As part of our series of interviews with people across Asia-Pacific who use the Internet to create, connect, and grow, we asked Sauwaluck Khewmesuan, or “Jazz,” how online tools helped grow her food business, Khon Wang, into a franchise with hundreds of outlets across Thailand. Khon Wang sells everything a franchisee needs to make traditional Thai dishes, from rainbow rice noodles to hoi krok, which are best described as mussel pancakes.

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How does a public sector employee end up with a food franchise?
I spent five years working in the Royal Kitchen in Bangkok. It was there that I learned to cook Thai food the traditional way. I’ve always had a passion for cooking and baking, and wanted to make these traditional dishes accessible to many more people. This is how the idea for Khon Wang was born. Seven years later, Khon Wang now has 300 franchisees throughout Thailand.

How did you manage to grow so quickly in just seven years?
Advertising has played an important role. I started out by placing ads in magazines, but soon found that potential franchisees were actually looking for their next business opportunity online. So I launched our website,, and began to learn more about using the Internet to grow my business. This is how I discovered Google AdWords. I tried it out and found it surprisingly easy to use. I also liked the fact that I could control my spend level, increasing or decreasing the amount as and when I wanted. The feedback was immediate and positive, so I moved more of my advertising from print to the Internet.

What results have you seen from online advertising?
There’s been a direct impact on revenue, with more potential franchisees approaching us, and more people learning about our brand. I am happy to help my franchisees earn more. Their growth translates into my growth.

Being away from home is always hard, but for many Filipinos it’s a way of life. Tapsilog, the sputtering of a tricycle, grandma’s cooking... these are just some of the things that the twelve million Filipinos working overseas long for. But above all, they hope to be with their families.

We invited Pinoys from all over the world to tell us what they miss most about the Philippines, and turned their responses into a song. Watch bands Sponge Cola, ItchyWorms and Kjwan, vocalist Ebe Dancel, and YouTube star Mikey Bustos jam in this music video — a kind of soulful, sung “letter” to friends and family — wherever they may be in the world.

This video is the first 360 degree YouTube video in the Philippines. Here’s how to take it for a spin: if you’re using Chrome, you can can tap and drag inside the clip. If you’re watching on an Android phone using the YouTube app, simply move your phone around to watch the video from different angles.

Get ready to fall for this catchy tune and sing along to the karaoke version!

Posted by Ryan Morales, Country Marketing Manager, Google Philippines

As part of our regular look at cool things on YouTube, we’re speaking to Josh and Ollie, aka Korean Englishman, on what it’s like to make videos for Korean audiences from London. Last week they were in Seoul for the second YouTube FanFest Korea. We spoke to them about how they can engage with their fanbase in Korea, even while they’re based far away in London.
Ollie, left, and Josh on stage at YouTube FanFest Korea
Josh and Ollie spell out words with their bodies (See below...)  
You’re based in the U.K., but your viewers are primarily in Korea. Is it hard to make videos when you’re so far away from your fans?
Ollie: We’re in a bit of a unique position because although we live in London, 90% of our viewers and fans live in Korea. So while we see big viewerships on our videos, it means very little to our day to day lives as people don’t recognize us in London, but they certainly do in Seoul.

Josh: In actual fact, a big part of the appeal is precisely that we’re based in the UK—our content is about introducing Korean culture to English people and English culture to Koreans, so that would be harder to do if we were based in Korea. We’re quite fortunate in that we get to come to Korea relatively often, so we can stay plugged into what’s happening in both countries and cultures.

So how much time do you spend in Korea and what’s it like when you’re here?
Josh: We end up coming to Korea about once a month. It’s always fun because it’s much more of an occasion, and we get to travel around—such as our recent trip around Jeju island, which we made a series of videos about.

Josh: When we’re in Seoul it’s quite a change to meet all these fans—we can’t take the subway unless we’re ready to meet people all the time! We love meeting fans in person though, as it puts a human touch on all the comments we get on YouTube.

Why did you decide to start uploading videos on YouTube?
Josh: Ollie and I used to make a lot of videos in university together. A few years down the line we wanted to do something a bit different, and thought of a fun project for the summer. I speak Korean, he makes cool videos, and we put two and two together. We started our channel in 2013, and currently have 906,000 subscribers. We’ve started doing YouTube full time for about a year now.
Festing with a fan at YouTube FanFest Korea
What are some of the coolest experiences that YouTube have opened up to you?
Ollie: We took a road trip from LA to New York in 9 days—we introduced all the Americans we met along the way to Korean food and Korean culture.

Josh: We’ve shot a Guinness TV advert, were flown out by GoPro to Hawaii, did a promo video for the Kingsman, the spy movie starring Colin Firth. There is a crazy amount of opportunities that we get.

You guys were great sports at FanFest—from writing words with your butts in the air, to doing pushups with someone sitting on your back. What did you think about your stage performance at FanFest?
Ollie: I wasn’t nervous about going on stage at all, but I was very nervous about the prospect of them making us eat Hongeohoe, aka fermented stingray that’s incredibly pungent. We’d done a video on eating Hongeohoe before with YouTubers Eat Your Kimchi where I actually got sick on camera...I was just terrified that was going to happen on stage. Sure enough, they made us eat it, but luckily I didn’t get sick!

What does the future hold for your channel and the Korean Englishman brand?
Josh: We want to keep innovating—we hope to be able to upload a lot more videos. We do about one a week now, but by Korean standards it’s not enough: all big Korean YouTubers upload almost every day, sometimes even twice a day.

Ollie: We definitely want to keep innovating. You can’t tread water on YouTube! Our channel is different than it was six months ago and than it will be in six months’ time. Hopefully people will keep enjoying our videos!

Over the past few months we’ve been busy searching for Web Rangers in the Philippines. Who are Web Rangers? They are ordinary teenagers with extraordinary ideas to make using the Internet a safer and more enjoyable experience.

Together with the National Youth Commission, we gathered sixty Web Rangers to talk about what it means to stay safe online, and to learn the basics of digital campaigning. Armed with this knowledge, our Web Rangers went off to create their own campaigns to help bring an end to cyberbullying, and to encourage their peers to create a safe and positive environment on the web.

Let’s meet the winners and their campaigns:
The creators of #Cyberbully404 with National Youth Commission Chairman Gio Tingson (left). The winners are Adj Regidor (Enderun College), Bea Aquino (Miriam College High School), Haedric Daguman (St. John of Beverley School), Hyun Ju Song (De La Salle Santiago Zobel School) and Reanna Noel (Miriam College High School)

Winning entry: #Cyberbully404

These Web Rangers handed out cards with insulting words printed on them to teens, and then asked them to give them to their classmates. The results of this mini social experiment were clear—none of the teens with cards gave any away because they felt they were demeaning and hurtful. If you wouldn’t say it in person, why do it online? The Web Rangers encouraged others to spread the word on social media using the hashtag #cyberbully404. “404” is a browser error message indicating that a web page “cannot be found” — which is what this team want to see happen to cyber bullies in the future.

First runner-up: “Words Hurt”

In second place was this campaign demonstrating the power of words online. The campaign slogan, “What can you do to stop cyberbullying?” called for people to step up against cyberbullying, the team also set up a website containing anti-bullying tips and resources.

Second runner-up: #TheCyberSongProject

The Cyber Song Project used something Pinoys love — music — to spread the word about cyberbullying. The team wrote and performed original songs which curated as a playlist on their website. They also invited contributions to the playlist by sharing their songs on social media with the hashtag #TheCyberSongProject.

A big congratulations to all our Pinoy Web Rangers! To learn more about keeping yourself safe online, check out the Google Safety Center.

Posted by Gail Tan, Head of Communications and Public Affairs, Google Philippines

Many of you may have stumbled here after seeing this:

How many of you guessed this Street View kayak was on an expedition around Peninsular Malaysia?

What gave it away? Was it the Malacca Straits Mosque, Langkawi’s Eagle Square or did you recognize one of Pahang's beautiful beaches?
Six months after setting out on a journey around Peninsular Malaysia, as part of the Malaysian Nature Society's Paddle for Nature project to document conditions along the coast, this lone kayaker and Trekker have just returned with imagery capturing the beauty and diversity of over 1,500km of coastline.

Here he is off the coast of Langkawi:
Starting today, you can paddle up, down and around Peninsular Malaysia, take in the sights, and experience a slice of local life, such as the Kongsi community on Penang's waterfront.
You can also see beaches and estuaries that are only accessible by water — like the remote inlets of Johor:
Or the secluded coves of Pahang:
With these images now online, it’s our hope that more people will discover the diversity and beauty of the Malaysian coastline, while also gaining awareness of some of the sadder scenes of coastal degradation and pollution (anyone interested in supporting the work of the Malaysian Nature Society can learn more about their efforts here).

If you want to retrace the kayak’s entire route, start here. Look close enough, and you’ll find a crowd to see you off on your journey.

Posted by Nhazlisham Hamdan, Street View Operations Lead Malaysia, Indonesia & Thailand

Yoga is the Sanskrit word for “union”. It’s also a handy metaphor for the 2,000 digital images and 70 online exhibits from cultural organizations across India that we’re bringing to the Google Cultural Institute today. From ancient artifacts to centuries-old arts and crafts and more contemporary yoga exhibits, join me on a short tour of this eclectic new imagery!

Just like in yoga, let’s begin in a comfortable sitting pose in the legendary Palace on Wheels. Rivaling Europe’s Orient Express, its splendid royal carriage, called the Jodphur Saloon, carried Indian royalty across Rajasthan. Thanks to 360 degree Street View indoor imagery, you can step inside and move around to explore the luxuriously decorated cabins.

Built in 1930 and in operation for over 60 years, the Jodhpur Saloon brings together many examples of India’s venerable tradition of craftsmanship — take a closer look at the embellished ceiling, the beautiful wooden flooring, and finely carved wooden furnishings.

Many of India’s traditional craft techniques are slowly disappearing, which makes wider access to these cultural legacies all the more important in contemporary India. Our exhibit from the National Museum in New Delhi spotlights over 170 applied arts and crafts treasures. Just one example is this century old head ornament, which was treated as more than just a functional tool, and was used as a canvas for intricate design work.

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South Indian head ornaments (suryan and chandran) (1900-1930), gold, diamonds, rubies, pearls (National Museum, Delhi)

There’s plenty to discover from modern day India, too. We’re pleased to feature the complete Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014 installation and works from the cutting-edge Devi Art Foundation.
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Museum View allows you to explore different aspects of works in the Devi Art Foundation, including “7 Yokings of Felicity” by Astha Butail, which uses a traditional Varanasi silk brocade woven with gold thread.

Our last stop takes us full circle. The ancient tradition of yoga is widely acknowledged as “India’s gift to the world”. Learn more about the life and times of one of India’s leading gurus, B.K. Iyengar, in the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute exhibit.

Iyengar: a Yoga's Life (collection: Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute)

Beyond welcoming 10 new partners to the Cultural Institute, we are pleased to be working with Dastkari Haat Samiti, Devi Art Foundation, Heritage Transport Museum and Kalakriti Archives on launching mobile apps that will make their exhibits even more accessible. These apps are just one example of the infinite opportunities that technology can create to preserve and expand the reach of art and culture.
Historic maps are more accessible to mobile users thanks to the Kalakriti Archives app built with Cultural Institute technology

We hope you’ll enjoy this visual feast!

Posted by Simon Rein, Program Manager, Google Cultural Institute

A size 46 foot might not pose a problem in the U.S. or Europe but, in Indonesia, Yukka Harlanda, struggled to find a shoe that he liked—much less one that fit. In 2010, while studying to become an engineer, Yukka decided to make his own shoes. And that’s how Brodo got started. Brodo is just one example of an SME that’s using the Internet to grow, and in turn, help Indonesia meet its goal of becoming a middle income country by 2025.

Brodo began by leaving shoes on consignment in shops around the city of Bandung. But soon they discovered that they could run a more efficient business and reach more customers through the Internet. Three years after founding the company, Brodo became an online business with a website, an e-payment system, and it introduced data analytics and cloud tools for easier control over inventory that help to reduce lost sales. Two years on, Brodo now employs 118 people and generates around USD120,000 annually through a combination of online and offline sales—with 80% of sales originating from the webshop.

Brodo co-founders Yukka Harlanda (L) and Putera Dwi Karunia (R)

Brodo illustrates how going online opens tremendous opportunity for SMEs and for the wider economy. A report by Deloitte Access Economics shows how doubling broadband penetration rates and lifting digital engagement by SMEs could increase Indonesia’s annual economic growth by 2% – the additional growth it needs to achieve the 7% target required to be a middle-income country by 2025.

The report, which was supported by Google, also demonstrates other benefits of going online for Indonesian SMEs:

  • Up to 80% higher growth in revenue
  • One and half times more likely to increase employment
  • 17 times more likely to be innovative, and,
  • SMEs with higher digital engagement are more competitive internationally.

For any Indonesian business needing a leg (or shoe) up in the business world, increasing digital awareness and access has never been more important.

Posted by Shinto Nugroho, Head of Policy and Government Relations, Google Indonesia


The Fasting Buddha is among the world’s most delicate and prized Buddhist sculptures. The majority of Fasting Buddha sculptures date to the 1st through 3rd century CE and are made from fragile stone, which explains why nearly all known pieces are damaged or incomplete. Pakistan’s Lahore Museum houses a rare example of the piece in its entirety, and it’s now available for the entire world to see on the Google Cultural Institute along with other treasures and historic sites from across the country.
Dating to about 200 BC, the Fasting Buddha is one of the earliest and finest representations of the Buddha as a human being. It shows Siddhartha Gautama Buddha’s attempt to achieve a spiritual awakening by purifying body and mind through fasting and other ascetic practices of self-deprivation. From this physical ordeal, he realized that enlightenment (nirvana) could be achieved not by bodily suffering, but instead through acts of human compassion and meditation. 

Fast forward nearly 2,000 years, and you can explore Pakistan’s heritage sites such as Lahore Fort with the Google Street View special collect. The imagery captures the many contrasting landscapes of Pakistan today, and provides a historic snapshot for ongoing cultural preservation.
The Lahore Fort which dates back to the 16th-century Mughal era

Just one click away—or 15 minutes on foot—is the Wazir Khan mosque. Its incredible tile art makes it one of the finest examples of Mughal mosque architecture.
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Exhibition curated by Walled City of Lahore Authority

For those who want to dig a little bit deeper, you can view a side-by-side comparison of the mosque’s tile decoration and pages from rare and extremely fragile Islamic manuscripts from several international collections around the world.
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Compare the calligraphy tiles from Wazir Khan Mosque facade, Walled City of Lahore ca.1635 (left) and the Quranic manuscript,1640 from the Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf, Germany (right)

And if you’re all about the detail, high-resolution digital imagery used by the Cultural Institute will get you up close to the tiny Portrait of Nawab Mumtaz Ali housed in the Fakir Khana Museum. During the Mughal era, Lahore’s artists were known for painting in miniature and this is one of those masterpieces, measuring just 13x19 cm. The artist painted this postcard-sized masterpiece over the course of 15 years with a brush of a single-strand of hair!
Portrait of Nawab Mumtaz Ali Khan, Fakir Khana Museum

Watch this video for a quick introduction to what you can expect to find on the Cultural Institute, and then head on over to to explore places in Pakistan that you might otherwise never be able to visit.

Posted by Ann Lavin, Head of Public Policy and Government Relations, Southeast Asia & China, Google

One of Sri Lanka’s most dramatic elections is now over. The suspense, twists and turns are reflected in this chart (also available here) showing how people searched for different parties and politicians over the past 10 weeks. The parties are ranked for each week and the lines, as they move across, show how they moved up and down the ranking. It should be remembered that a search isn’t the same thing as a vote; it might not even be a gesture of approval. These rankings reflect the shift in interest of Sri Lanka during the different twists of the campaign.

Posted by Sana Rahman, Communications Manager

Starting today, we’re taking a regular look at cool things YouTubers in Asia are doing. We’ll dive into the backstory behind their videos and explore the new ways these creators are using YouTube to excite their fans.

K-pop boy band INFINITE is making waves with “Bad”, their first 360 degree music video, and the first 360° video to make it to the list of most viewed K-pop videos in the world. Using mirrors and prism effects, their fancy footwork comes alive — making it the closest most of us will ever get to the INFINITE guys.

Want more? Check out our dedicated 360° Video YouTube channel and learn about what you need to consider during pre-production and production to create your own visual feast.

And if you’re looking for a quick intro on how to view 360° videos, check out 360 Boogie Indonesia:

Posted by Gautam Anand, Director of YouTube Partnerships & Operations, Asia Pacific

Have an idea on a video or creator we should feature next? Leave it in the comments below.