Kim's Life Gallery!!

I hope this space can become a platform for those who are interested in sharing ideas in travel and business. I always believe that nobody is perfect in this world, it is through sharing to make us a better one. *_*

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Breathtaking steps at the ruins - Part 1

On the first day, we have visited Angkor Wat - the most renowned temple in southwest Cambodia. It was built by the vanished Khmer empire. It was constructed during the reign of king Suryavarman II, who ruled from 1113 to at least 1145. The name Angkor Wat means "The city that is a temple."

The actual temple sits on a sandstone plinth a meter above the ground. Its perimeter is decorated with naga balustrades. The outer wall of the temple is called the "first enclosure," and sits on a plinth 3.3 meters high. A continuous gallery runs along the outside face of the wall. The inner face is decorated with 700 meters of continuous bas reliefs.

Just to the east of the west gate of the first enclosure is a series of four rooms arranged in a cruciform. Each room is surrounded by a continuous gallery and has a sunken floor where ponds used to be.

The inner enclosure rests on a two-tiered pyramid 11 meters tall. The stairs are extremely steep. The upper terrace has a continuous gallery that encloses an inner cruciform of four rooms. Five towers jut from the upper tier in a quincunx arrangement (like five dots on a pair of dice).

I was extremely amazed by the efforts behind to build this spectacular temple. The execution of such a structure would certainly have eaten up much of the Empire’s resources.Imagine the coordination of the massive workforce cutting huge blocks of stone from hillsides, dragging them into place, and then of course the logistics of assembling thousands of stone masons, persuading them to chip out identical carvings and then heaving them into place. What on earth were they thinking?

Nevertheless, it was still an incredible man-made miracle on earth!!

Magnificent view of the entire temple from the lake side!!

There are different meanings carried by the wrinkles on body of the sculpture. Wrinkles on the neck means the lady is married where as wrinkles on the stomach means the lady has given birth to baby.

A good shot with a great model!! :P

What a steep staircase before reaching the top of Angkor Wat!! I have made it!!

One of the most beautiful sunset that I have ever seen!!

A lot of kids were found around the area selling postcards, books and handicraft. They are active and multi-lingua!!

    Like my post so far? Would like to buzz you once I have more travel experience to share soon!!

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

First glance at Angkor City

Before I proceed further for my diary, let's have a brief look on the main information of Angkor Cities . Below is the map of the entire city.

In fact, Angkor City consists of more than one thousand temples in different sizes. It will be time consuming to finish visiting all the temples. Hence, I would recommend you the four most significant spots that I personally think worth paying a visit in that area :

1. Angkor Wat- The most famous main temple
2. Angkor Thom - The temple with biggest area occupied
3. Ta Prohm Temple - The most fascinating temple in the city where the Hollywood movie 'Tom Raider' was having the shots at.
4. Tonle Sap lake - The largest fresh water lake in South East Asia

Well, more detailed sharings to be elaborated in the next chapter... see you later... *_~

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A visit to the Lost City of Angkor

Last August, we managed to get the cheap flight tickets to Siem Reap through Airasia promotion. Our target was to visit one of the wonders of the world - Angkor Wat!!It was a journey with lot of surprises!! The first surprise started when we first stepped on the land of Siem Reap.

We were first impressed by the exclusive architeture of Siem Reap airport. According to the officer, it was just newly completed in July 2006. We were so lucky to be the few first batches of visitors to be in such an exotic building. The airport was built through the joint venture between a French company and the Cambodian government. The architecture of the building looked modern and homely. We have captured plenty of shots on almost every corners of the resort-like building.

After coming out from the Airport, we were fetched by a local tour guide that we have reserved before the departure. As the tour package that we have chosen was just the budget one(USD138/person inclusive of food, transport and entrance fee for the entire journey), we did not expect too much on the quality of the arrangement. However, out of our expectation, we were sitted in a Toyota Camry with a private driver and a well-mannered tour guide!! This was the first time we felt being treated like a king and a queen!! Haha!!

It was indeed a great starting for our journey to such a mysteric place. A lot more surprises and fun ahead!!

Stay tuned!! *_*

Some snap shots for you as the appertizer of the journey!! *_*

sUmsVaKmn¾ !!!(Meaning 'Welcome!'in Khmer language - an official Cambodian language)

A resort-like international airport!! Superb!!

The waiting hall is cozy and well facilitated. Do you notice the cool and slim LCD TV in the picture?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Do what competition is not willing to do!!

Just came across a great video clip by the renowned business strategist Vince Poscente. He is an Olympian with business and academic accreditation. At age 26, he decided to take up speed skiing and pursue it competitively. Only 4 years later, he was vying for Gold in the Winter Olympics!!

In this video clip, Mr.Poscente has applied a playful and funny way to present his his 5C Strategy - clarity of vision, commitment, consistency, confidence and control. It is an important method that catapulted him from recreational skier to competing for the Olympic Gold medal in 4 years.The 5C Strategy for Peak performance has also brought out an innovative method to compete in today's marketplace. There is an amazing motto quoted from this incredible man : 'Do what competition is not willing to do!!

I was deeply impressed by his words.I believe that it is his incredible minsets that brings him to today's invincible success!!

Share with you this marvellous piece of work. Hopefully it will give you some inspirations in whatever things that you are doing too!!

Enjoy!! *_*

Vince Poscente: The need for speed

Monday, November 20, 2006

The revolution of business concept.. The Long Tail??

Ever heard of The Long Tail concept before?? I have just finished reading this great article by Chris Anderson in Wired magazine from the year of 2004. It was terrific and amazing. It has changed my thoughts and inspired me to re-think of the business model that we used to understand. Just to share with you some of the main points of this concept.

The long tail is an economic concept that says the collective demand for less-popular items (in green) can exceed all the most popular added together (in red).The concept becomes even more prominent due to the fast developement of internet technology. Since the Internet reduces or removes the cost of distribution, the aggregation of sales of less popular items can be more profitable and successful than selling the most profitable items. In other words, if you can sell the exact right item to the exact right person you can make a lot of money if you don’t have to worry about storage and distribution of that item. Amazon is a great example of The Long Tail, as is eBay.

In a brick and mortar store there is a finite space for storing and showing merchandise, which leads to what Chris and others call lowest common denominator marketing. Chris uses movie theaters as an example — a movie has to attract 1500 people in a two week run to break even. This doesn’t sound like that many, but you need to remember that the average movie theater patron drives only a few miles to watch the movie. This means that in the movie market, like most others, the best product doesn’t necessarily make it to market — the one with the broadest appeal does.

The Internet destroys this model by removing the two obstacles that limit the market — overhead and geography. The removal of those obstacles creates the environment for the perfect market.

So here’s a question: what percentage of the top 100,000 titles at any online media store (Amazon, Netflix, iTunes for example) get sold or rented at least once a month?

You’ll probably guess the same number I did — between 20% and 25%. The real number is 99%. In other words, almost all of those top 100,000 titles will be bought or rented at least once per month.

Why do we guess so low? Because we’ve been conditioned to interchange the word hit with sale. Thanks to mass marketing, we believe that unless millions of something are sold they won’t make any money. This is generally true in the bricks world where there are production and distribution costs, which is why only 20 percent of major studio films are considered a hit. Same for TV shows, games, and mass-market books - 20 percent all. The odds are even worse for major-label CDs, where fewer than 10 percent are profitable, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

As an example, Chris quotes Robbie Vann-Adibé, the CEO of Ecast, a digital jukebox company whose barroom players offer combinations of more than 150,000 tracks. I’ve seen the insides of their jukebox — it’s a PC with a monster hard drive and a great sound card.

I bolded part of what he says, because it is the essence of the Long Tail — each month, thousands of people put in their dollars for songs that no traditional jukebox anywhere has ever carried.

What Ecast, Amazon, iTunes and others have discovered is that not only do you make money on the hits, but the misses are very profitable too, because you’re selling them in a perfect market. That’s what the Long Tail is all about.

Chris also cites Rhapsody, a RealNetworks company that sells 735,000 different individual music tracks. If you look at their sales chart, the first 40,000 or so titles looks like any other retailer’s in the world (40,000 titles is about what the average bricks-based retail store carries). There’s a top selling group and then sales trail off as you go down the list.

Where the Long Tail begins is after that initial 40,000. In the bricks world, sales are strong with the most popular titles, and trail to zero as you go down the list. Then the list ends. We run out of titles because they are constrained either by overhead (it’s cost-prohibitive to stock them) or geography (the local Wal*Mart patron isn’t interested in the genre or artist past a certain point, so Wal*Mart won’t stock it.)

The Rhapsody demand keeps going. According to Chris the top 100,000 tracks streamed at least once each month, the same is true for its top 200,000, top 300,000, and top 400,000. As fast as Rhapsody adds tracks to its library, those songs find an audience, even if it’s just a few people a month, somewhere in the country.

I find this tremendously exciting. Chris sees the brilliance and opportunity in monetizing the Tail. Ebay, iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon are examples of how it’s done.

Another great example is Google, the company that monetized the Long Tail by bringing advertising to smaller sites using AdSense and AdWords.

So what are the keys to monetizing the long tail? According to Chris they are:

1. Selection and availability - If you have no production or distribution costs then you can put together the most comprehensive catalog your niche has ever seen.

2. Low, low prices - I might have actually used the phrase perfect prices, because it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to lose money or sell at the barest minimum. It all depends on what you sell — I’ve seen items on eBay that were more expensive then I would pay at a bricks store. All that means is that in the market where they sold there was no bricks store. You just need to get to the right price for your items in your niche. In a commoditized market that will be the lowest price, though I would still pay a premium at Amazon to not have to drive twenty minutes to get to my nearest bookstore, where the selection is pretty lousy anyway.

3. Index it well - If you have a million different books or tools or car parts or chocolate covered insects you have to make it easy for people to find the one they’re looking for.This means you have to index them by name, category and whatever else people will use to find them. I also believe that suggestion selling using Collaborative Filtering (people who bought this also bought that) is a great addition to any website, provided it really works. Amazon’s can be marginal.

In short, Long Tail is where the money is !!!

Highly recommend you to read this marvellous book!!

posted by Kim @ 11:55 PM  0 comments

Thursday, November 16, 2006

What's fun in Bangalore??..

Well, I have been talking too much of bad things about Bangalore since my first post. It is time to share on the good side now. *_*....What's fun in Bangalore??.. let's see....

Yeah, I managed to get my first sarees during my trip in Bangalore. In fact, sarees is very common in India. Almost every lady on the street wears sarees.It reflects that Indian are still very concerned about their tradition. Various type of saress could be found in Bangalore. The price is cheap and the quality is superb!! I have invited my colleagues to go for the sarees shopping with me for better price bargain!! (Well, this is always the shopping trick for a foreigner to get cheap and good stuffs!! ):P

Apart from the sarees shopping, I have visited some of the places of interested around Bangalore too, namely the parliment, some temples and palaces as well as the local river that the public used to spend their weekend at. And most importantly, I was so lucky to be invited to my colleague's house during the weekend. We had a tremendously wonderful time.

One of the Hindu temples that I have visited. Very similar to the ones that I have seen in Cambodia.

The local people like to spend their time at the river. They believe that taking shower with the sacred water will be blessed with good luck.

I was shocked when seeing the Parliment in Bangalore. It is so grand and magnificent!

Another great architectural creation in India!

Sarees fitting time!!"Eee... maybe this color is a bit too bright for me.."

Alrigth, it's time to make a full stop for my India trip for this moment.

Good bye, India!! I will be back soon!!

More interesting stuffs will be shared in the near future. See you soon..


posted by Kim @ 11:15 PM  0 comments

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How to survive in India??

The most interesting experience of mine in India was the food over there. I have been hearing a lot of bad experience from my friends about the meals in India. Hence, I was ready for the worst case before my departure. I was worried whether I could survive in India for one week if I could not cope with the food over there.

Well, things turned up to be fine with me. In fact, I quite like some of the typical food like voda, dosa, samosa and their sambal. It is superb and delicious!! My India collegue is good at finding nice food. Hence, I had been fed with various fantastic Indian cuisine throughout my entire journey.

Though I enjoyed my meals much, there was still a case which I found really ridiculous. I once ordered a cup of lime juice that mixed with masala - mixture of different India spice! It was the most disgusting drink I have ever drunk in my life!! Surprisingly, it is a very common drink in India!!

Anyway, my eating experience in India is a memorable one. Through the understanding on the India cuisine, I have learnt much on the culture and life style of Indian people.

I believe I have fallen in love with the food there....yummy!! :P

The common snack in India - Samosa(curry puff), bean(kacang putih)with special gravy. They are truly hot and spicy!

Guess what is this??? Bingo, it is the masala lime juice!! Dare to taste?? :P

Gooshh, what an ugly way of eating!!

What a fabulous breakfast!! Rice cake, samosa with spicy sambal and a cup of exotic coffee.

posted by Kim @ 10:53 PM  2 comments

First impression on India...Bangalore instead.. .

Last week, I was on business trip to Bangalore - one of the most fast-growing city in India. It is informally called as the Silicon Valley of India as most of the IT services from US are outsourced to this miraculous place. I was expecting something advanced and different in the place before the departure. However, things ended up totally out of my expectation.

The most interesting part is the contrast of the city - the contrast between the modern and the traditional, the rich and the poor. As I was told that Bangalore will be fully covered with wireless service next year, the city is imagined to be well developed with modern infrastruture. However, while the city is advancing in such a high speed for the IT development, the basic facilities in town is still a big doubt!! I was so surprised to see the chaotic traffic in the city. Hornings can be heard almost every where at every second. It seemed to be a norm for the drivers to release stress on the road by horning. What a terrible noise pollution!

Due to the fast pace on IT developement, most of the youngster in India are making good money in the multinational IT firms. Thus, the disparity between the rich and the poverty is getting significant. When I was on my way to the office, I could clearly see the social gap from the buildings.

Here are some pictures that reflect the my points. Enjoy! *_*

Chaotic traffic with irritating noise pollution!!

Cows can be seen everywhere on the road!One of the main contributors to traffic jam!

Significant contrast between the new development and tradisional life within the same place!

Insufficiency in infrastruture!

Well, this is my first impression on Bangalore. A land of contrast that is full of surprises!!

More to share in the next chapter... stay tuned!!


posted by Kim @ 12:09 AM  0 comments

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It is India that brings me here... unbelievable..

This is my first post to this blog. Have been thinking of the best name for my blog. Finally, I have decided to use 'saunf-kim'. Kim is my English name where as Saunf is a type of spice that India people use to consume after their meal to refresh their mouths. (and I love it so much!! *_*)

Well, I have taken a big step in starting my blog. Have been lazy to make the first move since half a year ago. Till when I was inspired by the things that I have seen in my recent trip to India. It was a great one. Just feel that I should jot down all the memorable moments and good things in life and share them with people. Life will be more meaningful through sharings.

Hence, this will become the little space for me to express my thoughts and discoveries in my two major interests - travel experience and business opportunity. By exploring for new business opportunities, I hope to be financially free soon!!By then, I can truly enjoy my travel journey to every corner of the world. Ultimately, I wish to be one of those to the space too!! *_*

Hopefully my sharings will be useful to you!!

Do feel free to join the chat!! Let's enlighten the space together!! *_~


One of my favourite photos - Babies from Bangalore city...

posted by Kim @ 11:36 PM  0 comments