China prompts thoughts of martial arts, pandas and a really long wall. But its China’s diversity that makes it such an incredible destination in Asia. Think you know everything there is to know about the land of the red dragon? Here are five facts that may surprise you.
1. Inventers of ice cream
Ice cream was invented in China around 2000BC but it wasn’t the smooth and creamy dessert we know and love today. It was soft milk and rice packed in snow. More like a snow cone and not really want we’d want topping our cones but the idea of the frozen treat was born.
2. Chinese food seasons
Food is divided into natures or seasons to help people better manage their health. Food categories include cold, cool, neutral, warm and hot. If it’s raining, people will eat foods that absorb the moisture such as beans and corn. In summer they choose watermelon and cucumber to replenish the body’s water.
3. Millions of people still live in caves
China is the most populous country in the world so it comes as no surprise that there are housing shortages. However, more than 30 million people live in caves in the Shaanxi province and many of them choose to. The caves offer relief from the heat in summer and warmth in the winter.
4. What time is it?
China’s land mass is so large that it spans five different time zones. Instead of running on individual times, the country combined them into a single zone. Now you can watch sunrise as late as 10am in some parts of the country as a result.
5. All aboard the trains
China has so many railways that if you put them all together in a straight line, the lines would loop around the world twice. Trains are the easiest way to travel around the country with railway lines transporting people around the country, along the Silk Road and internationally to countries in Asia and abroad.