Many people in Vietnam have come up with inventive ways to help them stay as cool as possible during the persistent hot spell, which is the longest in the past 40 years. Residents in a number of localities in the country, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, have been writhing in the sultry, stifling heat of the past few months, with a peak felt in recent weeks.

100 volunteers planted an average of eight trees a minute to beat the Guinness world record. These 100 men planted an average of eight trees a minute or 496 trees an hour to beat the Guinness World Record of most trees planted in an hour (team).  Bhutan not only managed to beat the previous record of 40,885 trees in an hour in Assam, India, but also set a new record.  The motto of the record, according to the organiser, is, “Let’s begin a greener Bhutan.”

More people in Myanmar have mobile phones than use electricity to light their homes, many more rely on bullock carts than possess cars or vans, and there is still a serious deficit of toilets and potable water. These are these are some of the striking – and useful – findings that emerge in the 2014 census, depicting a country of extreme differences and pronounced rural-urban variations.

Samkol Sangvar’s rice porridge eatery is just one of many new businesses putting traditional Cambodian street and market foods in a restaurant setting. At Khmer Chicken Porridge, which opened near Kandal market earlier this month, kitchen staff in clean, bright green uniforms serve up the classic Cambodian comfort food to hungry diners seated at varnished wooden tables. It’s not exactly fine dining, but it’s still a far cry from the rice porridge carts that prowl the city streets serving up the dish, known as bobor, in Styrofoam bowls.

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