With an area of 44.4 million km², the continent of Asia is the largest in the world.
The highest mountain on earth, Mount Everest, which has a height of 8,848 m, is located in Asia, and with the Himalayas the highest mountain range on earth – with 10 eight-thousanders. The 4 other eight-thousanders are in the neighboring Karakoram Mountains – after the Himalayas, the second highest mountain range on earth.
The largest freshwater lake in the world is also located there, the Caspian Sea on the border with Eastern Europe. The lake or the sea – depending on visibility – has an area of 386,400 km² – and is therefore larger than Germany – and a volume of 78,200 km³.
Around 4.3 billion people live in Asia, which is around 60% of the world’s population.
The light comes from the Orient (Asia). This ancient wisdom certainly not only relates to the fact that the sun rises in the east, but also that some of the oldest cultures of mankind existed there. Who does not know the Chinese Empire or the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan (around 1162 to 1227), who penetrated far into southern Russia and the Ukraine.
The term Asia comes from Assyrian and means something like sunrise. The term Far East is now rarely used because it stems from a Eurocentric worldview and is therefore not popular in the economically prosperous countries of Asia.
Many Asian countries are in the process of catching up with Europe economically and culturally, or even overtaking it.
In this context, China, India, South Korea, Japan and Singapore should be mentioned. The popular travel destination Thailand is also economically stronger. Not to mention the oil countries of the Middle East.
The following should be stated somewhat ironically: If in Germany, after years, the decision is finally made to start a major construction project, then on Mondays there are hordes of lawyers at the door. In China, for example, the Politburo decides on Friday to build a motorway, then on Saturdays the construction machines and workers will be at the construction site.
The countries of Asia
|Country||Area in km²||Population in millions||Capital|
|Brunei||5,765||0.45||Bandar Seri Begawan|
|India||3,287,590||about 1.38 billion||New Delhi|
|Mongolia||1,565,000||3.5||Ulan Bator (Ulaanbaatar)|
|Myanmar (formerly Burma)||678,500||55||Yangon (Yangon)|
|Palestinian Territories||5,900 West Bank, 400 Gaza Strip||West Bank 2.7 Gaza Strip 1.8||Gaza, but East Jerusalem is claimed|
|Russia||Total country: 17,098,200||143||Moscow|
|United Arab Emirates||83,600||4.8||Abu Dhabi|
|China||9,600,000||about 1.4 billion||Beijing (Bejing)|
Here are overview of each country in Asia:
- Afghanistan: Afghanistan was liberated from the Taliban’s reign of terror in November 2001 by US troops and has since been protected by international troops, including soldiers from the German Bundeswehr.
- Armenia: The country became independent after the collapse of the Soviet Union on Sept. 21, 1991. Around 95% of the population profess to the (Christian) Armenian Apostolic Church. The capital was known in earlier times through satirical jokes under: “Radio Yerevan answers”.
- Azerbaijan: The country gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union on October 18, 1991. About 94% of the population of this Caucasian republic professes Islam.
- Bahrain: The country is an island state east of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf. It includes around 33 islands. The state is a constitutional monarchy with a king as head of state.
- Bangladesh: Until 1971, the country was part of Pakistan, although it was separated from East Pakistan by India for some 2,000 km. The 83% Muslim (16% Hindu) country is one of the poorest countries in the world and, due to its location, is repeatedly hit by typhoons and the associated severe floods.
- Bhutan: The Kingdom of Bhutan lies between India and China in East Asia. It was not until 12. February 1971 its recognition under international law, although it had been de facto independent since August 8, 1949.
- Brunei: The relatively small sultanate is located on the island of Borneo and only borders Malaysia. Since the country has considerable oil and gas reserves, the people of the sultanate live in relative prosperity. The country gained independence from Great Britain on January 1, 1984.
- Georgia: The country gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union on April 9, 1991. Around 84% of the population of this Caucasian republic profess themselves to be Orthodox Christians.
- India: On August 15, 1947, India gained its independence from Great Britain, not least through the peaceful protest of Mahatma Gandhi. India is now the world’s most populous democracy, it is a nuclear power and an economically enormously prosperous country. About 81% of Indians profess Hinduism, with about 13.5% Muslim.
- Indonesia: Indonesia is the largest island nation in the world. A total of around 13,000 islands belong to the state. The two terrorist attacks on Bali on October 12, 2002 with 202 deaths, which were targeted against Western, and in this case particularly Australian, tourists and the one on October 1, 2005 with 26 deaths, are terrible memories.
About 88% of Indonesians are Muslim, 8% Christian, 2% Hindu and 1% Buddhist.
- Iraq: The autocratic regime of Saddam Hussein was in the 3rd Gulf War from March 20th to May 5th. Overthrown by US, British and foreign troops in 2003. Terror and chaos have reigned in Iraq ever since.
- Iran: Since the overthrow of the Shah in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini, the country has been an Islamic republic since April 1, 1979, and thus also a state of God.
- Israel: The State of Israel is the only state in the Middle East with a functioning democratic form of government. Israel is the land of the 3 great world religions and the land of the work of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, since it was founded on May 14, 1948, as a result of a UN resolution, it has been in constant conflict with many of its neighbors and, above all, with the Palestinians. Jerusalem, the official capital, is only recognized as a capital by a few other states; the other countries have their diplomatic missions in Tel Aviv
- Japan: Japan is also known as the land of the rising sun. After the Second World War, the country developed into one of the leading industrial nations in the world. For European visitors in particular, the incredible density of people is confusing and takes some getting used to.
- Yemen: Yemen is culturally and in terms of landscape almost unique. Unfortunately, due to tribal disputes with the government in Sanaa, visitors have been kidnapped again and again, but so far they have all turned out well. The vast majority of people are Muslims, with a few Christians, Hindus and Jews.
- Jordan: Despite its involvement in the Middle East conflict, the Kingdom of Jordan can be regarded as stable and relatively safe. Unfortunately, the capital Amman lacks the expected oriental flair.
- Cambodia: After the murderous reign of terror of the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to the end of 1978 under the leadership of Pol Pot (1928-1998), the country is now largely considered to be relatively safe. The jungle temple city of Angkor Wat near Siem Reap is a very special gem.
- Kazakhstan: On December 16, the country became independent from the collapsing Soviet Union. It is the 9th largest country in the world by area. It is governed in a very authoritarian and repressive manner. Kazakhstan is breathtakingly beautiful in terms of its landscape. About 47% of the population are Muslim, 44% Russian Orthodox and only 2% Protestants.
- Qatar: On September 1, 1971, the country gained independence from Great Britain. Qatar is ruled by a sheikh. It is located on the peninsula of the same name in the Persian Gulf and borders Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the south. The headquarters of the US armed forces for the Middle East is located in Qatar. The country has oil and gas reserves. Over 95% of the population professes Islam.
- Kyrgyzstan: Kyrgyzstan is one of the Central Asian republics. It became independent from the collapsing Soviet Union on August 31. It is a parliamentary democracy with a president as head of state. Around 80% of the people in the country profess Sunni Islam, 17% are Russian Orthodox Christians, and there are also small minorities of other creeds
- Kuwait: The country became known to a broad worldwide public, particularly through the invasion of Iraqi troops on August 2, 1990 and the following, from January 17 to February 27, the 2nd Gulf War. In the course of this war, the Iraqis were crushed and driven from the country. The country has considerable oil reserves, the export of which makes up around 95% of its income. About 85 to 90% of the population is Muslim and 12 to 15% Christian. From 2007 women have both the right to stand and vote.
- Laos: As a result of the Indochina Conference of June 21, 1954, the country gained independence from France. After the proclamation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Laos on December 2, 1975, the country is ruled by the communist Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. Laos currently hardly plays a role in tourism. It is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, framed between Vietnam and Thailand and still bordered by Myanmar, China (in the north) and Cambodia (in the south). The main religion in the country is Buddhism, to which around 60% of the people belong. The rest are animists and others, including only about 1.5% Christians.
- Lebanon: Lebanon was and is fatefully involved in the Middle East conflict. The country was largely destroyed during the gruesome civil war between the mid-1970s and 1990. A strong Syrian military contingent was in the country from 1976 to April 2005. In 1982 the Israeli army marched into the country, but soon withdrew after considerable losses. Since the mid-1990s, the country began to prosper and find its way back to stable security. This process was interrupted by the 2005 car bomb attack on anti-Syrian politician Rafiq al Hariri.
- Malaysia: The country is a parliamentary-democratic electoral monarchy. The king as head of state is selected every 5 years on a rotating basis from the rulers of the 9 sultanates. The country is located on the Malay Peninsula and in the north of the island of Borneo. Islam is the state religion, with around 60% Muslims, 20% Buddhists, 6% Hindus and 9% Christians.
- Maldives: The Maldives are an island nation that extends to around 2,000 islands, of which only around 200 are inhabited by locals. Here in the Indian Ocean, holidaymakers can find incomparably beautiful islands that are ideal for diving, swimming, snorkeling and enjoying delicious food and drink.
- Mongolia: The Republic of Mongolia lies between Russia in the north and China in the south. It is a very sparsely populated country, which consists mainly of steppe, desert and high mountains. It is a parliamentary democracy with a multi-party system. About 50% of the people profess Lamaism (Tibetan Buddhism), 40% are without religious belief and 6% profess shamanism and Christianity and 4% Islam.
- Myanmar (formerly Burma): This Buddhist country gained independence from Great Britain on January 4, 1948. Since that time, with the exception of a few years, the country has been ruled with a hard hand by the military. The country has been in a process of democratization since the parliamentary elections held in 2011. Around 89% of the population are Buddhists, around 4% Christians and 4% Muslims.
- Nepal: Nepal is mainly known to tourists as a land of high mountains and a trekking paradise in the Himalayas. But the Kingdom of Nepal has a lot more to offer than just mountains. Unfortunately, a violent war between Maoists and the government took place in the country, but it was officially ended on November 21, 2006.
- North Korea: One of the few countries that has almost completely cut itself off from the outside world. After the death of Kim Il-sung, it is ruled with an iron hand by his son Kim Jong-il in the third generation of Kim Jong-un. Every year, numerous people starve to death in the country, while critics or even alleged ones lead a miserable life in the re-education camps. North Korea also has nuclear weapons.
- Oman: The Sultanate of Oman is located on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and borders with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. About 90% of the people are Muslim, the rest are Hindus, Jews and Christians. About 85% of exports are oil products.
- Pakistan: Although Pakistan is a strictly Muslim country, under the President General Pervez Musharraf (born 1943) it has allied itself strongly with the West, especially with the USA. The country has nuclear weapons. Musharraf, who came to power in a bloodless coup in 1999, resigned in 2008.
- Palestinian Territories: So far there is no state recognized under international law. The clashes with Israel are one of the causes of the global tension between Islam and the Western world.
- Philippines: This Southeast Asian island state is located in the Pacific Ocean. It is the 5th largest island nation (the largest: Indonesia) worldwide. The Philippines are a parliamentary presidential democracy. The state gained independence from Spain in 1898. About 83% of the population are Roman Catholic, 9% are Protestants, 5% are Muslims and 3% are Buddhism.
- Russia: Today’s Russia was founded on June 12, 1990, while the Soviet Union only disintegrated on December 26, 1991. Russia is the largest country in the world by area. Russia is a presidential republic with an elected parliament. The current president is Vladimir Putin, who rules the country very successfully but also in an authoritarian manner. Around 58% belong to the Russian Orthodox Church, 32% are not considered to be religious and around 5% are Muslims.
- Saudi Arabia: The country is one of the largest oil producing countries in the world. Officially, it is closely allied with the United States. Saudi Arabia is a strictly governed monarchy in which the members of the ruling house with their approx. 3,000 princes dominate almost all of public and economic life. The state religion is Islam, to which almost 100% of the local population belong. Most Saudis belong to the particularly strict form of Islam, the Wahhabis. Religions other than Islam are strictly forbidden.
- Singapore: The island or. City city Singapore became part of the Malay Confederation in 1963, from which Singapore made independent on August 9, 1965. Singapore is ruled authoritarian and has a high gross national product. Around 43% of the city-state’s population profess Buddhism, around 15% Christianity, around 15% are Muslims and 9% are Taoists.
- Sri Lanka: This beautiful island state in the Indian Ocean, south of India, has unfortunately been shaken by civil war-like conflicts. The conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese began around 1983 with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who called for an independent Tamil state. Around 69% of the population are Buddhists, 8% Muslims, 7% Hindus and 6% Christians. The religion of the rest is unknown.
- South Korea: The Republic of Korea, or South Korea for short, is located on the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. The country has existed in its present form since 1948. The Korean War, which began on June 25, 1950 with the invasion of North Korean troops, was a serious turning point in the country’s development. It ended on July 27, 1953 with an armistice after the intervention of the UN, with substantial participation by the USA. The border between South and North Korea was drawn at the 38th parallel and still exists today. The country is a democratic-parliamentary democracy. South Korea is one of the prosperous countries in Asia. Around 6% of the population are Christians, 26% Buddhists and 26% who do not belong to a religious community. And around 1% are Confucianists.
- Syria: Syria is a country in the Middle East and is heavily involved in the Middle East conflict with Israel. The country is governed in a very authoritarian manner and is suspected of being involved in serious human rights violations. Beginning in spring 2011, peaceful demonstrations against the Syrian government developed into a bloody civil war that has so far cost the lives of more than 100,000 people and made more than 2 million Syrians refugees. About 72% of the population profess Sunni Islam. There is a strong Jewish and Christian minority in the country.
- Tajikistan: Tajikistan is located in Central Asia and is a pure landlocked country. The country is a democratic presidential republic and became independent from the collapsed Soviet Union on September 9, 1991. Around 90% of the population are Muslims.
- Taiwan: The island nation of Taiwan is a parliamentary democracy with considerable wealth. But it is still seen by China as part of it, up to the point of threatening to force unity militarily.
- Thailand: Thailand = Land of the Free is one of the few countries that was not colonized by other countries in the 20th century. The Kingdom of Thailand has become one of the most popular travel destinations in Asia. A wonderful nature with large primeval forests, with wonderful long and white sandy beaches, with very lovable and friendly people, all that makes up the charm of the country. But also the Thai food, the beautiful often simple bamboo huts as tourist accommodation and the very inexpensive life there for tourists make the country particularly attractive.
- East Timor: In 2002, after some 25 years of sometimes violent and bloody conflicts with Indonesia, the state became independent. Around 95% of the people there are Catholic, the rest are other Christians as well as Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists.
- Turkey: Turkey has a great political, scientific and cultural past in the form of the Ottoman Empire. Today this Muslim country is a secure democracy that has kept religion and state strictly separate since the reign of Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938). Ataturk was president from 1923 until his death. Around 99% of the Turks are Muslims, most of them of the Sunni faith.
- Turkmenistan: The currently very authoritarian ruled country gained its independence on October 27, 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. About 80% of the country is occupied by the Karakum Desert. The country has abundant oil and gas reserves. Around 90% of the population are Muslims and around 9% are Christian Orthodox.
- Uzbekistan: This Caucasian Central Asian republic gained independence on September 1, 1991 as a former part of the collapsed Soviet Union. The country is a presidential dictatorship. In 2005, for example, hundreds of people were shot dead during a demonstration in Andijan.
- United Arab Emirates: internationally not yet a separate state.
- Vietnam: For the so-called 68s, the Vietnam War was and is the symbol of the oppression of the third world, especially by the USA. During this time there were the strongest peace demonstrations in the whole western world.
- China: China is the world’s most populous country and an extremely prosperous country. After Russia and Canada, China is the third largest country in the world by area.