Asia is the largest of all seven continents making up for 30% of the world’s landmass and almost 60% of the world’s population. It is considered by many to be one of the most diverse continents as well; Asian people have different customs, lifestyles, religions, philosophies, politics, art, architecture, music, and literature.
Tourist destinations in Asia – like the ancient temples of Fukuoka in Japan, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal in India – are some of the most visited in the world.
Quick Facts About Asia
Here is a quick overview of Asia:
44.57 million km²
Number of countries
51 (49 recognized by the UN)
Number of languages spoken
2,300 languages across the continent
Biggest country (by area)
China (9.6 million km²)
Most populated country
China (1.4 billion)
Yangtze (Cháng Jiāng) in China
Baikal Lake in Russia
Countries in Asia
There are fifty-one (51) countries in Asia:
|Country||Capital||Area km2||Population (2021)|
|Brunei||Bandar Seri Begawan||5,765||441,532|
|Hong Kong||City of Victoria||2,755||7,552,810|
|Sri Lanka||Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte||65,610||21,497,310|
|United Arab Emirates||Abu Dhabi||83,600||9,991,089|
Map of Asia
Languages Spoken in Asia
More than two thousand languages are spoken across Asia. But, the ten most widely spoken native languages are Chinese Mandarin, Hindi, Russian, Indonesian, Arabic, Bengali, Persian, Japanese, Punjabi, and Filipino:
|Language||Regions||Number of speakers|
|Chinese Mandarin||China||1,2 billion|
Best Countries to Visit in Asia
Asia has something for everyone: whether you are looking for adventure, a relaxing vacation, or to enjoy the expansive and ancient culture of the continent. So, the best country to visit depends on your preference. However, these are the most popular countries to visit in Asia:
- China – 65.7 million visitors in 2019. As one of the four ancient civilizations, China has a rich history going back 3,000 years. Combining the endless source of cultural and ancient heritage sites with the breathtaking natural wonders and delicious cuisine, it is no wonder China attracts so many tourists from all over the world
- Thailand – 39.8 million visitors in 2019. Thailand boasts over 40,000 Buddhist temples, representing different eras, dynasties, and architectural styles. Other than culture and heritage, Thailand is also popular for its serene beaches, nature, nightlife, and delicious food.
- Japan – 32.2 million visitors in 2019. When visiting Japan, tourists can enjoy both its rich, ancient culture as well as some of the most innovative technology in the world. But other than the temples, shrines, castles, and bullet trains, without a doubt, the most quintessentially Japanese attraction is the stunning cherry blossom season.
- Malaysia – 26.1 million visitors in 2019. Malaysia attracts visitors with its modern architecture, cultural diversity, pristine beaches, as well as many natural attractions. You can also take guided tours to one of its national parks to see the diverse wildlife in its natural habitat.
- Hong Kong – 23.8 million visitors in 2019. Hong Kong is a perfect mix between traditional and modern. Tourists are attracted as much to the endless shopping options and skyscrapers as to the festivals and delicious street food.
Most Popular Tourist Attractions in Asia
Asia is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery, be it natural or man-made: from Mount Fuji to the Taj Mahal, to modern skyscrapers. Although difficult to contain them on a list, these are only some of the most popular tourist attractions in Asia:
- Paro Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan. The Paro Taktsang Monastery is a sacred Buddhist temple sitting on a cliffside in Paro valley in Bhutan. It is one of the most famous destinations in Bhutan, and what makes it special is that it is isolated and can only be accessed by hiking.
- Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Angkor Wat was built in the 12th century to be the Khmer Empire’s state temple. It was originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, and it is the largest temple in the world, and one of Cambodia’s main tourist attractions and points of pride (it also appears on the national flag). With the intricate, centuries-old architecture, is certainly a sensation to see.
- Pink Beach, Indonesia. The Pink Beach in the Komodo Island, Indonesia gets its titular color from microscopic organisms Foraminifera, which leaves a red pigment on the reefs and tints the sand a soft pink. Along the crystal-blue waters, the Pink Beach is the perfect backdrop relaxing – and taking a few pictures.
- The Royal Grand Palace, Thailand. Built in 1782, the Royal Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand served as the main residence of the Thai royal family until the early 20th century. The residence is a complex of intricate and impressive buildings, showcasing the craftsmanship of the Thai people, and it’s considered the most sacred site in Thailand.
- Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. The Gardens by the Bay is a 250-acre nature park in Singapore. It was built to improve the quality of life through the use of greenery. It is one of the main attractions in the city, having received more than 50 million visitors since it opened in 2005. Gardens by the Bay houses several waterfront gardens as well as the biggest greenhouse in the world, the Flower Dome.
- Sakura Season (Cherry Blossoms), Japan. The cherry blossoms are one of the most iconic images associated with Japan. During springtime, the pink petals erupt across the country; the views are so spectacular, they draw visitors from all over the world. Some of the best spots to take in the Japanese cherry blossoms include Hirosaki Park, Goryokaku Park, Chidorigafuchi Green Way, etc.
Getting a Visa for Asia
To travel to Asia for tourism or business purposes, you may need a visa, e-visa, visa-on-arrival, or travel authorization. Visa requirements depend on your nationality as well as the country of destination. You can check out the visa policies of Asian countries below: