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CELEBRATING ASIA WITH 8 BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS

The biggest part of our world

Asia is a rather tough choice to cover with a tiny set of only 8 photos, so we’ll be as concise and general as possible. After all, those 44,579,000 square kilometres, located primarily in the Northern and Eastern Hemisphere serve as the living space for 4.4 billion people. And some of the most beautiful scenery one could possibly imagine!

1.Southeast Asia - Myanmar (Burma)

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image source: blog.i-likelocal.com

The two fishermen, pressing their paddles against each other to avoid a crash, are standing in their traditional Myanmar wooden boats. The region is endowed with numerous rivers and streams, therefore, fishery, as in many other Southeast Asian countries, has become the dominant source of earning a livelihood. In the early hours of the day, we get a beautiful view of an Inle Lake’s fishermen’s daily routine together with a marvelous early-morning ochre. We can also see an age-old but nevertheless amusing rowing method, known as one-leg paddling. The official explanation for this phenomenon is a very practical one. The captain of the ship stands up simply to see if there are any reeds or water plants in the way. The peculiar, cone-shaped contraptions are bamboo fishing nets, intended for a more prominent catch. As the poor fish swims into the structure, the fisherman spears it from above (the lake itself is very shallow, 2 - 3 meters at most, thus, allowing this kind of technique). With the appropriate dawn and the peculiarly familiar form of hats, we can call these this photo “The Real Cowboys of the Southeast Asia”!

2.East Asia - Taiwan

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image source: www.viaggioglobaltravelz.com

The Republic of China (not to be confused with its namesake big sister to the west), better known as Taiwan, is a rather remote island nation, supervised by a government that’s officially recognized by only 22 countries worldwide. Still, it’s a densely populated and well-developed geographical region, not without its fair share of architectural and natural marvels. The world famous Lotus Pond is a man-made water reservoir, an artificial lake, famous for the lotus flowers floating on its surface and for the numerous temples surrounding it. This particular picture depicts the Wuli Pavillion, one of the many pier-like structures stretching well into the lake and embellished with a traditional, multiple-eave tower, known as a pagoda, at its closing. This almost sepia-toned shot has captured what the Wuli pavilion is essentially about. Standing proud as a symbol of peace and prosperity, it’s a walk of life that heads only towards a better future!

3.South Asia - India

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image source: www.123rf.com

We hope there will be no hard feelings about our choice since we dared to ignore India’s trademark site of the already hackneyed Taj Mahal mausoleum. What we propose instead is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places on earth and the de-facto oldest city in the whole of the India. Varanasi, situated on the banks of the river Ganges is the most sacred place in the whole country, the holiest of 7 holy cities in Hinduism and Jainism and one of the top destinations for international pilgrimages, a city whose impact was crucial for the development of Buddhism as we know it today. This is another photo which manages to capture India’s colorful, hazy and, at times, contradictory routine. The age-old wall is mish-mashed with a typically colorful building complex, proving that it’s not an issue for the locals to build at the expense of the ancient remain. And who can blame them, there are only 3,150,362 square kilometers reserved for the biggest democracy in the world with roughly 1,2 billion inhabitants! A surprising relation, even more so considering the last entry on our list.

4.Asia-Pacific. Another Brick in the Wall

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image source: www.goldentulip.com

Presumably, there’s no introduction needed for this world famous structure. Built across a time span of 2 millennia, surviving numerous rules and stretching 21,196 kilometers across the northern part of the People’s Republic of China, this man-made Colossus has been officially (and deservedly so) recognized as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World by a considerable jury of 100 million people. Initially built to protect Chinese states against the offensives of various nomadic groups from the north, it was a rather disorganized system of numerous wall-like fragments, gradually joined together and made more robust over a period of centuries. The most well-known and best-preserved section of the wall was built under the rule of the Ming Dynasty, most likely because of the use of stone and bricks in the construction process, materials which were pretty much absent from the earlier attempts to build the defenses. This autumnal photo of the Jinshanling section of the wall radiates might and the colorful history the construction has lived to tell. A history we should be glad to hear about rather than experience ourselves!

5.East Asia - The Land of the Rising Sun

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image source: www.tutecnomundo.com

Okay, there’s simply too much to know about this island nation, located in the Pacific Ocean and made up of an archipelago of an inconceivable collection of no less than 6,852 islands. It’s a country that boasts a fascinating and dynamic history, a country which saw and, frankly speaking, contributed to the horrors and devastation of the WWII, only to become one the most prosperous and economically developed nations in the world during the post-war decades. A country which now rightfully stands as a synonym for peace and tranquility in popular culture. Boasting the most densely populated metropolitan area in the world (The Greater Tokyo Area with 35 million inhabitants, which, to prove a point, is more than a half of the United Kingdom’s population), a varied natural environment and a distinct architectural heritage, still intact and serving its purpose, Japan is a true land of wonder and plenty. The picture above shows one of the country's trademarks - an active stratovolcano, better-known as Mount Fuji with the city of Fujiyoshida at its mighty feet and the Chureito Pagoda peace memorial in the foreground. All we can say is that Japan in Autumn, with its breezy climate and a distinct natural colour palette, is something to behold!

6.Western Asia - Israel

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image source: www.eo.travelwithus.com

Asia is as culturally, economically and religiously diverse a geographical unit as it can possibly be. From the complete antithesis of the Western thought pattern, characteristic of the Far Eastern civilizations, we’re now back into more familiar territory. The State of Israel has been a political and military boiling point since its establishment in 1947. It is a region which, starting with its first incarnation as the Kingdom of Israel, has probably seen more religious schisms and historical turning points than any other country on our dear old globe. However, as of now, it is also the country with the highest living standard in the whole of the Middle East and one of the most educated populations in the world (since most of its residents hold a tertiary grade of some kind). It also has a spectacular, though, somewhat rarely exhibited natural scenery, made evident by this goluptious picture of the eventide Jerusalem skyline. However, there's enough evidence suggesting that we cannot talk about this holy city as a solely Israelian dominion. History wells up and old scars are cracked open by the constant feuds with Palestine, one of the examples of the complications the region is forced to come to terms with. When will the sky finally register those millions of prayers?

7.Southwest Asia - Arabian Peninsula

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image source: bahrainae.com

The Arabian Peninsula is an Asian subcontinent that encompasses a huge chunk of the Arabian nations, once again - culturally, economically and historically diverse and divided to speak quite frankly. From the prosperous and rapidly growing luxury of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to the disproportionately low-end economy of Yemen, it’s a geographical region of political pressure, questionable human rights, tense relations and sometimes ambiguous individual intentions, regarding the region as a whole. Possessing vast reserves of oil and natural gas, it’s also a region of considerable power in the Arab world, a place that was artificially turned from a mostly sparsely populated desert region into a highly industrialized and modern economic power house in a time span of only a few decades. As for the imagery, this is not a screen shot depicting the provisional setting for the ​Blade Runner 2. The highly futuristic landscape is a photography of the Manama’s (the capital of Bahrain) skyline. The photo itself gives us a nice hint of what this lower-left part of Asia is essentially about. Power, prosperity, bravado and lots of shiny things. The modern-day Arabia at its exuberant best!

8.Russia (Siberia and the Russian Far East)

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mage source: https://stampsy.com

Although this may seem like a rather unfitting pick, the better part of Russia actually forms what is officially considered to be the Northern part of Asia. To make this feat even more impressive, it does so completely alone, as there’s no other administrative rule besides that of the Russian government. However, it’s worth noticing that only approximately 40 million Russians inhabit this place, making the eastern part of Russia one of the most sparsely populated regions on Earth. Starting immediately behind the Ural mountain terrain, this huge landmass spans roughly 8 different time zones and offers the kind of ecological variety one might expect from a territory that’s 13,1 million square kilometers wide. The menu is as diverse as it gets with a complete polar desert up in the north, taiga (mostly coniferous forests) covering the better part of the middle section, with bits of tundras and steppe thrown in here and there for good measure. Meanwhile in the Russian Far East lies the Kamchatka Peninsula, a sub-arctic land mass of considerable volcanic activity and the world-renowned Land of Fire and Ice, officially known as the Koronotsky Nature Reserve lying proudly in the middle of the island. Wild and somewhat uninhabitable as it may seem, North Asia is one of the most fascinating places on Earth. Untamed and curbed only by the numerous ethnic groups championing the region since the dawn of mankind, it’s a place where photo enthusiasts will have their drives overstuffed with vastness and vigour!

„Asia is not going to be civilized after the methods of the West. There is too much Asia and she is too old.”

Rudayard Kipling telling the truth as usual

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