Asia : South Asia
South Asia comprises those countries lying between the Himalaya range of mountains and the Indian Ocean (north to south) and between the Ganga and Indus river valleys (east to west). The Indian Ocean shoreline is divided between the Arabian Sea (in the west) and the Bay of Bengal (in the east). The extensive, triangular-shaped landmass of South Asia is sometimes referred to as "the Indian Subcontinent", or simply "the Subcontinent"
- Bangladesh - home of beautiful mangroves and the worlds longest beach
- Bhutan - the last Shangri-la
- India - Rich and exotic culture , several languages and a billion people.
- Maldives - paradise found
- Nepal - home to Mount Everest, adventure tourism, and smiling people
- Pakistan - rich in culture and history, varying climates and terrains from hot deserts to mountains
- Sri Lanka - pearl of the Orient
Afghanistan is sometimes considered part of the region. Its recent moves towards joining the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) may some day firmly place it in South Asia.
Myanmar (formerly Burma) may be considered a part of South Asia for long-standing historical and political ties to India.
Some commonalities exist to this area, mainly climate and culture.
Climate: Apart from the Himalaya, the climate is tropical, with monsoon in summer and dry winter. However, you have the extremes of this climate, i.e. in Western Pakistan monsoon is quite non-existent and in Southern India, it lasts for six months. Sri Lanka even has two monsoons, one in May, one in October/November.
Culture: The influence of historical Indian culture can be seen everywhere. Two of the main "world religions" have their origins within South Asia: Hinduism and Buddhism. A third, Islam, was introduced by Muslim invaders starting around the 7th century and rose to prominence during the Mughal Empire.
An additional layer of South Asian cultural unification derives from the influence of British culture, and especially the frequent and growing use of the English language, as a result of India having formed the "Jewel in the Crown" of the British Empire before Independence in 1947.
Population density: South Asia is one of the world's most densely populated regions - approximately 1.6 billion people (or roughly a quarter of humanity) make their home there. The average population density of 305 people per square km is 7 times the world average.
International airports include:
- Bangladesh - Dhaka, Chittagong,Sylhet
- Bhutan - Paro (near Thimphu)
- India - Delhi, Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras),Kolkata (Calcutta), Bangalore, Kochi (Cochin), Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kozhikode (Calicut), Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Amritsar
- Maldives - Male
- Nepal - Kathmandu
- Pakistan - Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Multan, Quetta, Sialkot
- Sri Lanka - Colombo (actually, Katunayake close to Negombo)
The number of direct flights between India and U.S/U.K is increasing.
For most countries in the region, haggling is essential while shopping--see How to haggle.
This page was last edited at 03:18, on 20 December 2008 by Ryan Holliday. Based on work by Sergey Kudryavtsev, Denis Yurkin, Ravikiran Rao, Peter Fitzgerald, Jani Patokallio and Evan Prodromou, Wikitravel user(s) Episteme and Cacahuate, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.