With over 200 000 monks, Thailand is one of the strongest Buddhist countries in the world. A serene spirituality pervades just about everything and everyone.
A couple of this country’s crazy laws you’d better try to adhere to:
• It is illegal to leave your house if you’re not wearing underwear
• You are not allowed to swim across a river unless you have a coin in your pocket
• You are not permitted to stand on any of the nation’s currency
• You must wear a shirt while driving a car
A trip up to the Sky Bridge at the Petronas Towers is a must do in Kuala Lumpur. You must go nice and early to queue for ticket as they only sell a limited number every day.
The largest cave chamber in the world is the Sarawak Chamber in Gunung Mulu National Park, East Malaysia, Borneo. A Jumbo Jet can easily be accommodated.
The Republic of Singapore is not just one main island but has 63 other tiny islands that surround it. Most of them are uninhabited.
The record for the most number of people participating in line dancing was set in Singapore in May 2002 with 11 967 dancers.
Bali is part of the Indonesian Archipelago and is located only a hop skip and a jump off the eastern point of Java. Lombok is a further 35km across the water.
After Coelacanth was found living off the Comores, the next discovery was in Indonesian water.
The Komodo Dragon was considered a mythological creature by the western world right up until 1912. They are the largest living lizard and the biggest one ever measured was over three meters long and weighed 166 kg. Its hunting strategy is based on stealth and power. Other than man, the Komodo is the top predator in its environment – unusual for a reptile.
It consists of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia with similar climatic conditions. A single rainy season during the south monsoon between May to September.
Watch out for your chopstick positioning – leaving them sitting vertically in a rice bowl makes them look very much like the incense sticks that are burned for the dead. It is a powerful sign and not appreciated anywhere in Asia.
Cambodians don’t know their own birthdays due to the turmoil and poverty caused by the Cambodian revolution, individual celebrations do not exist. To keep track of their age, Cambodians coincide their birthday with the Asian New Year – every April. So everyone turns one year older and celebrates together!
People’s Republic of China
North-Eastern China has extremely cold winters of almost Siberian severity. Southern and Central China has tropical and sub-tropical climate with no real winter. Eastern China coast has abundant summer rain while the North-Western regions contain much desert and semi-desert.
In China, it is rude to finish everything on your plate / in your bowl. But with such generous portions, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem.
There are a huge number of people in China – around 20% of the world’s population live here. An amazing 34 babies are born every minute. That’s some figure to beat.
You’ll find permanent snowfields, tropical coastlands, desert in the western plains and fertile rice fields influenced by the wet sticky monsoon from June to October.
The cardinal rule of dining is to always use the right hand when eating or receiving food – never the left. The left hand is considered unclean. In rare instances, the use of the left hand is acceptable only when eating onions and certain accompaniments. In South India, it is bad mannered to let your food stain the outside of your fingers or palm – try just use your finger tips!
India is the birthplace of chess. The original word of “chess” is the Sanskrit chaturanga, meaning “four members of an army” – which were most likely elephants, horses, chariots and foot soldiers.
Group of islands that are hilly and mountainous with the highest are snow capped throughout the year so there’s loads of opportunity for winter sports. There is often awesome heavy rain brought by typhoons or tropical cyclones with the sunniest time in spring.
Good news for all you cash-conscious people: in Japan there is no tipping culture, some even see it as offensive. The listed price is the actual price.
Try these fun phrases at home:
Good morning Ohayo
I’m lost Michi mayotta
Pervert! Chikan! (NO! Not chicken)
Cute Ka wa ii
Fun Ta no shii
Delicious O i shi i
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