The World’s Most Selfie-Obsessed City is in Asia

Philippines and Malaysia can pat themselves on the back. Both countries have earned two spots each on the list of top ten selfie-obsessed cities in the world.

We’re not 100% sure when the rise of selfies began. We’re positive some of the older social media sites like Friendster and MySpace have a thing or two to do about it. After all, the infamous “MySpace angles” began the obsession with utilizing angles and lighting to compliment one’s face.

But then selfies began to explode. With the rise in popularity of Facebook and Instagram, the selfie-trend started spreading. In fact, The Guardian recently tried to explain how selfies became a worldwide phenomenon. 

Many of you roll your eyes at selfies. I’m specifically pointing a finger at hipsters who say they’re too cool for selfies, the older generation who disagrees with anything millennials do and those who have become annoyed because “that one friend” has to post up a selfie every single day. Despite any negative emotions you may harbor about selfies, there is no denying that the world is still in love with them.

TIME magazine decided to find out just how much love we have for selfies and where this love was coming from. They investigated the geography of selfie-taking and created a list of top 100 selfiest cities in the world. As you may have expected, there are quite a few Asian cities on this list including the #1 selfie-crazed city.

1. Makati City and Pasig, Philippines
258 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

2. Manhattan, N.Y.
202 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

3. Miami, Fla.
155 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

4. Anaheim and Santa Ana, Calif.
147 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

5. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
141 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

6. Tel Aviv, Israel
139 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

7. Manchester, England
114 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

8. Milan, Italy
108 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

9. Cebu City, Philippines
99 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

10. George Town, Malaysia
95 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

Check out the full list here. 

Five of Asia’s Most Breathtaking Locations

Yesterday, BuzzFeed released a list called “27 Surreal Places To Visit Before You Die.” The list has already gained over 180,000 likes on facebook and for good reason. All of the locations are undeniably breathtaking.

We were pleased to discover that five of these locations were in Asia and we decided to take a closer look at all of them.

1. Zhangye Danxia landform in Gansu, China

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The Danxia landforms are sandstone formations most known for, you guessed it, their vibrant color patterns.The are located in a remote region in northern central China. The mountains and hills retain such color because Danxia landforms are composed of red sandstone. Mineral deposits were compressed into rock for 24 million years thus gaining a colors ranging from deep red to yellow and green.

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2. The Hang Son Doong cave in Quang Binh Province, Vietnam

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The Sơn Đoòng cave is currently the largest known cave in the world and is located near the border of Laos and Vietnam. It is five times larger than the Phong Nha Cave which previously held the record for being the biggest cave in Vietnam. Although it was created 2-5 million years ago, the cave did not become public knowledge until 2009. Inside, there is a fast flowing underground river as well as cave pearls the size of baseballs.

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 3. Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan

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This popular tourist destination has been given the nickname “flower paradise” because the 32,000 square metres of flowers look amazing all year long. With each passing season, a different variety of flower will blossom throughout the Hitachi Seaside park such as the Nemophilas. The popular, blue flower blossoms annually during springtime.

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4. Bamboo groves of Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan

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These Japanese bamboo groves, located in Northwest Kyoto, are a tourist favorite. The gorgeous line of bamboo not only looks beautiful, apparently it sounds beautiful too. Amusing Planet notes ”The sound of the wind in this bamboo forest has been voted as one of ‘one hundred must-be-preserved sounds of Japan’ by the Japanese government.” The bamboo in this grove is still used to manufacture various products such as cups, boxes, baskets and mats in the area.

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5. Kelimutu crater lakes in Flores Island, Indonesia

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Kelimutu is a small volcano central Flores Island of Indonesia. It has gained popularity because the volcano has three craters- each contain a lake with a different color. The lakes periodically change colors from red and brown to turquoise and green, independent of each other. The lakes are named Tiwi Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People), Tiwu Nua Muri Kooh Tai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Lake of Evil Sprits, or Enchanted Lake). The scientific explanation behind the colorful lakes  chemical reactions from the minerals in the lake triggers by the volcano’s gas activity.

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(Source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Top 5 Scariest Asian Myths and Monsters

Halloween: a time of celebration in remembrance of the dead, saints, and much more. From trick or treating to carving jack-o-lanterns and dressing up in your favorite costume, it is a day many people take part in. One particular aspect of Halloween that people tend to celebrate is fear and all things scary.

When it comes to tales of ghosts, ghouls, and everything regarding your deepest darkest fears, the Asian culture definitely surpasses the stories you hear from other cultures and we’re here to share some!

Here are the top 5 scariest Asian Myths and Monsters you never want to encounter during your life.

TEKE-TEKE (Japan)

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Legend has it that one day in Japan, a young girl fell onto a rail way line and was cut in half by an oncoming train. Due to her unpredicted fate, her spirit now roams around seeking revenge. She carries a scythe or a saw while traveling on her elbows or hands and if anyone meets her path, she will cut them in half. As she travels, the dragging of her upper torso scratches on the floor making a take teke sound.

SLIT-MOUTHED WOMAN: KUCHISAKE ONNA (Japan)

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Long ago, there was a wife of a samurai who was so incredibly beautiful. As years went by, she became extremely self absorbed and quite vain. The samurai suspected her of cheating one day and in response, he attacked her by cutting her mouth from ear to ear. The woman passed away and came back as an angry spirit known as Kuchisake Onna. She wears a brown trench coat with a surgeon’s mask to cover her mouth and as children are walking home from school, she will approach them with her mask and ask “Do you think I’m beautiful?” If the response was “No” she will take out a knife and kill you. If the response was “Yes,” then she will then take off her mask and ask you “How about now?” If the next response is a “No” you will get cut in half, and if it is a “Yes” then she will cut your mouth from ear to ear to make it look like hers.

WHITE LADY (Philippines)

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In the rural areas of the Philippines, there have been many stories of the White Lady. The White Lady has been said to appear in other places such as the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, and Norway. Although there are several renditions of this legend, she is usually associated with tragedy. She will appear and not do very much, but any sight of her is surely not a good one. She is most commonly reported seen along Balete Drive in Quezon City. She was a young lady who was raped and killed by two Japanese soldiers during WWII. While there haven’t been stories of the White Lady being a purposefully malicious being, she has been the reported as the cause of more than a few car accidents by drivers who look in their rearview mirror and see a young lady in the backseat wearing a white dress. Sure, some strange, unknown lady sitting in your backseat is bad enough but the White Lady is also said to have no face or a face covered in blood.

 

JAYURO GWISHIN (Korea

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Jayuro is a strip of highway just north of Seoul, Korea. Because the highway is often covered in fog, it is known for being prone to car accidents. However, many residents have a different explanation for it. Many people claim they see a distressed girl on the side of the road wearing sunglasses. As they got closer to the girl, to their horror, they realized that she wasn’t wearing sunglasses after all. The dark circles were there because her eyes were visibly gouged out and hollow.

AP/KRASUE (Cambodia/Thailand)

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The Ap/Krasue is described as a floating female head with its entrails, spine and various bloody organs hanging from its neck. The myth behind this creature says that women who abuse black magic may be forced to turn into this creature as a punishment. The witch feeds on blood, feces, fetuses, and pregnant women. Apparently one way to stop the creature from entering your house is by surrounding it with thorny vines so that the creatures entrails will get stuck on them. This is important since an Ap/Krasue can turn you into the same creature if she gets to you consume her saliva.

 

 Have more scary Asian monsters in mind? Tell us your list!

 

 

(Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

SF Music Matters Asia Brings Top Indie Artists from Asia to Bay Area Audiences

Eem Byung-hak and Kim Naun of Goonam performs at the SF Music Matters Asia showcase at Broadway Studios in San Francisco on March 8 (photo credit: Karen Datangel).

Many indie musicians have already gathered at the world-famous SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, but before heading to the Lone Star State, some of these artists and a few others took their show to the City by the Bay for two nights of unforgettable music mayhem. From sentimental soul and slinky blues to pulsating electronic beats and fist-pumping dance-rock, the East met the West in a duo of shows, delivering something special for every music lover.

As a special preview to the newly branded CAAMFest (Formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival), the inaugural San Francisco Music Matters Asia showcase brought together some of the hottest musical acts from Korea, China, and Taiwan at Broadway Studios on March 7 and 8. This Bay Area stop served as an extension of Music Matters, Asia’s yearly premier music event in Singapore. Partnered with local music promoters from the bands’ countries (DFSB Collective of Korea, Maybe Mars of China, and The Wall of Taiwan), SF Music Matters Asia was not only a rare opportunity for fans to see so many critically-acclaimed Asian artists together, but opened doors for these artists to share their music with a wider international audience.

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