Asia

 

Welcome to Asia Travel Guide!

Afghanistan

Armenia

Azerbaijan

Bangladesh

Cambodia

China

East Timor

Georgia

India

Indonesia

Iraq

Iran

Israel

Japan

Jordan

Kyrgyzstan

Lebanon

Malaysia

Federated States of Micronesia

Nepal

Pakistan

Philippines

Saudi Arabia

Sri Lanka

Syria

Thailand

Turkey

Vietnam

 

Asia is the largest continent in the world, which makes it a land of great geographical contrasts, finding arid areas and large jungles, valleys and depressions just kilometers away from the Himalayas, the most imposing mountain range on the planet. Between the Pacific and the Indian Ocean, the land is disarmed and gives rise to thousands of islands, each home to a unique ecosystem.

More than half of the planet's population lives on this continent. A variety of cultures, religions and languages ​​coexist in their lands - in some cases friendly and in others not so much. Asia stands out for the great cultural diversity of the Indian subcontinent, the traditional dances of Southeast Asia , the great ancient constructions of China and the arts of ancient Japan . The steppes of Central Asia still keep different secrets of their ancestral cultures waiting for new travelers, while the distant SiberiaIt has become a destination for the most curious adventurers and goes from the Urals to the Pacific Ocean. This space is among the largest in the world, but also among the least populated.

 

Regions
middle East
Saudi Arabia · Bahrain · Qatar · United Arab Emirates · Iran · Iraq · Israel · Jordan · Kuwait · Lebanon · Oman · Palestine · Syria · Yemen
Land of spirituality and conflict, the Middle East is the cradle of human civilization and the origin of the three main monotheistic religions in the world. In the Holy Land you can visit the holy sites of Jerusalem and quickly jump into the effervescence of Tel Aviv. Syria and Jordan maintain impressive ruins such as Palmyra or Petra, while Iraq tries to re-emerge where Babylon once stood. The Arabian Peninsula, meanwhile, faces the duality of Mecca's religiosity and Dubai's excessive luxury.

Central Asia
Afghanistan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Tajikistan Turkmenistan
The grasslands and steppes of Central Asia have been home to various nomadic tribes throughout history, taking advantage of their strategic location between Europe and Asia. From the plains of the Caspian Sea to the high mountains of the East, thousands of caravans traveled the Silk Road, passing through beautiful cities such as Samarkand and wonderful places such as the Fergana Valley. While Afghanistan tries to stabilize after decades of civil war, the rest of the countries try to develop after the end of Soviet rule.

Far East
China (Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan) North Korea South Korea Japan Mongolia
One fifth of the world's population so it is not surprising that this region presents as much variety as the human being can have. From the vast rice fields of southern China, the steppes of Xinjiang and Mongolia, or the high plateaus of Tibet, one can travel to the ultramodernity of global trading centers like Shanghai, Hong Kong, or Tokyo. Cities like Beijing or Kyoto still maintain the monumental essence of the ancient great empires of the region, while Macao delights with its ruins of Portuguese origin and its exotic casinos. North Korea's secrecy, meanwhile, presents a challenge to many adventurers.

Indian subcontinent
India Pakistan Sri Lanka Nepal Bhutan Bangladesh Maldives
A mixture of diverse religions and traditions, chaotic and crowded cities, peaks that rise to infinity and impenetrable jungles characterize this piece of land between the Himalayas and the Indian Ocean. Going into cities like Calcutta, Mumbai, Karachi or Dhaka are a challenge for any tourist who wants to really get to know this region, beyond the classic attractions such as the Taj Majal. In the north, Mount Everest stands guard over the valleys of Nepal, while remote Bhutan captivates with its Buddhist traditions. Finally, an escape to the wonderful beaches of the Maldives can be the perfect closure of an incomparable excursion through South Asia.

Southeast Asian
Burma Thailand Cambodia Laos Vietnam Philippines Malaysia Brunei Indonesia Timor-Leste Singapore
Thanks to its extensive jungles, beautiful beaches and scattered archipelagos, Southeast Asia has experienced a tourist boom in recent decades. Thousands of backpackers have ventured to discover ruins such as Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the wonderful mountains of Laos or the canals of Hoi An in Vietnam. Thailand stands out for the cultural wonders that congregate in its capital, Bangkok, as well as spectacular beaches on islands such as Phuket and Phi Phi. While the skyscrapers of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur continue to light up the night, Bali delights its tourists with its perfect mix of culture, adventure and unforgettable landscapes.

 

Destinations

While every continent has a wealth of things to see, what sets Asia apart is the incredible variety of things to see. . From the desolate Siberian tundra and taiga in the far north to the colorful street scenes of India, from ruins along the Silk Road to dazzling futuristic metropolises, and from camels in the Arabian desert to dragons of Komodo who roam the jungles of Flores, visiting it is safe to say that Asia has something for everyone.

Extending from the Arctic to beyond the Equator, Asia is home to virtually every type of climate and ecosystem that exists in the world and a corresponding number of different plants and animals. Almost every part of Asia boasts iconic animals, including pandas, brown bears, tigers, monkeys, elephants, crocodiles, camels, and birds, although many of them are threatened in the wild. While North and Central Asia is part of the Palearctic region, South and Southeast Asia form the Indomalaya region. There's no shortage of jaw-dropping landscapes either. Vast boreal forests cover the northern part of the continent interspersed with some of the longest rivers in the world. Further south, Asia is dominated by a massive system of mountain ranges stretching from the highlands of Turkey through Iran and Central Asia to China, where it branches off into a northern section that includes the Altai Mountains and continues all the way to the south. way through the Russian Far East. and in a section further south that includes the Himalayas, which features the highest peaks in the world, and then the highlands of Southeast Asia. Many mountains in the easternmost parts of the continent are volcanic, Pakistan and Indonesia and Kamchatka are indeed great destinations for volcanic tourism. Central Asia has steppes, which turn into desert when you travel south, and if you've always wanted to experience a desert environment, the Middle East is definitely a good choice. Another great desert is the Gobi on the borders of Mongolia. and Chinese. Finally, Tropical Asia which covers a portion of East and most of South and Southeast Asia, where it is not cultivated or urbanized, is dominated by various types of tropical forests and thousands of beaches ranging from isolated paradise islands such as the Maldives. to some of the world's most popular spas in Thailand.

Home to more than half of the world's population, birthplace of the world's major religions, and using all of the world's most widespread writing systems, the different peoples and cultures you can find on this continent are probably even more varied than the landscapes. Nearly every region of Asia has ruins from some of the world's oldest civilizations, often dating back several millennia. The Holy Land of the Abrahamic religions is located in the Middle East. Similarly, the Indian subcontinent is the source of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and East Asia of Confucianism, Taoism, and Shintoism. Asia is also witnessing the spread of the great religions in the form of amazing religious architecture, including ancient tombs and places of worship at Angkor Wat, Borobudur, Samarkand, the Taj Mahal, and thousands of others. There are also other types of historical sites such as the Great Wall, Petra, Ayutthaya, and the royal and imperial palaces of past and present dynasties. Even in the latter case, royal traditions can be experienced as in the royal changing of the guards at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul. The ruins of Saint Paul's Church in Macau, showing the contrast between colonial architecture and the rapid development taking place in much of Asia. Colonial influences are not as prominent as in Africa, America or Oceania, but this does not mean that they are not there. Virtually all of South and Southeast Asia was ruled for centuries by various European empires that introduced things like Western architecture and food (some of it from the Americas), as well as Christianity, European languages, and the Latin alphabet. We must not forget Russian Asia and Central Asia, which was part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union for a century and a half. The history of the 20th and 21st centuries, although much of Asia features many wars and other sad things, is also present in monuments and museums. Finally if you want to immerse yourself in modern cities with most of the tallest buildings in the world, glass, steel and huge LED screens, extensive and modern transport systems and centers of entertainment and fun, Asia is also the place to go, especially the Gulf States and East Asia.

 

Geography

The highest point in Asia is Mount Everest, on the border between Tibet and Nepal, which rises to 8,848 m (29,028 ft) above sea level. Its lowest point is the Dead Sea, located at the meeting points of Israel, Palestine and Jordan, whose surface is 400 m (1,312 ft) below sea level. Asia's longest river is the Yangtze, which runs 6,300 kilometers (3,915 miles) through China all the way from the High Tibetan Plateau to Shanghai. It's largest lake is the 386,400 km² (149,200 sq mi) Caspian Sea, which is surrounded by several Central Asian nations. Asia is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east, Australia to the southeast, and 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 the Arctic Ocean to the north.

 

How to get

By plane
Asia's busiest airports include Hong Kong (HKG), Dubai (DXB), Singapore (SIN), Bangkok (BKK), Seoul (ICN), Tokyo (NRT, HND), and Jakarta (CGK). If you're going anywhere in Asia, chances are you'll pass through at least one of these airports, either in transit or as a final stop. Fortunately for those with long transit times, they are some of the best equipped airports in the world, known for their efficient service and ample amenities. In addition, Beijing (PEK), Shanghai (PVG), New Delhi (DEL), and Mumbai (BOM) are the main hubs for travel to China and the Indian subcontinent. For the Middle East, Doha (DOH) and Abu Dhabi (AUH) also have fairly good connections.

By train
If you are coming to Asia by train, you must enter through Russia or Turkey, although there may be other options. For an interesting experience, try the "Trans-Siberian Railway".

Boat
Although the distance between Indonesia and Australia may seem close, there are no ferry services between the two continents, and freighter travel is probably the most reasonable option. Several cruise companies such as Royal Caribbean and Princess ships do not depart from Australia, but only Holland America travels across the Pacific from North America.

 

Language

Many languages ​​are spoken throughout Asia, comprising a number of families and some unrelated isolates. While local languages ​​are always best, some Manta languages ​​can be useful in multiple countries. In the Middle East, Arabic is widely known, while knowledge of Russian will help you in Mongolia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. Hindi/Urdu is useful in South Asia and Malay/Indonesian will help you in Southeast Asia. Mandarin Chinese is spoken by the majority in China, and understood in Taiwan and, to a lesser extent, in Singapore, but there are many other languages ​​spoken including different dialects.

In most Asian countries, the local languages ​​use their own alphabets, so the feeling of being completely lost in them is multiplied several times. To avoid this, it is advisable to first go to the local tourist office, and ask for a map in English or a Western language. Once that's done, at least you'll be able to get your bearings, even if things still sound Chinese to you.

 

To eat

Asia is known for having some of the best cuisine in the world and natural and social services. Asian cuisine is incredibly diverse, from Turkish kebabs to Arabian pita bread, Indian curries and Chinese noodles, there really is no shortage of different food to try. Rice, in its many varieties, is a very common staple food throughout Asia. Street food is also available almost anywhere in countless variations. Southeast Asia offers a wide variety of tropical fruits and wonderful food at affordable prices.

Wikivoyage has detailed guides to various cuisines of the continent: see Middle Eastern Cuisine, South Asian Cuisine, Thai Cuisine, Chinese Cuisine, Korean Cuisine, Japanese Cuisine, Filipino Cuisine, and Malaysian Cuisine.

 

Drink and go out

To drink
Tea is the most common beverage, especially in South and East Asia. In tropical areas, enjoy fresh fruits and coconut juice. Fresh sugar cane juice is available in many cities in India. It can be served alone or with ginger and lemon. In some areas, fresh water and clean drinking water may not be readily available. Yogurt-based drinks are common in some areas, lassi in India and Pakistan, and doogh in some western parts of Asia such as Iran and Armenia.

Alcohol is widely available throughout North, Southeast and East Asia. Larger cities or tourist areas often have a trendy night scene. Alcohol is illegal in some parts of India and in some Middle Eastern countries. While beer is commonly available in countries that serve alcohol, it often uses rice as its staple grain, which affects the flavor somewhat. Another common drink, especially in Japan, Korea and China, is "rice wine" (closer to beer because it contains more starch than sugar) which is sold and produced under various names and with a variety of variations on the basic recipe. .

Usually the largest city or capital has the best nightclubs. Tea is a common drink, especially in East Asia. In tropical areas, there is a lot of fresh fruit and coconut juice, which makes the heat of these areas more bearable.

Leave
In Asia it is not very common to go out in the European style, almost always seasoned with alcohol. Either because there are many countries that are Muslim, which have prohibited alcohol, or because genetically some Asian peoples are not prepared for it, it is not very common. In any case, after globalization, the style of nightlife imported from Europe has spread, and one can always find pubs or discos; many of them frequented by locals, and others by foreigners. Alcohol will continue to be expensive and scarce for what we are used to in Europe or America, but at least one will be able to go out and have a good time as he is used to.

In China, Korea and Japan, karaoke is very common.
Sail among the spectacular limestone karsts, islets and islands, in the emerald blue sea of ​​Ha Long Bay.
Sleep aboard a houseboat on the backwaters of India's Kerala.
Experience the architecture of the Taj Mahal Agra in India.
Dive into a crystal blue sea in Bunaken, Indonesia to see a colorful coral reef and its wide variety of tropical fish.
Climb Mount Everest, the highest point on earth (Nepal) or K2, the second highest, in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Explore Borneo, an island divided between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei that contains one of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world.
Climb Mount Bromo, Indonesia, an active volcanic mountain that has incredible scenery during sunrise.
Take a tour of Yogyakarta, Indonesia's cultural hub and gateway to see the magnificent Borobudur Buddhist Temple and the Prambanan Hindu Temple.
Explore Lake Toba, the largest volcanic lake in Indonesia and the world.
Visit Lombok, a popular island to the east of Bali, with its beautiful white sand beaches and the famous Gili Trawangan Island and the mighty Mount Rinjani located in Indonesia.
Climb Mount Fuji, an icon of Japan
Asia has a large number of dive sites, from snorkeling to diving, with very interesting underwater life and quite a few shipwrecks. For more information
Visit Cox's Bazar, the world's longest sea beach, and Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest, in Bangladesh.
Watch anime and manga in Japan.
Go shopping for Persian rugs in the bazaars of Central Asia.
For the seasoned traveler, visit the world's two Stalinist countries, Turkmenistan or North Korea. on a guided tour.
Gamble at some of the world's largest casinos in Macau.
Experience ancient Silk Road caravanserais like Samarkand in Uzbekistan.
Relax on a beach in the Maldives.
Visit the Holy Land in Israel and Palestine.
Ride the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok and experience Siberia from the comfort of a train car.
Journey through Asia's cradles of mankind, into the Indus River Valley, Yellow River Valley, and Mesopotamia.
Visit the national parks and protected areas of India.

 

Take care of your health

Many areas of Asia, especially Southeast Asia and South Asia, are humid tropical, and there are health risks associated with traveling in those regions. See tropical diseases and country articles for specific information.

Parts of Asia, like Mongolia and Siberia, have very harsh winters. See cold and country/region articles for more information.

In some areas, such as Tibet, travelers will have to take precautions to avoid altitude sickness and in other places such as India, diseases are present due to overcrowding, for which it is suggested to be vaccinated.