6 amazing facts & customs you didn't know about Asia

Posted April 28th, 2016

Asia is a fascinating continent with a world of different traditions, cultures, etiquette and religions. It’s even more fascinating to the typical western visitor who is spell-bound by the laidback attitudes of the Thai people, and the culturally acceptable habit of spitting or clearing one’s sinuses as exhibited by the Chinese. Asia is home to most of the world’s tallest buildings and is also home to the majority of the world’s population. Take a look at these and more fascinating facts and customs that you will experience next time you cruise to Asia.

Nine out of ten of the world’s tallest buildings are in Asia

The tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands at 828m tall. Other majestic towers of modern architecture include the Shanghai Tower at 632m, the CTF Finance Centre at 532m and the Shanghai World Financial Centre at 492m. The famous and very interesting Petronas towers are also a part of the top ten list and are of course situated in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. The only two buildings in the top ten list which are not in Asia is the World Trade Centre in New York and the Willis tower in Chicago.

Japan’s Metabo Law

In Japan, all men and women over the age of 40 are required to have their waists measured by government officials. Those who have waists over a prescribed measurement are then classified as at risk or overweight. The individuals are then advised to follow certain measures in order to curb their possible health issues.

One third of the world’s population lives in India and China

It is a well-known fact that Asian countries are densely populated, but did you know that a third of the planet’s population calls Asia their home continent. China has a total population of roughly 1.35 billion people, while India is home to roughly 1.22 billion people.

Spitting is ok in China

When you visit China, you will come across a sign every now and then which indicates that no spitting is allowed in that specific area. Before you see the sign though, you may first notice that there is a lot of audible sinus clearing that goes on, and people usually spit when and where they need to. The Chinese believe that if the body wants to release something, it should, and they do!

Mai pen rai – Let it go

Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist nation which exhibits a friendly and welcoming attitude most of the time. One of these cultural philosophies is called Mai pen rai, which means: ‘’never mind.’’ In other words, what’s the point of getting worked up over menial matters? This philosophy helps the Thai people maintain their laidback attitude of not taking things too seriously.

The human body

Buddhists believe that the most important part of the body is the head, leading down to the feet which are the least valued (in spiritual terms). Therefore in Thailand, touching someone’s head can be seen as very offensive, while raising one’s feet or using them to point at people is also considered to be a big no-no.

So consider these fascinating facts and customs of the beautiful people of Asia next time you visit this incredible part of the world, and admire the world’s differences as you learn more about foreign cultures, traditions and perceptions. Speak to your Cruiseabout Consultant today to find out more about visiting an Asian country, be it Thailand or China, the United Arab Emirates or Indonesia.

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