LocationAsia
World map showing where Asia is

Asia is the largest continent on Earth. It is in the northern hemisphere. Asia is connected to Europe in the west. Together, Asia and Europe are called Eurasia. Some of the oldest human civilizations began in Asia, such as Sumer, China, and India. Asia was also home to some large empires such as the Persian Empire, the Mongol Empire, and the Ming Empire.

Area

Two-point-equidistant-asia
Geographic area of Asia

The Asian continent is the largest of all continents. Covering about 30% of the world's land area, it has more people than any other continent with about 60% of the world's total population. Stretching from the icy Arctic in the north to the hot and steamy equatorial lands in the south, Asia contains huge, empty deserts, as well as some of the world's highest mountains and longest rivers.

Asia is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. It is separated from Europe by the Pontic Mountains and the Turkish Straits. A long, mainly land border in the west separates Europe and Asia. This line runs North-South down the Ural Mountains in Russia, along the Ural River to the Caspian Sea, and through the Caucasus Mountains to the Black Sea.

Eurasian countries

Some European countries are also partly in Asia. About three-quarters of Russia is in Asia, while the rest is in Europe. Small parts of four other Asian countries are in Europe; Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. Also, the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt lies in Western Asia, and the rest of it is in Africa.

Geography and climate

Himalayas
The Himalayan range is home to some of the planet's highest peaks.

Asia is the largest continent on Earth. It covers 9% of the Earth's total surface area (or 30% of its land area), and has the largest coastline, at 62,800 kilometres (39,022 mi). Asia is generally defined as comprising the eastern four-fifths of Eurasia. It is located to the east of the Suez Canal and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains (or the Kuma–Manych Depression) and the Caspian and Black Seas. It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. Asia is subdivided into 48 countries, three of them (Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkey) having part of their land in Europe.

Asia has extremely diverse climates and geographic features. Climates range from arctic and subarctic in Siberia to tropical in southern India and Southeast Asia. It is moist across southeast sections, and dry across much of the interior. Some of the largest daily temperature ranges on Earth occur in western sections of Asia. The monsoon circulation dominates across southern and eastern sections, due to the presence of the Himalayas forcing the formation of a thermal low which draws in moisture during the summer. Southwestern sections of the continent are hot. Siberia is one of the coldest places in the Northern Hemisphere, and can act as a source of arctic air masses for North America. The most active place on Earth for tropical cyclone activity lies northeast of the Philippines and south of Japan. The Gobi Desert is in Mongolia and the Arabian Desert stretches across much of the Middle East. The Yangtze River in China is the longest river in the continent. The Himalayas between Nepal and China is the tallest mountain range in the world. Tropical rainforests stretch across much of southern Asia and coniferous and deciduous forests lie farther north.

Tourism

Grand Palace Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaeo in the Grand Palace is among Bangkok's major tourist attractions.

With growing Regional Tourism with domination of Chinese visitors, MasterCard has released Global Destination Cities Index 2013 with 10 of 20 are dominated by Asia and Pacific Region Cities and also for the first time a city of a country from Asia (Bangkok) set in the top-ranked with 15.98 international visitors.

List of Asian Countries

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Asia Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.