Asia is too massive and diverse to conceptualize as a single digestible travel “destination”. Even defining the borders of this continent is difficult – from the mountains around the Black Sea in the west, to the snow fields of Siberia in the east, there are more people and cities in Asia than outside of it. Asia’s and the world’s highest point is Mount Everest, along the border of Tibet (China) and Nepal, which rises to 8,848 m (29,028 feet) above sea level. Its lowest point is the Dead Sea, located at the meeting points of Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and Jordan, whose surface is 400 m (1,312 feet) below sea level. Asia’s longest river is the Yangtze, which runs 6,300 km (3,915 miles) through China from all the way from the high Tibetan Plateau to Shanghai. Its largest lake is the 386,400 sq km (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 Urals to the west, and by the Arctic Ocean to the north.
Travel options range widely, from the desert ruins and modern mega-malls of the Middle East to the magnificent ancient monuments in South Asia, and from the beach bungalows and jungle treks of South-East Asia to the mega-cities and technology capitals of East Asia.
In any case, Asia offers the very diverse travel options available to the most avid travelers. On one end, there are the ultramodern largely democratic modern countries/territories like Japan and the East Asian Tigers of Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea which are very prosperous and in which people enjoy very high standards of living. On the other hand, Afghanistan, Laos and East Timor are extremely poor countries where people struggle even to get a few grains of rice each day. Of course, there are also many countries lying somewhere in the middle, such as the emerging powerhouses of China and India which make wonderful travel destinations in themselves due to their long history, size and diversity.
Thailand is a magnet for travelers too, with great food, a tropical climate, fascinating culture and great beaches. To add to a list of possible travel destinations, Asia is also home to North Korea, which is under one of, if not the most, oppressive regimes in the world.
Due to the vast distances and expanses of water separating Asia’s different regions, air travel is likely to be the preferred mode of transport between the regions many travel destinations. Fares are lower on average than in Europe or America, and low cost airlines in Asia are rapidly expanding their networks particularly in Southeast Asia.
Popular Cities in Asia:
- Bangkok — Thailand’s bustling, cosmopolitan capital with temples, nightlife and fervour
- Beijing — capital of the People’s Republic of China with the Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City
- Dubai — most modern and progressive emirate in the UAE, developing at an unbelievable pace
- Hong Kong — a truly world-class metropolis with a unique mixed Chinese and British heritage
- Jerusalem — containing the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old City, this city is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims
- Mumbai — most eclectic and cosmopolitan city of India, well-known for the Bollywood film industry
- Seoul — beautiful palaces, great food and a hopping nightlife, Seoul is a frenetic way to experience the Asia of old and new
- Singapore — modern, affluent city-state with a medley of Chinese, Indian, Malay and British influences
- Tokyo — the world’s largest city brings a huge, wealthy and fascinating metropolis with high-tech visions of the future side by side with glimpses of old Japan
Popular Destinations in Asia:
- Angkor Archaeological Park — magnificent remains of several capitals of the Khmer Empire
- Bali — unique Hindu culture, beaches and mountains on the Island of the Gods
- Dead Sea — stay afloat in this extremely salty lake
- Great Wall of China — several thousand kilometers long, its condition ranges from excellent to ruined
- Lake Baikal — the biggest and deepest freshwater lake in the world, containing over one fifth of the world’s supply
- Mount Everest — the world’s tallest mountain straddling the border of China and Nepal
- Petra — ancient city carved out of sandstone and one of the new 7 Wonders
- Registan — the impressive historic heart of Samarkand, a major trade city on the Silk Road
- Taj Mahal — the incomparable marble tomb in Agra
Asia’s largest airports by number of intercontinental connections include Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong,Bangkok, Mumbai and Singapore. For the Middle East, Dubai is by far the largest hub, with Doha and Abu Dhabi also having reasonably good connections.
InfoSource: Wikitravel Under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.