Asia is the biggest continent in the entire world and is located primarily in the northern hemisphere with a good portion of it in the southern hemisphere. In total, Asia takes up a whopping 17,000,000 square miles and takes up 30% of Earth’s landmass.
This massive Asian continent has a whopping 49 countries (that the UN recognizes) and 3 other non-recognized countries. Asia’s population is incredible, coming in at 4.5 billion people (that is 60% of the world’s population). To learn about the countries in Asia check out this guide.
Going to Southeast Asia for the first time and tasting that spectrum of flavors – that certainly changed my whole palate, the kind of foods I crave. A lot of the dishes I used to love became boring to me. – Anthony Bourdain
Facts About Asia
Before we delve into the countries in Asia there are a few facts about Asia that we wanted to go over:
- The highest point of Asia: Mount Everest coming in at 29,000 feet
- It is the tallest point in the world as well
- The lowest point of Asia: The Dead Sea that comes in at -1295 feet
- The language spoken: There are hundreds of different languages spoken in Asia
- The most widely spoken language is Mandarin Chinese with over 1 billion speakers across the continent
- India has 30 different languages spoken
- China has 5 different time zones
- The word “Asia” has unknown origins, some believe that the word is Greek but there is 0 proof of that
- Japan has the longest life expectancy in the world, coming in between the ages of 85 to 87
- There are at least 44 different tribes in Asia that have 0 contact with the outside world living in the jungles of Papua and Indonesia
- North Korea has the lowest amount of cell phones with only 8 phones per every 100 North Korean citizens
- Russia has the largest amount of landmass, taking up 40% of the Asian continent
- Asia’s biggest city is Shanghai, but Tokyo has the biggest area
- The smallest country in Asia is the Maldives, consisting of 1,190 tiny islands
- The longest river in Asia is the Yangtze River
- It is 3,900 miles and is the third longest river in the world after the Nile and Amazon
Because Asia is so massive there are so many unique and different aspects to learn about.
Now let’s go over Asian countries, their capital city, and their population. This list is in alphabetical order:
|Brunei||Bandar Seri Begawan||434 thousand|
|Cambodia||Phnom Penh||16.2 million|
|India||New Delhi||1.3 billion|
|Kuwait||Kuwait City||4.1 million|
|Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur||32 million|
|North Korea||Pyongyang||25.6 million|
|Saudi Arabia||Riyadh||33.5 million|
|South Korea||Seoul||51.1 million|
|Sri Lanka||Colombo||20.9 million|
|State of Palestine||Ramallah||5 million|
|Timor – Leste||Dili||1.3 million|
|United Arab Emirates||Abu Dhabi||9.5 million|
Now here is a list of countries that are not internationally recognized:
|Northern Cyprus||Nicosia||285 thousand|
|South Ossetia||Tskhinvali||51 thousand|
Now here is a list of the top 10 most populated cities in Asia (in order of population):
|Guangzhou – Foshan||China||48.6 million|
|Seoul||South Korea||24.8 million|
Since Asia is so darn big there are quite a few major tourist attractions you can check out if you ever visit this massive continent. Let’s go over some of the major attractions:
Taj Mahal (India)
The Taj Mahal started construction in 1643 and was finally completed in 1653. It was built to house the body of Mumtaz Mahal by the emperor Shah Jahan. The Taj Mahal is a worldwide spectacle, drawing in over 7 million visitors each year.
The Taj Mahal is actually in danger of acid rain from the Mathura Oil Refinery, concerning many conservation groups. Unfortunately the damage has already begun, the Taj Mahal is actually turning yellow from all the pollution near where it is. There are also cracks appearing in the tomb from the Yumana River drying up.
Great Wall of China (China)
Most people out there have at least heard of the Great Wall of China, the almost 14,000-mile long wall that was built to block out enemies of China that began being built as early as 220 BC. This attraction has attracted millions of tourists and can even be seen from space (barely, but it still counts). Its name in Chinese, 長城, quite literally means “the long wall”. This is a location that, if given the opportunity, needs to be seen in person to see the whole scale of it.
This movie can be found in quite a few movies, including the recent movie The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon.
Gardens by the Bay (Singapore)
This is a massive nature park located in Marina Bay, Singapore built in 2012. This park spans 250 acres in the middle of the metropolitan Singapore area. The Garden was contracted by two British construction companies and construction began in 2006. It has 3 different waterfront gardens, all connected by a large hub in the middle.
This Garden can be found in pop culture, such as in the movie Hitman: Agent 47, the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops III, and was in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy.