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.
The world’s highest point, Mount Everest, lies within Asia along the border of Tibet and Nepal soaring 8,848m (29,028 ft) 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 400m (1,312 ft) below sea level. Asia’s longest river is the Yangtze, which runs 6,300km (3,915 miles) through China, all the way from the high Tibetan Plateau to Shanghai. Its largest lake is the 386,400km² (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’s bordered by the Red Sea to the southwest, by Europe and the 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 Southeast Asia to the mega-cities and technology capitals of East Asia. Find out more about regions, destinations, and itineraries below.
Asia offers very diverse travel options. There are ultra modern, largely democratic countries like Japan and the East Asian Tigers (regions and countries) 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, with great food, a tropical climate, fascinating culture, and great beaches. On the other extreme, Asia houses Communist North Korea, perhaps the most oppressive regime in the world, which has no travel freedom and constant monitoring by the government.