Asia is the largest and the most populous continent, hosting 60% of the current world population. The whole continent is divided into regions, namely South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Asia’s diverse regions, groups, religion, history, architecture, and culture could be all jam-packed, but its diversity binds it as a whole continent rich with people, cities and stories that you won’t get bored of.

Here’s the list of the longest continuously inhabited cities in Asia with some cool facts about them that you’d want to know:

Central and Southern

Balkh

Photo via: Wallpapers 5

Photo via: Wallpapers 5

Location: Balkh Province, Afghanistan
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1500 BC
Cool Fact: The first known disciples of Buddha are said to be from Balkh.

Varanasi

Photo via: David Lazar

Photo via: David Lazar

Location: Uttar Pradesh, India
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 1200 – 1100 BC
Cool Fact: Varanasi is the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism.

Ujjain

Location: India
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 800 BC
Cool Fact: Ujjain is one of four cities that hold the Kumbh Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage which is said to be the largest peaceful gathering in the world.

Samarqand

Photo via: Atlanta Travel

Photo via: Atlanta Travel

Location: Uzbekistan
Continuously Inhabited Since: 700 BC
Cool Fact: Samarqand is located in the center of the Silk Road.

Rajgir

Photo via: Indian Travels

Photo via: Indian Travels

Location: Bihar, India
Continuously Inhabited Since: 600 BC
Cool Fact: Rajgir is known as one of Buddha’s favorite places.

Madurai

Photo via: TravelGujju

Photo via: TravelGujju

Location: Tamil Nadu, India
Continuously Inhabited Since: 500 BC
Cool Fact: The Tamil language, one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world, is an official language of the region.

Vaishali

Photo via: Aniccasight

Photo via: Aniccasight

Location: Bihar, India
Continuously Inhabited Since: 500 BC
Cool Fact: Vaishali is said to be the world’s first republic.

Patna

Photo via: HolidayIQ.com

Photo via: HolidayIQ.com

Location: Bihar, India
Continuously Inhabited Since: 5th century, BC
Cool Fact: The last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, was born in Patna.

Peshawar

Photo via: Asia Society

Photo via: Asia Society

Location: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 400 – 300 BC
Cool Fact: Peshawar is very ethnically and linguistically diverse, due to its location at the meeting point of Central Asia and South Asia.

Mahasthangarh

Location: Bogra District, Bangladesh
Continuously Inhabited Since: 4th century BC
Cool Fact: The center of the city contains an ancient citadel that housed many structures, including several palaces and gateways.

Thanjavur

Photo via: mugup.info

Photo via: mugup.info

Location: Tamil Nadu, India
Continuously Inhabited Since: 300 BC
Cool Fact: Thanjavur’s name is said to originate from the name of a Hindu mythological demon.

Bamyan

Photo via: Wikipedia

Photo via: Wikipedia

Location: Bamyan Province, Afghanistan
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1st century AD
Cool Fact: The city is surrounded by cliffs where Buddha was carved into the rock in many places.

Kathmandu

Location: Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 2nd century AD
Cool Fact: The first college in Nepal and the first hospital in Nepal were both built in Kathmandu.

Eastern

Luoyang

Photo via: TrekEarth

Photo via: TrekEarth

Location: Henan, China
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 2070 BC
Cool Fact: Luoyang is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China.

Xi’an

Photo via: Freemages

Photo via: Freemages

Location: Shaanxi, China
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 1100 BC
Cool Fact: Xi’an is located at the very beginning of the Silk Road.

Beijing

Photo via: Travelex

Photo via: Travelex

Location: Beijing, China
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 1045 BC
Cool Fact: Archeologists have found Homo erectus remains from hundreds of thousands of years ago in the Beijing area.

Suzhou

Photo via: Chris Putro

Photo via: Chris Putro

Location: Jiangsu, China
Continuously Inhabited Since: 514 BC
Cool Fact: The many classical gardens, temples, canals, pagodas, and bridges make Suzhou stand out as a popular tourist city in China and have given it the nickname “Venice of China.”

Chengdu

Photo via: UNESCO

Photo via: UNESCO

Location: Sichuan, China
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 400 BC
Cool Fact: Some people call Chengdu the “Turtle City” because a local legend says that the city’s borders were created by following the path of a turtle.

Nanjing

Photo via: Wikimedia

Photo via: Wikimedia

Location: Jiangsu, China
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 495 BC
Cool Fact: Nanjing served as the capital of China for certain periods of time.

Kaifeng

Photo via: Top China Travel

Photo via: Top China Travel

Location: Henan, China
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 364 BC
Cool Fact: The oldest landmark in Kaifeng is the Iron Pagoda, a towering brick structure that looks like the color of iron dating back to 1049, during the Song Dynasty.

Guangzhou

Photo via: Astute

Photo via: Astute

Location: Guangdong, China
Continuously Inhabited Since: 214 BC
Cool Fact: Guangzhou was known by its English name, Canton, until about 1949.

Hangzhou

Location: Zhejiang, China
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 200 BC
Cool Fact: The beautiful scenery of Hangzhou’s West Lake—surrounded by temples, pagodas, and gardens—has been the subject of many Chinese poems and paintings.

Pyongyang

Location: North Korea
Continuously Inhabited Since: 194 BC
Cool Fact: The tallest building in Pyongyang is an unfinished hotel that has been under construction since 1987.

Gyeongju

Photo via: Trip Scout

Photo via: Trip Scout

Location: South Korea
Continuously Inhabited Since: 57 BC
Cool Fact: Gyeongju is basically an open air museum, with four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many other historical landmarks within its limits.

Seoul

Photo by: David via Flickr

Photo by: David via Flickr

Location: South Korea
Continuously Inhabited Since: 18 BC
Cool Fact: The metropolitan area of Seoul contains over half of South Korea’s residents, with a population of over 25.6 million people.

Osaka

Location: Japan
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 400 AD
Cool Fact: Osaka is most well-known for its food by both locals and foreigners.

Nara

Photo via: Tropical Island

Photo via: Tropical Island

Location: Japan
Continuously Inhabited Since: 710 AD
Cool Fact: Deer are venerated by the locals, who believe them to be the protectors of the city.

Kyoto

Location: Japan
Continuously Inhabited Since: 794 AD
Cool Fact: The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement to reduce carbon emissions and sets limits on the emission of greenhouse gases, adopted in Kyoto in 1997.

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Southeastern

Hanoi

Location: Vietnam
Continuously Inhabited Since: 454 AD
Cool Fact: The 4 kilometer long Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural was created as a monument to celebrate the Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi.

Palembang

Location: Indonesia
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 600 AD
Cool Fact: Palembang was the capital of the influential Kingdom of Srivijaya, which dates back to the 7th century.

Luang Prabang

Photo via: 1001 Scribbles

Photo via: 1001 Scribbles

Location: Laos
Continuously Inhabited Since: 698 AD
Cool Fact: Luang Prabang has many natural attractions, including the Kuang Si Falls, the Tat Sae Waterfalls, and the Pak Ou Caves.

Siem Reap

Photo via: News.com.au

Photo via: News.com.au

Location: Cambodia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 801 AD
Cool Fact: This year, travelers ranked Siem Reap as the world’s fourth best city for tourists in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards.

Bagan

Photo via: Hey Brian

Photo via: Hey Brian

Location: Myanmar
Continuously Inhabited Since: 849 AD
Cool Fact: The remains of over 2,000 ancient Buddhist temples, pagodas, and monasteries still exist in Bagan today.

Manila

Location: Philippines
Continuously Inhabited Since: 900 AD
Cool Fact: Manila is quite possibly the most densely populated city in the world, with almost 43,000 people per square kilometer.

Bandar Seri Begawan

Photo via: ztopics

Photo via: ztopics

Location: Brunei
Continuously Inhabited Since: 977 AD
Cool Fact: As a city with a tropical rainforest climate, Bandar Seri Begawan doesn’t really have a dry season.

Butuan

Photo via: ztopics

Photo via: ztopics

Location: Philippines
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1001 AD
Cool Fact: Butuan was already a well-developed city way before the Spaniards colonized it in the 1500s.

Kediri

Photo via: Warung Miliader

Photo via: Warung Miliader

Location: Indonesia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1042 AD
Cool Fact: Kediri’s economy is based on the tobacco industry.

Singapore

Photo via: USC Marshall

Photo via: USC Marshall

Location: Singapore
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1170 AD
Cool Fact: Singapore was under British control until it declared independence from the UK in 1963.

Western

Byblos

Photo via: Lebanon Tours

Photo via: Lebanon Tours

Location: Lebanon
Continuously Inhabited Since: 5000 BC or earlier
Cool Fact: A champion among this list, Byblos is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world and the first city in Phoenicia.

Aleppo

Photo via: Focus on Syria

Photo via: Focus on Syria

Location: Syria
Continuously Inhabited Since: 4300 BC or earlier
Cool Fact: The old city is characterized by independent walled-in districts that were created to defend against constant invasions.

Damascus

Photo via: Goista.com

Photo via: Goista.com

Location: Syria
Continuously Inhabited Since: 4000 BC or earlier
Cool Fact: Damascus was conquered by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC.

Susa

Photo via: Livius

Photo via: Livius

Location: Iran
Continuously Inhabited Since: 4200 BC
Cool Fact: Susa has been destroyed at least three times since its establishment: by Assyrian king Ashurbanipal in 647 BC, by Muslim armies in 638 AD, and by Mongols in 1218 AD.

Sidon

Photo via: Wikipedia

Photo via: Wikipedia

Location: Lebanon
Continuously Inhabited Since: 4000 BC
Cool Fact: Many Palestinians fled to Sidon during the Palestinian exodus in 1948, setting up refugee camps that turned into neighborhoods.

Gaziantep

Photo by: Bahadir Sari via Panoramio

Photo by: Bahadir Sari via Panoramio

Location: Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 3650 BC
Cool Fact: Gaziantep is famous for its pistachios, being the leading producer of pistachios in Turkey.

Jericho

Photo via: A Nabulsi Story

Photo via: A Nabulsi Story

Location: West Bank
Continuously Inhabited Since: 3000 BC or earlier
Cool Fact: Evidence of the first settlement in Jericho dates back to 9000 BC.

Rey

Photo by: Ahmad Khamehyar via Panoramio

Photo by: Ahmad Khamehyar via Panoramio

Location: Iran
Continuously Inhabited Since: 3000 BC
Cool Fact: Rey has a few historical monuments that are thousands of years old, including a castle and a tomb.

Beirut

Photo via: Layover Guide

Photo via: Layover Guide

Location: Lebanon
Continuously Inhabited Since: 3000 BC
Cool Fact: The exact population of Beirut is unknown because there hasn’t been a population census in Lebanon since 1932, but it could be anywhere between 900,000 and 2,000,000.

Jerusalem

Location: West Bank
Continuously Inhabited Since: 2800 BC
Cool Fact: The walled, 0.9 square kilometer Old City of Jerusalem used to be the entire city, until 1860.

Tyre

Photo by: ceddarick via Panoramio

Photo by: ceddarick via Panoramio

Location: Lebanon
Continuously Inhabited Since: 2750 BC
Cool Fact: One of five ancient roman hippodromes, or horse and chariot racing stadiums, is located in Tyre.

Jenin

Location: West Bank
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 2450 BC
Cool Fact: Jenin is home to the orchestra Strings of Freedom, which was created to provide music education to local youth.

Erbil

Location: Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq
Continuously Inhabited Since: 2300 BC or earlier
Cool Fact: Arbil is located on a tell, which is a mound of earth that gradually forms over time after many, many years of living and rebuilding on the area.

Kirkuk

Location: Kirkuk Governorate, Iraq
Continuously Inhabited Since: 3000 – 2200 BC
Cool Fact: The city is quite ethnically diverse, with Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, and Arabs all claiming the region as their own.

Jaffa

Photo via: Yoninja.com

Photo via: Yoninja.com

Location: Israel
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 2000 BC
Cool Fact: Many biblical stories, including those of Solomon, Jonah, and Saint Peter, mention or took place in Jaffa.

Hebron

Location: West Bank
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 1500 BC
Cool Fact: Jews consider Hebron to be the second holiest city after Jerusalem.

Gaza

Location: Gaza Strip
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 1000 BC
Cool Fact: Seventy-five percent of Gaza’s population is under the age of 25.

Hamadan

Photo by: Nicola e Pina Iran 2008 via Panoramio

Photo by: Nicola e Pina Iran 2008 via Panoramio

Location: Iran
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 800 BC
Cool Fact: Avicenna, a significant scientist during the Islamic Golden Age, is buried in Hamadan.

Nablus

Photo via: Goista.com

Photo via: Goista.com

Location: West Bank
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 100 AD
Cool Fact: Nablus is known for the dessert kanafeh, a cheese pastry popular in the Middle East.

Amman

Photo via: Lonely Planet

Photo via: Lonely Planet

Location: Jordan
Continuously Inhabited Since: uncertain
Cool Fact: There are at least 20 universities and higher education centers in Amman.