20 votes

Why didn't Asians discover Australia?

The people living along the northern coastline of Australia, in the Kimberley, Arnhem Land, Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York had encounters with various visitors for many thousands of years. People ...
user avatar
  • 1,258
16 votes
Accepted

What was the staple food of the natives of South East Asia before rice?

From Pakistan to Japan is indeed a big region and "before rice" a long and varied time frame. But this question seems to imply that it is concerned with the early neolithic centers of agriculture in ...
user avatar
  • 77.2k
16 votes
Accepted

Were there any Chinese expeditions to explore the world? If not, why not?

In terms of Chinese naval explorers in general, Zheng He springs to mind. He was one of China's primary explorers in the Indian Ocean and beyond in the 14th and 15th centuries. Around this time, the ...
user avatar
12 votes

What animals did South East Asians ride in the Middle Ages?

Given that the stirrup was invented in Asia, horses were not a rarity in Asia. Look at Asian art work, and you'll see that horses were not rare at all, but common. What animals were used in Thailand,...
user avatar
  • 17.8k
12 votes

Why did the island of Bali remain Hindu when most of the rest of Indonesia converted to Islam?

It's an interesting question (although it has been 2 years without satisfying answer; maybe you've found the answer), because it is located between Jawa Timur (East Java) and Nusa Tenggara Barat (West ...
user avatar
  • 291
10 votes

How wealthy was Singapore at its independence (1965)?

Both views you've heard are somewhat right. Singapore was already an important port by the time of its independence, yet its growth accelerated so quickly after independence that the Singapore of ...
user avatar
  • 17.9k
8 votes

Why are the Rohingya not recognized in Myanmar (Burma), amongst the other 135 ethnic groups?

The history is disputed between the Rakhine and Rohingya, but in essence it is related to population movement between the Chittagong region (now south-eastern Bangladesh) and Arakan (now Rakhine state ...
user avatar
  • 2,390
8 votes

What animals did South East Asians ride in the Middle Ages?

Horses were omnipresent in Asia at the same time periods that we call the Middle Ages in European history. In the 13th century, the Mongols were riding roughshod over all of Asia, and given that they ...
user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

17th century Japanese colonies in Southeast Asia?

Japanese quasi-colonialism in the 17th century mostly took place in Siam. There, the king had hired Japanese mercenaries to fight his battles, and these mercenaries threatened to take over the country ...
user avatar
  • 103k
7 votes
Accepted

How did the ancestors of proto-Malagasy in South Borneo reach Madagascar?

Question: What is the current state of our knowledge regarding potential routes and vessels the Asian ancestors of the Malagasy may have used to reach Madagascar, and some key items of evidence ...
user avatar
  • 6,235
6 votes
Accepted

Was Angkor wat built on top of water?

(Disclaimer: I've not seen that documentary so I'm sure what exactly it said.) Sort of. In a literal sense, Angkor Wat was built upon a sea of groundwater. The city was built in a very wet and water-...
user avatar
  • 96.2k
6 votes

Were there any Chinese expeditions to explore the world? If not, why not?

I recommend reading Ian Morris' book Why The West Rules - For Now. He discusses this topic in a few chapters. Although Ming Dynasty China had ships which could cross the Pacific and sail around the ...
user avatar
6 votes

Why did the island of Bali remain Hindu when most of the rest of Indonesia converted to Islam?

There were several reasons, many of which you listed. First, Bali was a relatively isolated part of the country, after Sumatra, Java, and Borneo, far from the main trade routes (near today's Malaysia)...
user avatar
  • 103k
6 votes

Why did Austronesian/Polynesian people not colonize Australia?

I can only agree with some of the points, as I have an extensive understanding of Austronesian migratory history but am still vague on Australasian. My only contribution is to add that Australia was ...
user avatar
  • 61
6 votes

How close did the French come to digging a canal across the Isthmus of Kra in the 1880s?

tl; dr How close did the French actually come to succeeding at getting the project underway? The project never came close to getting underway. The route chosen for the survey proved to be ...
user avatar
  • 76.4k
6 votes

What was the staple food of the natives of South East Asia before rice?

I am not going to even come close to answering this simple question. But it's worth a try because of perennial confusion on Southeast Asia. The region, concept and people of Southeast Asia is, to me, ...
user avatar
  • 6,235
5 votes
Accepted

Where did Nguyễn Văn Thiệu (Thieu) learn his English?

His wikipedia entry mentions among other things that: Thiệu was a son of a small, well-off landowner who earned his living by farming and fishing. [...] His elder brothers raised money so that he ...
user avatar
4 votes

Does east-west/north-south orientation also impact large islands development?

In the GGS book, the NS orientation is appointed as only one of the reasons that Eurasia was more developed than America and Sub-Saharan Africa. It also considers narrow points and bottlenecks (e.g., ...
user avatar
  • 3,842
4 votes

Does east-west/north-south orientation also impact large islands development?

The problem with the Thesis in Gun, Germs, and Steel is that we have one example of an E-W megacontinent (Eurasia) and one example of a N-S one (the Americas). Africa is a bit small, and vague on E-W ...
user avatar
  • 11.9k
4 votes

What kind of armor did the soldiers use in pre-gunpowder Southeast Asia?

Unlike war in central plain of China and Europe, Indonesia was covered with heavyrain forest. Size of trees and leaves are way bigger than any other in the world. Therefore wearing armor will only ...
user avatar
  • 41
4 votes

Why does Europe have so few skyscrapers compared to East Asia?

There are a couple of factors here I haven't seen mentioned: Skyscrapers are generally office buildings, often owned by a single company. Asian skyscrapers often mean to represent economical success ...
user avatar
  • 1,209
4 votes
Accepted

How was the Lanfang Republic set up if emigration from China was illegal?

Before answering, I noticed you've asked a previous question regarding China and Southeast Asia (re: migrants to British Malaya during 19th century). I do not know your specific level and area of ...
user avatar
  • 6,235
3 votes
Accepted

Why were the Malinta Tunnels built?

It is because Corregidor is dominated by Alas-Asin at the end of the Bataan. Anyone controlling Alas-Asin can easily shell all of Corregidor. Originally the US fortress on Corregidor (Fort Mills) had ...
user avatar
  • 37.3k
2 votes

What was the staple food of the natives of South East Asia before rice?

Answers will vary depending on specific regions, cultures, and time period; many peoples would have been hunter-gatherers rather than farming anything. Millet is an ancient crop in east Asia and may ...
user avatar
  • 608
1 vote

Can anyone identify this uniform from SE Asia?

Looks Burmese, military police uniform. Person in white uniform maybe be a servant? The monk is holding a palm leaf prayer book ( Pali )
user avatar
1 vote

Why didn't Asians discover Australia?

According to Wikipedia: The ancestors of present-day Aboriginal Australians migrated from Asia by sea during the Pleistocene era. This has been established mainly by ongoing genetic studies. ...
user avatar
1 vote

Why does Europe have so few skyscrapers compared to East Asia?

There is no general answer; each reason has its own answer. Japan has a high population density and limited arable land, so the evolution of a mega-city like Tokyo with skyscrapers is a technical ...
user avatar
  • 7,212
1 vote

Why does Europe have so few skyscrapers compared to East Asia?

Generally skyscrapers are build near the centre of the city. In many cities, the centre is merely historical and since some time, people prefer to conserve historical buildings. In Europe, if the city ...
user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible