130+ Interesting Facts About Asia Continent

Facts About Asia: Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It covers 6.8% of the land surface and 30% of the land area. Asia is home to an estimated 4.3 billion people, more than 80% of the world's population. Like most of the world, Asia has a high growth rate in modern times. During the twentieth century, for example, Asia's population almost quadrupled, much like the world's population.

The borders of Asia are culturally defined, since it has no clear geographical separation with Europe, forming an uninterrupted territory called Eurasia. The most commonly recognised borders of Asia are the Suez Canal, east of the Ural River, and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains 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 North Ocean. Ural Mountains, Ural Rivers, Asia and Europe are separated by the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal have separated Asia from Africa, and the northeastern Bering Strait has separated it from North America. Note that the Bering Strait is located on one side of Russia's Ulena in Asia and on the other side Alaska in North America. The narrowest part of the system is only 72 km wide, which means that the distance from this part of the Bering system to the North American continent is only 72 km.

By its size and diversity, the concept of Asia - a name found in classical civilizations - is actually more related to human geography than to physical geography. Across Asia, differences in ethnicity, culture, environment, economy, historical ties, and systems of government are observed.

130+ Interesting Facts About Asia Continent

130+ Interesting Facts About Asia

  • 95% of Cambodians are Buddhists.
  • Asia has 12 landlocked countries.
  • Japan has produced 22 Nobel Laureates.
  • Thailand has a giant water fight festival.
  • The Philippines is made up of 7,641 islands.
  • Ping pong is the most popular sport in China.
  • There has never been a McDonald’s in Cambodia.
  • There are more than 150 volcanoes in Indonesia.
  • There are more than 500 million Buddhists in Asia.
  • Thailand is the world’s number one orchid exporter.
  • The first known Siamese twins were born in Thailand.
  • Chinese New Year celebrations last for 15 whole days.
  • Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country.
  • 90% of the world’s rice is consumed in Asian countries.
  • Vietnam exports over a third of the world’s cashew nuts.
  • Insects are eaten as delicacies in some Asian countries.
  • Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world.
  • Asia is separated from Africa by the Red Sea and Suez Canal.
  • South Korea has a separate Valentine’s Day for single people.
  • 45 billion pairs of chopsticks are produced in China every year.
  • Songkran Festival in Thailand is the world’s biggest water fight.
  • Cambodia’s flag is the only one in the world to feature a building.
  • Malaysia is one of the most multicultural countries in Southeast Asia.
  • Every year there is a festival in Thailand dedicated purely to monkeys.
  • Pamir Plateau, situated in Central Asia, is known as ‘Roof of the World’.
  • Fortune Cookies originated in Japan and not China (as is widely believed).
  • Chinese culture is deeply influenced by the belief system of Confucianism.
  • The Komodo dragon, native to Indonesia, is the largest lizard in the world.

Fascinating Facts About Asia

  • Singapore, South Korea, and Japan have the highest average IQ on the planet.
  • You can’t see the Great Wall of China from space (contrary to popular belief).
  • Singapore’s national anthem is in micro-text on the back of their $1,000 note.
  • The way you drink your tea can determine your social status in Asian cultures.
  • The word “Asia” comes from Greek origins and is a female name and means sunrise.
  • China is the most populous country with a population of over 1.3 billion people.
  • Tokyo is the largest city in Asia, with a population of over 9.2 million people.
  • Vietnam is one of the cheapest countries in the world to get a tailor-made outfit.
  • The Equator, Tropic of Cancer, and Arctic Circle all pass through the Asian continent.
  • There is a building in Singapore that is inspired by a Star Wars robot – The Sandcrawler.
  • The biggest lake in Asia is the Caspian Sea, which is also the largest lake in the world.
  • Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been colonized by Europeans.
  • The Maldives is the smallest country in Asia, and one of the smallest countries in the world.
  • The deepest trench of the world: Mariana Trench lies in the Pacific Ocean near the Philippines.
  • In Thai culture, when visiting someone else home, it’s a must to take your shoes off at the door.
  • Asia is the only continent on earth that shares borders with two other continents; Africa and Europe.
  • It’s illegal to gamble in Japan (with the exception of betting on racehorses and a few other sports).
  • The Gobi desert is the largest desert in Asia and also the driest place you will find on the continent.
  • Snake Wine (yes, a bottle of wine with a snake coiled inside it) has an almost legendary status in Vietnam.
  • Yangtze River is the longest river on the Asian continent. It can be found in China and runs for 3,915 miles.
  • 14 of the tallest mountains in the world can be found in Asia, and they are all over 8000 meters above the sea.
  • Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River in Palawan, Philippines is one of the longest underground rivers in the world.
  • There are over 2300 languages that are recognized in Asia, with the most commonly spoken language being Mandarin.

Suprising Facts About Asia

  • Asia is the largest continent in the world, and according to the United Nations, 48 countries make up the continent.
  • The oldest identical twins in the world (currently aged 107) are Japanese sisters born on Shodo Island, Japan in 1913. 
  • Indonesia is the world’s largest exporter of coconuts, producing on average over 18 metric million metric tons per year
  • It’s rude to point around Thai people, especially avoid pointing at Monks or The Royal Family, who are highly respected.
  • The biggest island in Asia is Borneo and can be found in South-East Asia. This island is the 3rd largest island in the world.
  • India is the country which produces the most mangoes in the world with over 20 million tonnes of mangoes produced every year.
  • The highest point in the world; Mount Everest and the lowest point in the world; The Dead Sea can be found on the Asian continent.
  • In the Thai language, the name of Thailand is Prathet Thai, which means “land of the free” which is very fitting for the fact above.
  • Asia has the highest number of billionaires in the world and China is home to more billionaires than the whole of the United States.
  • China only has one time zone. Even though it spans 3,705 million square miles of land, everyone has their watch set to the same time.
  • Asia is the most populous continent with a population of more than 4.6 billion people accounting for over 60% of the world’s population.
  • Thailand is home to the smallest mammal in the world – the Kitti’s hog-nosed bat is only 1cm long and sometimes called the bumblebee bat.
  • The Chinese word for China translates to ‘The Middle Kingdom’ which explains the Chinese worldview that China is the center of the world.
  • Japan has the longest life expectancy in the world with the average life expectancy for males being 80.9 years and 86.6 years for females.
  • The head is considered to be the most sacred part of the body in Thai culture and it’s disrespectful to touch someone’s head, even a child’s.
  • Two of the Seven Wonders of the World (newly announced in 2007) are located in Asia. These are the Taj Mahal of India and the Great Wall of China.
  • Cambodia is the only country in the world that has a building featured on its flag. (The building is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Wat.)
  • Asia is home to some very interesting and rare animals including the giant panda, Asian elephant, tiger, komodo dragon, Bactrian camel, and the king cobra.
  • Five countries lie partly in Europe and partly in Asia making them transcontinental countries. These are Russia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
  • The Hang Son Doong cave in Vietnam is so big you could fit multiple full-sized commercial airplanes inside it, it is also the largest known cave in the world.
  • The Dead Sea, located between Israel and Jordan in Southwest Asia, is the lowest point on the surface of the Earth. The surface is 427 metres below sea level.

Facts About Asia for Kids

  • The most prominent religion in Asia is Islam with approximately 1.2 billion followers. The next most prominent is Hinduism with approximately 900 million adherents.
  • The Asian elephant is the largest land mammal on the Asian continent. They are smaller than African elephants and have smaller ears and one more toenail on each foot.
  • The 100 highest mountains in the world are all located on the continent of Asia with the highest being Mount Everest, located in the Himalayan mountain range of Nepal.
  • Asia is consistently voted as the best region in the world when it comes to street food, with Thailand’s capital Bangkok clinching the number one spot according to CNN.
  • The wettest place on Earth is the small town of Mawsynram, located in the Meghalaya State of North-Eastern India. The town has an average rainfall of 11,872 millimetres.
  • The highest mountain in Asia and the world is Mount Everest, with a peak of 29,035 feet high. It forms part of the Himalayan Mountain Range found between Nepal and China.
  • Asia is by far the largest continent in the world with a landmass of 44.6 million square kilometres. The second is Africa with a landmass of 30 million square kilometres. 
  • Bhutan is the only country in the world that has banned the sale of tobacco and tobacco products. If you are caught selling tobacco you can get up to five years in prison.
  • The word ‘Asia’ is believed to derive from the Ancient Greek word ‘Aσία’. While the exact etymology is unknown, many believe that the word meant ‘sun rising’ or ‘light from the East’.
  • The deepest lake in the world is Lake Baikal, located in Southern Siberia, Russia, with a maximum depth of 1,642 metres. Lake Baikal is also the largest freshwater lake in the world by volume.
  • Indonesia is the country with the world’s largest number of active volcanoes spread across its 17,000+ islands. It also leads the world with the largest number of deaths caused by volcanic eruptions.
  • Singapore is the only country in the world that has banned chewing gum. The ban came into effect in 1992 and is just one of the strict laws that help to keep the country’s streets completely spotless. 
  • According to Forbes, the Asia-Pacific region is home to the most billionaires in the world. The number increased from 779 to 1,149 from 2020 to 2021 due to new billionaires being created in India and China.
  • Nepal is the only country in the world that does not have a rectangular-shaped flag. Instead, the red, blue and white flag consists of two triangles on top of each other, officially known as a double-pennon.
  • Mecca (or Makkah) in Saudi Arabia, believed to be the birthplace of the Prophet Mohammed, is the holiest place on Earth for Muslims. The ancient city receives more than 8 million pilgrims a year (pre-COVID).
  • The biggest Buddha statue in the world is the Leshan Giant Buddha located in Central Sichuan in China. It stands at 71 metres high and dates back to the 8th century when it was built during the Tang Dynasty.
  • Asia is home to some of the world’s most important inventions, for example, paper. This crucial human invention was created over 2,000 years ago in around 100 BC by a Chinese court official during the Han Dynasty. 
  • In 2019 there was a Dota 2 (that’s a video game for those non-tech savvy people among us) tournament hosted in Shanghai with a prize pool of over 43 million US dollars, which is the biggest esports prize pool to date.

Facts About Asia Geography

  • Asia plays host to some of the world’s craziest festivals such as Songkran, officially the world’s biggest water fight, which is celebrated in Thailand each year in April to welcome the start of the Buddhist New Year.
  • The world’s highest road is located in Eastern Ladakh in the far North of India. The road sits at an average altitude of 19,300 feet, which is higher than Everest Base Camp and connects the towns of Chisumle and Demchok.
  • The city of Lopburi in Thailand is famed for being the city with the most monkeys in the world. The ancient city is home to over 4,500 crab-eating macaques who roam the streets and the crumbling Khmer temple, Phra Prang Sam Yod.
  • Bhutan is the only carbon negative country in the world with a pioneering government that does not place economic growth as the most important goal. Instead, they consider ‘Gross National Happiness’ (GNH) as their guiding principle.
  • The top three countries with the longest life expectancies in the world are in Asia. Number one is Hong Kong with an average life expectancy of 88 for females and 82 for males. Japan and Macau follow closely in second and third place.
  • Chopsticks are used across the Asian continent. One of the first versions dates back 9,000 years and was pioneered by the Chinese. Early chopsticks were probably two sticks used to retrieve meat and other morsels from hot cooking pots. 
  • Wild tigers used to live across the whole continent of Asia but can now be found in only 13 countries on the continent: India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Russia, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. 
  • Let’s get that in numbers, shall we? There are 4.427 billion people in Asia. That’s more than all of the other continents combined! A third of the global population lives in India and China alone, with over a billion people living in each.
  • The island of Palawan in the Philippines is consistently voted as the best island in the world. The island came in number one in Travel + Leisure’s Best Island List 2020. (It was also voted the best island in Southeast Asia in our list here!)
  • Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Cambodia is the largest religious monument in the world, spanning more than 400 acres, It was built in the 12th century by the Khmer Empire and is visited today by more than 2.5 million tourists a year (pre-COVID).
  • Giant Pandas are native to China and mainly live in the temperate forests of the South West where they eat nothing but bamboo. One of the most famous places in the world to see pandas is in Chengdu, at the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
  • 10 of the largest malls in the world are in Asia, and the biggest one is in Dongguan, China. But apparently very few retailers decided to lease out space so as many square feet as this mall has, there are very few shops or shoppers to fill it up.
  • The world’s most densely populated city is the Filipino capital, Manila, with 42,857 people per square kilometre. The city of Manila is actually one of 16 cities that comprises Metro Manila, home to 12.8 million people according to the 2015 Census. 
  • The only two places on Earth where you can spot Orangutans in the wild are Sumatra, Indonesia and Borneo Island, which is split between Malaysia and Indonesia. (Many travellers head to Bukit Lawang in Sumatra to organise a trek to see the orangutans.)

Fun Facts About Asia for Kids

  • The Komodo Dragon is the world’s largest lizard that is native to the Lesser Sunda Islands of Eastern Indonesia. The lizard is a monitor lizard of the Varanidae family and can grow as big as three metres in length and weigh up to 70 kg (or 100 pounds).
  • Of the top 10 rice-producing countries in the world, nine are located in Asia. These are China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines and Japan. Brazil is the only country that is not in Asia and comes in tenth place.
  • Many of the Asia-Pacific countries are not single land masses. There are thousands and thousands of islands that are included in their territory- some big enough to live on, others not so much. Though small size hasn’t kept them from arguing over who owns them.
  • Asia is the most populated continent in the world, home to over 4.6 billion people. The country in Asia with the most people is China, with a population of 1.4 billion according to the July 2021 US Census Bureau. China is also the most populated country in the world.
  • The smallest mammal in the world is Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, also known as the ‘bumblebee bat’. It is a highly endangered species that can be found in limestone caves along rivers in Thailand and Myanmar. The bat varies in size from 29-33mm and weighs approx. two grams.
  • The 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake caused the worst tsunami in living history (also known as the Boxing Day Tsunami). Across 18 countries in Asia, there were an estimated 230,000 casualties, with Indonesia and Sri Lanka being amongst the countries that were the worst hit.
  • The Rafflesia Arnoldii is the world’s biggest flower and can be found in rainforests across Southeast Asia. It is native to the jungles of Sumatra and Borneo, Indonesia. When it blooms, the flower (which can reach a diameter of one metre) is said to smell like rotting flesh.
  • The smallest country in Asia is Macau, which lies close to Hong Kong. The whole country is just 115km2 and is home to 650,000 people. (*Some sources state that Macau is actually a special administrative region of China (SAR) and therefore does not count as an independent country.)
  • The world’s largest cave, Son Doong, is located in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park (part of Quang Binh Province) in Central Vietnam. It is believed to be up to 500 million years old and was only discovered recently (by accident) in 1990 and explored fully by the British Caving Society in 2009
  • Of the top 10 most populated cities in the world, seven can be found in Asia according to the 2021 World Population Review. The city with the biggest population is Tokyo, Japan with a population of 37.4 million, followed by Delhi, India with 29.4 million people and Shanghai, China, with 26.3 million people. 
  • Kumbh Mela is a huge Hindu pilgrimage and festival that is celebrated every three years in India at a rotating location on the banks of four different sacred rivers. The 2011 festival attracted over 75 million pilgrims in the largest gathering of people ever known. It was so large that it could be seen from space.
  • China spans across 3,705 million square miles of land yet everyone has their watch set to the same time. For comparison, China is roughly the same size as the United States, which is separated by six different time zones. Can you imagine walking outside for your lunchbreak and it being dark? Or regularly having dinner after midnight?
  • Asian cities are often criticised for having the worst levels of air pollution in the world. In 2021, the city of Lahore in Pakistan was said to have the worst air quality in the world with an average AQI score (Air Quality Index Score) of 177. (An AQI below 100 is generally considered safe, whereas over 150 is considered unhealthy.)
  • Umm sign me up please?! On the Thai new year, the country takes the day off to celebrate with family, pay respect to monks and elders, and oh yea- soak each other in the streets with water guns. This festival is known as Songkran and is celebrated in April, one of the hottest months of the year in Thailand. Not a bad way to cool off right?
  • Laos is officially the most bombed country in the world. The sleepy landlocked Southeast Asian country was bombed by the USA from 1964-1973 during the America-Vietnam War with over two million cluster bombs. The figure is higher than the total amount of bombs dropped during the entire duration of WW2. The country remained neutral throughout the war.

Facts About Asia Continent

  • The life expectancy in Japan is 83 and in 50 years it is estimated that 40% of its population will be over 65. Also in that time, the ratio of worker to retiree will drop to 1:1. So basically it sounds like I need to move to Japan and enjoy an early retirement. But it also means that there will be a shortage of workers in Japan that needs to be addressed.
  • In Vietnam, the New Year is called Tet. It’s also the day when everyone 25, turns 26, and every child that is 3, turns 4 and so on and so on. Now I don’t mean that the entire country plans out their pregnancies so that everyone is born on the same day. But many people there haven’t kept track of their exact birthdays so Tet has become the universal birthday. That must be one big party.
  • Bangkok is the city that holds the Guinness World Record for the longest place name in the world with a whopping 168 letters. Confused? The full name of the city is actually: “Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.” Many Thais are taught to recite this name by memory, at primary school.
  • The ancient Indus-Ganges civilization that settled on what is present-day Pakistan and India developed 14 different castes. Today in India, even though it is outlawed, the Hindu caste system still plays a role in society and class discrimination, but now there are only 4 distinctions: Brahmin, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Shudras. In the ancient civilization, before Hinduism rooted there, they divided their population into many more classes but Brahmin was still the highest caste and Shudras was still the lowest.
  • It’d be my guess that the country with the largest Muslim population would lie in the Middle East. But that’s not the case. 87% of Indonesia’s population-about 209 million people-practices Islam. And India has the next highest count with 176 million practicing Muslims. Granted, India’s much bigger than any of the Middle East so this only makes up 14% of its population, but there are a lot more religions to Asia than Hinduism and Buddhism. In fact, there’s just under 1 billion Muslims in all of the Asia-Pacific region.
  • China recently celebrated its first Poverty Alleviation day as a way to raise awareness on anti-poverty efforts. CNN reports that from 2007-2012 the poverty rate in China fell by nearly three quarters (from 26%-7%) as a result of rapid industrialization and increased access to education and healthcare. So that means in five years China has pulled over 257 million people out of extreme poverty. Now, as big as China is, this means that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, but in such a short window of time, that is an impressive jump.
  • The Han civilization amongst the North China Plain believed that the world was divided into three kingdoms. The high kingdom was for the gods, the middle kingdom was “Han-land” and the lower kingdom was the rest of the earth. They didn’t believe that they were godlike, only that they were better than the rest of the people on earth. They certainly liked being isolated in the far east, so they built the Great Wall as a way to keep the “barbarians” of the lower kingdom out of their land. An interesting fact, the Great Wall was never breached by frontal assault-only by treachery and deceit.
  • There are a number of land disputes within Asia. By some estimates, over 60 percent of the world’s territorial disputes are in Asia. India,Pakistan and China, all fight over the territory of Kashmir. Tibet is caught between China, Bhutan and independence. China believes it has a claim over Taiwan, meanwhile the island territory has moved on as its own state and continues to dispute whether Hong Kong belongs to them or not. And the strategically crucial South China Sea has so many overlapping claims its getting hard to keep count. There’s a lot of back and forth within Asia, often because there are resources or economic benefits to certain regions that the countries don’t want to give up.
  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) declared that the standard $1.25/day poverty line is not an adequate way to measure poverty in Asian because there are different factors to consider in the region. They say that the difference in food prices and vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters are examples of what should be factored in. The ADB measures the region's poverty at $1.51/day. However you measure it, poverty is a big issue. In 2010, under ADB's measure there were 733 million people in the region in extreme poverty. If you use the World Bank standard measurement that increases to 1.75 billion people. So I’d say regardless of the measurement, poverty is still a concern for the region.

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