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A guide to Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok

A guide to Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok

Chatuchak Weekend Market is certainly an assault on all five senses. Food stalls will bombard you with wafting aromas of seafood and sweets. Techno music blasts from trendy clothing stalls. Herds of people shove their way through the market, one stall at a time. That being said, Chatuchak Weekend Market is one destination you cannot miss visiting. Being that Chatuchak is the largest market in Asia, navigating it can be confusing. That is why we’re here to offer you a guide on Bangkok’s massive market.Can you barter?Chatuchak Weekend Market is certainly an assault on all five senses. Food stalls will bombard you with wafting aromas of seafood and sweets. Techno music blasts from trendy clothing stalls. Herds of people shove their way through the market, one stall at a time. That being said, Chatuchak Weekend Market is one destination you cannot miss visiting. Being that Chatuchak is the largest market in Asia, navigating it can be confusing.Bartering is a must. That being said, everything is already cheap, so don’t feel as though you must fight with a vendor to get a certain discount. One great way to get the best deals is to arm yourself with some Thai, for example, knowing a few numbers or two. Otherwise, brush up on your calculator skills. You can also ask a vendor, thao rai (how much). The more Thai you use, the less likely you are to be ripped off.What to buy?You can buy anything and everything your heart desires at Chatuchak Weekend Market. Are you on the hunt for a rare, one of a kind piece of art? There is a section for that (section 7, to be exact). Do you need a new wardrobe before returning home? There’s a section for that. One of the best ways to approach exploring this massive market is to venture in not knowing what it is that you want. If you go in with hopes of purchasing jewelry, odds are you won’t be able to find the clothing and accessory section. Getting lost is easy to do here, so arm yourself with one of the free maps from one of the information kiosks. These maps break down where the sections are, as well as what you can buy there.When should you go?Chatuchak Weekend Market is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The market opens Friday night at 6PM and closes at midnight. On Saturday and Sunday, it’s open all day from 9AM to 6PM. Many of the stalls disregard these hours and stay open much later. The best time to go shopping is in the morning, or when the market first opens. Many shopkeepers believe that the first sale of the day is good luck. Because of this, they’re more than happy to bring the price down more than usual.DessertsIf shopping isn’t your thing, be sure to check out the endless stalls of food throughout the entire market. Chatuchak Weekend Market has a wide array of dessert options. Some of these desserts include chocolate-dipped bananas, crepes and brownies. The market is also well-known for its many coconut ice cream stands, served in its own coconut. You can also add an array of toppings, including nuts or strawberry syrup. If you don’t like ice cream but like coconuts, be sure to find the man with the machete selling them. He can be found near the main entrance.There are many different ways to get to Chatuchak Weekend Market. Take the BTS Skytrain to Mochit and follow the signs or the crowd. You can also take the MRT Subway to Chatuchak Park. A taxi driver should also know where this is. If a driver seems to have trouble understanding, pronounce Chatuchak like Jatujak.Chatuchak Weekend Market, 587/10 Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900Source Kelly Iversion/ The Culture Trip
Top Chiang Rai temples you must visit in Thailand

Top Chiang Rai temples you must visit in Thailand

Chiang Rai is home to some of the most beautiful temples in Thailand. Prepared to be awe-struck to discover some of the most sacred gems of Northern Thailand.Wat Rong KhunWat Rong Khun, more well-known among foreigners as the White Temple, is an unconventional Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Designed in 1997 by noted Thai painter-turned-architect Chalermchai Kositpipat, this magnificent temple is a bizarre blend of traditional Thai architecture and the surreal. The main building is painted white to symbolise Buddha’s purity, and is covered in mosaics of mirrors, sparkling in the sun. All around the complex are intricate sculptures of demons, skulls, severed heads handing from trees and other bizarre objects.Wat Phra That Doi Chom ThongWat Phra That Doi Chom Thong is a temple built in the mountain city of Doi Chom Thong. In 1260, King Mengrai is said to have visited, viewed the surrounding area, and pronounced it suitable for the establishment of a city. According to the Yonok Chronicle, the temple’s chedi was originally built in the year 940 during the reign of Phraya Ruen Kaew, a local prince, to house a third part of Buddha relics. The other two parts were enshrined at Wat Phra That Doi Tung and Wat Phra That Chomkitti.Wat Phra KaewWat Phra Kaew is one of Chiang Rai’s oldest and most revered temples. It is believed that in 1434 the pagoda was broken by a lightning bolt which revealed the sacred Emerald Buddha hidden inside, which is now located in a temple with the same name in the Royal Palace grounds in Bangkok. An Emerald Buddha replica made of green jade is on display in Wat Phra Kaew in Chiang Rai. Also of particular interest is the 700-year-old bronze statue of Phra Chao Lan Thong and the two-story museum in the temple grounds.Wat Phra That Doi TungPerhaps the best known attraction in Doi Tung, Wat Phra That Doi Tung is a temple that sits atop of Doi Tung, the tallest mount in Chiang Rai, which is approximately 2,000 meters above the sea level. The temple was built in the 10th century with two following restorations in the 13th century by King Mengrai of Chiang Rai and in the 20th century by the revered monk Khru Ba Siwichai.Wat Phra That Doi Tung comprises of a twin Lanna-style stupas, one of which is believed to contain the left collarbone of Lord Buddha, which draws devout Buddhists from all over Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. The journey to Wat Phra That Doi Tung from Chiang Rai is actually a plus benefit as you will be passing through breathtaking sceneries and spectacular panoramic views overlooking Laos and Myanmar.Wat Phra SinghWat Phra Singh is one of the oldest temples in Chiang Rai. The temple’s main attractions are the ubosot, the viharn, the chapel containing a footprint of the Buddha and the area where the monks reside. This is a stunning temple with lots of details to discover. The grounds also including a Pali language school and large entrance gates with Naga snakes.Source: Internet
Explore Vietnam's spectacular cave, Son Doong cave

Explore Vietnam's spectacular cave, Son Doong cave

Son Doong cave is not only the largest cave in Vietnam, but it’s the largest cave in the world. Only opened to tourism in 2014, this spectacular natural wonder is a sight to behold and is one of the most captivating destinations in Southeast Asia. From a picturesque river that flows through the cave to the tropical rainforest landscapes, this historic beauty was created three million years ago.Located in the heart of the UNESCO-listed Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in the Quang Binh province of Central Vietnam, this hard-to-reach cave offers an otherworldly expedition for thrill seekers. Only accessed by a multi-day camping adventure, you can trek into the depths of this three-mile deep, 500-foot wide and 656-foot high cave to admire its natural beauty.The cave is so large that it could fit a 747 plane through its largest cavern. You’ll feel like a tiny spec as you marvel at the enormous stalagmites rising from the ground and stalactites hanging from the ceiling. A combination of misty clouds and lush jungles, the ancient passages are lined with fascinating fossils.Discovered by a man trekking through the jungles of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in 1990, he stumbled upon a limestone cliff and could hear the sounds of a raging river from inside. It wasn’t until 2009 until he led the British Cave Research Association to what would later become known as Hang Son Doong, or “Mountain River Cave.”The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park boasts the oldest karst system in Asia, between 400-450 million years old, while Hang Son Doong is around three million years old. The cave is dotted with giant sinkholes that collapsed 300,000 years ago to create massive openings, where cave pearls the size of baseballs have been formed by water on its ceiling.To reach the cave, you must first pass through the Ban Doong ethnic minority village. Located in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, life has been unchanged in this tiny village for many centuries, as the dense jungles isolate them from the rest of the world. Exploring the famous cave is an intimate experience, as tours are limited to only one operator with 10 visitors per week from February to August.Source tripstodiscover
The most stunning temples in Vietnam you should know

The most stunning temples in Vietnam you should know

Temples are among Vietnam’s most popular attractions, where travelers can marvel at intricate carvings and well-preserved architecture as well as experience the local culture during their holiday. A predominantly Buddhist country, there are thousands of pagodas and shrines dedicated to the revered icon.Tran QuocTran Quoc Pagoda is the oldest of its kind in Hanoi, dating back to the 6th century reign of Emperor Ly Nam De (544 - 548). The Buddhist shrine has undergone several changes throughout the years, particularly its renaming from An Quoc to Tran Quoc by Emperor Le Huy Tong in the 17th century. Standing at 15 metres, the main pagoda is made up of 11 levels, while its surrounding buildings include an incense burning house and a museum housing historical relics. You can also see intricately carved statues dating to 1639, each of which bear unique facial feature.The Temple of LiteratureThe Temple of Literature is a 1,000-year-old temple to education and site of the country's oldest university. Almost destroyed by war in the 20th century, restoration work has given the Temple much of its former glory back. It's laid out in a sequence of five courtyards from south to north, spanned by three pathways running through the Temple's length. The northernmost and last courtyard is the site of the former university for mandarins called Quoc Tu Giam, literally the "Temple of the King Who Distinguished Literature," established in 1076.One PillarOne Pillar Pagoda is a modest temple is constructed from wood based on a single stone pillar crafted into the shape of a lotus blossom and has been rebuilt several times, most recently in 1955 when the base was destroyed during the French evacuation. The pagoda is often used as a symbol for Hanoi and remains one of the city’s most revered sights in a beautifully tranquil garden setting with benches provided for comfortable contemplation. The shrine inside the pagoda is dedicated to the Vietnamese Buddhist deity Quan Am with her effigy nestled inside the tiny three square metres temple.Thien MuLocated in the village of Huong Long, this beautiful temple is at a distance of 5 km from the city of Hue. The temple is situated on the banks of the Perfume River and is a very well preserved tourist attraction. Built during the time of the ruler Thieu Tri, this is one of the most beautiful Vietnamese temples. The seven-story Pagoda of this temple is unofficially considered to be the city’s symbol. Moreover, this temple has always been a part of the Vietnamese folklore.Cao DaiThe origins of Caodaism is right here in Vietnam. The religious movement that incorporates Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Catholicism started in 1926. The Cao Dai temple on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City was built between 1933 and 1955, with influences from all the aforementioned religions when it comes to architecture. The building is a combination of Neo-Gothic, Baroque and Oriental design, and there are square towers, a long central pathway like in a cathedral, as well as extravagant décor, including dragon-wrapped pillars, seven-headed cobras and ceilings painted sky blue. Witnessing the Caodaist rituals is one of the most interesting parts of visiting this temple — the men and women are separated, their attire long and flowing, while the bishops have the Divine Eye embroidered on their headpieces.Bai DinhA complex of several Buddhist temples, Bai Dinh Pagoda is home to 500 intricately carved statues of Buddha. It is set within the Gia Sinh Commune and locals frequently visit to pay their respects and know what fortune holds for them via monks. Bai Dinh Pagoda is undoubtedly one of the most famous Buddhist temples in Vietnam, a place that offers awe-inspiring views of the surrounding mountains, trails for hiking through the Ba Chua Thuong Ngan forest and exploring limestone grottoes.Source Internet
5 reasons why you should visit Angkor Wat, Cambodia

5 reasons why you should visit Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Many people ticked Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat off their travel bucket list, and with good reason. Here are 5 reasons why you need to visit the sacred site before you die.Witness a special sunriseDespite sharing the moment with the thousands of tourists that crowd at the lotus lake to the front of Angkor Wat, there is something truly special about watching the sun peek from behind Angkor’s iconic spires. Double magic if you chance upon a truly spectacular sunrise that paints the sky in red, orange and yellow hues.It’s home to impressive architectureIt’s hard to imagine modern-day architects equipped with today’s technology creating something quite as magnificent as Angkor, so considering it dates back to the 12th Century it’s pretty impressive. Intricate carvings, bas reliefs, corridors, towers, baths, libraries, moats – the list goes on. And each has pretty much stood the test of time.It’s a UNESCO World Heritage siteIn 1992, Angkor Archaeological Park was awarded the title of World Heritage site. The reason given was it is home to the ancient capitals of the Khmer Empire – also known as the Angkor Empire – and houses some of the “most remarkable architectural and artistic accomplishments of the ancient world” – need we say more?It’s the centre of the Khmer EmpireOne of the Khmer Empire’s greatest legacies is Angkor Wat. The Hindu-Buddhist empire ruled over vast expanses of Southeast Asia, from 802 A.D until the fall of Angkor in the 15th Century. During its peak (from the 11th to 12th century), Angkor was the largest pre-industrial urban centre in the world, with the structures paying testament to this. From 802 to 1295 Angkor Wat served as the empire’s capital.There’s much more than Angkor WatAngkor Wat is just one of several hundred temples at Angkor Archaeological Park. While it is undoubtedly the most spectacular, there are many others to explore. Bayon and Ta Prohm are the other two that complete the popular circuit. But there are many more gems to discover, including Banteay Srei, Koh Ker and Beng Mealea.See more: Invitation to Vietnam and The Temples of AngkorSource: Internet
Most Interesting, Unusual and Fun Facts About Laos

Most Interesting, Unusual and Fun Facts About Laos

Laos is a small landlocked sovereign nation in Southeast Asia. The country has a rich history that is reflected in the nation’s culture and architecture. Laos is also endowed with great natural beauty. Here is a list of some interesting facts related to Laos:9. The World’s Widest Waterfall Is Located In LaosThe Khone Falls is located on the Mekong River in the Champasak Province of Laos. It has a width of 35,376 feet making it the world’s widest waterfall. The falls feature thousands of islands and innumerable water channels. Powerful rapids and precipitous drops in the region are some of the primary reasons why the Mekong is not navigable into China.8. Laos Is Described As The World’s Most Bombed CountryIn the 1960s and 1970s, around two million bombs were dropped on Laos, making it the world's most bombed country per capita.7. Laos Is One Of The Last Refuges Of The Nearly Extinct Irrawaddy DolphinsAn endangered species, the Irrawaddy dolphin is a dolphin species found in the offshore waters, estuaries, and rivers in Southeast Asia and the Bay of Bengal. Thousands of these dolphins have died by drowning in gillnets. The building of dams, sand mining, electrofishing, water pollution, etc., also threaten the species. The Mekong River hosts a tiny population of these rare creatures. If one is lucky, it is possible to catch a glimpse of these dolphins playing the waters of the Mekong as it flows through Laos.6. Laos Has A Magical Lake"Nong Fa Lake" in Laos is a volcanic lake with a unique appearance. The depth of the lake is said to be unknown, which results in many legends surrounding the lake. It has been referred to as "magical" by travel guides.5. Laos Has A Cave With Hundreds Of Ancient Buddha SculpturesA group of caves known as the Tham Ting and the Tham Theung overlooking the Mekong River in Laos is a major tourist destination. These caves are famous for their small Buddha sculptures. Hundreds of such sculptures, mostly made of wood, decorate shelves on the walls of these caves. The Buddha in these sculptures is represented in various positions including teaching, reclining, and meditating.4. The Highest Point In Laos Is A Dangerous Place To VisitThe highest point in Laos is the 2,819 m tall Phou Bia mountain. It is part of the Annamese Cordillera range. Although mountains are often the major tourist attraction in a country, the Phou Bia is a heavily forested and remote area where foreign tourists seldom visit. The fact that the mountain is located in a restricted military area and has unexploded ordnances makes it nearly inaccessible to tourists.3. The Ancient Laotians Buried Their Dead In Massive Stone JarsThe Plain of Jars is a famous archeological site in Laos. Here, thousands of jars made of stone are scattered throughout the vast landscape of the Xiangkhoang Plateau’s central plain. According to most researchers, the jars were used for burial practices in prehistoric times. Remains of humans and burial goods uncovered at the site support this theory.2. Laos Is Southeast Asia’s Only Landlocked NationBeing landlocked is considered to be a great disadvantage to a nation. A landlocked country remains cut off from the sea and is unable to have easy access to seaborne trade. Economic activities based on sea resources like fishing are also absent in such countries. Laos is also one such landlocked country and it is the only one in Southeast Asia where all other countries have extensive coastlines.1. Laos Has A Buddhist Stupa That Is Adorned In GoldThe Pha That Luang is a Buddhist stupa that is located in the Vientiane city of Laos. It serves as a major national symbol of the country. The stupa was possibly built in the 3rd century and is covered by gold. It was the target of many invaders throughout the history of Laos who caused significant damage to the stupa. Thus, the structure underwent several reconstructions to restore it to its old glory.Source: Worldatlas
Best cities to visit in Central Vietnam

Best cities to visit in Central Vietnam

From rocky inlets to sandy lagoons, Vietnam’s central coast is perhaps the most striking the nation has to offer. This is an area of great cultural and historical significance, home to fascinating cities both well-traveled and hardly yet explored.DanangDanang is the nation’s third largest city and a nice alternative to the cultural capital of Hanoi in the north or the economic hub of Saigon in the south. Growing between eastern peaks of the Annamite mountain range and the tranquil waters of the East Sea, this is one Vietnamese city that blends with it’s natural surroundings. For those interested in riding, the Hai Van Pass – perhaps Vietnam’s most famous road – lies just a few kilometers to the north. The spectacularly fun zig-zag of tarmac traverses through lush jungle and massive stone boulders as it skirts the sea.Danang’s downtown area has transformed in recent years and is now one of the most tourist-friendly in the entire nation. The majority of the action is set on the banks of the Han River. A boardwalk runs for kilometers and is home to a number of great shops, bars and restaurants. On the weekends, the fire breathing Dragon Bridge is a must see.For those looking to enjoy the sand and sea, Danang and the surrounding area offer some of the country’s best beaches. From the expansive My Khe beach to the secret lagoons and hidden ribbons of gold around Monkey Mountain, there’s a beach for all tastes in Danang.HueHue, the nation’s ancient capital, may be the most historically fascinating city in all of Vietnam. Well-preserved temples, pagodas and tombs lie around every corner. There’s so much history here that it’s been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The city’s small size makes it a great stop on any trip along the eastern coast. The backpacker district lies feet from the Perfume River and within walking distance of the ancient citadel. Anyone exploring the region should take at least a day to see the Citadel, Minh Mang Tomb, Khai Dinh Tomb, and Thien Mu Pagoda.For the food lover, Hue has some of the most complex and artful cuisine in the nation. Dishes are often well spiced with chili. For something different and unique to the region, try a bowl of com hen or rice with baby clams.Hoi AnThe second UNESCO World Heritage site on our list, Hoi An is one of the nation’s most important tourist destinations. An area once home to Cham people, the small town grew in size and importance between the 15th and 19th centuries, attracting a large number of Chinese and Japanese traders and becoming known internationally as a top tier Asian trading port. As a result, the well-preserved stucco buildings are awash in both Chinese and Japanese influences.Today, the city has little in the way of an economy beyond tourism. Travelers often spend a few days to a week exploring the romantic alleyways of the old town, hidden beneath the glow of hanging lanterns. Tailors and designers operate storefronts on almost every block, and it’s a traveler’s rite of passage to have something hand-made while passing through.Dong HoiThree hundred miles south of the nation’s capital, Dong Hoi is one of the lesser known cities on our list. The coastal enclave of 160,000 is home to a number of spectacular beaches including The Da Nhay and Bao Ninh, each making a great day trip for anyone visiting the region. Bang Spa, a natural hot spring, is another popular nearby destination amongst travelers.Dong Hoi is of particular importance due to its proximity to Phong Nha Ke Bang national park. The park, which lies just 30 miles to the west, is Vietnam’s greatest natural treasure and should be seen by any and all tourists. The region’s caves are some of the largest and most fascinating in the entire world.Quy NhonNestled along the coast halfway between Nha Trang and Hoi An, Qui Nhon is in the midst of a government-planned, tourist-targeted revival. The main beach is one of the cleanest city beaches in Vietnam, hardly developed and very well maintained. A boardwalk shrouded in greenery runs parallel to the ocean. Most tourists visiting the region also head 10km south of the city to Bai Xep beach, which has become famous throughout Vietnam for its natural beauty.See more: Central Vietnam HighlightSource: Internet
12 Surprising Facts About China

12 Surprising Facts About China

Doesn’t the name China just make you curious? Officially known as the People’s Republic of China, and for being the vast, fiercely foreign land of chopsticks, smog, and rich culture, alongside being the world’s largest exporter of goods, China carries over five thousand years of rich history and unique facts.From green terraced rice paddies to the sharp peaks Mount Everest in the Himalayas, to the Yangtze River, rural heartlands and sprawling cities of Shanghai and Beijing, China has lots of geographic variety to offer, in addition to quirky, interesting truths about its inhabitants’ traditions.Read more: Best diving spots in VietnamBegin your oriental quest by checking out these twelve facts about Chinese civilization:12. Geese are used instead of police dogs in Xinjiang, ChinaIn the agricultural Xinjiang Province, geese are primarily employed like police dogs tend to be in other parts of the world as part of a police force.They actually work better than dogs in many cases, as geese have an impeccable hearing and are very observant. Plus, they spread their wings wide and are loud when they need to alert of a situation.If need be, they will attack strangers as dogs do in efforts to safeguard the equity amongst the Chinese people.This idea wasn’t quite invented in China – In the ’80s in West Germany, the U.S. military operated 900 geese to help guard military bases. How’s that for an interesting fact of the day?11. The most fireworks in the world are set off on Chinese New Year’s Eve.One of the interesting facts about Chinese New Year is that, according to the legend of Nian, the loud sounds of the fireworks scare off any monsters or bad luck that may be lurking around this time of year.Per the story, there was once a monster named Nian that would enter into people’s houses on New Year’s Eve. Most would hide safely in their homes, but one little boy thought to bring out fireworks to ward him off, and successfully did so.As a result, it’s since a traditional Chinese tradition to light fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Despite bans on fireworks due to pollution in some of China’s cities, the city-goers pop off the fireworks anyways.Celebrated by more than twenty percent of the world, this time of year when everything gets decked out in red is a big deal. It’s the most important holiday for the Chinese, actually.A China interesting fact is that there’s no set date for Chinese New Year – it’s actually celebrated from Jan 21st to February 20th. Who doesn’t love a reason for an extended celebration?Oh, 2019 is the Year of the Pig, just in case you were wondering.Read more: What to eat in Luang Prabang Night Market10. Cricket fighting is a pastime for both children and adults alike in China.One of the unique facts about China is that cricket fighting is a pastime of the country's citizensCrickets are found in absolute abundance in this colossal country. In Beijing, Autumn marks the start of cricket fighting season, a Chinese tradition that has been practiced for over a thousand years.An annual cricket fighting tournament is held in this capital city on the grounds of a large temple, where the matches take place in small plastic containers. The shows are recorded and then shown on big screens so visitors can see it live. As far as competition, crickets are matched up according to their size, to ensure fair battle.In some parts of China, like Macau, cricket fighting was at one time quite popular, where people would even place bets on their preferred cricket, making it a gamblers sport. To be even more dramatic, funerals were held for the crickets that went on to the other side following the cricket matches. They even have special mortuaries for the crickets. Ok, maybe that’s going too far.This interesting pastime is the real fortune cookie of China, for those that are clued in enought to know about it.9. Christmas is not a public holiday in China.One of the interesting facts of China is that the Chinese don’t receive a day off from work just because it’s Christmas.Christmas, along with Christianity, has been banned from China for years, however, ironically enough, Christmas Day is one of the biggest shopping days of the year in this contemporary country.The younger crowd celebrates Christmas as a sort of celebration time to spend with loved ones, sort of like how Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the West. Some people even go around singing Chrismas carols for fun, even if they’re not sure exactly what they mean.One of the fascinating facts of China is that despite the fact that China produces most of the plastic Christmas trees worldwide, most Chinese citizens don’t have one in their home for this holiday.It’s also an occasion to celebrate goodwill and to give to those in need such as the homeless, orphans, the elderly, and the disabled. However, one of the facts about China culture at Christmas is that it’s not technically a declared federal holiday, as it is in other parts of the world.8. China is one of the top eight countries in the world with the largest number of bird species.As of 2013, 1314 different bird species have been documented that inhabit this vast land. Two of these species, the Crested bobwhite, and the Java sparrow, have been introduced by humans. China is home to a rare bird species – the Sichuan treecreeper, the Chinese fulvetta, and the Yunnan nuthatch.China’s woods, grasslands, wetlands, and badlands are home to these bird species, where about one hundred are endemic to China alone. In the Qinling mountains are where some of the most noteworthy birding sites are found, home to about a quarter of all of the bird species in China.In addition, nine of the planets fourteen crane species reside in this country as well as sixty-two species of pheasants. Now, that’s quite the remarkable array of birds!Read more: 25 Weird and Interesting Facts about Japan7. There is only one-time zone in China.What interesting facts are there about China, you might ask?Well, apart from India, China is one of the largest countries on the earth that has only one time zone, and it’s the single large zone in the world.Beijing Standard Time is eight hours ahead of GMT. After years of organized, various time zones throughout the country, it was established in 1949 under then-leader Mao Zedong, that having a just one would facilitate a sense of national unity amongst the Chinese people.Since Beijing was to be the new capital of China, the new time zone was formed to reflect its name.6. China is the world’s most populated country!As of 2018, one of the unique facts about China, is that there are about 1.42 billion people living in China, making it the most populous country in the world.So, that muddles down to about one-fifth of the world’s population living in China. Believe it or not – one in five people in the world is Chinese.More than twenty million people live in Beijing alone.The size of China’s population has proved to be a consistent political issue within the nation, so much so that China’s residents persevered through a chunk of history when citizens were only permitted to conceive one child. But, more on that later in the FAQs!One neat tidbit about Chinese culture is that in Hong Kong, if you have a daughter followed by a son, it’s believed to bring “double happiness.”5. Did you know the Panda bear is one of China’s national treasures?From being a mascot at the Olympics, to starring in Hollywood movies, the Panda Bear is a prominent character in global society, and it’s especially dear to the Chinese culture.One of the facts about panda bears in China is that they’re regarded as warriors, and thought to be as strong as tigers – which is how the Chinese themselves like to be recognized as well. They’re able to forage their own food, climb trees, and withstand very chilly temperatures.On the other hand, pandas are also honored for their peaceful and amicable nature, rarely ever attacking others. Also, the pandas black and white colors are symbolic of yin and yang, and the panda is seen as a physical representation of this.If you ever read antiquated Chinese literature, chances are you’ll encounter a panda of sorts on at least one of the pages, one of the fun facts about China for kids that are fond of this animal.4. There’s an enormous life-size collection of terracotta sculptures at the Terracotta Army Museum in Xian, China.One of the most significant archaeological excavations of the twentieth century is that of the terracotta warriors and horse sculptures that have been uncovered among the massive remnants at the Terracotta Army Museum in Xian, China.These thousands of sculptures were formed so the warriors are in battle formation, and they represent the late Emporer Qinshihuang’s mega imperial guard troops. Some believe that these figures were constructed to accompany the emperor to his afterlife.This is a live museum that shows the life stories of the Emperor Qinshihuang, the first Emperor of the first unified dynasty of Imperial China.One of the fun facts about China is that this country is home to over fifty-two UNESCO world heritage sites, ranging from ancient ruins to natural wonders, and the Terracotta Army Museum is one of them!Read more: Visit Can Tho and taste local dishes3. Chinese LOVE to eat.Odds are if anyone is going to be celebrating anything in China, it’s going to involve eating something that includes rice, noodles, or soy sauce. One of the most common greetings in this territory is “ni chi fan ma?,” Chinese for “have you eaten yet?”Typical dishes include the staple foods of rice or noodles served with items such as beef, pork, chicken, duck, and seafood to accompany, though pork tops these choices, as China has the largest pig population in the world. The Chinese also love to eat vegetable soup, and do enjoy tea before or after dinner, but not during.Considered one of the most cherished cuisines on the planet, one of the facts about China food is that the Chinese like to incorporate practically every part of the animal or plant in the meal. Waste not, want not.The Chinese believe that food has inherent medicinal qualities – pork, for example, proves successful in increasing one’s chi, while the collagen found in shark fin soup is good for the skin.An unexpected aspect of China culture is those table manners that may be considered “rude” in other countries, are very much accepted here. Yawning, spitting, grunting, and burping is completely socially acceptable in this nook of the world.One of the fun facts about food in China and a key feature of Chinese cooking is the wok – one of the most common cooking utensils in the country. It’s used for stir-fry, steaming, pan-frying, boiling, searing, and for preparing soup, while making for excellent heat distribution.Some people may keep dogs as pets in other parts of the world, but the Chinese do enjoy the delicacy of dog meat. If you ever hear the term fragrant meat while in China, you guessed it – that refers to dog meat, one of the weird facts about China you probably didn’t know!Hong Kong has the highest number of restaurants per capita.so if you’re trying to get your hands on some dog meat sometime, look no further.2. Did you know The Forbidden City in Beijing, China is the largest ancient palatial structure on the globe?Constructed in 1420, China’s best-preserved imperial palace, The Forbidden City, stretches over an area of over one hundred and eighty acres, and features a whopping nine hundred and eight buildings, with over eight thousand rooms.This relic was the imperial palace of China for about five hundred years and also the residence of twenty-four late emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties.This palace took fourteen years to build, complete with a fifty-two-meter wide moat around it, a traditional garden, and over one million pieces of valuable works of art, with items in the collection ranging from paintings, ceramics, ancient books, bronzes, to jade pieces.The halls and walls display the essence and culmination of traditional Chinese architecture, with the principal frames of all of the buildings having been edified with Phoebe zennan wood from the wildernesses of Southwest China.The main colors of the Forbidden City are red and yellow, with red symbolizing good fortune and yellow resembling supreme power.1. The Great Wall of China is also known as the Wall of 10,000 Miles.The Great Wall of China was built over two thousand years ago along the country’s Northern border, forty-five miles Northwest of Beijing. It was constructed to deter the threat of invasion from the Huns in the North, and in the Emperor’s eyes, to totally annihilate that potential.One of the facts about history of China, the Wall was also built to protect the Silk Road – a prime trade route, and to protect the delivery of private information.There is not actually a specific measurement of the wall itself, but according to its name – 10,000-li (Chinese for miles), it’s a little over three thousand one hundred miles long. This enormous wall was built by civilians, soldiers, and convicted criminals.One of the interesting facts about the Great Wall of China is that its base was assembled with two thousand giant slabs of granite. The rest of the wall was built mainly with stones found in the local areas with pounded earth. The West Han Dynasty liked to use sand and pulverized stones filled with sheets of twigs and stalks to erect the wall in grassland areas and in desert areas prone to weathering by the wind.Read more: What to do in Siem Reap aside from the Angkor WatThe Great Wall has sometimes been referred to as the longest cemetery on Earth, with over one million people having had died while building it, with archaeologists finding human remains buried below the wall.One of the facts about China Great Wall is that this construction represents the unification of the country. This is so because, in response to the acknowledgment of the threat of the Northern invaders, Emporer Qin Shi Huang ordered the walls to be linked together as one main one, instead of individual ones for each empire.Contrary to the popular belief that one can see the Great Wall from space, this is a myth. However, it can be seen with present-day technology, just not the naked eye.Source: Worldatlas
25 Weird and Interesting Facts about Japan

25 Weird and Interesting Facts about Japan

Japan is one of the most interesting and exciting countries that I have ever visited.  If you have never visited Japan before you will be overwhelmed by the friendliness of the people, the bright lights of Tokyo and the uniformity of the country.  There are many interesting facts about Japan which I wish I knew before I came because as I was travelling this beautiful country, I had many questions! Read more: The best historical sites to visit in VietnamHere are the most interesting facts about Japan!1. Vending machine ratioTo every person, there are approximately 23 vending machines.  You can buy ANYTHING in a vending machine including, cars, lettuce, underwear, hot ramen and even an egg.  You will find them everywhere I swear!  Vending machines are a huge part of Japanese culture and to me, that is extremely useful!  You never have to talk to another person again, bliss for an introvert like me!2. Gambling is illegalIn Japan, you won’t find gambling stations BUT somehow there a game that doesn’t come under the gambling umbrella.  Pachinko is a popular game for the Japanese and disguised so it’s not officially gambling.  You purchase tiny metal balls which are then slotted into the machine.  Balls that win are then exchanged for prizes or tokens which can then be exchanged for money.What I found fascinating is the noise of these parlours!  I have been to Las Vegas and although you’re constantly hearing the noise of the machines it is nothing that distracting.  When I walked into a Pachinko parlour my ears hurt it was so loud!  If you visit Japan, make sure you pop into a parlour to experience this interesting craze.Read more: Admire the ancient city Hue from above3. Fake foodOutside of most restaurants, you will find fake replicas of the food that the restaurant serves!  You may also find ones that move!  Yes, animated food – only in Japan.  There is a street which is unofficially known as kitchen street, but the formal name is Kappabashi Street.  It’s located between Asakusa and Ueno.  This is where restaurants purchase their kitchenware and fake food! This was my favourite place in Tokyo.  Maybe that’s strange, but it was so cool!  It’s a street lined with shops selling beautiful Japanese kitchenware, from hand-painted bowls to every kitchen gadget you could think of, it’s a kitchen-lovers dream!  This one of the many bizarre facts about Japan, one but it makes Japan unique!4. Japan has the third highest life expectancy in the worldJapanese have the highest life expectancy in the world due to their diet and lifestyle.  They are very healthy people and exercise regularly.  On average men will live until their 81 years old and women 87 years old.  This is causing a crisis in Japan because there’s a lack of childbirth also.  Now there are more seniors than children and this is causing a problem for the Japanese economy.  Apparently, Japan sells more adult diapers than children’s – how fascinating and problematic at the same time!5. There are over 6800 islands!This fact totally came to my surprise as many people just think of Japan as one island but actually, there’s 6800 of them!  One of the most beautiful islands that mirror paradise is called Okinawa.  On this island are the two oldest people in the world (116 & 117 years old)!  Honshu is one of the four main islands and where Tokyo is located.  The other 3 main islands are called Hokkaido, Shikoku and Kyushu.Read more: Beautiful creatures found in Vietnam's oceans6. Slurping your noodles is not considered rudeGone are the days where you must stay quiet and slurp your noodles!  If you’re in Japan, then it’s not considered rude to make as much noise while eating your noodles!   It’s considered polite to make slurping noises and means that you’re enjoying the food and you appreciate it.7. Japan eat the most seafood in the worldThe Japanese eat over 17 million tonnes of fish per year.  The Japanese are the largest importer of seafood.  You will seafood as a staple food for the Japanese and included in most meals.  Over 20% of their protein is from seafood!8. You’re allowed to take naps on the jobYes, that right!  In fact, naps are encouraged on the job because this improves workflow and speed. It’s also considered a sign that you are dedicated to your job and have worked hard and long for your job!Read more: 5 street markets to visit in Yangon, Myanmar9. They eat KFC for Christmas dinnerApparently, over 3.6 million people in Japan celebrate their Christmas with a KFC dinner.  So how did this come about in the first place? Well, it was just a good marketing campaign when the first store opened in 1970.  KFC started a ‘Party Barrell’ based on an American Christmas dinner but with chicken of course instead of turkey.  Somehow it caught on and the rest is history.  Christmas is not considered a big event as less than 2% of Japan is Christian.10. Tokyo is the most densely populated city in the worldAround 38 million of Japans population live just in Tokyo.  Japan has a population of 127 million, so that’s a lot of people in a small space!  You can see how busy Tokyo is during rush-hour easily by trying to hop on a train within the city or walking the busiest crossing in the world – Shibuya.11. One of the safest countries in the worldJapan’s crime rate is so low is basically non-existent.  The Japanese are very honest people, reliable and law-abiding.  The Japanese law is strict, so people tend to not go off the rails and on the wrong side of the law.12. Don’t wear your shoes insideBefore entering a house, you will be asked to take off your shoes.  You will be given a pair of slippers usually.  It’s considered rude to wear your shoes inside.  This Japanese custom was mainly a thing because back in the days the Japanese used to eat off the floor and obviously didn’t want dirty shoes ruining where they were about to eat.13. They have a high suicide rateUnfortunately, Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.  Last year Japan youth suicide’s hit a record high in 30 years.  The suicide forest is the second most popular place to commit suicide after San Francisco golden gate bridge.  The forest is located at the base of Mt Fuji and is said to where most people enter and never come back.  The rate of suicide is due to not enough access to therapists as well as work pressures.  Japan has announced that they are working on better programs, especially in schools to help cut the rate of suicide.Read more: How to go green when you travel14. The toilets sing for youThis is probably the weirdest thing about Japan, the toilets!  They do just about anything, even sing.  You can also press a button and the seat will warm up, so your bottom doesn’t get cold!  Although I mostly found this function a bit strange and not very nice at all.15. Square melons are a thingThere is such a thing as square watermelons! Apparently, they are grown like this for decoration and cost as much as $100!16. They have a penis festival The Kanamara Matsuri festival is held every year.  It started in 1969 just outside of Tokyo and celebrates the penis and female fertility!17. Eating raw meat is commonYou will notice on your trip to Japan that eating various types of meat raw is totally the norm.  Raw fish is commonly found in sushi.  One of the delicacies in Japan is raw horsemeat.  It’s called Bashari and is thinly sliced and eaten raw.18. No 4’s please!It common in Japanese culture to totally avoid the number four because the word sounds the same as the world death.  Buildings will commonly not have the 4th floor, cutlery is sold in sets of 3 or 4 and the number of guests invited to a tea ceremony will never be 4!19. The Japanese are some of the friendliest in the worldThis is a cold hard fact!  The Japanese are awesome, to say the least.  They are incredibly friendly, gentle and conscious people.  During my time in Japan, I was blown away by the friendliness of the people.20. Fruit is the best gift you can giveIf you don’t know what to get your host, then gift them fruit.  You will notice the price of fruit is astronomically high.  There’s a fruit gifting shop in Tokyo and fruit can be as expensive as $27,000!Read more: 5 busiest streets in the Old Quarter, Ha Noi21. The face mask is used by the sickWhen I first visited Japan, I thought the face mask was worn because people don’t want to get sick and wanted to avoid other people’s germs.  But, it’s actually the other way around.  If you are sick you wear the face mask, so you don’t get others sick.  Again, this shows how nice the Japanese are!  Always thinking of others!22. You can rent a cuddleYes, you read that right.  There are businesses where you can go in and pay for a cuddle.  Turns out people are lonely and just want a good old-fashioned hug sometimes.23. Maid caféIn Japan, there are maid cafes where the staff dress up in maid costumes and treat you as their master.  Now, you may be thinking that it sounds sexual, well it’s not meant to be that way at all.  It’s just a café where the staff are dressed in cosplay.  The cafe is strange, fun but maybe a little cringy all at the same time. It’s just basically a café where everyone dresses up! 24. About 1500 earthquakes a yearTokyo lies on an active area where earthquakes are extremely common, and they have over 1500 of them a year. But really this is nothing for me because New Zealand has over 15,000 per year.Read more: Top man-made structures in Da Nang25. They take cleaning seriouslyCleaning is taught in school and is a serious part of Japanese culture.  Students and children clean their own school!  I have to say on my travels to Japan I thought it was one of the top 3 cleanest countries I have been to.  There are even neighbourhood (volunteer but mostly compulsory) clean-ups.  People are always expected to keep their private houses and their workplace clean!There’s your big list of interesting facts about Japan.  Tell me below which one you find the most interesting!Source: Worldatlas