Asia, the world of fancy and mystery, is known for everybody from fairy-tales. But what do we know actually? 'The Thousand and One Nights' collection of anonymous Oriental stories, eastern bazaar, silk, gold and belly dance -- perhaps, here lies the confine of most people's knowledge. From the outside we see sunsets tincturing the cupolas of mosques in poetic colours, women faces hidden under a veil of secrecy. The men here are as severe and decided as generous and hospitable. And what if penetrate inside?
Let's start with Asia geography. It's not enough to consult the atlas to study the geography of Asia. Only to enumerate the countries of Asia some minutes are required. Just listen to these magnificent names: China, Sri Lanka, Laos, Singapore, Taiwan, Nepal. In fact, Asia is the largest part of the world which occupies one-third of land. It's a part of a vast territory of the Eurasian continent. Asia stretches from Europe and Africa in the east to the Pacific in the west. The western border of Asia is a line of small volcanic islands. This is a seism dangerous area. The question about the eastern border is a topical problem even today. Most scientists consider the Urals to be the border, but some of them attribute the whole territory of Russia to Asia.
If you decide to go to Asia you will be able to choose any type of rest: lying on sandy beaches or climbing up high mountains, river voyages or jeeping in the sands. It's because of Asia geography. The Asian territory stretches through several climatic zones. The northern parts of Asia lie far beyond the Polar Circle. This climatic zone is called tundra. There are no trees at all in this region because of hard frosts. Taiga is to the south. It's a wide territory of evergreen forests.
The west and southwest of Asia are occupied by fertile plains. But warm winds from the ocean, which bring rains reach Central Asia very seldom. That's why deserts are common for this area. Sandy soils are almost free from vegetation. They freeze through in winter and get too hot in summer. Here the highest mountain chain is situated -- the Himalayas -- covered by ice and snow all year around. The south of Asia is washed by the Indian Ocean. These are the warmest parts of the region, with tropical climate: winters are warm and dry, but summer abounds in heavy rains. Stormy winds -- the monsoons -- bring water from the ocean and pour it onto the ground.
Asia geography is very broad. For example, Spaniards swim in the same sea with Asiatics, as the southwestern parts of Asia are washed by the Mediterranean Sea. The figures are also amazing, and some records are fixed here. Asia includes more than 40 countries, and its total area is over 40 million square kilometers (the largest part of the world). The population is almost 4 billion people (the most densely populated area). The mountain Everest is 8848 meters high (the highest peak in the world).
Asia geography has greatly influenced the history of Asia. The Mongols and the Turks created and then lost powerful empires that were centres of the world. Vast territories and rich resources always attracted the attention of foreign invaders. In XIX century many Asian countries were colonized by Europeans. New rulers got rich, but, actually, they didn't want to do anything for the people and development of Asia. Now all the countries are free to choose their own way. Some of them managed to combine the best traits of the West and the East and are considered to be the leaders of the world. Still, as people say, 'seeing is believing'. So, if you have a chance to visit Asia, the asylum of mystery, go for it!