TOKYO -- From coronation celebrations and history-making sports championships to natural disasters and political unrest, 2019 was year of gripping events in Asia.
Here we look back at the year in pictures, and the stories behind them.
Two monarchies marked major transitions.
Thousands of Thais turned out for the three-day coronation ceremony of King Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun in May.
Japan's Emperor Akihito stepped down earlier this year and was succeeded by his son Emperor Narhuto ascended the throne on May 1 and completed the centuries-old Daijosai succession rite in November.
Sports brought the region together -- and the world to Asia.
Team Japan's undefeated run in the Rugby World Cup group stage brought the nation together and raised the sport's profile.
This year's Southeast Asian Games were held in the Philippines. The 56 events took place at more than 60 venues in three locations.
South Korea hosted the 18th FINA World Championships in July.
Asia also grappled with a number of natural and man-made crises.
Haze caused by forest fires and slash-and-burn land clearing in Indonesia sparked a diplomatic row with Malaysia.
Typhoon Hagibis, which hit Japan in mid-October, left nearly 80 people dead and displaced thousands more.
Monsoon rains brought devastating floods to much of South Asia this year, killing hundreds.
Politics and protests made for an eventful 2019.
The second summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump, hosted by Vietnam in February, collapsed abruptly.
The garment industry is a key pillar of Bangladesh's economy, but it is being transformed rapidly.
As diplomatic ties frayed, South Korean retailers and consumers turned their backs on Japanese goods.
Unrest continues to roil Hong Kong.
National celebrations were not short on drama.
Beijing marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of Communist China with a show of military muscle.
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy vowed to return to Cambodia on the country's Independence Day, but the situation developed differently.
Singapore celebrated the 54th anniversary of its independence on Aug. 9 amid bleak economic news.
And flair could be found everywhere.
2019 was a banner year for Muslim fashion.
Tech trailblazer and occasional rock star Jack Ma passed the torch at Alibaba in September.
The festival of Holi, which marks the beginning of spring, brings vibrant colors and bright smiles across India.