The continent of Asia is a land of contrasts. From bustling city streets to serene forests, there’s always something new to learn and experience!

We visited Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines and other nations in the Far East, and we also lived for several years at a time in Kazakhstan, India, Dubai and Oman.

For me, Asia is like a second home, one which I would always choose as an alternative to Europe in winter!

Read and enjoy interesting facts about Asia.

interesting facts about Asia

Largest Continent

Asia is the largest continent in the world. It covers an area of almost a 45million sq km; (over 17M sq miles) – about 30% of the total land surface on Earth. Asia is almost twice the size of Africa and almost three times larger than North America.

The largest countries in Asia

In third place by area in India with more than 3M sq km (over 1M sq miles). Second is China – almost three times as big as India, but Russia beats everywhere else hands down being the largest country in the world with over 17M sq km 6.6M sq miles). Although 23% of Russia is in Europe, this still leaves the area of Asian Russia as over 13M sq km (5M sq miles) – about as big as China and India combined.

The most populous country on the Asian Continent

Asia is the most densely populated continent. At more than 95 people per sq km, it has almost three times the density of Africa and almost four times that of either North or South America. Only Europe comes close with 72.5 people per sq km. 

As it is both the biggest and the densest, Asia, with about 4.7 Billion people (October 2021), is by far the most populous continent, with far more people than everywhere else combined. Asia is home to almost 60% of the world’s population. (total 7.9 Bn – Oct 2021)

China and India have the largest populations in Asia, with about 1.4 Bn People each. At the moment (2021), according to Worldometer, China has a few more than India, however as India’s population is growing at 1% per annum and China’s is growing at less than half that rate, the experts expect India to overtake China in 2026 or 27. Anyway, however you count it, China and India are the two most populous countries in both Asia and in the world. Indonesia, with a comparatively small 270 million people in the world’s fourth most populous country after the United States of America.

How many countries are there in Asia?

The United Nations recognizes 48 countries, but Taiwan is or isn’t a separate country from China, depending on your point of view, and other Chinese territories, including Hong Kong and Tibet, have their own views on their respective statuses. On the other hand, if China would consider recovering its historic lost empire, then it would include territories in as many as twenty neighbouring states and would more than double its area. So, let’s say the number of countries in Asia is “about 48.”

Oldest civilization

Asia has the distinction of being the birthplace of human civilization. Mesopotamia, considered to be the cradle of western civilization, is in Asia. “Meso” means middle, and “potamia” refers to a river or water channel. This area came into prominence as a result of two rivers -The Tigris and Euphrates that flowed through the region in South Western Asia. Meanwhile, in the East, the ancient cultures of China and India also sprang up in the same continent, so whichever way you slice it, the continent of Asia is where the magic of human culture first blossomed.

Landmarks in Asia

Asia has many Landmarks including man-made landmarks like the Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, Petra, Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Hagia Sophia etc and many natural landmarks like the world’s highest mountains Mount Everest or Ha Long Bay in Vietnam.

Most water bodies

Asia has the most number of rivers, lakes and other water bodies in comparison with any other continent in the world. There are more than 50,000 rivers in Asia and around five million lakes.

Asia is surrounded by four bodies of water, namely the Arctic Ocean on the north coast, the Pacific Ocean to the East, the Indian Ocean to the south and the Arabian Sea to the southwest.

The largest lake in Asia

caspian sea

The Caspian Sea, located in Kazakhstan is the biggest lake not only in Asia but as well the largest lake in the world. It has a maximum depth of 2,212 feet ( 673 meters). The Caspian sea is found between Europe and Asia.

The largest freshwater lake in Asia is Lake Baikal which is found in Russia.

The longest river in Asia

Asia’s longest river is the Yangtze River. It has a length of 6,300 km (3986 miles) which makes it the third-longest river in the world after the Nile and Amazon.

Asia has a large number of rivers, and major rivers include Huang He (Yellow River), Amur, Ganga, Brahmaputra, Mekong etc.

The lowest and the deepest point on Earth –

The Dead Sea

Asia’s lowest point is found in the Dead Sea. It is situated at an altitude of more than 400 metres below sea level. This makes it the world’s deepest and saltiest lake. It has a salinity level of 34%. The density of this lake allows people to comfortably float on its surface.

The deepest trench of the world

Mariana Trench lies in the western Pacific Ocean, to the East of the Mariana Islands. The trench has a maximum depth of approximately 36,198 feet (11,033 metres) and is the deepest known part of Earth’sEarth’s seabed – Ok, it’s not quite in the same Asia that is measured in land area, but it’s right next door.

Tallest mountains range

The Asian continent has several mountain ranges. Of them, the Himalayan mountain range is the highest Mountain Range in the world. The peak of Mount Everest is at 8,848 meters above sea level and is usually regarded as the world’s highest mountain, although these things are a bit difficult to measure, and sometimes the nearby K2 has been given the accolade. But they’re both in the Himalayas, both in Asia, so we aren’t going to splitting hairs.  

As if it’s not big enough, the Himalayan range is still getting taller. India’s tectonic plate crashed into the south of Asia a while back, and it hasn’t stopped moving north yet, so it’s still pushing the Himalayas up – they have nowhere else to go! 

Longest sea beach

Asia has the longest sea beach in the world, with a stretch of 1,050 km. The beach is found in Mui Ne, Vietnam, and it runs along the coastline extending from Vietnam to Cambodia. It is also known as Golden Sand Sea Beach.

The largest desert in Asia

Asia has one of the largest deserts in the world – the Gobi desert and Takla Makan desert. The Gobi desert is found in Mongolia, China and Russia. Takla Makan is located near the borders of India, Pakistan and China. 

Fastest growing economy in the world

China is the fastest-growing economy in Asia. It has outpaced Japan which was the second-fastest growing economy for many years. India is another fast-growing economy in Asia. 

Japan has the longest life expectancy in the world.

Asia has the most number of oldest living individuals. This is because Asians as a whole have a longer life expectancy than people from other continents. Of course, the quality of life and healthcare facilities play an important role in this too. Japan has the longest average life expectancy and is home to more than 54,000 centenarians, accounting for more than 30% of the world’s total.

Asia has the most number of billionaires. Eight out of every ten people who possess more than one billion US dollars are from Asia.

Central Asia

Central Asia makes up a vast area of plains known as the steppes, and in the south, mountains, including most of Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. These are the lands where Khenghis Khan ruled and through which ran the old silk roads before sea routes to Europe were discovered around the southern cape of Africa.  

Perhaps not so well known, Tulips grew wild here for centuries before they were ever imported to Holland, also there are vast apple orchards on the soft sols eroded from the southern mountains, and huge poppy fields bloom scarlet across the steppes every year. 

The lands of Central Asia are rich with vast reserves of oil and gas, diamonds, coal and many other minerals and have been tipped as a nascent economic powerhouse to watch in the near future. 

The border between Asian and European continents

Asia borders Europe and along a line generally taken as the Ural mountain range. The Ural mountains form an important natural boundary between Asia and Europe. They extend about 2,400 km from the Arctic Ocean, running through Russia and Kazakhstan to the Aral Sea. As well as Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkey both have territories and specifically Cities that literally cross between continents.  

On the subject of cities that span continents, Aisa has all of them. Four spans between Asia and Europe and one between Asia and Africa. See our article here:

Great Animals of Asia

The tiger is perhaps the most iconic animal of Asia. Tigers are found in a number of countries throughout south and east Asia, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The Asian elephant is one of the largest animals on land and can grow to a height of nearly 3 metres (10 feet). Asian elephants are found in parts of India, Sri Lanka; Bangladesh; Thailand, and Malaysia.

Kitti’s hog nosed bat, known as well as bumblebe bat. This is the smallest mammal in the world. Kitti’s hog-nosed bat is found in western Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. The length of this rare mammal is about 5-6 centimetres (2 inches) while it weighs just 2 grams.

Water buffalo occur all over Asia (except the Arabian Peninsula) and China. They are not only used for farming in countries like Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam but also play an important role in ceremonies like weddings.

Giant Panda is one of the most enchanting animals found in Asia. It is found in China and Bhutan. Giant Panda is a critically endangered species, and its population is falling due to habitat loss and poaching.

The king cobra is found in many parts of Asia, including Sri Lanka, India and China. The king cobra is the world’s longest venomous snake.

The largest city in Asia and in the world

Asia’s largest city is Tokyo, with a population of 38 million, which makes it the world’s largest urban area.

Smallest countries in Asia

The smallest country in Asia is the Maldives, the beautiful archipelago on the Indian Ocean. Second Asia’s smallest country is Singapore. It has a total area of 720 sq km. It is located in South East Asia on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula.

Climate in Asia

The climate in Asia varies from tropical, subtropical to subpolar and hyperpolar regions. The northern areas of Mongolia and Siberia have a subarctic climate with long and cold winters, while the same region has short but warm summers. In general, most parts of Asia lie in the temperate zone with humid climates except for the tropical island regions like Malaysia and Indonesia.

In 1983 the coldest temperature on Earth was measured here at Oymyakon, Siberia, where temperatures can reach as low as -71 Celsius (-96 Fahrenheit).

The highest IQ in the world

The world’s most intelligent countries are found in Asia. The first six countries with the highest average IQ are Singapore, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan. It’s not surprising then that all of them represent some of the most prosperous nations and the continent’s strongest economies.

The 7th place goes to Finland, then Canada. The USA didn’t make it to the first 25, as you can see on Forbes.

Religion in Asia

Asia is a continent with the highest level of religious diversity in the world. The largest religion in Asia is Hinduism, which is found primarily in India and Nepal. China and Thailand have a significant number of Buddhists. Christianity is one of the main religions in South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and East Timor. Islam is a major religion among Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Bangladesh populations. Sikhism is another major religion in India and also has a significant following in Singapore and Afghanistan.

Other odd fun facts about Asia and Asia People

Asia Facts Summary

We hope these facts about Asia were informative and enjoyable. One of the most interesting facts that we learned is how diverse this continent is, both geographically and culturally. From bustling cities to serene forests, there’s always something new to learn in Asia!

Fact about Asia – pin it for later

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