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. *_*

Thursday, December 28, 2006

My online bookstore is opened NOW!!

Howdy folks! My online bookstore is finally on now! It is a good chance for me to share great books that I have gone through with people in the same interests. *_*

Basically there are two main sections in my book corner - business and travel. These are the topics that I have been sharing a lot in my weblog. In the business section, I would like to recommend some books that I have personally gained much insights from. The business topics are divided into four aspects:

1. Investment - some tricks on value investing, stocks trading and etc
2. General business concept - some creative business concepts that I have come across
3. Sales and marketing - great books on enhancing the marketing skills
4. Internet business - something about this fast-growing industry

As for the travel section, I have compiled all the great books that I used for my travel preparation in the past. These are the books that I found useful as the travel companions. *_*. The book range comprises all the countries that I have been to so far.

1. Malaysia - My home country!Malaysia truly Asia!! Visit Malaysia 2007!
2. Singapore - My second home - with lot of memories..
3. Thailand - My first backpacking destination!
4. Cambodia - A sacred visit to the lost empire!!
6. Vietnam - A simple town, a humble city!
7. Hong Kong - My first oversea Christmas. A city that never sleeps!!
8. China (Shangri La) - The heaven on earth!!
9. Taiwan - An oriental city with different 'taste'and 'colors'!!
10. Australia - Back to the nature!! A truly relaxing journey!
11. France - A journey full of romance and surprises!!
12. Italy - Here, I found the most delicious ice-cream that I have ever had! :P
13. Switzerland - The most fascinating land that I have ever seen!!
14. Vatican - The smallest country, the biggest content
15. New York - I was there one month before the disaster of 911!
16. Boston - A cozy place where most of the world-class intellectuals were born!!
17. Niagara Fall -An incredible touch with the natural wonder!
18. Los Angeles - My first Disney visit!! *_*
19. San Francisco - My honeymoon trip!! *_*
20. Las Vegas - The most luxurious city in the world!
21. Grand Canyon - A spectacular creation by God!!
22. India - A country of contrasts!!

Apart from the books recommendataion, all the related topics highlighted above will be elaborated through my blog sharings in the future. Do keep an eye closely on it!

Enjoy your reading!! *_~

    Like my post so far? Would like to buzz you once I have more travel experience to share soon!!
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Sunday, December 24, 2006

The incredible hiking mission of 2006!! - Part 1

I have been travelling to different places around the world. However, my journey to Mt.Kinabalu was one of the amazing breakthroughs in my personal travel history. I never expect myself to be there as I thought it will be too tough to reach the summit of the highest mountain in South East Asia!!.

Well, thing happened out of our expectation. We were so lucky to get the promotional tickets from Airasia(again?!). Initially we were a bit hesistative. Not sure if we could make it to the peak. Anyway, since everything seemed to be ready for us, we had conquered our fear and determined to take the challenge!!

There were some important preparation steps before the departure. Firstly, we had to determine the hiking route. Basically there were two alternatives for the summit trail.
1. Mesilau - Laban Rata - Summit or
2. Timpohon - Laban Rata - Summit

My friend advised us to take the Mesilau trek to go up and take the Timpohon trek when come down. With this, we can then enjoy scenery of both of the trails!! Well, I would say that we have made a right choice!! *_*

After deciding on the hike route, we booked the accommodation. This was important especially during the peak season (sometime in May, it is the best month to visit the mountain) as there were limited bed seats in Laban Rata resorts.

Below is the trail map for those who might be interested. More details of the journey will be elaborated in my coming chapters!!




Interested in knowing more about hiking? Let's meet the people with the same interests in this Hiking Forums

Thursday, December 21, 2006

What do you think about this business??

My hubby was just back from China. He has brought back some interesting products. In order to understand better the 'workability' of these products in the market, I would like to initiate a simple survey here. Would deeply appreciate if you can leave your preciuos comment.

By the way, just to highlight my 2 cents of suggestion on some questions to ease the thoughts:
1. What do you think about the product?
2. Is this product unique/having good selling point?
3. How much are you willing to pay for it?
4. Who do you think will be the potential customers?
5. What are the effective/good channels to market/sell the products?


Clocks with different unique 'background'


Necklace with vintage design


'Mini costume' for wine bottle


Trendy and portable ashtray

Your thoughts and feedback is important to live up the space !!*_~

Looking forwards to your ideas soon!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Breathtaking steps at the ruins - Part 4

After the historical exploration in Angkor Temples, we were recommended by our tour guide to visit a local floating village - Tonle Sap lake (also known as Great Lake). It is the largest fresh water lake in South East Asia.

For most of the year the lake is fairly small, around one meter deep and with an area of 2,700 square km. However, during the monsoon season(in May or early June), the Tonle Sap river which connects the lake with the Mekong river reverses its flow. Water is pushed up from the Mekong into the lake, increasing its area to 16,000 square km and its depth to up to 9 meters, flooding nearby fields and forests!! Thus, during the monsoon period, the entire lake area appears as a large sea right in the middle of Cambodia. It is impossible to see the end of the lake!!

When the river water rises during monsoon period, the people who live in simple shacks along the Causeway, dismantle their homes and move inland to take shelter from the monsoon Storms along the river banks. They re-build their small temporary community near Phnom Krom Hill.

As we were there in August, it was just the middle of the monsoon season. Hence, we managed to see the unique scene where villagers moved their shacks from a place to another in just motorcycles!! Besides, we were sitted in a boat and travelled along the river where all the drowned rice field and forest were underneath our boat(foot). Amazing!!

Apart from exploring the historical heritage, Tonle Sap Lake might be another highly recommended spot in the itinerary to understand the different living of Cambodian.


An amazing scene - moving the entire house(and people) in a motorcycle!!


Let's take a photo with our boat before the departure of the journey!


The floating community is well developed with different infrastructure. This is the basketball court on the water!!


The only church for the local people. Sweet and nice!!



The pictures above show the two different standard of houses that we found along the river bank - the reflection of social disparity in the community.


Traders on little boat move from house to house doing business.


The most luxurious hotel and restaurant in the village can be found on this giant ship!


A lot of little beggars can be found floating along the river. Most of them are the refuguees from the vietnam war.


The lake is as large as sea during the monsoon period!!

And with this, I shall make a full stop for my trip to Cambodia.

The next chapter will be my hiking journey to the highest mountain in SE Asia - Mt.Kinabalu in Sabah! A trip with lot of sweat, pain, surprises and excitements!!

Do stay tune with me!! See you!! *_~

Thursday, December 14, 2006

20 Part-time Business Ideas

Hi friends, I have just come across an inspiring article on '20 Part-time business ideas'by Carla Goodman . Would like to share with you some of the main points. For those who have been thinking of earning some extra cash in your spare time, hopefully you will get something useful from there. Enjoy! *_~

From the article, these are the 20 sure-fire ways to start a part-time business.

1)Antiques
Make new money from old treasures and have fun doing it! Scout garage sales, estate auctions and flea markets for great buys on antique furniture, toys, clothing and other treasures from the past. Rent space at antique cooperatives, or set up booths at weekend fairs to sell your antiques.

2)Computer Tutor
Whether you're an expert at Windows or Linux, desktop publishing or Web research, HTML or word processing, you can help anyone enhance their computer skills. Start promoting your computer-training services by teaching classes through organizations in your community which offer adult education courses.

3)Custom Jewelry and Accessories
Put your creative talents to work designing custom jewelry and accessories. Whether you work with sterling silver or recycled metals, clay or papier-mâché, there's a market for your custom earrings, pins, bracelets, necklaces and belt buckles at art shows, crafts fairs and holiday boutiques.

4)Espresso Cart
Brew up profits day after day! Specialty coffee drinks generate gross profits of 55.1 to 61.5 percent per cup, says the Specialty Coffee Association of America. So brush up on your coffee drinks, buy or rent an espresso cart, and head for sporting events, concerts and farmers' markets in your community.

5)Garage and Attic Cleaning/Hauling Service
Nobody likes to spend a weekend cleaning out the garage, attic or garden shed--it's dirty and time-consuming, and when it's done, there's still the task of hauling off all that discarded junk. But if you don't mind putting in the physical labor, a cleaning and hauling service can be a lot of fun. You can usually find a few treasures among the trash which most people are delighted to give away, and you can add to your income by recycling bottles, newspapers and metal castoffs. You'll need a pick-up truck or other vehicle capable of carrying everything from cast-iron sinks to old timbers.

6)Handyman
If it's broke, you can fix it. Your phone will ring off the hook with calls from homeowners, senior citizens and others who don't want to fix it themselves. Advertise in shopper publications and on bulletin boards, and drop off fliers at real estate offices. Then start repairing everything from leaky faucets to broken windows.

7)Home Inspection
Buyers need not beware when they hire a home inspector to conduct a complete physical checkup on their dream home. You'll inspect the house for structural problems and refer your clients to the contractors or handymen who can make the repairs. Knowledge of construction and your local building codes will get your business off the ground.

8)Medical Transcription
Work as an important member of a medical team without leaving your homebased office. There's big demand by hospitals, doctors, dentists, chiropractors and veterinarians who need outside help transcribing patient medical records. Training in medical terminology and linguistic skills will keep your business healthy.

9)Mobile Home-Entertainment Service
When it's dirty, disconnected or in need of repair, you'll save the day for homeowners who want their stereo, compact-disc player or videocassette recorder in working order. Brush up on your electrical and wiring know-how. Door-to-door fliers and calls to retail-store managers about your services will get your business off to a great start.

10)Mobile Window Tint
With some training and basic equipment, you'll be seeing plenty of green with your mobile window-tinting business. For best results, have a pager and van ready to help car, van and truck owners prevent heat damage to their vehicles' interiors. Other hot markets: homes, high-rise condominiums and office buildings.

11)Office and Home Organizer
Attention all neatniks: Help packrats, overworked executives, and other organizationally challenged individuals clean out messy closets, straighten files, and throw out the excess clutter. Putting your knack for neatness to part-time business use is bound to arrange some tidy profits for you.

12)Personal Chef
What's for dinner, honey? Great home-cooked meals for working parents and busy professionals who hire you as a personal chef. There's plenty of demand for this specialized service. So plan your menu, make out your shopping list, and go to work to satisfy your hungry clientele.

13)Personal Trainer
Pumping iron; pumping profits. Americans of all ages, sizes and shapes want to keep fit, trim and healthy, and they're willing to hire their own personal coach to exercise correctly. Spread the word about your physical-fitness expertise at health spas, running, swimming and biking clubs, and other athletic outlets.

14)Picture Framer
Get in the frame with a picture framing service. You can work with gallery owners, artists, portrait photographers and individuals who've purchased a print, painting or fine photo. If you aren't already a framing expert, read up, take classes at a local college or community center, then assemble your tools--including clamps, saws, miter boxes, glue, and a pneumatic or hand stapler. Establish relationships with local artists' groups, galleries, photographers and print shops that can give you their business or refer their customers to you.

15)Plant Leasing And Maintenance
Got a green thumb and a delivery van? You're all set to service corporations, home builders, health clubs and other businesses who want fresh greenery. Develop a steady clientele with a regular watering, pruning and fertilizing program and a full replacement guarantee.

16)Records Search
Using specialized databases, you'll search public records on your computer to help your clients find lost loves, check out questionable suitors, track down debtors, verify a contractor's track record, or dig up facts on a business opportunity. Clients include attorneys, businessowners and individuals.

17)Restaurant Delivery
Whether it's macaroni and cheese or a five-course gourmet meal, at-home meal replacement is fast becoming the newest way to dine. When customers want their restaurant orders "to go," you'll be "on the go" with your restaurant delivery service. A great way to make your late afternoons and weekends extra-profitable!

18)T-Shirt Design
If you're an artist in search of a medium, why not make T-shirts your canvas? Paint, draw, bead or appliqué your designs on plain T-shirts, and spend your weekends showcasing your art-to-wear at farmers' markets and crafts fairs.

19)Wallpaper Hanging
Help residential and commercial clients turn drab walls into works of art with your wallpaper-hanging skills. Build a growing business with great referrals and repeat customers. Drop off fliers at paint and wallpaper stores; also, advertise in shopper publications, in homeowner-association newsletters, and on bulletin boards at local supermarkets and malls.

20)Yoga and Tai Chi Instructor
In today's hectic, fast-paced world, parents, business owners and students alike can benefit from the deep-breathing, relaxation and centering techniques you can teach them. Get started by offering classes at health clubs, through your city's recreation and parks department, or on your own.

So, what do you think? Or you have even better idea for a part-time living? Do feel free to give your comments!! *_*

Cheers,
Kim
Sharing Makes Life Happening!!

posted by Kim @ 12:36 AM  1 comments

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Breathtaking steps at the ruins - Part 3

While Angkor Wat was preserved by the continuous inhabitation of monks using machetes to keep the jungle at bay, or other structures undergoing restoration, the 12th century temple of Ta Phrom is in the same state as when it was first discovered by the 19th century explorers.

Personally, I think Ta Phrom is the most evokative of all the Angkor Temples. (Though initially I knew only this temple through the advertisement poster of 'Tomb Raider'!)The images of Ta Phrom are just as prominent as Angkor Wat and mostly centre around the massive trees seen growing all around the temple grounds and actually on the roofs of the temple itself. These trees are anywhere upto 500 years old now, around the time when the temples were abandoned. They have the consistency of sponge and therefore don't inflict any great damage on the structures.

The Conservation of Angkor saved the main monuments, but didn't clean' it. All the trees and the roots which had invaded and left the rights for the jungle, such as found him by the first discoverers. Roots look like snakes which disrupt and waste statues and walls, and huge trees beat the heads of stuppas. A forest which doesn't want to let escape his gods and which destroys them or protects them.... A place loaded with emotion and poetry for the meditation...

This is the only major temple not to have been comprehensively restored but yet offers a glimpse of what confronted the French explorers all those years ago, when the Angkor complex was rediscovered.

If you can only visit one temple, this is the one. Don't miss it when you are there!!


We feel like the well-protected kids in front of such a magnificent heritage!!


A Malaysian version of 'Tomb Raiders'!! How is it? :P


Guy, what are you doing over there?



The undescribable relationship between the nature and the man-made wonder!


What a cozy hug!!


Ever wonder how did the ancient people manage to build such an everlasting temples city? Here was where they got the adhesive from.


A 'grasshopper-like' insect that we found outside the temple. Any idea what is it called?

posted by Kim @ 4:30 PM  0 comments

Monday, December 04, 2006

How to sell anything to anybody??

I went for a seminar the other day on sales and marketing skills. The speaker recommended a book that he claimed to be the best reference for all the sales person in the world - 'How to sell anything to anybody??' by Joe Girard. Initially I bought the book just because that the title sounded interesting to me. However, after reading the entire content, I am sure that I have made a right choice and would like to share with you this good source of knowledge too!!

Well, you may ask - What's so great about the Author?? Let me share a bit on the background of Joe Girard. He was listed in the Guiness Book of World Records for 12 consecutive years as the world's top salesman for selling 1,425 cars in one year.Till now, he still holds the all time record for big ticket items, having sold an average six cars a day over his fifteen year career.

The main point was he didn't have a degree from an Ivy League school — instead, he learned by being in the trenches every day that nothing replaces old-fashioned salesmanship. He insists that by building on basic principles of trust and hard work, anyone can do what he did.

I especially like some of the bestselling classic quotes from him. Though he was not well educated, his excellent mindset has deeply inspired me on how important the positive attitude is to determine the success of someone.

Here are some of the amazing quotes from the world's greatest salesman:
1. TURN ONE SALE INTO 250 MORE
2. CREATE A WINNING GAME PLAN FROM LOSING SALES
3. KNOW THE FIVE WAYS TO TURN A PROSPECT INTO A BUYER
4. MOVE PAST THE CUSTOMER'S LAST HURDLE TO CLOSE THE SALE
5. SELL AT A LOSS AND MAKE A FURTUNE

AND "Salesmen are made, not born. If I did it, you can do it."

His book is quite well written, in an easy conversational tone. It gets his message across effectively. Despite holding a world record as a car salesman (a title which would make me suspicious at best), his policy is honesty. He even advocates knocking a few dollars off of a product price even if the customer doesn't request it, the goal of which is to perpetuate that "got a good deal" feeling in the customer.

Perhaps another most interesting point was Joe's take on the most useful tool for a salesman. A business card. Apparently, he leaves them everywhere he goes. For example, with the tip at a restaurant. He claims to go through a box of 500 cards in a single "good week"! Amazing. I wonder if he uses recycled paper for those?

Anyway, this is no doubt an easy read and useful information. If your work involves sales (which I believe everybody does - in any form in your daily life!! ), it would be a worthwhile book to add to your collection. Enjoy!! *_~


posted by Kim @ 11:36 PM  0 comments

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Breathtaking steps at the ruins - Part 2

Within walking distance from Angkor Wat is the former city of Angkor Thom, which rivaled Ancient Rome in size and population. Angkor Thom, the “Great Walled City” and capital of Angkor, was built by Angkor’s greatest king, Jayavarman VII and covered some 10 square kilometers (almost 4 square miles)!Unlike Angkor Wat, which was dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, Angkor Thom is a Buddhist monument

At its peak, the city was said to contain maybe 50,000 residents. Its crowning glory, the enigmatic heads of the Bayon, took 21 years to build. To complete them, Jayavarman took thousands of peasant from the rice fields, thereby unintentionally signaling the beginning of the kingdom’s end. Rice yields decreased, and without resources to support it, the empire began a gradual decline.

The city is surrounded by a moat and a wall. It can be entered via five roads leading to five gateways: two in the eastern city wall, and one in the northern, western and southern city walls. Four huge gates, each high enough to accommodate an elephant and riders, faced in each direction. Huge carvings of four-faced heads and three-headed elephants mounted watch in all directions.

The most fascinating section though is The Bayon, a temple built in the 12th century. Where Angkor Wat knocks you off your feet with its sheer size, the Bayon is eerily different. Its many towers feature more than 200 huge faces of the God-King Jayavarman rendered as Boddhisatva – the Buddha -- staring down through lidded eyes brimming with beatific confidence. It’s difficult not to be intimidated!!

Let's have a look on some of my great shots on this 'City of a Thousand Faces'. *_*


South gate of Angkor Thom - the best preserved gate!!


Angkor Thom is surrounded by moat - a way to protect the city from enemies' attack.


Oops, is this a modern way of praying to Buddha??!!


A symbolic smiling face sculpture in Angkor Thom.


Apsara, the sculpture of Cambodian lady that can be seen almost everywhere on the temple walls. It represents water and purity and the fluidity of the virtuous female.


A stone craving that describes the war during the ancient time.


What an artistic shot!!


The greatest shot!! A kiss with bodhisattva!!

posted by Kim @ 4:20 PM  1 comments