Fact 7: Asians sure know a thing or two about making massive malls.
All 10 of the largest malls in the world are in Asia. The largest, the New South China Mall in Dongguan, China, has a total leasable area of 659,612 square kilometers. The famous Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, in contrast, has a total area of “just” 258,200 square kilometers!
Fact 8: Speaking of large malls, the aforementioned New South China Mall is classified as a “dead mall”.
Why? Because nearly 99% of it lies vacant since its opening in 2005. Despite its massive size, 82-foot Arc de Triomphe replica, and 1.3 mile canal (complete with gondolas!), few retailers ever set shop in it. You are far more likely to find security guards and squatters than shoppers on a leisurely stroll through it.
Fact 9: Japan has a lot of weird and wonderful customs and laws, the Metabo Law takes the cake.
As per this law, all men and women above 40 years of age are required to get their waists measured by Japanese government officials. Men found with waists above 33.5 inches and women with waists measuring 35.5 inches and above are classified as “at risk” and “overweight”. While there is no penalty for being overweight, the government suggests that you follow certain steps to ensure your good health.
It may all be in the name of staying healthy, but technically, it is now illegal to be fat in Japan!
Fact 10: North Korea, perhaps the most politically isolated country in the world, has cultivated a strange cult of personality around the dictatorial Kim family.
Instead of following the Gregorian calendar like the rest of the world, the North Korean calendar starts from founder Kim Il Sung’s date of birth (15 April 1912). Similarly, instead of celebrating Christmas, North Koreans make a pilgrimage to the birth town of Kim Jong Suk, the deceased wife of Kim Il Sung, on December 24.
Fact 11: Although China is the world’s third largest country and stretches 5,026 kilometers longitudinally, it still has just one time zone.
Perhaps the Chinese implemented this after seeing the PST-EST confusion in the United States (we won’t even mention the horrors of daylight savings)!
Fact 12: You probably already know that China and India are the two most populous countries in the world.
China has 1.35 billion people to India’s 1.22 billion. What you probably didn’t know is that altogether, a group of 15 or so countries in Asia hold more people than the rest of the world combined. Statistically speaking, the five most populous countries within this circle are China (1.35B), India (1.22B), Indonesia (250M), Bangladesh (163M), and Japan (127M).