Asia, the civilizations’ continent

Our home turf is also the domicile of probably more than 4.4bln people. Geographically it is diverse, comprising ~30% of the world’s land. Climate range from the harshest possible cold of Siberian or the arctic, down to the unbearable humid heat of the tropics. The continent also spans 11 time zones from GMT+4  (Georgia) till GMT +10 (Papua or Vladivostok).

Great civilizations had arisen from Asia, and they were by far more advanced than the rest of the world for thousands of years until the 1800s.

As you would have no doubt read, this is not our most traveled continent. That award goes to its Siamese twin – Europe, cojoined at the hip in an area commonly referred to as MENA and the Ural mountain ranges to the north (now Russia federation). Since Anatolia which comprises most of modern day Turkey, we consider this country part of Asia. In any case when you cross the Bosphorus, you are considered to crossing over the “Asia” side of Turkey.

And in the list of countries of Asia, the following are the untouched ones:

Bhutan Sri Lanka Laos India*
Nepal Bangladesh North Korea Pakistan*
Myanmar Palau Brunei  

*Melvin had been to these countries for business, so it’s not real handprints per se.

Note that we class MENA as part of Africa for our own comfort and thus the countries of the middle east do not appear above.

Food is definitely one of the delights to be had while in Asia. And do they vary! The following slide show shows just the tip of the iceberg of what culinary delights are to be had when you traverse the length and breadth of Asia. Let you palette tingle!

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Times are changing and so are the countries in this mighty continent. As we rush into the bosoms of the 21st century, we see monumental changes not only in the physical landscape (very significant) but also the social and cultural. We appear to have a “homogenization” of cultures with the rise of materialism, with the growth of the so-called middle class.

We have been based back here in Asia for nearly 11 years. During that time, we have to admit that we did not cover as much ground as we did in three short years in the Netherlands. Nonetheless, as we tick off more of our bucket list items, it will be Asia that becomes focus. We want to see the richness of these places before they evolve!

April 2016

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