Published 26th June 2019

Asia is a popular destination for teachers looking to teach English as a Foreign Language abroad. With its histories, geographies and cultures, it’s easy to understand why so many TEFL teachers are drawn there. But Asia is a lot more interesting than you realise. Here are 13 things about Asia you probably don’t know.

In Thailand there is a town that is run by monkeys. Okay, not really but Lopburi has a lot of monkeys! These monkeys are so special to the town that they have a festival dedicated to them. Huge piles of food are put out and the monkeys are invited to feast until they are full – or they can just have food fights.

More than 4 000 people in China are named Aoyun, which means Olympic Games.

Tokyo, Japan is the most populated city in the world. As of 2018, it has more than 38 million residents. 

Thailand has a market on train tracks. That’s right! At the Maeklong Railway Market you can browse the stalls and shop for star fruit, sticky rice or som tam, but when the train comes you’ll need to stand back!

China has the world’s largest shopping mall. The New South China Mall in Dongguan has an area of just over 650 000 square kilometres! It has a rollercoaster, a canal, a replica of the Arc de Triomphe and 2 350 shops but sadly, it’s known as the Dead Mall because almost all of it is empty! 

South Korea celebrates Valentine’s Day for singles. While traditionally Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love and relationships, in South Korea there is an equivalent day for people who are not loved up. 14th April is known as Black Day and is a day when unhitched singles get together and moan about being single over a dish of black noodles.

Fall in love in South Korea
Fall in love in South Korea

Everyone shares a birthday in Vietnam. The Vietnamese celebrate their birthday on New Year’s Day, regardless of when they were actually born. This is because they measure their age by how many New Year’s celebrations they’ve lived through.

China only has one time zone. Even though it covers an area big enough for five time zones, after the civil war in 1949 it was decided that it would only have one.

Japan’s national anthem is four lines long.

India produces the most mangoes in the world.

In Thailand, it’s considered bad luck to get your hair cut on a Wednesday. Getting your hair cut on a Monday, on the other hand, will bring you good luck.

The highest point on the planet – Mount Everest – and the lowest point – the Dead Sea – are in Asia. 

Seven of the world’s tallest buildings are in Asia. These are the Shanghai World Financial Centre, Taipei 101, China Zun (in Beijing), Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, Lotte World Tower in Seoul, Ping An Finance Centre in Shenzhen and the Shanghai Tower. 

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