Asia: A backpackers guide to traveling Asia
Asia is the largest continent that lies mainly in the Northern Hemisphere and extends over almost one third of the land surface of the earth. It is also home to more than half of the world’s total population. It is a continent of many contrasts as it leads in total agricultural production but has the highest rate of people suffering from malnutrition.
The continent is divided into geographic regions namely the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Far East, Central Asia and the Asian part of Russia. The climate in Asia is similar to those of the eastern coast except for area nearest the equator. The northernmost areas of Asia have a sub-polar climate with very long, cold winters and very short, cool summers. Northern China and Central Japan have a humid continental long summer climate. The interior of India has a rainy-and-dry tropical climate. The elevation of the area is a major cause of differences in climates with the coolest areas found at the highest altitude.
Overland transportation throughout the continent is rather difficult due to the great distances and other hindrances such as high mountains, vast deserts and extensive rain forests. The more efficient railroad networks are to be found in the East and South Asia. China and Japan has external networks of railroads while India inherited a good railroad system from the British. International Airline service link most of the Asian countries. Intercity bus services are available in each country.
Asia is rich in attractions, both natural and historical. India has its Taj Mahal which is one of the most magnificent structures in the world. Sri Lanka has the Adam’s Peak which is a major site of pilgrimage for many religions. When you are in Thailand, Bangkok is one of the most important destinations. The capital of Nepal, Kathmandu is described as a living museum due to its history and culture. Cambodia boasts of its Silver Pagoda, an impressive temple containing artifacts. The Great Wall of China, the capital cities of Pyongyang and Seoul in Korea and the experience of the new Japan in Tokyo are also must see places. The other countries of Asia like Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan, the Philippines and others have each their own charm that will surely appeal to a backpacking traveler.
There are many hotels, hostels, lodges and guest houses of varying standards to choose from. As there are both highly developed and developing countries in Asia, the state of health care varies as well as security concerns. Opportunities for employment may be also be big in one but non-existent in another. But no matter what, a true backpacker will surely find a reason to visit this interesting part of the world known as Asia.