Wednesday, April 29, 2009

F1 Sepang - Part 5

The photos of Formula 1 taken by Jason Lee at Sepang F1 Circuit from 3 – 5 April 2009 are finally ready. In this photo album, it is about the happenings at the Grand Stand of Sepang F1 Circuit. The most dramatic photos would be the looming of dark rain clouds that affect the event.

The second photo album shall contain all the leng cher (F1 cars) in action speeding at lightning speed. Just in case that you are not attracted by the leng cher, the third photo album would sure attract your attention – the leng lui (beautiful girls) at the Grand Stand… stay tuned.


Please click here for Photo Album 1 by courtesy of Jason Lee... click Slideshow, click F11.
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click here for part 1 to 4 (scroll down the pages).
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Jason Lee

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Huge crowd at the C2 Hillstand

At the Tower Stand

The torential rainstorm strikes five minutes after this photo was taken

Posted by KC

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Team EBC Photo-shoot - Part 3

Here are a few interesting or amusing shots captured during the photo-shoot for The Star newspaper at Bukit Tabur on 25 April 2009. Quite a number of my friends are excited waiting to see the photos and read the stories in the newspaper.
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Interested to join the EBC Team in October 2009? I am still looking for trekkers. please click here.
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click here for all posting on EBC.
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This dog (we call it MJ for the black and white) responding to Lai Kuan's instruction
Listen attentively - AB Tan, Jayne Aw and an avid trekker dog (who lives nearby). These two dogs develop the passion for trekking and follow the trekkers go up the hill. Interestingly, while we drink lots of water when trekking up the hill, these two dogs have nothing to drink. May I suggest the next time you see these two dogs up the hill, share some food and drinks with them, will ya?

Aerobic exercise - Spotted by Amelia

In unison - same direction, same mission

Wei Loon (the reporter in white T-shirt), Raymond (photographer, in red) and yours truly (KC, in yellow; carrying Raymond's photographic equipment) discussing the next location shoot.


How many cameras are there clicking simultaneously? Three? No... Four !!

Amelia with the Nikon dSLR


Posted by KC

Monday, April 27, 2009

Team EBC Photo-shoot - Part 2

Please click here to view photos by courtesy of Amelia taken on Saturday 25 April at Bukit Tabur (or Klang Gate Ridge)... click Slideshow, click F11.

The group photo: Team EBC and Agnes Tan's group (and the two trekking dogs)

Team EBC - full of enthusiasm

L-R: Amelia, Alex Lee, Derrick Wong and Agnes Tan with message on the T-shirt - Trek Safely


A challenging but dangerous cliff

Going up again
Posted by KC

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Team EBC Photo-shoot - Part 1

When the date, time and venue were confirmed with The Star newspaper reporter, Wei Loon, the EBC (Everest Base Camp October 2009) team members were excited. In the exchange of emails with the team, among other things, I wrote: "Okay, for the girls, you may dress to the occasion and put on make-up for the photo-shoot."

Well, the replied from Jayne Aw made me laugh. She jokingly said, "Okay, I shall set my hair also."

Going up the Bukit Tabur (Klang Gate Ridge). In red is the photographer; Number 11 is the reporter.

It was a fun-filled morning at Bukit Tabur (or Klang Gate Ridge) on Saturday 25 April 2009. By 7:45 a.m., at the BTB (Bukit Tabur Base), the EBC team members were there, so is the reporter and the photographer, Raymond.

Other than Team EBC, we have Agnes Tan's group who were also there going up Bukit Tabur to tie new ropes (at the dangerous points) and put up more notices for safe climbing - all are voluntary effort. Even the two dogs which live nearby were also there excitedly wanting to accompany us to go up the ridge.

Out of the 14 team members, only Dr. Sharahwanaun, Yee Choi and Lok Chan Chuen were not able to come.

Scene 1 Take 1 - some casual moment

The photo-shoot is quite a tedious process. First the photographer conveyed the requirement to the reporter and yours truly who then directed the team of the shooting requirement. With the limited space up at the ridge, moving around has to be extra careful for not falling down the cliff. The four scenes took almost one hour.

When the task was completed, the rest of the team members continued trekking at Bukit Tabur, while Dr. Hamdan, Weng and I accompanied Wei Loon and Raymond down the ridge.

Please click here to read Agnes Tan’s story on improving the safety of climbing Bukit Tabur.


Weng - staying focus in taking the photos

Yours truly (KC) with The Star reporter, Wei Loon

Wei Loon observing and directing the photo-shoot from higher ground

A chat with The Star photographer, Raymond. (L-R): Agnes Tan, PK Chan, Weng and yours truly (KC)

Scene 3 Take 2 - Another location shoot





The team lead for EBC (i.e. yours truly, KC) for the individual photo

The cheerful Star newspaper photographer - Raymond. The Star is the leading newspaper in Malaysia.

The vibrant Team EBC... Back (L-R): AB Tan, KC, Siti, Dr. Hamdan, PK Chan, Ikhwan, Rani
Front(L-R): Weng, Alexis, Jayne Aw, Rose Ng.
Guys = 9, Gals = 5. Total = 14
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Stay tuned for more photos... Photos courtesy of Amelia.
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I just went to Bidor to run in the Bidor Half marathon this morning (Sunday 26 April). Stay tuned for photos from Jason Lee.

Posted by KC



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

EBC Trekking Gear

I remember when I first went trekking to Cho La Pass in Nepal in May 2007 click here, I have a long list of items to buy from Kathmandu (the capital city of Nepal). After going there twice (the recent one was trekking to Annapurna Base Camp in May 2008) click here, I have bought a few extra items necessary for the next trekking trip – Everest Base Camp (EBC) in October 2009.

What AB Tan taught me was simple and practical – using three layers method. With the three layers on, a trekker is able to withstand the extreme coldness. When it is not too cold, remove outer layer. AB Tan has been trekking to Gokyo Ri, EBC, ABC, and Mera Peak (6500m) click here.

Inner Layer: Thermal or long johns
Middle Layer: Fleece jacket
Outer Layer: Down jacket

So last week-end, I took out my gear from the wardrobe, dust them and placed them under the sun for a while. Here is my gear preparing for my next EBC trekking.

Down jacket - for very cold condition. Down jacket is bulky and heavy. I bought this Hunt brand from Winter Times of Subang Parade, Subang Jaya for RM 170 during sales (retailed at RM 300).

This North Face Gore-Tex (with a fleece jacket inside) down jacket is bought at Kathmandu.

Wind/rain Jacket (Gore-Tex Waterproof and breathable) bought at Kathmandu. The cheaper version would be to use poncho plastic raincoat (which is hot inside).


Fleece jacket - for day tracking

Turtleneck Sweater - for sleeping at night (to cover the neck) and the head would be covered by a hood.
High-tech trekking shoes (bought at Pertama Complex for RM 290)
Posted by KC

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

EBC – Photo-shoot

Being the team leader of the Everest Base Camp (EBC, 5500m) trekking in October 2009, I am pleased to inform that there will be a photo-shoot and interview session by The Star newspaper reporter this weekend.

Since there are so many Bukit and Gunung (mountains) near to Kuala Lumpur, it takes a bit of consideration to decide which mountain is ideal to do a location photo-shoot. It would take too much effort to travel a few hours to the popular Gunung just to take the group photos.

At higher plain of Bukit Tabur (filepix)

One of the team members asked me what the trekking attire would be like. This is a good question as we are not able to put on fleece jacket and down jackets here, we would just wear the normal T-shirts in local trekking gears. Otherwise, it would be fuming hot inside our bodies in this tropical land with clothing meant for cold weather.

Most likely, the venue for the photo-shoot session would be Bukit Tabur. It is within Kuala Lumpur and the scenery at higher plain is splendid with the panorama view of Klang Reservoir and Klang Valley in the distance.


Bukit Tabur or Klang Gate Ridge for the reservoir

EBC Team Size – The original response was just fantastic. With 29 trekkers showing interest to trek to Everest Base Camp, I was liaising with the trekking agent in Nepal as to how to manage such big number. Later, the number dropped to 20 and the trekking agent said no problem with it. When it was time for serious commitment, finally, the EBC team consists of 12 courageous trekkers. If you are interested to join us (in October 2009), please click here for more details.


Written by KC
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Fansipan Mountain

Standing at 3,143 meters, Fansipan or Fan Si Pan mountain is Vietnam's highest peak.
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I am pleased to share with you a photo album by courtesy of Kathy who went there trekking with a few other trekkers from 25 December 2008. According to her, it was very cold at that time of the year.
Attached below is the itinerary of her tour. Most tour companies in the area will arrange trekking to the summit for two to three days options. Other days would be for sightseeing and holidaying.

The total package looks good and it should be a good idea to trek there as a change in trekking venue (other than the local ones).

Click here to view photos in Kathy's photo albums.

Halong Bay

Kathy - trying out the load carries by porters

A wet, wet journey, much like the jungle in Malaysia

Nice pose of Kathy (in the jungle)

This view reminds me of Mount Kinabalu trek

Optical illusion? Kathy at the peak of Fansipan.

Discover the top of Indochina, Fansipan Mountain via Halong Bay
(8 Days & 7 Nights)

Day 1. 25/12/2008 ~ Airport - Hanoi - Overnight train
Pick up at the airport by Hoang Hiep and take private car transfer to Hanoi, check in the hotel. This evening you will be met by our driver & office staff at about 8PM before transferred to Hanoi railways station to take an express train departs from Hanoi at 9PM. Overnight on the train with at an air-conditioning cabin (6 beds) on the way to LaoCai.

Day 2. 26/12/2008 ~ Overnight train - Lao Cai - Sapa Town - Silver waterfall - Tram Ton Pass - Top 2300
On arrival to Lao Cai in the early morning, you are picked up for tea break at our restaurant before taking a shuttle bus to Sapa. After having shower and breakfast, we a transport to Tram Ton Pass, on the way pass silver waterfall. On arrival at Tram Ton Pass we start the trek to mount of top 2300m. Lunch on the way. Late afternoon we arrive in Top 2300. Prepare for dinner and overnight at a thatched hut with sleeping bag.

Day 3. 27/12/2008 ~ Top 2300 - Top of Fansipan 3143 - then back to top 2300
This morning, you get up early for fresh atmosphere in the high mountain. After having breakfast, we trek to the top of Indochina, Fansipan mount. Lunch on the way. Late afternoon we come back Top 2300m for dinner and overnight.

Day 4. 28/12/2008 ~ Top 2300 - Sin Chai village - Sapa Town – Night train
After the last breakfast in the mountain, take another way to go down to the foot of Mount where to visit and get understandings of the lifestyles, the traditional customs of the people in a village of the Black H’mong called SinChai, then take bus back to Sapa (18 km by bus). Take the car back to Laocai to take the overnight train to Hanoi

Day 5. 29/12/2008 ~Next morning – Hanoi – free to shopping
At 5AM in the next morning, the train arrives. You will be picked up to go to your hotel in Hanoi where is located in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, Check in the hotel and relax befor have shopping in the afternoon. Overnight in Hanoi

Day 6. 30/12/2008 ~ Hanoi – Halong
You are picked up by bus from your hotel betwenn 07:30AM to 08:15AM for a bus ride to Halong Bay (170km or 3.5 hours). On arrival in Halong Bay board on the boat for a cruise while lunch is served aboard. After lunch we visit Sung Sot cave, one of the largest caves in Ha Long Bayhours of kayaking around Titop Island. Those who choose not to kayak can climb stairway to the top of Titop Island for a panoramic view of Ha Long Bay. Return to boat to rest and enjoy a Vietnamese seafood dinner. Spend a quiet night on the boat in a private cabin for 2.

Day 7. 31/12/2008 ~ Halong – Hanoi
While we are having breakfast the boat is cruising towards Bai Tu Long Bay for pristine scenery. Boat stops for swimming and photos. Return to Ha Long Wharf where we have lunch in restaurant. Return to Ha Noi by bus, via Hai Duong city for a short break. Arrive in Ha Noi at approx. 4:00 pm and return to hotel. Tour finished.

Day 8. 01/01/2009 ~ Hanoi – Airport – International flight
Breakfast at the hotel and free time to do some thing need to be done until take the car go to the airport to take the flight back to your country

Posted by KC

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sundown Marathon - Part 3

Written by Jennifer

Click here to read Part 2, here for Part 1 of the training for Sundown Marathon by Jennifer ...
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adidas Sundown Marathon 2009 in Singapore - click here for official website
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9th April 2009 - Tempo Run

I do not look forward to tempo runs so much coz it is harder albeit shorter. I am already tired from work and it is hot hot hot….. and to shock the body into running faster was tough. So I took my time in warming up about 3 km first. Then I attempted to start my tempo run. My route starts with a little elevation (and I hate hills, any form of hills even if the gradient is 3 %!) so physically and mentally this is not easy.

Nowadays whenever I see any form of hills I think of this joke by another fellow runner “A” which is like this:-

A notes that “B” (a younger runner) is quite fast. I commented B is quite fast (and young around 20 + years old). Then A who must have the last say said that B is a little overweights (by 2 - 3 kilos) so A asked me to note that when B ascends the hills the heavier weight (in the backside I suppose) makes B run slower.

Ever since that "joke" – every time when I ascend the hills and I slow down, I think of my bigger bottom and how it is "holding me back". So I do admire runners (male or female) who absolutely have not hips or bottoms – just makes running so much “lighter”.

Anyway - after warm up - I did my initial 4 km of tempo run - man! It was hard - the hips could not move; then is took a breather of 30 - 40 seconds (had a sip of drink and stretched my legs more) and continued for another 4 km. The second 4km was naturally easier since the body was already "shocked" into moving and I ran faster and faster. Boy that felt good.... when I ended I warmed down a bit and at night I collapsed into bed.

I had read that runners must remember to so abs training for a stronger core – especially for “slower” runners like me who have to run over 4 hours to reach the finish line (of full marathon) so nowadays whenever I can remember I will do some core/abs exercises.


18th April 2009 - Long Run

It was a very good run on Saturday morning - ran at 6am and somehow 26 km seems so “do-able” after having completed a 32km (recently) so the mind and body was very happy to respond to this cut in mileage. As usual part of the running route was dark as the lights were either not switched on or “rosak” but my usual gang of runners are very “resilient” all bringing their own LED torchlights. Running can be dangerous and bringing own torch lights + wearing reflective clothes and shoes is almost a necessity as cars simply do not care for runners. (Maybe they think we are bonkers or something for running so early in the morning….).
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I am really enjoying these early morning runs now as the weather is conducive and whilst running, you can see the outline of the hilltops, silhouette of the trees on the hills and the flickering lights of the stars. Time, however is relentless as it ticks away and the rays of the sun soon flickered its strong rays promisingly. The promise of day break is as sure as death and taxes. I dare not imagine the “havoc” to our daily lives and routines if the sun did not shine at its predicted time.

I am tired this morning and as a result, could not recognize some other fellow runners or “rabbits/bunnies” en route as I just focused on finishing the run. I am also very thirsty and keep seeing mirages of soya drinks and other types of isotonic drinks in the horizon…. time to stop and take stock and have a drink.

Note by KC: Ahh... Jennifer, I see that you are doing fine in your training. You have completed two long runs (32km and 26km) in preparation for your marathon. Well, as to funny story of Runner A and B, when come to going downhill, Runner B would be surging forward as the bigger bottom, with the gravitational pull, would have the advantage…. just joking.
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Note: photos are extracted from Internet (and not Jennifer).

Posted by KC
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bukit Tabur and Agnes Tan


Agnes Tan is a passionate trekker who demonstrated special affection towards trekking at Bukit Tabur (Klang Gate Ridge) at Melawati, Kuala Lumpur. With the news of two specialist doctors found death in a ravine of Bukit Tabur on 29 March 2009, that prompt Agnes Tan to publish more information on the safety of climbing up the challenging quartz-filled ridge.

Click here to view her blogsite dedicated to happenings in Bukit Tabur.

Click here to read her main blogsite on outdoor activities.
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click here to read previous postings on Klang Gate Ridge (scroll down the pages).
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Posted by KC

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gunung Angsi - Part 3

After trekking up a few local mountains, Gunung Angsi is indeed a good choice for trekking. At an altitude of 825 meters, the ascent is gradual and it is not too tough to climb. The trail is wide and clearly visible; the steps are not too far apart thus making ascent or descent easier.

When all the trekkers finally met at Ulu Bendul Recreation car parking on Saturday 11 April 2009 morning, Tony and I realized that the group is huge. With a count of 40 trekkers, this is by far the biggest group that we have organized.

Here are some of the main points to share with you:

Kenny's adorable doggie

Kenny’s Doggie - Just like a small child in a family of adults, Kenny’s adorable second doggie was sure the center of attraction for most of the trekkers. According to Kenny, the first doggie also went up Gunung Angsi before.

Registration fee - Each trekker has to pay RM 5 as trekking fee to trek up Gunung Angsi. I collected RM 165 from the trekkers and paid to the officer-in-charge, En. Zulkefli. A few of the trekkers, who arrived earlier, paid direct to the officer-in-charge. There is no receipt other than writing my name (to represent the entire 40 trekkers). He will send the receipt to me via postal mail. It is puzzling that the receipt is not issued when payment is received. For trekking at Gunung Nuang, each trekker is only charged RM 1 and a receipt is instantly issued.

Pejabat Hutan Lipur Ulu Bendul (Gunung Angsi):
Pejabat: 06- 4888 950
En. Zulkefli Bin Mohd Yusuf (017-670 8013)

Kelly (right) is climbing up the barren obstacle

Obstacle course - Other than the usual uphill trail, a trekker has to cross a stream. A few of the trekkers could not maintain balance and step into the water or worst, fell into the water. I fell into the water the previous time when I crossed this stream. So I was well prepared this time and changed into the sandals that I brought along. The next obstacle is to go up a 50-feet barren hill, made possible only with the help of ropes. Otherwise, one would just slip down the slope. The previous time, Ann Lam fell and injured her head when one of the ropes that she held on dearly was snapped. So this time, we could see that the ropes were quite new.

At the peak of Gunung Angsi

The Peak – There is a small field with a few trees at the perimeter providing the necessary shades. On a clear day, one can see the nearby township from the peak. The only metal landmark, however, was rusty and badly defaced with writing (by trekkers) all over the surface of the structure.

Trekking watch - While resting at the peak, PK Chan was checking with me the altitude of the peak (since we both bought the Casio Pro-Trek watch for trekking). I told him that I did not wear the watch. Instead, I wear it to office, to shopping complex, etc (but not this trekking trip) as it looks very ‘yow yeng’ (got style).

Playing water in the stream - The unique landscape is that the trail is running parallel to the stream at the lower plain. The stream is part of the main attraction of the recreation center of Ulu Bendul. In the afternoon, we could see many people were relaxing in the stream with their family members. Since we were still early, we took the opportunity to dip ourselves and relax in the cold mountain water. It was really fun playing in the water as it reminded us of the care-free childhood days swimming in the river.

After a hard day's trekking, it is indeed refreshing to dip into the cold mountain water

Facility – There were eatery stalls nearby selling a vast variety of food. There is a public toilet nearby for taking bath (50 cents only). It is indeed refreshing to have a cold bath after the trekking trip.

Fruit and drinks mobile stall - I enjoyed myself with the fresh coconut juice purchased from a mobile stall nearby. At RM 3 each, a few of the trekkers said it was quite expansive (compare to a whole coconut being sold at RM 1-50 in fruits shops). So I told them nothing beat the price at Sepang F1 Circuit for the Formula One races last weekend.

Sumptuous meal - Any trekking trip would not be completed without the sumptuous meal. When we were ready, it was only 3:30 p.m. Going to Seremban town for the famous seafood would be too early. Recommended by one trekker, we traveled back to Serdang for the famous steam fish (sang yee or haruan fish). We have our meal at 5:00 p.m. – the only customers at that moment. The food there was superb indeed. We ordered two steam fish, kampong chicken, deep fried big prawns, 4-heavenly vegetable, tofu, Eel, vegetable soup. For eight delicious dishes, each person paid RM 22 which is very reasonable in price.

click here for photo album of Gunung Angsi

click here for all posting of Gunung Angsi (scroll down the pages)


Written by KC
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Gunung Angsi - Part 2

Written by Jayne Aw
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click here for previous postings on Gunung Angsi (scroll down the pages).

Trekking has become a worshipful ritual for me since signing up for the EBC (Everest Base Camp) trek, more so after paying up the financial commitment to KC.


The trekking trail is running parallel to the stream

I have never been so committed and relentless in the pursuit of a healthy body and mind (hopefully followed by a cleansed soul) until chancing into trekking last year. Not easy for someone who loves to sleep, especially during the weekends after the daily grind from Monday to Friday (I mean work). It takes great effort to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to get ready for the journey which could take from 2 to 3 hours, starting from where I stay.

We were heading to Gunung Angsi, Senawang in the early morning of 11 April 2009 (Saturday), which is about 1.5 hours from Kuala Lumpur – A delightful place for family outing and trekking.

Precision landing is vital in order to keep the trekking shoes dry

The trail starts with a gently inclined slope alongside the cascading stream. At certain point, one has to cross over to the other side of the stream by leaping over the boulders. Few trekkers were not so fortunate and slipped into the water. I opted for a safer means by wading across the stream with my bare feet. Not a bad choice though. Indeed a very refreshing walk in the cool mountain water.

After almost an hour's trekking in the shady forest, we reached the long march of the vertiginous climb. This stretch of climbing, or more likely crawling, has taken a toll on me and I was left like a tortoise trailing behind most of the trekkers. And half way through, one has to climb over a cliff by clinging on to the rocks like a spider and use the web (rope) to ascend.

Looks like an acrobatic stunt

The thought of the recent unfortunate fatal fall of the two doctors from Bukit Tabur, and Ann Lam's injury that happened right here during her last year's trekking due to the snapping of the rope has me hesitating whether to proceed or not. I was indeed shouting for "Tarzan" to appear, thinking that since my name sounds like "Jane", I might have some luck. Alas, no luck, instead I saw Tony from afar up on the other side.

Jayne Aw

BTW, a British magazine reports that about 150 Britons die every year taking part in adventure sports, whereas accidents on the roads and in the home kill 6,000. So the odd is 1 to 40. With my light-weight frame, I have no problem getting over the cliff and maneuvered my way upward. After almost 2 % hours from the start, I finally joined the rest of the trekkers at the peak. Going downhill was relatively faster and easier for me as compared to ascending.

As usual, no trekking would end without a sumptuous meal. We wrapped up our day by having an early dinner at a restaurant in Sri Kembangan. The food was good and cheap.
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hmm... yummy... the famous steam fish (sang yee or haruan fish) and other delicious dishes

Each trekking trip brings me different experience. The more time I spend with Nature, the more I appreciate it and marvel at its creations. That has given me lots of insight and inspiration in my pursuit of Chinese brush painting, and this journey shall continue …
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Written by Jayne Aw
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Note by KC: Yes, we are glad to have Jayne Aw as one of the EBC team members.
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