Asia is the world's largest continent by land area and population, home to 4.4 billion people.
The continent is too massive and diverse to conceptualize as a single digestible travel "destination". From the mountains around the Black Sea in the west to the snow fields of Russia's far east, there are more people and cities in Asia than outside of it. Travel options range widely, from the desert ruins and modern mega-malls of the Middle East to the magnificent ancient monuments and giant mountains in South Asia, from the beach bungalows and jungle treks of Southeast Asia to the mega-cities and technology capitals of East Asia.
Asia gets a tremendous number of travellers, both for tourism and business. Many of the world's most-visited cities are in Asia, including Bangkok, Dubai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Istanbul, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Taipei, Osaka and Shanghai.
The Taj Mahal in Agra, India
Asia offers intriguing destinations for every type of traveller, be they a novice or experienced road-warrior. Easier options include modern, prosperous countries like Japan and the East Asian Tigers of Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, where people enjoy very high standards of living. There are also extremely poor Asian countries, where people struggle even to get a few grains of rice each day, such as Cambodia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Laos and East Timor. Some countries are well-established on the budget tourist trail, including Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, but there are other countries that strictly restrict tourism to certain regions or types of tourism, such as Bhutan and the Maldives. North Korea and Turkmenistan, easily the world's most isolated and repressive states, take it even further, with constantly-watched group tours dedicated to their "great leaders". Of course, there are also many countries lying somewhere in the middle, which is where one might place the emerging powerhouses of China and India; those huge, populous lands make wonderful travel destinations in themselves due to their long history, traditions and diversity.