Monthly Archives: May 2016

Ink Painting class resumes!

After taking a break for almost 6 months, the class is back again with the same group of “enthu” students as the last course … (although personally, would have like to see more “new blood” join the class, somehow, priority was given to those already on board to register so that the level of the students would not be too different, I guess??)

Into painting of flowers for the first 3 sessions (carnation, cattleya, hydrangea), of which I was keen only to do the cattleya:



Third session ended up as a big birthday bash for the teacher, with lots and lots of food and wine! I said in the whatsapp group that I would bring “an empty stomach” in Chinese but ended up with a “lawsuit” instead, by saying “我带控肚子“!  LOL 🙂


local delights! potato chips ended not opened 😦






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罗大佑Concert@Star Theatre

Lol! Didn’t know he was such an important songwriter/singer until two days after the concert (7 May 2016, Star Theatre)!!


And double LOL, I even knew (i.e. have heard/can recognise) these FIVE out of the many songs he sang during the concert:

And he wrote 明天会更好 too,inspired by the success of the charity single We Are the World by USA for Africa

Performing to a full house (of mostly people above 40), definitely am glad to have been there to see “a major cultural icon” live and re-acquainting myself with some of these songs from “my younger days” (童年)!!  🙂

(Wikipaedia extract, Lo Ta-Yu

(simplified Chinese罗大佑traditional Chinese羅大佑pinyinLuó Dàyòu; born July 20, 1954), also known as Luo Dayou and Law Tai-yau, is a Taiwanese singer and songwriter who, during the 1980s, affected Chinese pop and rock music …  his love songs, and his witty social and political commentary that he infused in his more political songs, often to the point that some of his songs were suppressed in Taiwan and China during the 1980s. He is recognized as a major cultural icon in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.)


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Mt Rinjani – to do or not to do …?

Just completed a 4D3N trek to Mt Rinjani (3726m) in Lombok with D and it was simply awesome!! For me, the amazing scenery and being in nature was certainly worth the challenge of the long hikes up and down the slopes over the 4 days.

If you are thinking of it, do read on…There are many options besides going for the summit especially if you don’t have a lot of training time to put in!!  You do NOT need to be a marathon runner to do it either, haha, but TRAIN, YOU MUST.


6:34 am. Still heading up to summit on the difficult “Part 3” of the summit climb. Shadow of Mt Rinjani is the clearly seen triangle shape on top left, while in the centre, in the far distance, Mt Agung (3031m), tallest mountain in Bali is visible. The baby volcano in the crater lake can be seen “smoking” and last erupted in Oct2015.

After this rather complete experience of the 4D3N trek up from the Sembalun route (from the East), up to the summit, down to the lake, and up again to the Senaru rim, and back to Senaru village (the Northern route), (see route map below, and distance/elevations covered on right),

I would say that here are the main things to consider when deciding whether to “do” Mt Rinjani …

A)  Fitness level and number of days to trek – yup, it is a tough trek for sure, and no descriptions can get you to imagine how challenging it would be (especially to the summit, but the route down to the lake is also challenging!). However, …

  • you can always do a shorter trek (many people do 2D1N, just to see the crater lake only from the rim and for this, moderately fit people can do it), choose to see more or see less (2D1N with summit is even possible for the very fit, but need to cover a lot of distance). 3D2N summit and lake is only for the really super fit types! whilst 3D2N summit (no lake) is possibly quite “relaxing”..
  • The bottom line is that the more days spent enables you to do/see more as you go up and down by the different routes (e.g up from Sembalun and down from Senaru, or vice versa) and include the lake and the hot springs there …

Whatever it is, the scenery is beautiful and amazing even without going all the way up to the summit.

(BUT note that the weather/cloud cover is something that is hard to predict, especially later in the day. Early morning starts are essential to ensure getting nice views!!)

B)  Is staying in a tent, going without shower, using a toilet in the field (you will be well shielded, no worries, as toilet tent is provided) etc… fine with you? In other words, can you do without the comforts of home for a few days while being out there in/with nature?

C) Do you have knee problems? The steep down parts are best avoided (down to the lake, down from summit in the first and last part, … ) but the down part either to Sembalun or Senaru village are not so bad (they do still take many hours; see the elevation/distance photo earlier! so a longer duration would be good).

D) Age alone should not deter you … both young and old have done it (youngest was like 8 while oldest was 80)! My friend D is a great example as well, being a grandpa of two and in his early 60s! 🙂

And if you need to see more images to get a better sense of the trek, do check out this link – 30 images of our Rinjani trek.

I was initially thinking immediately after the end of the trek that it would be a once in a lifetime adventure, but after looking back at the photos, perhaps I might do it again!! ;P




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