With its status as the Earth’s largest continent, Asia has been home to a stunningly diverse group of tribes, ethnicities, creeds, and nations since time immemorial. Take the ultimate test for geography students and enthusiasts and see how you fare in our Asian countries map quiz.
This majestic landmass stretches from the frigid Ural Mountains in Russia to the balmy southern tip of the Indian Peninsula and the alluring island chains of Indonesia and the Philippines. It is settled by countries of starkly different shapes, sizes and histories, with both the small but advanced state of South Korea and the huge nation of Kazakhstan both calling themselves Asian.
Asia’s geopolitical scene is alive and thriving. Its current borders have been carved out and polished over millennia of conflicts, peace treaties, alliances and partnerships. The continent has seen Genghis Khan’s Mongol hordes sweep over swathes of territory to forge the largest contiguous land empire in history, as well as the exploration of the Pacific Ocean by Malay and Indonesian seafarers.
Answering a countries of Asia map quiz can pose a tough challenge, although it helps if you can group each of its 50 current countries into common regions. To wit, Asia is typically divided into five primary regions – Western Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Central Asia.
Siberia – the part of Russian territory on the right side of the Urals – can also be known as North Asia due to its historically close cultural and ethnic links with its Asian neighbors.
Western Asia makes up most of the Middle East, encompassing many influential Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. It also features the nation of Israel, and Christian-majority states like Georgia and Armenia. This region mostly lies in a dry, desert environment, with many settling close to sea.
Central Asia is rugged and mountainous. It contains Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. The “-stan” portion of these countries’ names mean “land.” As the ancient and modern Silk Road travels through this region, these countries make up an integral part of the trade route between Europe and Asia.
The climate of East Asia has immense variety – Mongolia has its dusty and beautiful steppes, South Korea and Japan have a marvellous relationship with the Pacific Ocean, and China has everything from mountain glaciers and deserts to bamboo forests.
The cultural hotbed of South Asia is home to the Indian subcontinent. Much of the countries’ billion-strong combined population settle along a commanding coast on three bodies of water – the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. South Asia is the cradle for many faiths, including Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism.