Agra , Taj Mahal and India

gra is definitely the most traveled place in India.  Famed for Taj mahal. Roughly around 5 hours travel from New Delhi , provided there are no delays on the train. I remember traveling this place a few years back and how bad was it.  I was tricked by a tuk-tuk guy as I did not have any travel guidebook and I didn’t do enough homework before traveling this place.

Anyway do expect to be hounded by a lot of touts and conmen when arriving at the train station. The best way is to ignore them and get a tuk-tuk to a hotel that you want. Except near double charges of tuk-tuk if arriving this place at night.  The best place to stay at agra is probably hotel at Taj Ganj as it’s walking distance away from Taj Mahal itself. This food at this place is quite tasteless and monotonous  so I missed malaysian foods very much when I’m at this place.

Despite the negativity,  this place offers one of the best photography location in the world so there are no reasons to avoid this place.

It was quite foggy and dull when we arrived at Agra. We waited for 3 days for the fog to clear and sun to come out before entering Taj Mahal. The entrance ticket cost 500rp and only valid for single entry. No Foods are  allowed inside Taj Mahal. Being cheapskate traveler and photographer ,I only had 1 or 2 biscouts  from sunrise to sunset as we need to stay inside the compound to both take sunrise and sunset photo. Expect many thousands of tourist inside the compound.

 

Amritsar and the golden temple.

I remember traveling on bus for hours from Dharamsala to Amritsar.  The journey was more than 5 hours if I remembered correctly with stopping at Pathankot.  One of the main attraction in Amritsar would be the Golden Temple of Amritsar.  The Golden temple is actually the holiest place for all Sikhs as mecca for muslims.  It would be the spiritual and cultural capital of all Sikhs in the world

By nature of all Sikhs temple , everyone is welcomed at The Golden Temple. There are no entrance fees, however everyone is required to cover up their hair. Best of all this place offers free hostels and foods , albeit I hesitate to take some due to fear of diarrhea.  This is one of the few places in India where you can find honest and helpful people.

Sikh , lion is sanskrit. These people are always carrying their words ,weapons and many more.  Possibly linked to their warrior status. these people really respect guest and non-sikh inside the Golden Temple of Amritsar

In India do expect to pay when taking portraits of people , while some will just take your money and chase you away.  However Sikhs are different , this old guard let me take this photo and gave me a pat on the head and smiled off .  Inside the holy temple,  you can find peace sitting at the lake,  away from the touts , conmans and liars.

Jaisalmer, Jaipur ,Thar desert and Rajastan

Rajasthan has always been a place that I wanted to visit for a long time after some photos I saw on the Internet. The seemingly  Arabic alike desert and architecture has always been captivating and somewhat mysterious. I was really happy that I’m going to visit this place.

However this place turned out completely different from what I anticipated. It could have been a fantastic place if it was not touristic. The streets are filled with never ending humans, feces and other annoyance.  Beggars and touts here follow you around longer than most of anywhere in India. I think it should be what I thought it would be 50 years ago.  Everyone is probably going after your Rupees.  I realized that the photos I saw on magazines and internet was taken years and years ago. It is probably impossible to recreate those photos anymore.

Shegar, Tibet

shegar,tibetan landscape in a town near mount everest

Shegar will possibly be one of the town that I’ll ever remember for the rest of my life. A few years back I bought a cheap AirAsia ticket to Macau and I ended up at India. Yes , it was that crazy. At first I was only planning to travel to Lhasa. But I traveled across China , Tibet Himalayas , Nepal and crossed into India and ended up at New Delhi. I’ve never had so much fun before.

Back to Shegar story, we actually shared a van from Lhasa to Kodari (Nepal) a few Japanese, Isrealis, Canadians and Malaysians. This  cheapskate van brought us trough the ridges of Himalayan Range to Nepal. One of the important intenary of the trip is Everest Based Camp. Shegar is one of the town before Everest base camp. One that one fine beautiful evening, our van reached Shegar where we did a stop for the night. We passed some interesting stone formation through the town. It was near sunset, I guess I threwed my haversack and stuffs to ran off to these area to do some photography. Those nice people I met at the trip took care of my haversack. I think this house is one of those abandoned Tibetan houses.  We shot this place until sun down. It was terribly cold then. I remember eating some tasteless noodles and having Lhasa beer with a japanese guy I met.

On the night, himalayan sky would be the most beautiful thing ever. Stars are so visible due to evelation that entire sky would be screen saver like. Or one of those beautiful scenes from Avatar (3D) movie. This is one of those trip that is worth dying for and I could not find back.

Tibet is not was it is since then 2009 riot. I would have considered going back.

How to track nuffnang clicks with google analytics?



Are you one of those who get comparatively high impressions and CTR on adsense but however receive nothing from nuffnang at at all ? Anyway I’ve been using nuffnang with adsense on one of my sites for past few months , below would be the results of both advertising solutions for a few months,

1) Results from Adsense

2) Results from nuffnang

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The result from nuffnang seems pretty  pathetic. I’m getting 597 clicks from adsense compare to 1 click on nuffnang since early this year.  I’ve also placed nuffnang ads on better location compared to adsense however it made no difference.  So , on one fine day I decided to track nuffnang clicks independently to verify whether these clicks are  recorded on nuffnang system.

 

What do you need ?

 

  1. Google analytics account already installed into your website
  2. Cut and paste some code.

 

Anyway to track the particular nuffnang ads , first you need to add additional google analytics javascript at the end of </head> section of the page to be tracked. Cut and paste the code below before the </head> section of the html code.

 

<script type=”text/javascript”>
function recordOutboundLink(link, category, action) {
_gat._getTrackerByName()._trackEvent(category, action);
setTimeout(‘document.location = “‘ + link.href + ‘”‘, 100);
}
</script>

 

Next ,  you will need to tag your nuffnang ads with a div tag .  Add a <div> </div> around the nuffnang ads.

 

<div>
<!– nuffnang –>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
nuffnang_bid = “******************************”;
</script>
<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://synad2.nuffnang.com.my/j.js” ></script>
<!– nuffnang–>

</div>

 

You need to add a onclick event into the div tag  ,  onClick=”recordOutboundLink(this, ‘Outbound Links’, ’nuffnangclicks’);return false;”

 

<div onClick=”recordOutboundLink(this, ‘Outbound Links’, ’nuffnangclicks’);return false;“>

<!– nuffnang –>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
nuffnang_bid = “******************************”;
</script>
<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://synad2.nuffnang.com.my/j.js” ></script>
<!– nuffnang–>

</div>

 

You will have wait a while for the analytics to collect the data first .  To access the report , go to analytics menu -> content -> event tracking

 

 

 

 

 

Now on the overview ,  you should be able to see how much clicks you are receiving on that particular advertistment.

 

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I’ve installed the code for several days and there seems to be clicks on my nuffnang advertisement.  I emailed support and they said that everything is fine on their side and they do not reveal their payment policy.  Seems like I’ve wasted my ads space with nuffnang in vain.  Maybe it’s time to remove it from that site.

 

 

Bersih 2.0 rally photos 9th July

 

10 Jul 2011 … Condolences to the late Baharudin Ahmad, who passed away in the midst of yesterday’s police assault on the Bersih 2.0 rally… our thoughts and prayers are with you and family. Malaysian will always remember your heroism on that fateful day to defend and uphold our Constitutional rights. God bless.


The morning at Kuala Lumpur on 9th of July was nothing but an empty city when I reached Masjid Jamek. There were heavy police and FRU presence. Choppers are seen flying around scouting for movement. Most of the major roads in Kuala Lumpur are actually blocked and barricaded. Passersby are being questioned, screened and some minor arrest were made.

Despite all the threats, scare , road blocks, traffic jam and intimidations. I’m surprised there are still so many that made it. The crowds came from nowhere. Small groups and individuals traveling from all across Malaysia to KL taking risk for 1 purpose. Reform.

People start forming small groups and later merging into larger groups. These groups were then dispersed by tear gas from the FRU near Dataran Merdeka. Some experienced demonstrators are distributing salt and water and helping each other to escape the tear gas.

The momentum started gathering at Maybank around afternoon. Hatta gave a speech for a while but then FRU came. The peaceful crowds  sprayed with blue chemical  liquid. The crowd faught back a few times but eventually ran away when tear gas was fired.  Many people were seen running panicky and some even jumped high walls to escape arrest. But then it started raining when I decided to have lunch. Crowds were diminishing due to the rain.

After the rain people start gathering again , this time walking towards Stadium Merdeka. However it was barb wired.  I guess there are nothing much they can do and people start dispersing after 4Pm after singing the national anthem. After all , 4PM is the allowed time by our King.

One big difference that I noticed on this rally compared to previous ones is that there are a lot of new comers. Crowds are from different ethnic,racial, religious background coming together seeking for a change. There are a lot of young chinese even couples attending it.

At the end of the rally, I can see PAS people shaking hands and taking group photos with chinese families, which we seldom see these days. Young men from different backgrounds shaking hands and chatting.

In the end we sang the national anthem at the gate of barb wired stadium merdeka before dispersing back to our homes. This is the malaysia we want to build. It’s indeed a great day and a great rally

 

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          The first  group that appeared near dataran Merdeka but was stopped

 

 

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Yellow Flower that was left at Pudu after the gas attack


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A little girl was the victim of tear gas ,the gas spreads a few hundreds meters away, its wise to stay far away

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Peaceful crowds were bombarded with tear gas and chemical liquid

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   This guy was praying in the middle of the road when the police charged. He collapsed after that. I hope he’s all right

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It is just another daily life for this old soldier

Land should be divided equally among all people. People should eat meals together in large halls, so the rich couldn’t enjoy food while the poor starved. Senate, a part of government that made laws and kept tyrants in check. -Lycurgus

 

 

 

Nuffnang not working

nuffnang-problem
Nuffnang analytics is one of the user friendlier website analytic tools compared to other analytic tools.  It actually comes when you install Nuffnang advertisement into your blog or website.  However this tool may not be so perfect and accurate compared to google analytics.  As of many other softwares , everything is prone to failure.  Once a blue moon, do expect it not to work properly and you may not see you data on it.

I’ve recently experienced a few days outage and I decided to check on the cause.  It was actually some updated wordpress plugins that I used that were conflicting with Nuffnang codes. If you experienced this , here are a few steps to troubleshoot it

 

  1. If you do not see data suddenly , it may be issue on the server side.  Sometimes things break.  😀
  2. If  its more than 48 hours ,  it would be wise to check the code and your side.  Reverify  whether there are any broken Nuffnang ads codes
  3. If issue persist even you have confirmed the code , you should make attempt to contact nuffnang support team at their website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bersih 3.0 Photos and my side of the story

 

Bersih 3.0 is very different from the previous street rally that I’ve attended to so far.  Everyone or someone’s friend seem to be going to Bersih 3.0. Honestly,  the authorities have tried their best not to demonize Bersih from the start. The previous Bersih 2.0 was deemed illegal and arrest was made even before the 709 event. So much threats were made , there were not much people who dared to attend Bersih 2.0

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Orphanage Malaysia – Stepping stone living center

While most of us worry about not getting the latest Iphone or latest electronic gadgets. There are people in dire needs of basic necessities than ever.  Stepping stones is a shelter for orphanage located at Taman Seputeh. This center is around  1500 sqft and it houses around 150 people.

It was quite a shock when I reached this place. This wooden shack in the middle of wealthy residential area. This place is quite small  for 150 occupants and it’s very packed.

Due to religious status of this center, this place has not been receiving any official status as an orphanage and therefore receives no funding from the government.  Once a while as for the proximity, the authorities has been trying to shut down this center.

The shoe rack is too large to be taken with a 50 mm lens.

 

Foods

The children are singing when I reached this place. This less than 15 meters area under wooden roof is the actual studying, entertainment and sleeping area for the female orphanages.  It’s quite packed when all the children are assembled together.

 

 

While some of the kids are camera shy some are not at all

 

 

 

The reluctant volunteer model

 

The roof ,foods & the holy bible are only what these kids have in life

 

Tthis center is in dire needs of donations and supports.

 

How you can help out .

 

DDD (Domestic Donation Drive) is a program started in 2009 and it’s a monthly fund raising program to raise funds for Stepping Stones Living Center. This program enables us to donate a small amount according to our means and purchase food items for the home. You are welcome to drop a cheque directly, deposit money in the account or purchase food for the home.

Suggested Items
1.Milk
2.Biscuits
3.Cordial
4.Mee Hoon
5.Chocolate Milk powder
6.Salt
7.Sugar
8.Junk food
9.If there is any other food item I missed out you may add.

maximum funds raised under DDD are RM5K + food items. This year we will raise funds for other homes so people can support homes near to their homes.

For those who are interested to donate you may directly contact
Ms Mary tel:0322602290, Mr Johnson tel:0163858161 ,

Address of the home
Stepping Stones Living Center Sdn. Bhd ,
111, Jalan Tanjong 12,
Taman Seputih 58000 Kuala Lumpur

Bank Details for donation
Alliance Bank, Account Number: 120970010022122

 

 

Samsung Galaxy W review

 

 

Update after purchase of Samsung Galaxy W

 

Reality of Samsung’s Android Phone ?

 

Samsung’s Galaxy Android smartphone has been a hype and pretty good alternative compared to Apple’s iphone. Now, Samsung has been endlessly churning out new models of smart phones every few months or so. These models seems to be more featuristic, but in reality what are the quality of these phones like ? I got myself a Samsung Galaxy W , and it malfunctioned only 2 days after usage ! If I bought a Nokia phone from a traditional phone store, I would have been give a 1 to 1 new replacement. However since I’m using a Samsung. I will have to wait days (I hope not weeks ) for my phone to be fixed.

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