Asia is separated from Europe by the Ural Mountains, from Africa by the Suez Canal, and from North America by the Bering Strait.
Asia is home to several cultures. The Middle East, East Asia, South Asia and Central Asia regions make up the continent. Part of Asia was the home of the World's earliest civilization. Both Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley are located within the borders of Asia.
The Asian continent features the world's longest coastline, the tallest mountain, the deepest lake, and the lowest point. Mt. Everest in Nepal is the tallest mountain. It rises to the soaring height of 29,035 feet (8,850 meters). The Dead Sea in Israel and Jordan is the lowest point. It sits at 1,286 ft. (392 m.) below sea level. The world's deepest lake, Lake Baikal, is located in the Siberian region of Russia. It is also the largest freshwater lake in the world and holds 20% of the liquid fresh water on Earth.
The Caucasus Mountains not only form a natural border with Europe, they are home to the biblical Mt. Ararat. Noah's Ark is said to have landed on Mt. Ararat.
The Himalaya Mountains separate the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. These mountains are the highest on Earth and are home to 14 of the world's highest mountains. The Himalayan mountain system also includes several minor ranges.
The Himalayas cross six countries and are the source of three major river systems: the Indus Basin, the Ganga-Brahmputra Basin, and the Yangtze Basin.
The Tibetan Plateau in Central Asia covers most of Tibet. Its average elevation is more than 4,500 meters, and it has been called "the roof of the world." It is by far the biggest and highest plateau in the world. It covers an area that is approximately 4 times the size of Texas!
The Gobi Desert is a desert which extends into both China and Mongolia. Gobi means "very large and dry" in Mongolian. It occupies 1,300,000 sq. km. but is not full of sand. The Gobi is covered by rock.
Siberia is a vast area of northern Russia that is filled with dense forests and tundra. Due to the inhospitable nature of the area, Siberia remains sparsely populated.
Asia makes a great travel destination. People come from around the world to see magnificent castles and venerable museums in Russia, to be impressed by technologically advanced areas like Tokyo, Japan, to see the Great Wall of China, and to learn about the various cultures that call Asia home.
Interactive Asia Map
Interactive Eastern Asia Map Inset
Asian CountriesThe table below lists the countries of Asia and their capital cities, and also features convenient links to maps and detailed information about each Asian country.
Detailed Country Maps
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Asia Map and Geography