It is generally advisable not to trust touts, but the boy who approached me as I was waiting for my bag at the airport made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I’d arrived in Sittwe on the afternoon flight from Yangon, fearing I was far too late to find onward transport. But within 10 minutes I was on the back of a motorcycle heading towards the port, and at 4pm I was aboard a converted green wooden fishing boat headed for my destination: Mrauk Oo.

Forestry officials are hoping that a new report released yesterday naming the Prey Lang forest as one of the world’s top 10 biodiversity hot spots will strengthen a proposal to declare the forest a protected area. The assessment found that Prey Lang ranks as “one of the more significant areas of lowland evergreen forest in the Indo-Burma region”. The forest is home to almost 1,000 species of flora and fauna, a main livelihood source for the 250,000 people living in adjacent areas and a watershed for the Tonle Sap Lake, from which a significant proportion of the national economy derives.

Japanese ramen chain Ippudo's Indonesian outlet is the company's first to serve up a noodle dish made with chicken rather than pork broth, catering to the city's Muslim-majority population. Walking into ramen restaurant Ippudo’s first ever outlet in Indonesia at the Pacific Place mall in South Jakarta, you notice a sign promoting not just the latest additions to its world-famous lineup of ramen bowls, but also an emphasis on the different and special utensils used for its newest creations. At first glance, this chunk of the promotional banner may seem odd. But a closer look at the menu and it becomes clear why it’s there.

The image of balloons over Bagan could be at risk if the Ministry of Culture has its way. The ministry has asked the President’s Office to stop the hot-air balloons from flying low over the city’s fabled pagodas in case they do damage. No balloon-pagoda collisions have occurred, at least in the past 10 years, say local hoteliers and operators, but the ministry is still concerned at the apparent risk.

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