In this article we talk about Asian Countries And Capitals. Asia is currently the largest and the most populous continent in the world. The continent is divided into 50 independent countries and occupies the eastern part of the single Eurasian landmass. Asia is surrounded by the Arctic Ocean in the north, the Pacific Ocean in the east and the Indian Ocean in the south. It is also separated from Africa by Suez Canal.
Asia is separated from Europe by the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. The overland border runs through the Caucasus Mountains, the Caspian Sea, the Ural River, and also the Ural Mountains. This boundary however crosses through the territory of Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, which means that these states are in both continents.
Geographically, both Armenia and Cyprus are in Asia, but politically and culturally they also are considered as a part of Europe. The largest country in Asia is Russia which occupies about 30% of the total land mass of the continent.
The smallest one of the independent states in Asia is the Maldives, an archipelago of islands that is famous for its beach resorts. China is the most visited country in the region by tourists as it is a huge cultural center. It is followed by no less popular tourist destinations like India, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey.
The Five Regions Of Asia and Countries
Asia can be divided into five regions. These are Central, East, South, Southeast, and Western Asia Region.
- Central Asia is politically divided into five countries: Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.
- East Asia is politically divided into eight countries: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan.
- South Asia is politically divided into nine autonomous countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
- Southeast Asia is politically divided into 11 countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.
- Western Asia is politically divided into 16 countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen.
The List Of Asian Countries And Their Capitals with Current Presidents
Countries In Asia and Their Capitals
- Afghanistan (Kabul)
- Armenia (Yerevan)
- Azerbaijan (Baku)
- Bahrain (Manama)
- Bangladesh (Dhaka)
- Bhutan (Thimphu)
- Brunei (Bandar Seri Begawan)
- Cambodia (Phnom Penh)
- China (Beijing)
- Georgia (Tbilisi)
- Hong Kong (City of Victoria)
- India (New Delhi)
- Indonesia (Jakarta)
- Iran (Tehran)
- Iraq (Baghdad)
- Israel (Jerusalem)
- Japan (Tokyo)
- Jordan (Amman)
- Kazakhstan (Astana)
- Korea, North (Pyongyang)
- Korea, South (Seoul)
- Kuwait (Kuwait City)
- Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek)
- Laos (Vientiane)
- Lebanon (Beirut)
- Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
- Maldives (Male)
- Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar)
- Myanmar (Naypyidaw)
- Nepal (Kathmandu)
- Oman (Muscat)
- Pakistan (Islamabad)
- Philippines (Manila)
- Qatar (Doha)
- Saudi Arabia (Riyadh)
- Singapore (Singapore)
- Sri Lanka (Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte)
- Syria (Damascus)
- Taiwan (Taipei)
- Tajikistan (Dushanbe)
- Thailand (Bangkok)
- Timor Leste (Dili)
- Turkey (Ankara)
- Turkmenistan (Ashgabat)
- United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi)
- Uzbekistan (Tashkent)
- Vietnam (Hanoi)
- Yemen (Sana’a)
List of Asian Countries And Presidents
- Afghanistan – Ashraf Ghani (2014–present)
- Bahrain – Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa (1970–present)
- Bangladesh – Abdul Hamid (2013–present)
- Bhutan – Lotay Tshering (2018–present)
- Brunei – Hassanal Bolkiah (1984–present)
- Cambodia – Hun Sen (1985–present)
- China – Xi Jinping (2013–present)
- East Timor – Francisco Guterres (2017–present)
- India – Ram Nath Kovind (2017–present)
- Indonesia – Joko Widodo (2014–present)
- Iran – Hassan Rouhani (2013–present)
- Iraq – Barham Salih (2018–present)
- Israel – Reuven Rivlin (2014–present)
- Japan – Shinzō Abe (2012–present)
- Jordan – Omar Razzaz (2018–present)
- Kazakhstan – Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (2019–present)
- North Korea – Kim Jong-un (2011–present)
- South Korea – Moon Jae-in, (2017–present)
- Kuwait – Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah (2011–present)
- Kyrgyzstan – Sooronbay Jeenbekov (2017–present)
- Laos – Bounnhang Vorachith (2016–present)
- Lebanon – Michel Aoun (2016–present)
- Malaysia – Mahathir Mohamad (2018–present)
- Maldives – Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (2018–present)
- Mongolia – Khaltmaagiin Battulga (2017–present)
- Myanmar – Win Myint (2018–present)
- Nepal – Bidhya Devi Bhandari (2015–present)
- Oman – Qaboos bin Said al Said (1972–present)
- Pakistan – Arif Alvi (2018–present)
- Palestine – Mahmoud Abbas (2005–present)
- Philippines – Rodrigo Duterte (2016–present)
- Qatar – Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani (2013–present)
- Saudi Arabia – Salman (2015–present)
- Singapore – Halimah Yacob (2017–present)
- Sri Lanka – Maithripala Sirisena (2015–present)
- Syria – Bashar al-Assad (2000–present)
- Taiwan – Tsai Ing-wen (2016–present)
- Tajikistan – Emomali Rahmon (1992–present)
- Thailand – Prayut Chan-o-cha (2014–present)
- Turkey – Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (2014–present)
- Turkmenistan – Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow (2006–present)
- United Arab Emirates – Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (2004–present)
- Uzbekistan – Shavkat Mirziyoyev (2016–present)
- Vietnam – Nguyễn Phú Trọng (2018–present)
- Yemen – Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi (2012–present)
Asian Countries And Capitals, Population And Tourist Destinations
- Capital city: Kabul
- Area: 652,230 km2 (251,830 sq. mi)
- Population: 37,220,386
Afghanistan is a landlocked country located in South-Central Asia. Much of the territory of Afghanistan is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range, which experiences very cold winters. The north of Afghanistan consists of fertile plains while in the south-west, deserts with sweltering temperatures during exist.
abul is the largest city in Afghanistan and also serves as the capital. The territory now known as Afghanistan has a long history of human habitation which dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era.
The country is strategically located along the Silk Road and this connects it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia.
The land has been home to various peoples historically and has witnessed numerous military campaigns. Alexander the Great, Mauryas, Muslim Arabs, Mongols, British, Soviets, and since 2001 by the United States with NATO-allied countries have all waged wars in the territory. The land has been called “unconquerable” and nicknamed the “graveyard of empires”.
- Capital city: Yerevan
- Area: 29,743 square kilometers (11,484 sq. mi)
- Population: 2,939,000
Armenia was part of the former Soviet Republic and sits in the mountainous Caucasus region between Asia and Europe. It is among the earliest Christian civilizations. The country is defined by religious sites including the Greco-Roman Temple of Garni and the 4th century Etchmiadzin Cathedral which is the headquarters of the Armenian Church. Khor Virap Monastery is a pilgrimage site situated close to Mount Ararat, a dormant volcano that sits just across the border in Turkey.
Medieval Geghard Monastery features churches and tombs that were carved from stone. Byzantine Haghpat Monastery which is perched above the Debed River offers far-reaching views.
The high-altitude Lake Sevan borders the monastery Sevanavank which dates back to the 9th century, and beach resorts that are famous for windsurfing, jet-skiing and sailing. The capital of Armenia is Yerevan, a city filled with historic attractions such as Matenadaran which is a library that is filled with ancient manuscripts, modern nightclubs and also street markets. The city is also home to the Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial, which commemorates a dark period in the history of the history.
- Capital city: Baku
- Area: 33,436 sq. mi (86,600 sq. km)
- Population: 9,994,631
Azerbaijan was also part of the former Soviet Republic and is bounded by the Caspian Sea and Caucasus Mountains, which span Asia and Europe. The capital is Baku, a city famous for its medieval walled Inner City. Within the Inner City lies the Palace of the Shirvanshahs which is a royal retreat dating to the 15th century.
The centuries-old stone Maiden Tower dominates the city skyline. Baku is also known for contemporary landmarks such as the Heydar Aliyev Center, a curvaceous structure that was designed by Zaha Hadid and used for cultural events.
Located outside town are the reconstructed Bibi-Heybat Mosque which is a pilgrimage site, and the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum where a vast collection of ornate, locally made carpets are housed. To the south of the country is the Gobustan National Park which is surrounded by hundreds of mud volcanoes and perforated with caves that feature rock engravings from the Stone and Bronze ages.
The mountain village Khinalug in the remote north is a hiking destination and former center of the Zoroastrian faith
- Capital city: Manama
- Area: 780 square kilometers (301 sq. mi)
- Population: 1,698,000
Bahrain is a nation comprising over 30 islands in the Arabian Gulf. It has been at the center of major trade routes for a very long time. The modern capital of Bahrain is Manama, where the acclaimed Bahrain National Museum displays artifacts from the ancient Dilmun civilization that flourished in the region for millennia.
The thriving Bab al-Bahrain bazaar in the city offers wares that range from colorful handwoven fabrics and spices to pearls. Also, Manama is home to the enormous Al-Fateh Mosque, which is open for tours, as well as Beit al-Qur’an, a museum that exhibits many well-preserved Muslim manuscripts.
Sitting on top of the original Dilmun capital is Qal’at al-Bahrain, a fort which dates back to 2300 B.C., with the layered remains of several civilizations. Some other archaeological attractions in the country are: the 15th century fort Qala’at Arad located on Muharraq Island and the prehistoric burial mounds at A’ali.
- Capital city: Dhaka
- Area: 143,998 sq. km (55,598 sq. miles)
- Population: 167,687,106
Bangladesh is located to the east of India on the Bay of Bengal. The country is marked by lush greenery and many waterways. The rivers Padma (Ganges), Meghna and Jamuna flowing through the country create fertile plains, and boat travel is quite common. On the southern coast of Bangladesh, the Sundarbans which is an enormous mangrove forest shared with Eastern India, shelters the royal Bengal tiger.
Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh is densely populated and packed with rickshaws and mosques. The city is home to the imposing 19th century Ahsan Manzil (or “Pink Palace”), which is a former royal residence.
The city of Sylhet, located in the North is surrounded by tea plantations and forests, and also has a shrine to Sufi saint Hazrat Shah Jalal. Close to Paharpur are the ruins of a vast 8th century Buddhist monastery, Somapura Mahavihara, as well as the 18th century terra-cotta Kantaji Hindu temple.
- Caital city: Thimphu
- Area: 38,364 sq. km (14,812 sq. miles)
- Population: 827,830
Bhutan is a Buddhist kingdom located on the eastern edge of the Himalayas. The country is known for its monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs) and also dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. In the High Himalayas, peaks such as the 7,326m Jomolhari are very popular trekking destinations.
The capital city, Thimphu, features a bustling weekend market as well as the ornate Tashichho Dzong, which serves as the government seat. The historic Punakha Dzong that was built in 1637, sits at the juncture of 2 rivers and hosts a very lavish, multiday religious festival that features masked dances and music. The Phobjikha Valley which is a habitat for rare black-necked cranes, is a bird-watching destination.
- Capital city: Bandar Seri Begawan
- Area: 5,765 square kilometers (2,226 sq. mi)
- Population: 438,173
Brunei is a tiny nation located on the island of Borneo. The country is known for its beaches and biodiverse rainforest, mostly protected within reserves. The capital is Bandar Seri Begawan, a city home to the opulent Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah mosque and its 29 golden domes. The massive Istana Nurul Iman palace located in the capital is the residence of Brunei’s ruling sultan.
The capital also offers high-end shopping and dining, with the city’s Royal Regalia Museum showcasing gifts presented to the sultan. Kampong Ayer which is a sprawling cluster of water villages built on stilts, has restaurants and stores as well as its own museum.
In the eastern part of Brunei, Ulu Temburong National Park is accessible by longboat and affords canopy walks and glimpses of traditional longhouse culture and alsp wildlife such as proboscis monkeys. Brunei’s beaches range from Serasa which is popular for water sports, to secluded Meragang. Offshore shipwrecks as well as coral reefs are sites for scuba diving.
- Capital city: Phnom Penh
- Area: 181,035 square kilometers (69,898 square miles)
- Population: 16,430,031
Cambodia is a Southeast Asian country with landscape spanning low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, mountains and also the Gulf of Thailand coastline. Phnom Penh is the capital city and is home to the art deco Central Market. The glittering Royal Palace and the National Museum with its historical and archaeological exhibits are Alps found in the capital city.
In the country’s northwest, there are ruins of Angkor Wat which is a massive stone temple complex that was built during the Khmer Empire. In the south of Cambodia are the beaches and boisterous bars of Sihanoukville Province. Also, along the southern coast, the town of Kep mixes present-day resorts with ruins of those from its days under French rule.
- Capital city: Beijing
- Area: 9,600,000 km2 (3,700,000 sq. mi)
- Population: 1,420,062,022
China is the most populated countries in the world with a population of about 1.4 billion. The country is in East Asia and has a vast landscape that encompasses grassland, desert, mountains, lakes, rivers and over 14,000km of coastline.
The Capital city Beijing, features both modern architecture as well as historic sites such as the Forbidden City palace complex and Tiananmen Square. Shanghai is a global financial center and features a skyscraper-studded skyline.
The iconic Great Wall of China which is one of the wonders of the world runs east-west across the country’s north. The city of Xi’an is home to the Terracotta Army archaeological site which features thousands of sculpted warriors from the 3rd century B.C. Hong Kong is famous for its shopping, Victoria Peak views and also harbor side skyline. Mt. Everest and Potala Palace which is the former home of Dalai Lama are in Tibet.
- Capital city: Nicosia
- Area: 9,251 km2 (3,572 sq. mi)
- Population: 1,196,377
Occupying the southern part of the island of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean is the Republic of Cyprus The island and capital city known as Nicosia is divided with Turkey to the north. The country is known for its beaches and it also has a rugged interior with wine regions.
The coastal city Paphos is famous for its archaeological sites relating to the cult of Aphrodite, which include ruins of palaces, tombs and also mosaic-tiled villas. Limassol, the southern coastal city is the site of medieval Limassol Castle and an Old Port.
Cypriots have a long history of cultivating wine which can be traced back to the Bronze Age. As a result of this, many wineries are based in and around Limassol. Also, some vineyards occupy the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains which is home to pine-cedar forests, painted Byzantine churches and also ski resorts.
In the west, the Akamas Peninsula National Park is a rugged area for hiking and mountain biking, with beaches that are accessible by off-road vehicles. Also, there are more accessible beaches in places such as Ayia Napa and Protaras in the east.
- Capital city: Tbilisi
- Area: 69,700 square kilometers (26,911 sq. mi)
- Population: 3,904,845
Georgia was part of the former Soviet Republic. The country is home to Caucasus Mountain villages as well as Black Sea beaches. The country is famous for Vardzia which is a sprawling cave monastery that dates back to the 12th century, and also the ancient wine-growing region Kakheti.
The capital city Tbilisi, is famous for the diverse architecture and mazelike, cobblestone streets of its old Town. Narikala Castle which is a reconstructed fortress that was founded in the 4th century and used during later Turkish and Persian occupations looms above Tbilisi.
The 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is one of the many notable Georgian Orthodox churches that are centered on the nearby town of Mtskheta.
- Capital city: New-Delhi
- Area: 3,287,263 square kilometers (1,269,219 sq. mi)
- Population: 1,365,497,188
India is a large country located in the Southern part of the Asian continent. The country features a diverse terrain which ranges from Himalayan peaks to Indian Ocean coastline. India also has a history reaching back 5 millennia. In the North of the country, Mughal Empire landmarks include Delhi’s Red Fort complex and the massive Jama Masjid mosque, plus Agra’s iconic Taj Mahal mausoleum. Pilgrims get to bathe in the Ganges in Varanasi, while Rishikesh is a yoga Centre and base for trekking the Himalayan.
The eastern port city Kolkata, is the former capital of British India and is known for its colonial architecture. In the west, Mumbai a mega city, is the seat of the Bollywood film industry. India is a land of diverse spirituality, and is the birthplace of 4 major world religions, namely Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. Scattered all over the country are innumerable sacred sites, including ancient carved-stone temples.
- Capital city: Jarkata
- Area: 1,904,569 square kilometers (735,358 sq. mi)
- Population: 268,924,711
Indonesia is a Southeast Asian nation that is made up of thousands of volcanic islands. The country is home to hundreds of ethnic groups that speak many different languages. The country is known for beaches, volcanoes, Komodo dragons and also jungles sheltering elephants, orangutans and tigers.
The capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, lies on the island of Java. Also on island of Java is Yogyakarta, a city famous for gamelan music and traditional puppetry. All over the country are destinations for surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling, and also trekking.
There are Buddhist temple ruins at Borobudur while Prambanan is home to Hindu temple ruins. The main religion in Indonesia is Islam but the island of Bali is known for its predominantly Hindu tradition and it also has a reputation for dance and performing arts, most especially around the historic town of Ubud.
- Capital city: Tehran
- Area: 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq. mi)
- Population: 82,640,357
The Islamic Republic of Iran is a country situated on the Persian (Arabian) Gulf and has historical sites which date back to the Persian Empire. There are extensive marble ruins that mark Persepolis, the empire’s capital that was founded by Darius I in the 6th century B.C.
The modern capital is Tehran, a city home to the opulent Golestan Palace which was seat of the Qajar Dynasty (1794–1925), as well as modern landmarks such as the 435m-high Milad Tower. Isfahan is well known for its Naqsh-e Jahan Square (or Imam Square), that is bordered by Safavid architectural masterpieces such as the intricately tiled Sheikh Lotfullah Mosque (1619) and Shah Mosque (1629).
Mashhad, a pilgrimage city is home to the massive Imam Reza Shrine. The Tomb of Hafez situated in the southwestern city Shiraz, is a garden-enclosed memorial to a 14th century Persian poet. In Tehran, Sa’dabad Palace, which was once a Pahlavi Dynasty residence, features ornate buildings as well as heritage museums. The National Museum displays Iranian archaeological finds.
- Capital city: Baghdad
- Area: 437,072 km2 (168,754 sq. mi)
- Population: 41,503,000
Iraq is a Western Asia nation. Baghdad is the country’s capital and also the largest city. The country is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Yazidis, Armenians, Turkmen, Mandeans, Shabakis, Circassians and Kawliya. Over 90% of Iraqis are Muslims with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism as the other religions practiced in the country.
Arabic and Kurdish are the official languages of Republic of Iraq. The country has a 58km coastline on the northern Persian Gulf. This coastline encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range as well as the eastern part of the Syrian Desert.
Tigris and Euphrates are two rivers flowing through the country and Iraq has a significant amount of fertile land due to the presence of these two rivers. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which was known historically as Mesopotamia, is often referred to as the cradle of civilization.
- #16. Israel
- Capital city: Tel Aviv
- Area: 22,145 sq.km (8,630 sq. miles)
- Population: 9,015,550
Israel is a Middle Eastern country that is located on the Mediterranean Sea. The country is regarded by Jews, Christians and Muslims as the biblical Holy Land with Its most sacred sites in the city of Jerusalem. Located within its Old City, the Temple Mount complex includes the following: The Dome of the Rock shrine, the historic Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque and also the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Tel Aviv, which is the financial hub of Israel is known for its Bauhaus architecture and beaches. In the North of Israel lie Nazareth and the freshwater Sea of Galilee, which are important New Testament sites in the life of Jesus.
Down the coast are the ruins of Caesarea which was King Herod’s Roman port. The 1st Century-B.C. clifftop fortress Masada overlooks the Dead Sea and is known for its spas and mineral-heavy water.
- Capital city: Tokyo
- Area: 4,470,000 km2 (1,730,000 sq. mi)
- Population: 126,926,867
Japan has dense cities, imperial palaces, mountainous national parks as well as thousands of shrines and temples. Shinkansen bullet trains connect the main islands of Kyushu which features Okinawa’s subtropical beaches, Honshu which is home to Tokyo and Hiroshima’s atomic-bomb memorial and Hokkaido which is famous for skiing.
Tokyo, the capital city of Japan is known for skyscrapers, shopping and also pop culture. Kyoto, which is a sharp contrast to Tokyo is quieter and famous for its Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and also manicured gardens. Much of the terrain of Japan, including the symmetrical Mt. Fuji, is volcanic.
- Capital city: Amman
- Area: 89,342 km2 (34,495 sq. mi)
- Population: 10,032,792
Jordan is an Arab nation located on the east bank of the Jordan River. It is defined by ancient monuments, nature reserves and also seaside resorts. The country is home to the famous archaeological site of Petra, the Nabatean capital which dates back to around 300 B.C.
Petra is set in a narrow valley with tombs, temples and also monuments which are carved into the surrounding pink sandstone cliffs and this earned Petra its nickname of Rose City. Amman is the modern capital of Jordan though it sits on an ancient site. Its Jabal al-Qal’a (Amman Citadel) features the Jordan Archaeological Museum, which has artifacts like Dead Sea bronze scrolls, and also the Roman-era Temple of Hercules.
In the north of Jordan, the former Roman city Jerash has the colonnaded Oval Forum as well as 2 amphitheaters. The Dead Sea and also the southern Red Sea port of Aqaba both have beaches for diving and water sports.
- Capital city: Astana
- Area: 2,724,900 square kilometers (1,052,100 sq. mi)
- Population: 18,550,254
Kazakhstan is a country in the Central part of Asia. It was a part of the former Soviet Republic and extends from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Altai Mountains at its eastern border shared with both China and Russia.
Almaty, the country’s largest metropolis has for long been a trading hub. It features landmarks such as the Ascension Cathedral which is a tsarist-era Russian Orthodox church, and the Central State Museum of Kazakhstan where thousands of Kazakh artifacts are displayed.
Also, Almaty is a gateway to the popular ski resort Shymbulak and to Medeu, which is a high-altitude outdoor ice-skating rink. The capital city, Astana, is defined by modern architecture such as the futuristic, 97m-tall Bayterek tower.
- Capital city: Kuwait City
- Area: 17,818 km2 (about 6.880 sq. mi.)
- Population: 4,237,504
Kuwait is an Arab country located on the Persian (Arabian) Gulf. It has cultural heritage that dates back to antiquity. Kuwait City, the country’s capital is famous for its modern architecture, which ranges from skyscrapers to the striking Kuwait Towers, water towers with design that recalls the tiled domes of a classic mosque.
The Tareq Rajab Museum is home to a rich collection of ethnographic artifacts as well as Islamic art. Other attractions in Kuwait City include the Grand Mosque, which accommodates thousands, the traditional Al-Mubarakiya Souk and also the expansive upscale shopping mall, The Avenues. Located just offshore from Kuwait City, Failaka Island has ruins from the Mesopotamian era. Beyond the capital city, Kuwait is mostly arid desert that is dotted by oil wells, with a few beach resorts on the southern coast.
- Capital city: Bishkek
- Area: 191,800 Km2 (74,054 sq. miles)
- Population: 6,199,607
Kyrgyzstan is a country located in Central Asia. This rugged country sits along the Silk Road, which is the ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean. The Tian Shan mountains which surround the old caravan route and also dominate the country, are home to snow leopards, lynx and also sheep. In the south of the country, the millennia-old city of Osh features a huge, busy bazaar that was once a stop on the Silk Road.
The saltwater lake Issyk Kul that was also a stopover on the Silk Road is today a vacation destination with thermal springs and mud baths. To the west of the country is the Soviet-influenced capital city, Bishkek. Bishkek is famous for its art scene, as well as its 11th-century Burana Tower which is an intricately carved minaret standing in a field. Nearby Ala Archa National Park offers visitors backpacking and skiing in a river valley.
- Capital city: Vientiane
- Area: 230,800 Km2 (89,112 sq. miles)
- Population: 7,041,072
Located in Southeast Asia, Laos is a country traversed by the Mekong River and is known for its mountainous terrain. The country is also famous for French colonial architecture, hill tribe settlements and Buddhist monasteries.
Vientiane which is the capital city is also the site of the That Luang monument, where a reliquary reportedly houses the breastbone of Buddha, plus the Patuxai war memorial. Also in the city is Talat Sao (Morning Market), a complex that is jammed with food, clothes and craft stalls.
The city of Luang Prabang is famous for temples such as the 16th-century Wat Xieng Thong, which was once a coronation site for Lao royalty, as well as the French-colonial–era Royal Palace Museum.
Highlights of Northern Laos include the Pak Ou Caves which is filled with miniature Buddha statues, and the Plain of Jars, which is an archaeological site that has more than 4,000 ancient limestone containers.
- Capital city: Beirut
- Area: 10,452 square kilometers (4,036 sq. mi)
- Population: 6,071,920
Lebanon is officially known as the Lebanese Republic and is situated in Western Asia. Lebanon is located at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland. This brought about its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious as well as ethnic diversity.
Lebanon is the smallest recognized sovereign state located on the mainland Asian continent. Evidence of civilization in Lebanon goes back more than 7000 years, predating recorded history.
- Capital city: Kuala Lumpur
- Area: 330,603 square kilometers (127,650 sq. mi)
- Population: 32,362,109
Malaysia is located in Southeast Asia and occupies parts of the Malay Peninsula and the island of Borneo. The country is famous for its beaches and rainforests as well as its mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultural influences. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, a city home to colonial buildings, busy shopping districts like Bukit Bintang and skyscrapers like the iconic, 451m-tall Petronas Twin Towers.
Peninsular Malaysia’s west coast has Malacca, which is a former colonial port that is known as a center of Chinese-Malay Peranakan culture, and also Langkawi Island that is famous for beach resorts. Penang Island’s capital called George Town, is full of temples as well as street-food stalls. Peninsular Malaysia’s east coast is famous for beach resorts, as well as diving and snorkeling at Tioman, Redang and the Perhentian islands.
- Capital city: Malé
- Area: 298 square kilometers (115 sq. mi)
- Population: 450,050
This tropical nation in the Indian Ocean is composed of 26 ring-shaped atolls, that are made up of over 1,000 coral islands. The country is known for its beaches, blue lagoons and also extensive reefs. The capital city Malé, features a busy fish market, restaurants and shops on the main road, Majeedhee Magu, and the 17th-century Hukuru Miskiy which is also known as Friday Mosque that is made of carved white coral.
The islands are quite famous for snorkeling and diving due to the warm water, high visibility and the diverse marine life, including manta rays as well as spotted whale sharks, that can grow up to 12m long. Other popular water activities in the country include swimming, surfing, sea kayaking and jet-skiing.
- Capital city: Ulaanbaatar
- Area: 1,564,116 square kilometers (603,909 sq. mi)
- Population: 3,156,373
Mongolia is known for vast, rugged expanses and also its nomadic culture. Its capital city Ulaanbaatar is centered around Chinggis Khaan (Genghis Khan) Square. The Square was named after the notorious founder of the 13th– and 14th-century Mongol Empire.
In Ulaanbaatar there is the National Museum of Mongolia, which displays historic and ethnographic artifacts, and also the restored 1830 Gandantegchinlen Monastery. To the South of Ulaanbaatar, Bogd Khan Mountain holds the ruins of the 18th-century Manzushir Monastery.
Central Mongolia also has Karakorum, the 13th-century capital that was established by Genghis Khan. Northern Mongolia features Khövsgöl Nuur, which is the country’s deepest lake, and Amarbayasgalant Monastery, that dates back to 1726.
27. Myanmar (formerly Burma)
- Capital city: Naypyitaw
- Area: 678,500 square kilometers (262,000 sq. mi)
- Population: 54,230,496
Myanmar which was formerly known as Burma, is a Southeast Asian nation that is home to more than 100 ethnic groups. The largest city Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is home to bustling markets, numerous parks and lakes, as well as the towering, gilded Shwedagon Pagoda, which contains Buddhist relics and dates back to the 6th century.
Other important Buddhist sites in Myanmar include the ancient city of Bagan, that is studded with more than 2,000 temples and pagodas, and Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, that is perched atop a rock at the edge of a steep hillside. Cruising along Burma’s Irrawaddy River will allow you take in historic landmarks, such as the 19th-century Mandalay Palace, as well as rural scenery.
- Capital city: Kathmandu
- Area: 147,181 square kilometers (56,827 sq. mi)
- Population: 29,871,004
Nepal is famous for its temples and Himalayan mountains, which include Mt. Everest. Kathmandu is the capital city and features a mazelike old quarter that is filled with Hindu as well as Buddhist shrines. Around Kathmandu Valley are Swayambhunath, a Buddhist temple which has resident monkeys; Boudhanath, which is a massive Buddhist stupa; Hindu temples and cremation grounds located at Pashupatinath; and also the medieval city of Bhaktapur.
In the southern Terai lowlands, there are Chitwan and Bardia national parks that are home to rhinos and tigers, and jungle safaris that are accessed by Jeep or on elephant-back. Lumbini, which is Buddha’s birthplace, features monasteries and monuments and is a Buddhist pilgrimage site.
29. North Korea
- Capital city: Pyongyang
- Area: 120,540 square kilometers (46,541 sq. mi)
- Population: 25,701,615
North Korea is a country in East Asia and constitutes the northern part of the Korean Peninsula, with Pyongyang as the capital and the largest city in the country. Both North Korea and South Korea were admitted into the United Nations in 1991. In the year 1910, Korea was annexed by Imperial Japan.
Following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II in the year 1945, Korea was divided into two zones, with the Soviet Union occupying the North and the United States occupying the South. Attempts at negotiating reunification failed, and in the year 1948, separate governments were formed: socialist Democratic People’s Republic of Korea occupied the north, and the capitalist Republic of Korea sits in the south.
- Capital city: Muscat
- Area: 309,500 Km2 (119,499 sq. miles)
- Population: 4,962,327
Oman is a nation located on the Arabian Peninsula. Its terrain encompasses desert, and riverbed oases. It also has long coastlines on the Persian (Arabian) Gulf, Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. Wahiba Sands is a region of dunes that is inhabited by Bedouins. The port capital known as Muscat, features the massive, contemporary Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. It also features the old waterfront Muttrah quarter, which has a labyrinthine souk and the busy fish market.
Muscat also has the Corniche seaside promenade, with views of 16th-century Portuguese forts, Al Jalali and Mirani, that loom over the harbor. There are other fortresses in the country, including the adobe stronghold of Bahla and the cylindrical castle tower of Nizwa. In the north, Jebel Shams which is the country’s highest mountain, overlooks Wadi Ghul, a gorge that has vertical cliff faces.
Coastal attractions in the country range from turtle nesting grounds on Masirah Island to the beach and diving town of Salalah, that is also famous for its banana plantations and its lush vegetation during monsoon season.
- Capital city: Islamabad
- Area: 881,913 km2 (340,509 sq. mi)
- Population: 203,729,708
Pakistan is a country in South Asia. It is currently the world’s sixth-most populous country. The country has a 1,046-kilometre coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south. Pakistan was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilization of the 3rd millennium BCE. The following millennium, oldest Vedic texts associated with Hinduism began to be composed.
Much later, the region was ruled by Achaemenid, Seleucid and Mauryan empires. Buddhism flourished in the area during Indo-Greek Era and influenced the cultures of Central Asia. Islamic rule was established during early medieval era with the Ummayad conquest. Other major Muslim empires that ruled the country are Abbasid, Ghurid, Delhi Sultanate, Ghaznavid, Mughal and Durrani.
- Capital city: East Jerusalem (Designated capital)
- Area: 6,220 square kilometers (2,400 sq. mi)
- Population: 5,156,420
Palestine is officially known as the State of Palestine. It is a de jure sovereign state located in Western Asia, claiming the West Bank and Gaza Strip with Jerusalem as its designated capital, although its administrative center is currently the city of Ramallah. The entire territory claimed by the State of Palestine has been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War fought in 1967.
After World War II, in the year 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Mandatory Palestine and recommended the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states as well as an internationalized Jerusalem. After a Jewish state was established in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel on the 14th of May 1948, neighboring Arab armies invaded the former British mandate the very next day and fought the Israeli forces.
Later, an All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League on the 22nd of September 1948 to govern the Egyptian-controlled enclave in Gaza. This government was then recognized by all Arab League members except Transjordan.
- Capital city: Manila
- Area: 300,000 square kilometers (115,831 sq. mi)
- Population: 109,160,000
The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country located in the Western Pacific and comprises over 7,000 islands. Its capital is Manila, a city famous for its waterfront promenade and centuries-old Chinatown, Binondo. Intramuros, a walled city that was built during colonial times, is the heart of Old Manila. It is home to the baroque 17th-century San Agustin Church and also Fort Santiago which is a storied citadel and military prison.
Located north of Manila, the Cordillera Central Mountains are quite popular for hiking, while the Ifugao province is known for the rice terraces that are carved into its landscape. The remote Palawan province and its offshore Calamian Islands feature palm-fringed beaches and turquoise lakes, as well as coral reef diving.
Cebu island is another well-known diving destination. Boracay, a tiny island offers upscale beachfront resorts and a range of water sports. Bohol province is famous for its cluster of over 1,000 uniform Chocolate Hills and tiny Philippine tarsiers. Sports like whitewater rafting and zip-lining are available in different parts of the country.
- Capital city: Doha
- Area: 11,586 km² (4,473 sq. mi)
- Population: 2,732,806
Qatar is a peninsular Arab country. It has a terrain comprising arid desert and a long Persian (Arab) Gulf shoreline of beaches as well as dunes. Also situated on the coast is the capital, Doha, a city known for its futuristic skyscrapers as well as other ultramodern architecture that are inspired by ancient Islamic design, such as the limestone Museum of Islamic Art. The museum is situated on the city’s Corniche waterfront promenade.
Other attractions in Doha include the Souq Waqif and its stalls which offer traditional weaving and jewelry, and the Aspire Zone, which is a sports complex that has running tracks and playing fields for hosting soccer games and other events.
Away from the capital, Arabian horses and camels race are available at tracks in small towns such as Al Shahaniya. There are also public beaches located along most of the coast, including at the oil towns of Dukhan and Fuwayrit, as well as at the Inland Sea which is a protected lagoon surrounded by massive dunes.
- Capital city: Moscow
- Area: 17,125,200 square kilometers (6,612,100 sq. mi)
- Population: 143,895,551
The largest country in the world is Russia. It has a landscape ranging from tundra and forests to subtropical beaches. It is famous for Moscow’s Bolshoi and St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky ballet companies. St. Petersburg, a city that was founded by Russian leader Peter the Great, features the baroque Winter Palace which now houses part of the State Hermitage Museum’s art collection.
The capital city Moscow, is the site of the Kremlin which is a walled citadel housing the president, and Red Square, that is backed by the colorful onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral. Cruising through Volga River will take you through the Golden Ring, a group of well-preserved towns that date back to medieval times, including Suzdal.
Scenic Trans-Siberian Railway journeys end at Siberia’s Lake Baikal, which is the earth’s deepest lake. Black Sea resort towns such as Sochi are famous for beach going. Skiing and climbing are popular activities in the nearby Caucasus range that is best known for Mt. Elbrus, Europe’s highest mountain.
36. Saudi Arabia
- Capital city: Riyadh
- Area: 2,150,000 km2 (830,000 sq. mi)
- Population: 34,009,803
Saudi Arabia is a desert country which encompasses most of the Arabian Peninsula, with Red Sea and Persian (Arabian) Gulf coastlines. The country is known as the birthplace of Islam and is also home to the religion’s 2 most sacred mosques: Masjid al-Haram located in Mecca which is the destination of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, and Medina’s Masjid an-Nabawi, where the prophet Muhammad was buried. Riyadh the capital of Saudi Arabia is a skyscraper-filled metropolis.
In the center of Riyadh is the earthen-brick Masmak Fortress, and also the National Museum, whose façade was inspired by the sand dunes outside town. The city’s upscale malls include the Kingdom Centre which has a 99th-floor Skybridge observation deck. In the northwest of Saudi Arabia are the Mada’in Saleh ruins which date back to the 1st century B.C., with massive tomb monuments from the Nabataean Kingdom. Vibrant Jeddah located on the Red Sea coast, has traditional souks, busy beaches and also reef diving.
- Capital city: Palau Ujong
- Area: 721.5 km2 (278.6 sq. mi)
- Population: 5,851,222
Singapore is located off southern Malaysia. The country is a global financial center with a tropical climate as well as multicultural population. Singapore’s circa-1820 Chinatown features the red-and-gold Buddha Tooth Relic Temple that is said to house one of Buddha’s teeth. Also, the country has other famous religious buildings such as tranquil Lian Shan Shuang Lin Buddhist monastery, the colorful Sri Mariamman Hindu temple and the very massive Sultan Mosque.
The neoclassical National Museum of Singapore displays exhibits on the history and culture of the city. You can shop at the giant malls situated on Orchard Road as well as in the stylish boutiques in Kampong Glam. The sleek Marina Bay Sands SkyPark rises 200m above the water and offers sweeping city views.
38. South Korea
- Capital city: Seoul
- Area: 100,032 square kilometers (38,622.57 sq. mi)
- Population: 51,301,171
South Korea is an East Asia nation located on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula and shares one of the world’s most heavily militarized borders with North Korea. South Korea is well known for its green, hilly countryside that is dotted with cherry trees and centuries-old Buddhist temples. It also has coastal fishing villages, sub-tropical islands and high-tech cities like Seoul, the capital city.
Attractions in Seoul include futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza which is a curving convention hall; Gyeongbokgung Palace that once had over 7,000 rooms; the ritzy Gangnam neighborhood; and Lotte World which is an indoor-outdoor amusement park. To the north of South Korea lies the DMZ buffer zone where visitors get to peer into North Korea.
In the south of the country is the city of Busan famous for the high-rise-lined Haeundae Beach and the mountainside Beomeosa Temple. The city of Gyeongju has royal tombs as well as an observatory from the Silla dynasty. Jeju Island has beaches, waterfalls, volcanic craters and also lava caves.
39. Sri Lanka
- Capital city: Colombo
- Area: 65,610 square kilometers (25,332 square miles)
- Population: 21,003,688
Sri Lanka was formerly known as Ceylon. It is an island nation located south of India in the Indian Ocean. The country has a diverse landscape ranging from rainforest and arid plains to highlands and sandy beaches. It is famous for its ancient Buddhist ruins which include the 5th-century citadel Sigiriya, with its palace and frescoes.
The city of Anuradhapura which is Sri Lanka’s ancient capital, has many ruins that date back more than 2,000 years. The modern capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo, is a gateway to beach resorts like Bentota in the south and west.
It is also a gateway to Galle and its colonial old town and fort. Inland, the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a cave complex that is adorned with Buddhist paintings and statues. To the southeast, Yala National Park is home to elephant herds as well as leopards.
- Capital city: Damascus
- Area: 183,630 Km2 (70,900 sq. miles)
- Population: 18,451,133
Syria is a country in Western Asia. The capital and largest city in Syria is Damascus. The country has fertile plains, high mountains, and also deserts. Syria also has diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Greeks, Assyrians, Kurds, Circassians, Armenians, Mandeans and Turks.
Some of the religious groups present in Syria include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Mandeans, Druze, Isma’ilis, Shiites, Yazidis, Salafis, and Jews. Sunnis make up the largest religious group in the country. Syria is a unitary republic that consists of 14 governorates and is the only country in the world that politically espouses Ba’athism.
- Capital city: Taipei
- Area: 36,104 km2 (13,940 sq. mi)
- Population: 23,744,293
Taiwan is an Asian nation located 180km east of China. It is known for modern cities, traditional Chinese temples, hot springs resorts as well as dramatic mountainous terrain. Taipei, a city in the North of Taiwan features a number of busy night markets, as well as Chinese Imperial art at the National Palace Museum.
Taipei 101, which is a 509m-tall bamboo-shaped skyscraper with an observation deck, rises above the city. Popular hiking areas include Yushan which is a mountain with a 3,952m summit, and the riverside paths of Taroko Gorge, which features towering cliff walls and turquoise water.
Taichung is famous for its teahouses. Tainan, the oldest city in Taiwan offers numerous temples, as well as Chihkan Tower (a fort that was originally built by the Dutch in 1653). Kenting National Park, located in southern Taiwan, is a major beach and water-sports destination in the country.
- Capital city: Dushanbe
- Area: 143,100 km2 (55,300 sq. mi)
- Population: 9,250,058
Tajikistan is a country located in Central Asia. The country is famous for its rugged mountains which are popular for hiking and climbing. The Fann Mountains located close to the national capital Dushanbe, have snow-capped peaks that rise over 5,000 meters. Also in the range is the Iskanderkulsky Nature Refuge, which is a notable bird habitat.
The capital city, Dushanbe, features modern skyscrapers, Soviet-era buildings as well as grand boulevards. The Tajikistan National Museum displays artifacts from Sarazm, a site that dates back to the 4th millennium B.C.
On display at the National Museum of Antiquities is a 13m-tall sleeping Buddha statue from the 1st century A.D. Dance and music performances take place at the grand Ayni Opera and Ballet Theatre that was built during WWII. The Mausoleum of Khoja Mashkhad, a pre-Mongol madrasah (school for Islamic religion) is situated close to the southwestern city of Shaartuz.
- Capital city: Bangkok
- Area: 513,120 square kilometers (198,120 sq. mi)
- Population: 69,279,119
Thailand is a Southeast Asian country. The country is famous for tropical beaches and opulent royal palaces. It also has ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. In Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, an ultramodern cityscape rises next to quiet canal side communities plus the iconic temples of Wat Arun, Wat Pho and the Emerald Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Kaew).
Beach resorts nearby include bustling Pattaya and the fashionable Hua Hin. In the mountainous North of Thailand, the city of Chiang Mai is famous for its historic Old Town and hill-tribe handicrafts. Archaeological sites at Ayutthaya and Sukhothai both preserve the ruins of historical temples and palaces. National parks Khao Yai and Khao Sok offer rainforest trekking as well as wildlife viewing.
- Capital city: Dili
- Area: 15,410 km2 (5,400 sq. mi)
- Population: 1,345,933
Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor is a Southeast Asian nation occupying half the island of Timor. It is ringed by coral reefs teeming with marine life. Landmarks in the capital city, Dili, speak of the country’s struggles for independence first from Portugal in 1975 and then Indonesia in 2002.
The iconic 27m-tall Cristo Rei de Dili statue sits on a hilltop high over the capital city, and offers sweeping views of the surrounding bay. Other notable coastal destinations in the country include Atauro Island, famous for its secluded tropical beaches, and uninhabited Jaco Island, where many rare species of birds live.
Both are also famous jumping-off points for snorkeling and scuba diving, while the channel between Timor and Atauro is known for whale-watching. Inland, the vast Nino Konis Santana National Park is home to a few indigenous villages and Neolithic cave paintings. The Tatamailau monsoon forest surrounds Tatamailau Mountain, towering almost 3,000 meters above sea level. Near the border with West Timor (Indonesia), the district of Bobonaro features geothermal hot springs.
- Capital city: Ankara
- Area: 780,000 square kilometers (300,000 sq. mi)
- Population: 82,730,477
Turkey is a nation cutting across both eastern Europe and western Asia. The country has cultural connections to ancient Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine as well as Ottoman empire. Cosmopolitan Istanbul is built on the Bosphorus Strait and is home to the iconic Hagia Sophia, with its soaring dome and Christian mosaics.
Also in Istanbul is the massive 17th-century Blue Mosque and the circa-1460 Topkapı Palace where sultans resided in the past. The modern capital of Turkey is the city of Ankara. Major resorts in Turkey include Antalya which is a gateway to the southern Mediterranean area that is known as both the Turkish Riviera and the Turquoise Coast.
Others are the Bodrum and Çesme peninsulas, both on the Aegean. Archaeological sites of note in the country include the remnants of Troy and Pergamon, the Roman ruins at Hierapolis and, more extensively, the ancient city of Ephesus.
- Capital city: Ashgabat
- Area: 488,100 km2 (188,456 sq. mi)
- Population: 5,922,048
Turkmenistan is a country sitting geographically in Central Asia. It is bordered by the Caspian Sea and mostly covered by the Karakum Desert. The country is also known for archaeological ruins including those at Nisa and Merv, two major stops along the ancient trade route the Silk Road. Ashgabat is the capital and was rebuilt in Soviet style in the mid-20th century. It is filled with grand monuments honoring the former president Saparmurat Niyazov.
The capital’s Turkmen Carpet Museum hosts a vast collection of the country’s famous handcrafted carpets, while the Ashgabat National Museum of History displays traditional handicrafts and regional art. Just outside Ashgabat, the thermal waters of Köw Ata, an underground lake, draws swimmers in.
To the north and east of the country are other significant archaeological sites, such as the ruins of Urgench, which dates back to the 11th century, and Gonur Tepe, a massive Bronze Age settlement.
47. United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- Capital city: Abu Dhabi
- Area: 67340 square kilometers (26000 sq. mi)
- Population: 9,650,884
The United Arab Emirates is a federation made up of 7 emirates. Abu Dhabi which is the island capital of the country is home to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque which has crystal chandeliers and room for 40,000 worshipers. In Dubai sits the ultramodern Burj Khalifa tower with enormous shopping centers as well as extravagant entertainment attractions. The conservative emirate and city of Sharjah features many museums and a Heritage Area of restored homes.
In Al Ain which is a lush inland oasis belonging to Abu Dhabi, sits the Al Ain National Museum, with artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age and also the hot springs of Green Mubazzarah. The emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah is quite famous for its beaches, while Hatta is a picturesque enclave of Dubai located in the Hajar Mountains.
In the emirate of Fujairah, there is water sports on the Gulf of Oman. All over the federation, there are tour companies offering desert safaris, ranging from daytime dune and camel rides to sunset dinners, as well as overnight trips to Bedouin camps.
- Capital city: Tashkent
- Area: 447,400 square kilometers (172,700 sq. mi)
- Population: 32,703,262
Uzbekistan is situated in Central Asia and is a former Soviet republic. The country is known for its mosques, mausoleums and other sites that are linked to the Silk Road, the ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean. Samarkand which is a major city on the route, features a landmark of Islamic architecture known as Registan.
It is a plaza that is bordered by 3 ornate, mosaic-covered religious schools that date back to the 15th and 17th centuries. Also in Samarkand there is Shah-i-Zinda, a street that is lined with lavishly decorated mausoleums that are Muslim pilgrimage sites, as well as Gur-e-Amir which is the towering tomb of the Timurid Empire’s founder.
Bukhara which is a Silk Road oasis city has landmarks including the Ark, ruins of a 5th-century royal compound that now houses museums, and also the 16th-century mosque Maghoki-Attar that was built on top of centuries-old sacred sites. To the north and west of Uzbekistan lie the vast Kyzylkum Desert, the shrinking Aral Sea lake as well as the city of Khiva, whose walled old town has palaces and mosques dating back to the 18th and 19th century.
- Capital city: Hanoi
- Area: 331,210 square kilometers (128,565 square miles)
- Population: 97,222,521
Vietnam is a country located in Southeast Asia on the South China Sea. It is known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and also bustling cities. Hanoi, the capital city pays homage to the country’s iconic Communist-era leader, Ho Chi Minh, with a huge marble mausoleum.
Ho Chi Minh City that was formerly known as Saigon has French colonial landmarks, as well as Vietnamese War history museums and the Củ Chi tunnels that was used by Viet Cong soldiers. Hội and it is famohs for its mix of architectural styles and eras that includes the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge.
Huế has the massive Citadel that was built by the Nguyen Dynasty. The Mekong Delta which is a maze of rivers and islands, has floating markets and Khmer pagodas. The beach resorts located on Phú Quốc Island, Nha Trang and Mũi Né allows for diving, sunbathing and also water sports, while the northern mountains situated around Sapa are a famous trekking destination.
- Capital city: Sana’a
- Area: 527,970 square kilometers (203,850 square miles)
- Population: 29,430,239
Yemen is a country located at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. Yemen’s territory includes over 200 islands. The capital city of Yemen is Sana’a, but it has been under Houthi rebel control since February 2015.
Yemen was home to the Sabaeans. It was a trading state that flourished for well over a thousand years and included parts of modern-day Ethiopia and Eritrea. The administration of the area has long been difficult.
Brief History of Asia
Asia is the largest continent as a result of this vastness, the history of Asia can be seen as the distinct histories of several peripheral coastal regions: East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, all of which are linked by the interior mass of the Central Asian steppes. The coastal periphery of Asia was home to some of the world’s earliest known civilizations. These civilizations developed around fertile river valleys.
The civilizations in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley as well as the Yellow River all shared many similarities. It is possible that these civilizations may have exchanged technologies and ideas such as mathematics and the wheel. Other innovations, like writing, are believed to have been developed individually in each area.
Cities, states and empires all developed in these lowlands. The central steppe region of Asia had long been occupied by horse-mounted nomads who could reach all areas of Asia from the steppes. The earliest expansion out of the steppe believed to have occurred is that of the Indo-Europeans, who spread their languages into the Middle East and South Asia, as well as to the borders of China, where the Tocharians resided.
However, the northernmost part of Asia, including much of Siberia, was largely inaccessible to these steppe nomads, due to the dense forests, climate and tundra. These areas stayed very sparsely populated. The center and the peripheries of Asia were mostly separated by mountains and deserts.
The Caucasus and Himalaya mountains and the Karakum and Gobi deserts formed barriers which made crossing extremely difficult for the steppe horsemen. The urban city dwellers though more advanced technologically and socially, they were mostly helpless in defending themselves against the mounted hordes of the steppe.
The lowlands however did not have enough open grasslands to support a large horse bound force which is part of the reasons why the nomads who conquered states in China, India, and the Middle East often had to adapt to the local, more affluent societies. With the Islamic Caliphate defeating the Byzantine and Persian empires, West Asia and southern parts of Central Asia as well as western parts of South Asia went under its control during its conquests of the 7th century.
The Mongol Empire then conquered a large part of Asia in the 13th century, an area that extends from China to Europe. Prior to the Mongol invasion, Song dynasty is believed to have had about 120 million citizens. The 1300 census which followed the invasion only reported roughly 60 million people.
The Black Death, regarded as one of the most devastating pandemics in the history of the human race is thought to have originated in the arid plains of central Asia, from where it then travelled along the Silk Road.
The Russian Empire started to expand into Asia from around the 17th century, by the end of the 19th century, it had taken control of all of Siberia and most of Central Asia.
The Ottoman Empire controlled Anatolia along with most of the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans from around the mid-16th century onwards. In the 17th century, China was conquered by the Manchu who then established the Qing dynasty.
The Islamic Mughal Empire as well as the Hindu Maratha Empire controlled significant parts of India in the 16th and 18th centuries respectively.
The culture of Asia encompasses the collective and diverse customs and traditions of the numerous ethnic groups to have lived in the continent since prehistory. It covers areas such as art, architecture, music, literature, lifestyle, philosophy, politics and religion. It is near impossible to identify a specific culture of Asia or universal elements among the colossal diversity that has emanated from several cultural spheres and three of the four ancient River valley civilizations.
However, Asia is commonly divided into six geographic sub-regions. These regions are characterized by perceivable commonalities, like religion, language and also relative ethnic homogeneity. The regions Asia is divided into are Central Asia, East Asia, North Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and West Asia.
Being the largest and the most populous continent and one rich in resources, Asia is home to several of the world’s oldest civilizations. These civilizations produced the majority of the great religious systems, the oldest known recorded myths as well as codices on ethics and morality.
Asian Martial Arts
Martial arts are a prominent feature of many Asian cultures. The first known traces of martial arts date back to the Xia Dynasty of ancient China of over 4000 years ago. The origin of some of the best known styles of martial arts in the world today can be traces back to East Asia. Karate and judo both originated from Japan, taekwondo from Korea and all the various styles of Chinese martial arts that are known collectively as kung fu.
Several other styles of martial arts were developed in Southeast Asia, such as muay Thai from Thailand, Vovinam from Vietnam, Arnis from the Philippines, and Pencak Silat from Indonesia. Also, some popular styles of wrestling originated in Turkey and Mongolia.
Till today, development of Asian martial arts continues as newer styles are created. In the world today, Asian martial arts are highly popular especially in the Western world and many of them have become international sports. Karate alone is practiced by 50 million people worldwide.
Indeed, Asia is home to countless grandiose and iconic historic constructions. These structures are usually religious, castles and fortifications or palaces. However, after several millennia, many of these great buildings have been destroyed or dismantled. Examples are the Ziggurats of Mesopotamia, the Great Wall of China which has parts of it destroyed, Greek and Hellenistic temples or the royal cities of Persia.
The popularity of sports varies greatly across the Asian continent. Association football is widely popular all over Asia, while Boxing, badminton, and table tennis are very quiet in East Asia. Japanese people love Baseball, same with South Koreans, and Taiwanese. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Afghanistan all have a well-documented love for Cricket.
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Conclusion On Asian Countries And Capitals
A lot has been said about Asian Countries And Capitals. You can read more on this amazing continent and all 50 recognized countries making up the continent.