Southeast Asia: Ten facty things

Published March 8th, 2013

This week our good friends at Geckos have let us in on some amazing facty things about Southeast Asia. Ten facty things to be precise. As experts of the region their tour guides know all the best haunts and have some hilarious tales to tell along the way. If you're planning a holiday, you should check out the incredible Southeast Asia tours they have on offer and take note of the following fun facts about the region as well.


Southeast Asia is a massive bucket of awesome. From the cultures and the landscapes to the food and the people: this part of the world is a firecracker - sure to leave any traveller in a state of sun-soaked ecstasy. Whichever part(s) you visit, you’re never far from something that has the potential to blow your mind. As well as all the obvious stuff, Southeast Asia has some lesser-known qualities that further punctuate the level of awesome the region operates on. Get your head around the following and judge for yourself:  


  • There are an estimated 10 million motorbikes on Vietnamese roads. We don’t know who has the job of counting, but we know we don’t envy them. We can only assume the motorcyclists drive slowly so the people keeping count don’t lose their heads. Hanoi, the country’s capital, has the most motorbikes per capita out of any city in the world.


  • Snake wine, or ruou ran to the locals, is rice wine or grain alcohol infused with a pickled snake (which remains in the bottle). Vietnamese believe the elixir is a cure-all for everything from hair loss, impaired vision and even impotence. If you know a bald, short-sighted asexual, you know where to send him.


  • In Thai, the word ‘Thailand’ translates to Prathet Thai, which means ‘Land of the Free’. It’s a fitting title, because Thailand is the only South East Asian country never to be colonised by the Europeans. 'Ave that, ya bloody bullies.


  • The world’s largest fish, the whale shark – which can reach lengths of up to 12.5 metres – enjoys hanging out off the Thai coast. Fishologists (that is their official name) refer to these monsters as Rhincodon typus and despite being ‘sharks’, they pose little risk to humans, opting instead to eat plankton and other such stuff. Bless their massive hearts.


  • The world’s longest poisonous snake, the king cobra, also lives in Thailand. These buggers can reach more than 18 feet long and one bite from its terrible teeth could kill an elephant. We bet it couldn’t kill a whale shark, mind you.

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  • Malaysia has 65,877 km of highway. The Earth's circumference is 40,075 km. This means that if you were to drive two-thirds of the Malaysian highway, you’ve technically done a round-the-world road trip. SHOTGUN!


  • In Burma, it’s traditional for people to have no surnames. Everyone is just given a personal name and they can pretty much choose to change this name whenever they like with almost no government approval required. We imagine this must get pretty confusing, so whenever we go to Burma, we just call everyone Ben.


  • Indonesia has the world's longest coastline. It’s approximately 85,000 km long. This is an extremely long coastline – the world’s longest, in fact. We just told you that. Would you pay attention?


  • Indonesia is also the world's largest archipelago, boasting over 18,000 islands. This is probably also part of the reason that it has the world’s longest coastline (its 85,000 km long). This is an extremely long coastline. We just told you that. Are you even listening?


  • Thailand has a formidable portfolio of Guinness World Records, including: the world’s longest kiss (58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds), the hairiest teenager, the world’s largest human centipede (2,961 people) and the world’s largest paper building (5.2 m x 17.9 m and 6.4 m tall). Thailand:South East Asia’s quiet achiever.

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