Asia has a long coastline as three of the world’s oceans surround the continent. Indonesia has the longest coastline of any Asian country, which stretches over 59,140 miles in length. However, 12 countries in the continent have no coastline as they are landlocked. These landlocked countries are Uzbekistan, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Laos, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Bhutan, and Azerbaijan.
Armenia is a western Asian country which covers an area of 11,484 square miles. The country is among the landlocked countries of Asia. Armenia has a 975-mile long land border that it shares with four countries; Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. The country is subject to a trade embargo by Turkey, making it impossible to use Turkish ports for sea trade. The country instead relies on Georgia as its transit country and uses two of Georgia’s ports, Batumi and Poti for maritime trade. Like many landlocked countries, Armenia has no naval force.
Nepal is another landlocked country in Asia. This Southern Asian country is the world’s 91st largest country and covers an area of 56,827 square miles. The total land border of Nepal is 1,818 miles long, which the country shares with India (1,050 miles) and the People’s Republic of China (768 miles). As only two countries border it, Nepal is considered as a semi-enclave country. Water transport in the country is not significant, as the rivers are not navigable. As the country is predominantly situated on mountainous terrain (the Himalayas and their highest peak, Mount Everest are found in Nepal), the rivers feature deep gorges and hence do not support water transport. The country relies on neighboring India as its transit country, to access its seaports for maritime trade.
Another landlocked country in Asia is Afghanistan. The country is situated in Central Asia, and is bordered by six countries; Pakistan, Tajikistan, China, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Iran. Afghanistan is investing heavily in the development of the Chabahar-Hajigak corridor that will link the country to Iran’s port of Chabahar. This port, which is situated in the Gulf of Oman, offers Afghanistan with shorter access to maritime trade than Pakistan’s Karachi port which is the second alternative. Commercial water transport in the landlocked country is only feasible on the Amu Darya River, found on the country’s border with Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The ports of Shir Khan Bandar and Kheyrabad facilitate water transport on the river.
Kazakhstan is a landlocked country situated in eastern Asia. The large country is bordered by four countries; Russia, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Despite being landlocked, the country has sea transport, which is conducted on the Caspian Sea. Kazakhstan’s Port of Aktau is one of the largest in the Caspian and connects the country to eastern European countries of Georgia and Turkey. Another major port found on the Caspian Sea is the Port of Atyrau. Most of the freshwater transport in the country is on two of the country’s largest rivers; the Ertis and Syr Darya Rivers which have a combined 2,500 miles of waterways. The country is among the few landlocked countries with a naval force. The Kazakhstan Navy is based in the Caspian Sea where it conducts regular patrols within its territory.
Turkmenistan is another landlocked country in Asia. The country is bordered by four countries; Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, and Afghanistan. Despite being landlocked, Turkmenistan has a maritime transport which is conducted on the Caspian Sea. The Port of Turkmenbashi is Turkmenistan’s primary port and facilitates sea transport in the Caspian Sea. The port is well developed with numerous berths and can serve large vessels including huge oil tankers. To protect its territory in the Caspian Sea, the country has a small naval force that patrols its waters.
Laos is also a landlocked country in Asia. The country covers an area of 236,800 square miles. This relatively small country shares its 3,158-mile long land border with five countries; China (263 miles), Thailand (1,089 miles), Myanmar (146 miles), Cambodia (336 miles), and Vietnam (1,323 miles). Water transport in the country is only possible on the two largest rivers in Laos; Nam Ou and Mekong Rivers. Despite being landlocked, the country has a small naval force. The Laos People’s Navy is the country navy that patrols the Mekong River. The navy is made up of at least 20 patrol boats that navigate the river. With the Mekong River defining a significant portion of the country’s western border, the navy plays a vital role in preventing illegal border crossings through the river. Laos has made agreements with its neighboring nations to use the Mekong River to access the South China Sea. However, the Khone Phapheng Falls found on the river makes commercial navigation to the South China Sea impossible.
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a small landlocked country found in South Asia. Bhutan is another semi-enclave country as it is sandwiched between two countries with which it shares its 706-mile long land border; China (296 miles) and India (409 miles). The country has agreed with Bangladesh, to use the Port of Mongla for its maritime trade. The country has no naval force.
Uzbekistan is another Asian country that has no coastline. The country shares its land border with four Asian countries; Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Afghanistan. Uzbekistan stands out from all other landlocked countries in Asia as it is the sole doubly landlocked country in the continent. A doubly landlocked means that all the countries that border the country are themselves all landlocked. The only other country in the world with this distinction is Liechtenstein in Europe. The Aral Sea was once integral in the country’s water transport but decades of overuse caused the inland sea to shrink by as much as 50%, rendering water transport on it commercially unviable. Water transport is on the Amu Darya River, which is home to the country’s primary port, Termez. The country is connected to the seaports of its neighboring countries such as Georgia’s Port Poti and Iran’s Abbas Port.
Which Countries in Asia Are Landlocked?