As the largest and most populous continent in the world with just over 3.8 billion people, Asia is composed of a wide variety of ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, historical ties, and governmental systems.
Geographically the continent makes up 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area, and 29.5% of its land area.
In the east, Asia is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, and an almost endless stretch of bays and seas.
The Arctic Ocean and a handful of seas front the northern border, while the Bering Sea separates Asia from North America. In the southwest the Red Sea and isthmus of Suez separate the continent from Africa.
The Indian Ocean fronts most of Asia's southern borders, along with a series of bays, gulfs and seas, as well as extensive chains of both inhabited and uninhabited islands.
Asia Geography Notes
Burma: Military authorities have promoted the name Myanmar since 1989 as the conventional name for their state. That decision was not (and is not) approved by any sitting legislature in Burma, and is not accepted by the U.S. government. However, Myanmar is widely accepted by numerous countries, and by the United Nations.
European Russia: The Russian landmass west of the Ural Mountains is commonly referred to as European Russia in most educational atlases, and by the vast majority of geography experts. It is not a separate country, but rather called that because of its political, cultural and geographical blendings with Europe. For reference purposes it is shown above to the west of the dashed-line, however, the entire country (as a whole) is still considered part of the continent of Asia.
Middle East: Countries considered part of the Middle East (or West Asia) are shown in a lighter shade of gray. Note that they are all still a part of the continent of Asia.
Opinions vary as to what countries make up the modern definition of Asia and the Middle East. Historically, Armeniaand Azerbaijan have been long associated with the Middle East, but in recent years, some sources now consider them to be more closely aligned with Europe based on their modern economic and political trends. We have moved in that direction, and the same can be said for the island country of Cyprus.
Taiwan is still considered by China to be its 23rd province, and not an independent country. Very few other country governments accept China's claims of sovereignty over Taiwan.
Turkey is officially, politically and geographically considered part of both Asia and Europe. The small northwestern portion of Turkey named (Thrace) is a recognized part of Europe, while the largest part (Anatolia) is located in the Middle East, a part of Asia.