Asia is the largest and most populated continent on the planet. It contains both of the most-populated countries (head into the quiz if you think you know which they are!) in the world and most of the world's people. It reaches from the Mediterranean to the Pacific, bounded on its northern edge by the Arctic Ocean and on the southern side by the Indian Ocean. It includes countries with climates fairly similar to that of Southern Europe, as well as very high-altitude, dry countries, and hot, wet, heavily forested countries. It's enormously culturally and linguistically diverse, meaning that almost nobody is fully familiar with all of its languages and history.
With civilization having begun in the Fertile Cresent in Mesopotamia, Asia technically covers the cradle of civilization, as well as including the home of the biggest empire ever to exist and also the most advanced nations throughout most of human history prior to the last 300 years. For the purposes of this quiz, we're going to focus on South Asia and the Far East - watch out for Central Asia and the Middle East coming soon in their own quiz! - so if you know your Mongol, Indian, and Chinese history, you'll doubtlessly ace this quiz. Let's see how you do!
What is the most populous country in Asia?
China has 1.3 billion people, which makes it the most populated nation in the world. More and more Chinese people join the middle class every day, though hundreds of millions still live on the land.
Which city is the capital of Bangladesh?
Dhaka is a city full of factories, where many goods are made for export. It is a swamp city on the coast and is threatened by rising seas, as well as rampant corruption.
Which country was formerly known as Siam?
Thailand is proud of the fact that alone among its neighbors, it was never colonized. It has a king and a nascent democracy that is currently threatened by military rulers.
What is the most-spoken language in Asia?
Mandarin is the official language of China. However, it's not the only common language there, with Cantonese not far behind. English is the lingua franca between nations of the region, as not many people speak both Hindi and Mandarin many speakers of either language also know English.
What is the highest mountain in Japan?
At 12,388 feet, this is the highest peak in Japan. It's also the name of a very successful brand of cameras that hail from not too far away.
Which Indian river is sacred to Hinduism?
The Ganges is holy but incredibly polluted, a product of India's poverty and corruption outside the major cities. Cleanup will be expensive but is slowly happening as Indians grow richer and stop feeling like they must put up with their landscape being abused by bad management.
Which Asian river was dammed in 2003 amid considerable controversy?
This dam flooded the homes of many, many people, and its construction was immensely controversial. However, some argue that China's commitment to hydropower is better for its people long term than its former interest in coal - which it has now abandoned in favor of a half-trillion dollar investment in solar.
Which Asian autonomous Chinese region has the second-highest GDP per capita on the planet?
Macau is rich. It's so rich it has a GDP per capita of $114,000. That's nearly as high as the oil-rich state of Qatar. It's probably a sign of some very serious corruption!
Which Asian nation has the longest land border?
Russia is bigger than China but much of its borders are ocean. It's also not entirely in Asia. Thus, China has the biggest Asian land border.
What is the capital of South Korea?
Seoul is one of the most exciting cities in the world. Unfortunately, it's also within contemporary weapons range of North Korea, which might make it the wrong kind of exciting from time to time.
Which country was formerly known as Burma?
Myanmar, formerly Burma, has been through a lot. There is currently a low-level war going on there, and the nation has previously been colonized as well as having had key parts of World War II fought on its territory.
Which Asian state has the third highest GDP per capita on the planet?
Singapore's income is very high thanks to it being a city state with a strong financial center. The GDP per capita is $52,000, which is close to the USA's figure of about $59,000.
Which Asian country is home to the temples of Angkor Wat?
Cambodia is home to these incredible temples that cover many hundreds of acres. It was built by the Khmer King, Suryavarman II, 700 years ago.
Which Asian country also has a portion of its territory in Europe?
Russia is partly on the European side of the Caucasus mountains, and partly on the Asian side. It's the biggest country in the world, hence it spans two continents.
Which Asian country is the ninth-biggest in the world by land area?
Kazakhstan is not very populated as it is too dry and too high. However, it will soon be easier to reach as part of China's massive Belt and Road project connecting all of Asia.
What Asian town is nearest to the point that is furthest from the ocean on the entire planet?
It's called the Eurasian Pole of Inaccessibility. Suluk is almost impossible to reach. It is on the Kazakh-Chinese border.
What ruined city is the historical first capital of the Mongol empire?
Karakorum was the Mongol capital, though now it is merely a ruin. It remains a World Heritage site due to it being the home of Genghis Khan.
Which two Asian nations have technically been at war with each other for more than 50 years?
North Korea sees the war as a civil one. South Korea says the two nations are now separate. There is hope that they may one day be at peace again, but while one is a dictatorship and the other a democracy, this is a challenge.
Which island city was leased to another country for 99 years but returned to China in 1997?
Hong Kong is now part of China again but still has a different set of rules. For this reason, it is very popular with expats who do not like living under the fuller censorship of mainland China.
How many nations share a border with China?
China has lots of neighbors thanks to its long land border. It is on friendlier terms with some than with others, however.
Which mountain nation is home to Mount Everest?
Technically, Everest is also partly in China, but the peak is in Nepal. This makes it the highest land border in the world.
Which island nation lies off the southern tip of India?
Sri Lanka was once called Ceylon and was a tea-growing colony of Britain. It is now independent and still grows a lot of tea.
What natural disaster in 2005 killed 250,000 people in Asia and the Pacific Rim, most of them in Thailand and Indonesia?
This is the deadliest natural disaster in history. Most of the casualties were in Indonesia and Thailand, with India also hard hit.
Through which of the countries below does the Mekong River NOT flow?
The total list is Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, China, and Vietnam. The Mekong is one of hte most important rivers in the world and the 12th longest.
Which island chain nation is home to the Sea of Stars beach?
The Maldives are very beautiful and make a lot of money from tourism. However, since the islands are very low-lying, rising seas threaten the entire country's existence.
Ninety-five percent of plastic waste in the ocean comes from 10 rivers. How many of these are in Asia?
There are only 10 rivers creating 95 percent of the problem and eight of them are in Asia. This is partly because of poverty and corruption, as people cannot hold local government or companies accountable. It is also because of customers of companies that outsource, who enjoy cheap goods but don't ask questions. Asian populations are starting to protest more loudly and action is slowly being taken.
Which Indian city is home to the Bollywood film industry?
Mumbai is a vast and sprawling city, home to great wealth and also great poverty. It is also home to Bollywood, which is the biggest film industry on the planet.
When did Laos achieve independence from France?
Laos was part of French Indochina until 1954. It achieved independence on Boxing Day of that year.
What mountain nation borders the Indian state of Assam?
Bhutan is a landlocked nation that is still a monarchy. However, it's not a very repressive monarchy, unlike many of the other rulers in the area.
Which Asian country's name literally means "land of the pure" in Urdu?
"Pak" means pure in both Urdu and Persian. Pakistan was once part of India but due to its Muslim majority, split off when India became independent.
Which city in Asia has the largest population?
The capital of Japan is really big. It has a staggering 38.2 million residents. That means it could swallow London four times.
The Maldives is the smallest Asian nation by population. What is the next smallest?
Brunei is very small. It's also very rich, thanks to oil. As it is a monarchy, this wealth has tended to collect around the leadership.
What geographical feature forms a natural boundary between Pakistan and India?
The Thar Desert creates a natural boundary. Unfortunately, this has not prevented India and Pakistan from having a number of wars over the years.
What is the name of the disputed territory on the northern border of India, also claimed by Pakistan?
Kashmir is claimed by several nations, meaning that the region is one of the most militarized in Asia. It's also very beautiful, and if it opens up for tourism again, will doubtless become very popular once more.
What is the second most populous country in Asia?
India has a vast 1.2 billion people, making it the biggest democracy in the world. Unfortunately, its demoracy is very chaotic and the government doesn't always get much done!
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