Occupying 30% of the Earth’s total land area, and home to 60% of its population, Asia is a vast and fascinating continent bursting with variety, contrasts and contradictions. With surprises at every turn, Asia is home to some of the world’s most vibrant cities and serene rural villages, its highest mountains and great swathes of parched desert, with 48 countries stretching from the arctic north to the hot and humid tropics.

Perhaps best known for the variety of its peoples and cultures, Asia is home to some of the largest, most colourful and exciting markets in the world. Throughout South East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and Central Asia you can immerse yourself into local life simply by wandering through a market and soaking up all the sights, sounds and smells. You can also experience festivals such as the colourful annual camel fair in Pushkar in India,
 Mongolia’s traditional Nadaam festival or the centuries-old religious festivals of Bhutan and Ladakh.

Asia boasts some of the world’s most iconic sights, such as the Taj Mahal in India, the Great Wall in China, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Bagan in Burma and the Potala Palace in Tibet. These are all striking reminders of Asia’s fascinating history, where empires and civilisations have risen and fallen across the continent over millennia. The legacy of so many cultural influences filters through everyday life today: you can enjoy the rich fusion of traditions, religions, music, art and architecture throughout the continent. Perhaps this is most evident in Asia’s cuisine, where you can taste local and regional specialities in every country but the flavours of national dishes fuse across borders.