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Asia and The Far East

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Asia is the largest and most populous continent or region, depending on the definition. It covers 8.6% of the Earth's total surface area, or 29.4% of its land area, and it contains more than 60% of the world's human population.

Asia is traditionally defined as part of the landmass of Africa-Eurasia - with the western portion of the latter occupied by Europe - lying east of the Suez Canal, east of the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas.

Brief History of Asia

Medieval Europeans considered Asia as a continent - a distinct landmass. The European concept of the three continents in the Old World goes back to Classical Antiquity, but during the Middle Ages was notably due to Isidore of Sevilla (see T and O map). The demarcation between Asia and Africa is the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea. The boundary between Asia and Europe is commonly considered to run through the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, the Bosporus, the Black Sea, the Caucasus Mountains, the Caspian Sea, the Ural River to its source, and the Ural Mountains to the Kara Sea near Kara, Russia. While this interpretation of tripartite continents (i.e., of Asia, Europe, and Africa) remains common in modernity, discovery of the extent of Africa and Asia have made this definition somewhat anachronistic. This is especially true in the case of Asia, which would have several regions that would be considered distinct landmasses if these criteria were used (for example, Southern Asia and Eastern Asia).

Generally, geologists and physical geographers do not consider Asia and Europe to be separate continents. Physiographically, Asia is the major eastern constituent of the continent of Eurasia - with Europe being a northwestern peninsula of the landmass - or of Africa-Eurasia: geologically, Asia, Europe, and Africa comprise a single continuous landmass (save the Suez Canal) and share a common continental shelf. Almost all of Europe and most of Asia sit atop the Eurasian Plate, adjoined on the south by the Arabian and Indian Plates, and with much of Siberia situated on the North American Plate.

In geography, there are two schools of thought. One school follows historical convention and treats Europe and Asia as different continents, categorizing subregions within them for more detailed analysis. The other school equates the word "continent" with a geographical region when referring to Europe, and use the term "region" to describe Asia in terms of physiography. Since, in linguistic terms, "continent" implies a distinct landmass, it is becoming increasingly common to substitute the term "region" for "continent" to avoid the problem of disambiguation altogether.

Given the scope and diversity of the landmass, it is sometimes not even clear exactly what "Asia" consists of. Some definitions exclude Turkey, the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia while only considering the Far East, Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent to compose Asia.[1] The term is sometimes used more strictly in reference to the Asia-Pacific region, which does not include the Middle East or Russia[2], but does include islands in the Pacific Ocean - a number of which may also be considered part of Australasia or Oceania although Pacific Islanders are commonly not considered Asian.

Information provided by Wikipedia

Book Your Holiday To Asia From:

Hayes and Jarvis - Hayes & Jarvis has been creating award-winning specialist long haul holidays for travellers for more than 50 years. It now operates to more than 50 worldwide destinations ATOL (No 1275), ABTA (No V1464)
LastMinute.com - Offers you last minute and luxury holiday offers world wide.
eBookers - For cheap package, luxury and last minute holiday offers.
Kuoni Travel - Kuoni Travel are Britain's best known longhaul luxury holiday tour operator offering a wide range of tailormade holiday types in over 65 countries. From 3* to luxury, cruises to safaris, scuba diving to skiing and luxury spas to escorted tours.
Expedia - Book cheap package holidays, luxury holidays and last minute holidays today.
Airline Network - Flights to Asia.
British Airways Holidays - For individual, couples or family holidays.
Opodo - Your first choice for holidays and travel offers across the world.
Singapore Airlines - Internationally recognised as one of the world's leading carriers in Asia and the Far East.

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