There are 24 time zones divided across the globe, with each one representing one hour out of a 24-hour day. Since it takes the earth 24 hours to spin on its axis, exposing each continent and country to the sun in turns, it only makes sense to use a 24-time zone grid.
There are ten countries that fall in the GMT +8 time zone, including Australia, China, Brunei, Singapore, Russia, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Mongolia. Of course, that doesn’t mean that every country follows GMT +8, only that they touch that time zone.
China is one such country that uses one time zone throughout the entire country, even though a cursory look at a time zone map reveals that China is in three to four time zones from its western border to its eastern border.
Taiwan observes China Standard Time (CST) or UTC +8. All of the acronyms, such as UTC, CST, GMT, etc, can get quite confusing. But, suffice it to say, Taiwan is on China time and China, like India, sticks with one time throughout the entire country, regardless of how many time zones overlay the country.
Australia has multiple time zones, which is not a big deal since a lot of countries share that trait. What separates Australia from everyone else is the fact that they use quarter and half time zones.
This means that the western and eastern borders of the time zone are representations of how far the sun travels in 15 minutes and 30 minutes respectively. The entire western portion of Australia falls under the GMT+8 or UTC+8 time zone, with the eastern half of the continent consisting of four, different time zones.
As explained above, China only observes one time that covers the entire country. That time is China Standard Time. This can be pretty tough on some, where standard work hours are not observed because everyone has to get up three hours earlier than the other side of the country.
China actually uses GMT+8, though it is now known as UTC+8. However, the other three time zones the country technically lies in go unobserved. Interestingly, the Uyghur population in China observes its own time, which is UTC+6.
Brunei is a much smaller country than China and they use the standard GMT+8 time zone that most of the country sits in. Also, Brunei ignores Daylight Saving Time, so the time throughout the country remains the same, all year long.
Singapore is almost wholly within GMT+8, with only the very western tip of the country breaching the border into GMT+7. However, as a whole, the country only observes GMT+8 time, so there is no change as you head west.
Interestingly enough, Perth also follows the GMT+8 that Singapore does, even though Perth is a ways off. The fact that both share the same time with China is entirely financial. It’s always good business when you’re at the same time with a major economic power.
Russia is the exact opposite of China. It has the second most time zones out of all the countries in the world with France being the lone country with more. Russia has a total of 11 time zones, including all of the following:
- Irkutsk Time
- Kamchatka Time
- Kaliningrad Time
- Moscow Time
- Samara Time
- Vladivostok Time
- Yakutsk Time
- Yekaterinburg Time
- Krasnoyarsk Time
- Omsk Time
- Magadan Time
Before Russia embraced the whole time zone thing, the entire country relied on solar time—basically driving a stick in the ground and seeing where the shadow fell. Of course, it was a lot more technical than that but, needless to say, the days of watching a shadow move across the lawn are long over in Russia.
Malaysia doesn’t do anything crazy or observe some weird, half-time or quarter-time. The country, as a whole, sticks with the GMT+8 time and that time only throughout. When it’s 4 pm in London, the time in Malaysia is 12 am.
Technically, the country of Indonesia stretches across four, different time zones. However, the government of Indonesia only officially observes three time zones, including the main time zone this article revolves around—GMT+8.
The three times in Indonesia include Western Indonesia Time, Central Indonesia Time, and Eastern Indonesia Time. Only Central Indonesia Time is the same thing as GMT+8, with Western Indonesia Time back one hour and Eastern Indonesia Time ahead one hour.
Mongolia keeps it pretty simple with just two time zones to observe. Central and Eastern Mongolia observe the aforementioned GMT+8 while Western Mongolia observes GMT+7 (UTC+7 for the new-terminology aficionados).
Mongolia, like many other countries, does not observe Daylight Saving Time (DST). The fact is, more and more countries are ditching the Daylight Saving Time model because it’s basically nothing more than antiquated buffoonery that has no place in modern society any longer.
The only thing DST seems to be good for is aggravating workers on a strict time schedule.
There is only one time zone recognized in the Philippines and it’s the one the country happens to be in. Over the decades, the Philippines have observed Daylight Saving Time, so it’s an off and on again thing.
As of right now, the Philippines aren’t using DST, taking a cue from all of the other countries out there slowly but surely getting rid of it, including the United States. Once upon a time, the Philippines observed Spanish time since they were a Spanish colony.
That lasted all the way up until the local government decided to go with “Philippine Standard time, which is the GMT+8 we know today. For brief periods throughout the history of the Philippines, they have gone back and forth with GMT+8 and +9.
All Things Considered
There you have it, all of the countries that currently fall under (in part or as a whole) GMT+8. Every country makes its own decisions, however, and it’s easy to see how quickly they can embrace one time and ditch it for another in less than a decade.