Tuesday, April 8, 2014

7 of 10 travellers always overspend budget when traveling

Visiting Tonle Sap floating village with the Russian ladies

EnSurvey.com is launching embeddable social poll feature with instant generated engaging infographic results this Wednesday and this is a sneak preview of how it will look like using my favourite context, travel.

The new features also included an upgraded infographics and easy voting that doesn't require sign up using Facebook plugin, with 2 questions of each social poll it provides some interesting reading experience for contributors.

My team and I are very excited about the newly improved experience, which aims to help news/media publishers and bloggers like myself to increase site engagement using social polls and beautiful infographics.

7 of 10 travellers always overspent budget when traveling

Some noticeable stats
  • Travellers who choose next travel destination based on currency exchange with 60% saying they will not likely to overspend.
  • Travellers who like shopping, 100% claims they will over spend.
We are still experimenting with the features and I personally believe it's going to help many news/media contributors to increase site activities.

Please share if you like it to help my humble startup.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Quick Tips: My Personal Experience As A First Time Actor

Rice Wine

Rolling... ready.. and.. action! Cut! One more! Safety shot! Sorry one more. Lights on, lights off! Smoke! Jump! Good take! 

This is a story of Rice Wine, directed by my dear friend VMin for submission of an international film contest.

Group photo with the crews.

The heavyweight scene was more challenging than I could have ever imagined. 

Both Xavier and Mynn were experienced actor and actress, relaxing and playing with their phones I thought they could not be more bothered with the wildest act in my life. It's different, I was hungry for more, I watched their every move so I could learn. 

I admitted I was bothered and nervous about the crying scene and expecting everyone to look awkwardly at me and it turned out to be unexpectedly smooth. It was just me and the camera, everyone else seemingly not concentrating on my screams. 

Pamela, Kua and Pei Tyng were as ready as ever after a few earlier NGs I was all prepared for my blockbuster act. 

Mom asked me that night what were going through my mind, many asked too, I wouldn't tell I was imagining the worst scene of my life losing my loved ones.

"Once it started you can't stop right?", Mynn spoke to me after that. Tears won't stop I was still catching my breath.

Mynn Lee and her charming smiley face, behind her, Xavier.

Imagining the worst, while paying careful attention to commands from god knows who it went like, "Some more, some more, scream, yell and utter something, more, more, don't stop", all translated and registered as keep going Andrew, don't stop here just keep going. Every "some more" I sunk myself deeper, and deeper into my darkest zone. 

I kept going, I fell inevitably towards my back, screaming out of my lung and crying breathlessly I felt I wasn't acting anymore, I was just sinking and choking in tears in my own little world, darkness closing down on me, I was shutting myself down and giving every bit I had nothing left in me when I heard the word "Cut, good take!".

Crying like a baby needing for my mom, flashes of images of faces of my dad. I was devastated, the world was spinning crazily, I sat down emotionlessly with tears and getting ready for the next repeat take.

Then the second take, had words with Ching Li after that day, she told me the two shots easily took an hour. It wasn't hard to imagine, but I lost time there. I literally had no idea about how long it had passed. 

VMin, Eva and Ah Weng the videographer came up to me with encouraging words about how well I did. I gave no response, I thought they understood, I was trying to recover soonest possible. 

Eva was very encouraging too, she helped VMin to every bit. She was always behind the director screen giving her inputs quietly to her husband, carefully and not to sound too authoritatively reminding the focusing husband cum director about small little things he might have missed. 

His eyes never moved away from the screen, he might not be approvingly about every word that came out from her wife's mouth but he always received it full heartedly. It's the sweetest thing to see. 

I felt safer and regained myself slowly as I saw Pamela walking to me. She gave me a comfort recognizing hug, I forgot what happened next, I smiled and said, "Nothing else can stop me now, I felt I'm stronger.". For a person who doesn't cry, he's weak.

Pamela, my "Kai Ma" and I.
Getting used to my thick eye brows?
I like it with my glasses on. What do you think?

Xavier was really the drama king, he was such an entertainer in his blood, Mynn was a stable and steady lady, unpredictable sometimes too I must say, haha. Both were superb I learnt a lot from them. Ching Li, who came with the sister Mynn on the first day of shooting, was pretty cute. We became friend after that. 

The wait was always long for the setup, lighting was an art, directions were always clear on what to expect not just to the actors but between the crews too. Communication was utmost important, the director was constantly talking to the videographer and the actors to be sure he was getting what he wanted.

When you are bored and have done everything elses, camwhoring is something fun and keeping us awake.

The rest were now becoming part of my history, it's the greatest experience I ever had. 

It's almost 2am, second day at second scene for night shoot, Xavier started again, dancing in every random directions. At the end, just when I started getting used to my make up it's all over now. I liked my make up :)

It's different to look through the screen than to watch Xavier act from a side.

To Ah Weng, my name was Gou Lou (tall guy), Xavier was Ah X, and Mynn was Leng Lui (pretty girl), it's really fun to involve in acting. 

We left around 5.30am in the morning, crews stayed to pack up, then, it's showering and zZ.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Colour of Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan

I've been extremely focused on schedules of presentations with my industry counterparts mostly from the advertising and media agencies.

EnSurvey, is going to be my key focus in months to come, I'm full of passion for such a web start up since LifeLogger time, a social networking company I worked with in my early work days.

I had to cancel my trip to complete some critical tasks.

Oh yeah, almost forgetting to mention Amily, she's is coming tomorrow, I'm hosting this awesome Taiwanese girl during her stay in Kuala Lumpur.

One that always misses us whenever we are away

Vivi is always the one that everyone of us in the family would miss terribly while we are away, and he would always miss us. Strangely, he acts very differently whenever we are away, good and bad.

Vivi, our precious family member for 7 years 我们家的宝
He would jump on the car and follow us on a 30 minutes journey to the airport every time when one of us flies.
My mom travels with me first time the light backpacking way, I'd use "us"in referring to both of us. I've previously mentioned in 11 days travel Taiwan itinerary that I tried to schedule a more relaxing trip this time and gradually increase the pace but it turned out to be remarkably busy trip. 
Yangmingshan National Park, 阳明山国家公园

It was the second day and we had visited Yangmingshan in hope of witnessing the awesomeness of cherry blossoms at the park.

One of the eight amazing national parks in Taiwan, Yangmingshan is situated at the North-east of Taipei, Beitou District, it takes less than an hour to reach Yangmingshan main bus stop from Shilin MRT station.

When you reach the famous destination, you could have decided to walk up from where the main bus station is, or take another trip of bus that would traverse the mountains to reach the higher spot.

Natural beauty, Yangmingshan national park, Taiwan

There's travel info counter, the handy helper pointed us to the right direction to take the bus near the MRT station exit to our next destination on that morning.

The friendly travel info counter was particularly helpful for tourists, it's stationed mostly at train stations and MRT/LRT stations, easily being spotted.

Foot shot

Yangmingshan National Park

Madam Goo was positioning to try a few camera angles
As she walked to the crowd resting place

The mountain peaks are accessible by a few networks of well maintained hiking trails, we did not attempt to hike the peaks.

We could have witnessed the most beautiful cherry blossoms if we were there a week or two earlier during the Spring season, but we have very little to complain.

Cherry blossoms - Image taken from jenningsandgates.blogspot.com

A warmth feel of the natural beauty

A different feel for the natural beauty

We did not make it to the top as we gradually came to the end of our hike as mom felt the tiredness after the long morning activity, we picked a spot to rest near the waterfall through this what seemingly as the walkway that linked to the hiking trail.

Walkway that linked to the hiking trail of Yangmingshan

Make sure you stop by at the humble restaurant where they serve the unforgettable Yam noodle 芋头面线 and Minced pork rice 卤肉饭 for only $NTD140 include drinks.

Yam noodle 芋头面线

Minced pork rice 卤肉饭

We went on to leave the national park and visited National Palace Museum 台北故宫博物馆, no camera allowed in the museum which housed more than ten of thousands of Asian art collections of ancient artifacts.

Huge crowd could be found at the museum, could be annoying, try to go in the morning to avoid the long queue.

It required some good stamina to stay on our feet especially after the morning hike at Yangmingshan, by this time, mom was already complaining she felt her back aching, me too.

$NTD100 - 180 was the entrance fees before and after discount using the youth travel card I applied at the airport.

These were a few shots of the statues at the long front walkway to the museum, it required tremendous efforts to even raise my hands to keep the camera straight at this point of time.

Chinese lion statue found in front of the National palace museum

Google translated this as tripod for Chinese word 鼎,  4 legged tripod? Whatever =)

I did not bother whether I had taken enough shots at the museum, was eager to head home. That would conclude our second day in Taipei City with my mom.

Now, the fun part had just started as the night got closer, I was invited by my Taiwanese host to a private party at one of the pub at Zhongxiao east road 忠孝东路...