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Asian Highway Network

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SkyPesos:
TIL that apparently, a continent wide highway system for Asia exists. I thought only Europe had something like this with the E routes. It may be because it's not signed at all in some countries, as I haven't came across an Asian highway signage in China yet, only the national GXX number. Here's the map of the highway system on Wikipedia:


The numbering system seems to be clustered, like many state route systems in the US. It use single digit numbers for continent-wide routes, then double digits for a region.
1x, 2x: Southeast Asia
3x: Northeast Asia
4x, 5x: Indian Subcontinent
6x, 7x, 8x: Central Asia and Middle East

List of single-digit routes
AH1 (20,557 km): Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, North Korea, Japan. Connects with European highway E80 at west end.
Highways used in China: G7211 Vietnam border-Nanning, G80 Nanning-Guangzhou, G4 Guangzhou-Beijing, G1 Beijing-Shenyang, G1113 Shenyang-North Korea border
AH2 (13,177 km): Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia
AH3 (7,331 km): Thailand, Laos, China, Mongolia, Russia
Highways used in China: G8511 Laos border-Kunming, G60 Kunming-Shanghai, [Gap in route], G2 Tianjin-Beijing, G6 Beijing-Ulanqab, G55 Ulanqab-Mongolia Border. The gap between Tianjin and Shanghai have no intention to being connected anytime soon, but can be connected either with G2, or combination of G15 and G25 via Lianyungang.
AH4 (6,024 km):
AH5 (10,380 km): Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, [Gap in route (Caspian Sea)], Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China. Connects with European highway E80 at west end.
Highways used in China: G30 Kazakhstan border-Xi'an, G40 Xi'an-Nanjing, G42 Nanjing-Shanghai
AH6 (10,533 km): Russia, Kazakhstan, China, North Korea, South Korea. Runs with the Trans-Siberian Highway in most of Russia. Connects with European highway E30 at west end.
Highways used in China: G10 entire length
i'll finish the rest later...

TheStranger:
AH26 is the one I'm most familiar with (the Pan-Philippine Highway), as it represents much of the north-south corridor in Luzon (as well as the existing roads to Bicol from Sto. Tomas, Batangas). 

South of Plaridel, AH26 follows NLEX, the Metro Manila Skyway, and SLEX (though before the Skyway was completed from Makati to Balintawak, AH26 officially went along EDSA).

Like almost every numbered designation in the Philippines, signage is scant.

Chris:
I don't really see the point of the Asian Highway network. They appear random and international travel by road remains limited in much of Asia. China has a huge network of expressways and only a few routes, while there is a big density of routes in Iran and surrounding areas.  Japan is served by only one route, Borneo Island has none.

The Asian Highway Network looks more like a hobby project than a useful and functional route numbering system. Some of the world's largest cities are not connected by Asian Highways on that map (like Beijing - Shanghai or Wuhan - Chengdu) while other routes aren't even paved, like in Mongolia.

European E road network was also extended into Central Asia but doesn't appear to be signed anywhere.

SkyPesos:

--- Quote from: Chris on April 25, 2021, 10:06:04 AM ---I don't really see the point of the Asian Highway network. They appear random and international travel by road remains limited in much of Asia. China has a huge network of expressways and only a few routes, while there is a big density of routes in Iran and surrounding areas.  Japan is served by only one route, Borneo Island has none.

The Asian Highway Network looks more like a hobby project than a useful and functional route numbering system. Some of the world's largest cities are not connected by Asian Highways on that map (like Beijing - Shanghai or Wuhan - Chengdu) while other routes aren't even paved, like in Mongolia.

European E road network was also extended into Central Asia but doesn't appear to be signed anywhere.

--- End quote ---
A "hobby project" sounds like a good way to describe this system actually. I could see that East Asia doesn't care about the Asian Highway system that much, as they only got a single leading digit for their region specific routes, and the only numbers that got used are 30-35. I'm not sure if Korea or Japan signs their Asian Highways, but I'm guessing no. Also, because of North Korea, you can't even travel from China to South Korea on the Asian Highway system. There most likely are many more closed international borders on the continent that I can't think of currently.

Also, the choices for two-digit Asian highways in China is odd to me. If I didn't look at the map, and only given the location of the single digit routes, the following is what I would've guessed for the routing for the two-digit routes:
- Chengdu to Shanghai: G5013 Chengdu-Chongqing, G50 Chongqing-Wuhu, G4211 Wuhu-Nanjing, G42 Nanjing-Shanghai
- Shanghai to Tianjin (AH3 gap): G15 Shanghai-Lianyungang, G25 Lianyungang-Tianjin (yes, it's shorter than using G2 between those two cities)
- Guangzhou to Shanghai : G15
- Nanning to Beijing: G75 Nanning-Chongqing, G65 Chongqing-Xi'an, G5 Xi'an-Bejing
- Xi'an to Fuzhou: G70

If you want to travel internationally in Asia, flying is definitely the best way. Plane tickets are cheap because of the numerous number of low-cost airlines there, especially in southeast Asia.

Rothman:
I doubt the numbers assigned have much to do with buy-in into the system by the individual countries.

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