The Outline of Asia

One of the main questions I had to start off this blog was “What are Asia’s regional areas?” and “Which Asian countries reside in which region geographically? Before learning more about the local aspects of Asia, I believe giving a geographic knowledge about Asia’s regional areas would be very helpful in recognizing more of Asia’s countries. Lets get started!

Asia is a big continent so it is divided up mainly into 6 specific regions:

  • North Asia
  • East Asia
  • Central Asia
  • West/Southwest Asia
  • South Asia
  • Southeast Asia

Furthermore, here is an outline of a closer inspection of these 5 regions:

North Asia:

A special feature about North Asia is that it consists ALL of Russia, with no other country within the Northern Asia Region.

Climate? The overall climate within North Asia is usually Tundra and Taiga.

Thawed surface of the permafrost on the tundra in summer, Taymyr Peninsula, Siberia.

The upper half of Northern Asia is a Tundra climate, which is characterized of the soil being below freezing for at least 2 years. Winters in this area are really cold and summers are warm with very little rainfall.

Vegetation in the taiga (boreal forest) area of southern Siberia, Russia.

On the much bigger lower half of the North Asia region is Taiga (or Coniferous forest) climate, characterized as the area being generally cold and dry with snowy winters and warmer summers.

East Asia:

East Asia consists of the following countries:

  • China
  • Japan
  • Hong Kong
  • South Korea
  • North Korea
  • Mongolia (can also be considered part of Central Asia)

Climate? Eastern Asia is generally more mixed in their climates. Divided into 5 different climates geographically, Eastern Asia has a mixture of Mountain, Desert (located in the central areas), Grassland, Deciduous Forest, and Rainforest climate.

Yellow Mountain in Huangshan City, Anhui Province, East China

Eastern Asia is predominant Mountain climate in the western side of the East Asia. Mountain climate is characterized as being cold, windy, and snowy. It can be winter from October to May with temperatures below freezing with summer being from June to September reaching 15°C.

Dense grove of bamboo in Japan.

The eastern side of East Asia is divided into two different climates: the upper east of East Asia is Deciduous Forest climate and the lower east is generally Rainforest climate. Deciduous Forest climates generally have 4 distinct seasons with warm summers, trees shedding in autumn, and wet cold winters. Rainforest climates are characterized with high temperatures and high rainfall throughout the year.

Central Asia:

Central Asia consists of the following countries:

  • Russia (although most of Russia is in North Asia)
  • Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • Pakistan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Mongolia (can also be considered part of East Asia)
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan

Climate? Central Asia mainly has Deciduous Forest and Grassland climates. The upperhalf of Central Asia is generally Deciduous Forest climate (having four distinct seasons) while the lower half is Grassland climate, characterized as hot summers and cold winters with above average rainfall.

Tarim River in the Takla Makan Desert, northwestern China.

Southwest Asia: The Middle East

Southwest Asia, also known as the Middle East, consists of the following countries:

  • Turkey
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Iran
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Israel
  • Iraq
  • Qatar
  • Oman
  • Syria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Jordan
  • Yemen
  • Lebanon
  • Palestine
  • Kuwait
  • Bahrain
  • Georgia
  • Armenia

Climate? Southwest Asia has a predominant Desert climate, with a small portion on their upper side of the region having Grassland climate. The Desert climate are usually warm to high temperatures with generally very little rainfall.

Desert sand dunes in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

South Asia:

South Asia consists of the following countries:

  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Sri Lanka
  • Nepal
  • Bhutan
  • Maldives

Climate? A large portion of India has Rainforest and Savanna climates, characterizing Savanna climates with very high temperatures all year and rain during the summer season only. The western side of South Asia has mixtures of Mountain, Desert, and Grassland climates.

Lush forestland in Chhattisgarh state, India.

Southeast Asia:

Southeast Asia consists of the following Asian countries:

  • Indonesia
  • Thailand
  • Philippines
  • Malaysia
  • Vietnam
  • Singapore
  • Myanmar / Burma
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Brunei
  • East Timor

Climate? Almost all of Southeast Asia has a Rainforest climate, characterized having high temperatures and high rainfall throughout the year.

Coral reef exposed at low tide off the coast of Thailand.

After some research, here is the nitty gritty of the main outline of Asia I have acquired, regarding about Asia’s main regional areas, countries that are located in which region, and their general geographical climates. It is interesting to see how Asia’s most well known countries mostly reside in East Asia (which consists of China, Japan, and South Korea). Generally, the regional areas closer the equator have much hotter climates compared to the regions more north. I hope everyone else, like me, learned a little more about the basic regions of Asia and their characteristics.

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