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)

Horrible Reaction to “Man Sues Wife For Ugly Children” Hoax

For about a decade now, a story has been making its way around a number of media sources. The story claims that a man sued his wife after she gave birth to an ugly daughter.

According to multiple sources, a Chinese man named Jian Feng was “horrified” when his beautiful wife gave birth to an ugly child. He suspected his wife of an affair because he could not see how the two of them could create the child. After tests proved that it was in fact their child, the husband discovered that his wife had undergone surgery before they met.

The man divorced his wife and allegedly sued her for $120,000 for tricking him into the marriage. The crazy part of this story? He won.

Thankfully, a number of media sources have stated that this story was probably a hoax and has been making its way around since 2004. Pictures have begun to pop up in an effort to make the story appear real (see below), but the following picture has been identified as a Taiwanese ad for plastic surgery. The caption reads, “The only thing you have to worry about after plastic surgery is the explaining you’ll have to do to your children.”

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While we are relieved to discover that this tale may just be a hoax, we’ve discovered something even more shocking.

What could be worse than a man suing his wife over ugly children? What about men who whole-heartedly agree with and defend this act.

The blog Couples & Co describes itself as “a guide to a more blissful union & everything else… in between…” Though such a description doesn’t sound bad at all, their take on this story is quite unbelievable.

 It has always bugged me the way women commoditise their bodies: slathering on cosmetics, changing their hair colour, getting boob jobs, injecting botox into their faces and the list goes on and on.  Apart from the fact we’re told we men should not objectify women when women clearly are the biggest sexual objectifiers of their bodies, I found myself worried that such women have no honour.  A big part about honour is honesty and a woman with a fake body is not being honest about herself.  For me as a man, I look at a woman’s body and her features to guage how healthy she is physically and if she would produce good children for me because frankly I’m shopping for a good mother for my children.

 

The author then posts up the following picture of the wife before and after plastic surgery.

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He then writes this inappropriate comment:

This woman frankly should not have been able to reproduce because she’s the carrier of genetic refuse.  Think about it, would you want to have children with a haemophiliac, a person with Huntington’s victim or Down’s syndrome?  Of course you wouldn’t, and not because you hate the person with the disease, but because you love your future children too much to put them through such torment.

 

We couldn’t believe our eyes. Surely this author must have been writing sarcasm, right? Surely he can’t actually believe that ugly individuals should not be allowed to reproduce, right? Unfortunately, the post showed no signs of sarcasm.

Since its publication, the story has received a storm of angered comments from readers. Check it out for yourself. 

MUST SEE: Chinese Artist Liu Bolin Disappears Into His Artwork

Over the years, you’ve probably seen Chinese artist Liu Bolin grow in popularity. Or rather, you probably haven’t seen Liu Bolin because his art pieces, which consist of him disappearing into intricate backgrounds, have given him the nickname “The Invisible Man.”

Liu Bolin’s style of artwork originally began as performance art from his solo shows in Beijing in 1998. By 2005, he began to work on his most famous series “Hiding in the City,” which addressed social problems due to China’s rapid economic development.

His art pieces, which are both amazing to look at and meaningful, have gained him international recognition and have been featured in a number of major contemporary photography festivals.

This month, Liu Bolin  has blended himself into shelved lined with comic books as part of a series of performances in Caracas, on November 2013.

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Check out his other amazing pieces below:
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(Source 1, 2)

Chinese Theater Accidentally Uses Fan-Made THOR Poster

A movie theater in China may have just made the best mistake ever.

The theater put up a poster of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his villainous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to promote the new Marvel film Thor: The Dark World. The mistake? Last we checked, we’ve never seen the brothers embrace like that.

Much to the delight of fans (many of whom had hoped for something like this) the Chinese theater had accidentally used a photoshopped image made by a fan. The original poster is one showing Thor clutching his girlfriend Jane who is played by Natalie Portman. We simply can’t decide which one we like better.

On the bright side, the mistake has gone viral and has done quite a spectacular job marketing the film. Be sure to catch the midnight premiere of this much anticipated film tonight!

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Pollution in China Causes An 8-Year-Old To Get Lung Cancer

It’s no secret that China is currently facing a very serious air pollution problem. Last month, the northern city of Harbin was forced to cancel classes, shut down the airport and close down bus routes. At the time, the air pollution was 40 times higher than the international safety standard set by the World Health Organization.

The density of fine particulate matter is used to determine air quality. According to the World Health Organization, anything below 25 micrograms per cubic meter is safe. Harbin was well above 600 micrograms per cubic meter and some areas went as high as 1000.

Wu Kai, a citizen of Harbin told Huffington Post “I couldn’t see anything outside the window of my apartment, and I thought it was snowing, then I realized it wasn’t snow. I have not seen the sun for a long time.”

Now, China is dealing with its youngest lung cancer case- an 8-year-old girl. Doctors state that this is a direct consequence of the air pollution while living near a major road in the eastern province of Jiangsu. According to the American Cancer Society, the average age for lung cancer diagnosis is 70.

In the past 30 years in China, lung cancer deaths have multiplied profusely and cancer is currently the leading cause of death.

Designer Chiu Chih explored the idea of what could potentially be the future of China if the air pollution continues to harm its inhabitants. This included oxygen masks which would have to be worn in the smog-ridden area. Unfortunately, this may turn into a reality.

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ABC Apologizes For “Kill Everyone In China” Comment

What started off as a light-hearted comedy skit quickly turned into an awkward and offensive ordeal.

The Jimmy Kimmel Show recently had an unscripted skit called “Kid’s Table” where children discussed some of the major political issues such as the government shut down and America’s debt crisis.

When Kimmel asked the children what America should do about the $1.3 trillion that the US owes China, one boy replied: “Kill everyone in China.”

The boy’s unscripted comment sparked heated reactions from many individuals in both China and the US.

Everyone understood that the comment was from a child who may or may not have realized what he said, but many questioned where this response could have come from.

Rocket News 24 described the ordeal by saying “Awkward Jimmy Kimmel segment suggests some kids start being racist jerks at around age six.”

Reactions were so heated that many petitions were made against Kimmel’s decision to air the comment. A White House petition claimed, “The kids might not know better. However, Jimmy Kimmel and ABC’s management are adults. They had a choice not to air this racist program. It is totally unacceptable and should have been cut. Please cut the show immediately and issue a formal apology.”

A separate petition on Change.org claims “The comment ‘Killing all the Chinese’ is NOT a joke, no matter who says it.  It is totally unacceptable. Jimmy Kimmel and the ABC network should know this “Killing all the Chinese” comment is offensive and racist.”

As a result, ABC issued an apology letter to 80-20, a pan-Asian-American political organization. The apology reads, “We would never purposefully broadcast anything to upset the Chinese community, Asian community, anyone of Chinese descent or any community at large…our objective is to entertain.”

The network says the skit will be edited out of theJimmy Kimmel Live episode for future airings. You can watch the small remark below:

 

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

Survival Kit For Deteriorating Air Quality: A Look Into Our Future?

Designboom.com receives projects from the public under their “DIY Submissions” feature. One project in particular, which addresses a very real and very scary issue, caught our eye.

The air quality within crowded living environments has been getting worse with every progressing year. Recently, Huffington Post reported on the dangerous smog conditions in China. The northern city of Harbin, for example, has air pollution 40 times higher than the international safety standard set by the World Health Organization. Harbin’s official news site noted that the smog is so overwhelming, it is impossible to even see your own fingers in front of you.

This toxic atmosphere forces Chinese citizens to wear masks, but what happens when the masks aren’t enough? If air pollution is getting worse each day, what other options will we have?

Designer Chiu Chih explores that very question in the project titled “voyage on the planet.” Design boom describes the hard-hitting project below:

The subtle mysteriousness of the planet’s unknown future often forces human beings to adapt – and potentially create new equipment just to survive. The design responds to a sense of curiosity towards this ever-changing environment – where old buildings are demolished and new modern ones continue to rise. Society and culture modify from one moment to the next, which in some cases Chiu Chih believes renders people hopeless, while for others it brings about hope and new expectations. The scary nature of this vulnerability is most poignant in the depletion of natural energy resources. ‘Voyage on the planet’ brings attention to the sate of the earth, and like new energy that is sought after as a replacement, it raises the question of further exploration and continued survival on the planet.

 

Check out the powerful images below.

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Why Nicolas Cage Hopes To See More Asian Male Actors in Hollywood

When we think of the people who advocate for the advancement of the Asian community in American cinema, we admit that Nicolas Cage is not one of the first names that come to mind. Nonetheless, an interview with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV shows that his name should be on that list.

Cage, an award-winning actor, producer and director, was in China to shoot an upcoming period drama Outcast. The film, which is directed by Nick Powell, is set in China and allowed Cage to work with a Chinese crew as well as Chinese co-stars such as  Liu Yifei.

Cage notes that this is his first time filming a movie in China, but hopes to continue working with China after enjoying this experience. After praising his co-star’s performance as well as the Chinese film industry, Cage turned the conversation to focus on Chinese actors in American Cinema.

“I hope that we will see more Chinese actors in American cinema too,” Cage says. “We do see Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi and Chow Yun Fat, but it’s very rare to see the Chinese male actor in Hollywood movies, which is something I take great umbrage with. You know, my son is Asian. He may want to direct one day; he may want to be an actor like his father — and I want that to be open to him. So I want to make some kind of effort to see more of that happen in Hollywood.”

For those who are unaware, Cage’s wife Alice Kim is Korean American. Because their 8-year-old son Kal-El (Yes, he’s named after named after Superman’s birth name on planet Krypton) is part Asian American, this is an issue which hits home for Cage.

We agree with you, Nicolas Cage. We certainly hope for that too.

Watch the entire interview here.

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The Face-kini: How Far Will China Go To Avoid Getting Tanned?

We know what you’re thinking. Why would anyone want to wear such an uncomfortable and unattractive accessory to the beach? Well not only is this product simply available in China, last year this was the summer craze.

Now before you begin judging China’s fashion sense, it is important to know that this garment choice has absolutely nothing to do with fashion (clearly). The full head mask, nicknamed the “face-kini” and often paired with a long-sleeved body suit, has become a hit in China because of its ability to protect its user from the sun.

The need to protect one’s skin is a much deeper issue in Asia than some may realize. These extreme measures are not simply to avoid skin cancer. Instead, these measures are taken to satisfy Asia’s obsession with pale skin.

Here in California, it is not uncommon to find women spread out on a beach towel with coconut oil and a burning determination to get tanned. In fact, we even have a number of tanning salons which do the job without the hassle of sand in your hair. There are aisles of spray-on tans and tanning oils just to achieve the perfect California glow.

This is the absolute opposite of Asia’s ideal.

The New York Times spoke to a woman sporting the face-kini. “I’m afraid of getting dark,” she explained. “A woman should always have fair skin. Otherwise people will think you’re a peasant.”

As you can see, pale skin is not merely viewed as someone who hasn’t been out much. Traditionally in Asia, darker skin represents the physical labor of rural areas while lighter skin is a sign of wealth and beauty. As such, whitening products line the shelves of store in Asia.

Just how far will this go? People are found walking around with parasols and gloves just to avoid the sun for a 5-minute walk in the street. Asian media pushes the idea by clearly having a preference for light skinned women. Companies are reaping the benefits of whitening products.

We don’t know when this judgement of skin will stop– or if it ever will– but the creators of these face masks seem to have no problem perpetuating the idea that lighter is better.

 

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(Source 1, 2, 3)

Image of The Day: Unbelievable Egg Shell Art

Wen Fuliang, originally a wood carver, has turned his talents on a different sort of canvas. Arguably much harder to work on than wood, Fuliang has decided to carve on one of the most fragile mediums ever, egg shells.

The amount of detail that Fuliang can capture on a single egg is simply unbelievable. The artist has spent 10 years perfecting his craft and and carves his masterpieces using a rotary tool with a diamond tip. 

Fuliang begins by carefully extracting the yolk and egg white using a syringe. He then very lightly sketches his design onto the shell . Then, he gently holds the egg with one hand and carves away at it with another. As expected, this process requires slow, gentle and skilled hands. It is no surprise that this art is very time consuming.

According to DailyMail, “He uses chicken, goose and duck eggshells to carve out places of interest, such as the iconic Dayan Pagoda in Xi’an.”

Interestingly enough, Fuliang allegedly lost his job as a wood carver in Shaanxi province and turned to egg shells simply to make ends meet. Through this, he became the first artist in China to specialize in the field of egg carving.

Check out his unbelievable skill below:

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