1. Over 70% of China’s population uses the same 45 family names.
2. There is a bridge between Macau and Zhuhai where cars have to switch which side of the road they drive on.
3. All pandas in the world are on loan from China. Some have even been FedExed to their new homes.
4. In 2010, China experienced the world’s longest traffic jam, which lasted 12 days and was over 62 miles long.
5. Xinjiang has two times, official Beijing time and local Xinjiang time, and some people wear two watches to keep track.
6. China is planting the largest human-made forest to stop the spread of the Gobi Desert. Dubbed the “Green Great Wall,” it currently stretches over 500,000 square kilometers.
7. Over 30 million Chinese people live in cave homes called yaodong (窰洞).
8. The Chinese military is training 10,000 messenger pigeons, building a “reserve pigeon army” in case of a war that disables modern communication technology.
9. Some police in rural China are using geese instead of dogs to stand guard at night.
10. Ma Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House is the world’s oldest restaurant, in business since 1153 AD.
11. The English word “tea” comes from the Amoy (Xiamen) dialect’s word “t’e.”
12. Mao Zedong was not the first to have his picture over Tiananmen. An image of Chiang Kai-shek once hung in the same spot.
Jonathan Fenby, Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the China He Lost