Many of us already knew about the history of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (more commonly known as ASEAN) which comprises of 10 member states: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.
But would you keen to know more about this ASEAN's fun-and-fast kind of facts?
Regardless of any of your preferences, Seasia has compiled many feel-good facts and information that could trigger your interest to know more about what ASEAN is and what this bloc has to offer you if you're the citizens of the region.
Let's get to know them!
Do you know that ...
1. ... the Chairmanship of ASEAN rotates annually, based on the alphabetical order of the English names of Member States?
However, when the Member States switched turns or did not take a turn in the rotation. For instance, Myanmar did not take a turn as ASEAN Chair from 2006 to 2014.
It was reported that Myanmar feared Western countries could boycott meetings held there and cause the country to gain bad publicity.
In 2011, Indonesia switched places with Brunei because it did not want to be swamped with organizing too many meetings in 2013 as they were scheduled to also host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in the same year.
2. ... if ASEAN was a single country, it would be the seventh-largest economy in the world?
With a combined GDP of US$2.5 trillion, the region is already an economic powerhouse and is set to grow to become the equivalent of the world's fourth-largest economy by 2050.
The ASEAN was also the 3rd largest in Asia with the same combined GDP in 2014. By many other measures, the ASEAN region is already a player of global significance
3. ... ASEAN came into being in 1967, just two years before the internet was created?
As such, the impressive rise of ASEAN has coincided perfectly with the Third Industrial Revolution, driven by computers and communications.
As ASEAN celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, the world stands on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomous vehicles, ubiquitous mobile internet, and accelerating progress in genetics, materials science, and ultra-cheap automation.
Source: World Economic Forum
Now let's have a peek on the fun-fast-facts about ASEAN, that you might have no idea or heard about them.
According to Michael Hofer's LinkedIn articles, there is more information that you should know by now:
1. There is a total of 40,717 Buddhist temples in Thailand!
2. The tiny island of Layang-Layang in east Malaysian state Sabah is actually man-made, formed from reclaimed land. The waters that surround it host some of the best dives sites in the world!
3. Although Singapore means "Lion City" from the Malay word singa, lions are not indigenous to Singapore. They sure have them in Singapore Zoo.
4. Brunei is one of the few countries in the world where citizens enjoy free education and healthcare, subsidized food and housing, and do not pay income tax.
5. Indonesia consists of over 17,800 islands, many of which have yet to be named! If you stay one day in each island, you'll spend over 46 years to explore this world largest archipelagic nation.
6. Falling from a height of 21 meters and flowing a distance of almost 10 kilometers, the Khone Papeng waterfall in Laos is one of the most dramatic waterfalls in Southeast Asia.
7. Almost half of Cambodia's current population is under 15 years of age.
8. The Vietnamese language has six different tones, and a modulation in tone can change the entire meaning of a word, making Vietnamese a difficult language to learn!
9. The Philippines is named after King Philipp II of Spain.
10. With a total land area of 678,499 square kilometres, Myanmar is the largest country in Mainland Southeast Asia.
Source: World Economic Forum, LinkedIn