by this astonishing monument.
Stare at the devil’s eye
At the foot of the Kunlun Mountains in China, there’s a hot water spring that resembles an eye when top viewed. The water sprayed by the spring contains a lot of sulfur that precipitated over the years and a red-brown circle is formed just like a person’s eye socket. The water in the center of the fountain continues to flow, creating a swirl that makes it more life-like.
It gets more interesting, the sulfur water makes the surrounding land barren, even birds and other animals do not like it there. Locals call it “Aiken spring” which means demon’s eyes in Mongolian.
We are not sure if it’s a fun fact or a creepy one.
The Afro-Asian city
Port Said, Egypt has a small district called Port Fouad. This district is separated from the rest of Port Said lands by the Suez Canal. Port Fouad lies in Asia while the rest of Port Said lies in Africa. Ferries that cross the Suez Canal daily will take you from African lands to Asian ones and vice versa For free! You can also enjoy the soothing voyage and a chance to greet dolphins and seagulls.