Beautiful Pictures from Tawang

I spent almost 10 days in India in October 2013. I travelled to Tawang District, Arunachal Pradesh State of India and Imphal, the capital of Manipur State. There are certain areas in India such as Arunachal Pradesh which you cannot just obtain a visa from an Indian embassy and go to. You will need to obtain a special permit from the government of India on top of your normal visa. I was lucky to be invited by the Embassy of India to go join a FAM tour (a familiarization tour).

I had to stop over in Calcutta and Assam quite a few times. There were a bunch of low cost flights from Bangkok to Calcutta/India which you all should check out if you fly from Bangkok. I used airplanes and helicopters to go to places in India.

  • Phnom Penh >> Bangkok through Bangkok Airways (40 minutes)
  • Bangkok >>Calcutta through Jet Airways (5 hours)
  • Calcutta >> Guwahati of Assam State through Jet Airways (around 2 hours)
  • Guwahati >> Tawang through a Pewan Han helicopter (Pewan Han means a flying swan or a sky swan) flying over Bhutan country- (nearly 2 hours)
  • Tawang >>Guwahati and then from Guwahati >> Imphal through Jet Airways (nearly 3 hours)
  • Imphal >> Mizoram – an airport on a high mountain through Air India >> Guwahati >> Calcutta through Jet Airways >> Bangkok >> Cambodia

It took me awhile to rummage through folders of pictures taken during my trip and post them here. I particularly love these pictures taken by Cynthia from California at a nunnery in Tawang district, Arunachal Pradesh (state) of India.

I think its simple to get confused by the look of these little cute kids in the first picture. They are girls or nuns, not monks/boys. They were so shy but curious and friendly.

Kounila with nuns

After I snapped their photos on my phone, I immediately showed them their pictures. One of them biting her index finger smiled brightly at the sight of her picture. I didn’t speak Monpa language. I just want to say to them: “Kadrinche” or “thank you” in Monpa.

Elder nuns can be even more shy than the little nuns at the nunnery. I had an opportunity to tour around their houses, not inside theirs. It was like a dream come true being able to experience this and walking through the nunnery. Just exactly what I imagined it to be like when I was a child. Of course, just like the good old dreams.

_DSC8878Yes, nuns also want selfies. What about you? Everyone wants a selfie these days.


Come to #FossAsia2014!

Hey fans and friends,

If you are available this weekend from Feb 28 – Mar 2, 2014 , do come to #FossAsia 2014 to come join more than 100 workshops/speeches from more than 60 international speakers from 21 countries at NORTON UNIVERSITY, Phnom Penh/Cambodia.

My friends, Mario Behling, Hong Phuc, Kalyan Sann, Touch Sopor, Hor Sophanna (and many awesome volunteer organizing friends) and I have been preparing this event because we believe in #opensource and its influence on the development of Cambodia.

Top software developers and contributors from Asia and around the world are lining up to attend FOSSASIA from Feb 28 – Mar 2, 2014 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.



fossasia-logo 2014

More than 1,000 attendees, over 70 outstanding International speakers, 15 local developers and creative project teams from all over world will meet on Friday, February 28, 2014 at Asia’s leading Open Source and Free Software conference. The event opens its doors for three days in Phnom Penh’s Norton University from Feb 28 – Mar 2, 2014.

This year’s event is held under the organization of MBM International Ltd., Web Essentials Cambodia, and Open Institute of Cambodia. We proudly announce the partnership with the Swedish Embassy, Google, Development Innovations Cambodia, Mozilla, Ezecom, Sabay and many more supporters.

The purpose of this event is to provide a space for developers, students, NGOs, and start ups using open source to build their businesses. It is a unique opportunity to share the latest innovations in open source technologies and meet contributors and potential partners. A focus of the event is the use of open technologies in sustainable development in order to improve lives of people in emerging countries like Cambodia.

Talks and Workshop range from mobile development, graphics design, open source start ups to the computer implementation of a Chinese virtual singer

FOSSASIA 2014 has a wide-range programme in store, comprising more than 100 talks and workshops. Mario Behling, head of Program Planning, said, “This year we received over 150 submissions from developers of 25 countries. The 2014 FOSSASIA program puts a strong focus on technologies for emerging countries to improve people’s life. Topics include Android mobile and web development, software for education, map solutions for websites and phones, Wikipedia, 3D printing technologies and IT solutions for start ups.”

The keynote speeches will be among the highlights of this year’s FOSSASIA. On Friday, Colin Charles (MariaDB) will speak on “MariaDB: MySQL Next Generation”, Ying-Chun Liu (Debian) will talk about “Open source implementation of virtual singer”, Cat Allman (Google) will deliver a keynote speech on “Google Summer of Code, Past, Present and Future”, and Bastian Bittorf (Freifunk) will give an introduction about “Wi-Fi Meshes for Hotels, Malls and Community Networks”.

For those who are oriented on practical skills, the workshops at FOSSASIA are the right place to be. The topics include “Developing open Educational Content”, “Developing mobile Apps”, “Web Technologies and frameworks like Django, Drupal, WordPress and TYPO3”, “Graphics Design for Mobile and Web” and “Creating Maps for Communities”.

Special events, including the Fedora Hands-on day, a pitch session on Open Solutions for Emerging Countries, a panel on Women and Technology and a workshop week at the SmallWorld start up space with graphic design tutorials will round off the wide-ranging and extensive program of the event.


Day 1, Fri.28 Feb

9am – 5pm

Opening Event with Google, Mozilla, Ezecom, technologists at Norton University

Day 2, Sat.1 Mar

9am – 5pm

Talks, presentation, workshops of developers and designers from around the world

Day 3, Sun.2 Mar

10am – 4pm

Hands-on seminars and workshops at Open Institute


March 3: Training Event with Preetam Rai about Open Learning

March 3/March 4: Smallworld Start up Sapce: Free Graphics Design Inkscape Tutorials


FOSSASIA is a free event that offers students, developers and start-ups a place to meet, share ideas and collaborate. It is a premier place for Open Source communities in Asia to get together with International developers and an opportunity to experience Open Source technologies. Since the first FOSSASIA meetup in 2009 in Ho Chi Minh City, FOSSASIA has taken the lead to organize Free and Open Source Software conferences in Vietnam. Past FOSSASIA events have attracted over 1400 participants and speakers from 24 countries, with more than 100 volunteers. More than half of all participants were women.

Full details of the FOSSASIA programme can be found at:

What’s up in Phnom Penh?

I have been pretty caught up with work at a company and some volunteer work on the weekends. But, that won’t stop me from blogging good stuff. Woohoo!

Phnom Penh today. Photo credit: Blue Lady Blog

Phnom Penh today. Photo credit: Blue Lady Blog *Lumia 820*

Below is a picture I took yesterday on my way home from office. I feel that it represents Phnom Penh today. There have been a lot of demonstrations and political deadlocks since  the July 2013 elections, but my promise to come up with analytic blog posts about the events remains.

What has happened will not stop me and my friends from improving our society this way. Cambodians can always do better than now. Just remember that.

A group of friends and I are organizing these events below:

FossAsia Event: Feb 28 – March 2, 2014 at Norton University

FilmCAMpKH & Chaktomuk Short Film Festival from March 23-30, 2014 at University of Puthisastra

Not just another Cambodia blog