Just got back from my usual 15 kilometer walk. The usual quiet of Tudor was disrupted by a diesel powered tractor. There was also a rumble or what sounded like an empty steel barrel, rolling on the hard but worn out, stony surface of the roads (streets). It was… sort of. It was a mid-sized steam roller (1); crushing, flattening and leveling freshly tarred (2) (3) stones.

Tudor was having a makeover. Its streets and the driveways of houses are currently being re-surfaced. The heavy machinery (road surfacing equipment) that came into our area two weeks ago, giving us hope that work would start then. But they vanished a couple of days later after they resurfaced USJ4/3 street. After watching the movie “Terminator”; these workers have come with a theme “WE’LL BE BACK!” And so they are.


Piano playing softly… accompanying the clarinet. The music: a very light, gentle sort of fusion jazz background music coming through over the Google Home Mini, with its volume at level 2 or 3.

Google Home Mini. The Verge

The two new lightly, gold-ish /bronze -silver Panasonic ceiling fans were swirling (more like chopping – a mini version of a helicopter rotor blades) the air around to keep the room cool. It rained a heavy drizzle earlier on in the evening which helped bring down the temperature to a cooler notch. But it was still rather humid.

I started working on the follow-up to my story “Chen Cuifen – Captivating!” with the hopes of learning more about her, her likes, family… just about everything.

Chen Cuifen

The fourth oldest in her family, Chen Cuifen was born into poverty. She was attractive, sweet and had a good figure. She was said to be simple, honest and treat others with kindness. Chen Cuifen met Sun Yat-sen in 1892.

Sun Yat-sen became China’s first provisional president. Though not officially recognised by Sun; his family revered Cuifen with respect.

Cuifen was guard and nurse to Sun Yat-sen. It states in this article, She accompanied Sun Yat-sen everywhere, though frightened. (4) The writer who wrote this said that “she was displaced and frightened. She followed Sun everywhere even if her name is not right”, implying that she was his mistress or “concubine”. Yet in some articles written by others, she was said to be his second wife.


Based on an article by, it describes Chen Cuifen as Sun’s concubine. Lu Mushen was Sun’s first wife. She could not accompany Sun on running of the revolution due to her wife, mother and daughter roles and duties. She spent her time teaching their children and looking after her parents. Thus, not being able to be the revolutionary’s sidekick. That’s where Cuifen comes in.

According to this article it said just that -“Ms Chen Cuifen just made up for this shortcoming”. She was by his side all the time, taking care of his daily life, passing on information, and making contributions to the cause of the revolution.

Sun Yat-sen had four wives. Is he a "scumbag"?
Sun Yat-sen with Chen Chuifen in the middle.

She was inspired by Sun Yat-sen’s ideals of revolution. All articles about her involvement in the revolution point to this fact.(5)

All the men, including foreign revolutionaries that Sun worked with; respected Cuifen as a major contributor towards the cause of the revolution. The Japanese samurai, Miyazaki Tokura who followed Sun once said, “The Chinese comrade who takes care of Mr Sun’s daily life is really a heroine. She uses long chopsticks and has big eyes, like a man eating. Only in this way women of revolutionaries take on major issues”.


Cuifen’s birth name was Xiangling. She was also known as Ruifen. She was affectionately called sigu (fourth aunt) by comrades of the revolution. Cuifen risked her life and did all she could to support Sun’s career.

Cuifen lived at the Changchun Pu villa, which is behind today’s famous Aun Tong coffee mill in Taiping, Perak. (6) According to this writer, there were some newspaper clippings on the wall next to Cuifen’s portrait. These newspaper clippings stated that Cuifen travelled alone to Malaya in 1914 after breaking up with Sun. She stayed at Changchun Pu villa for many years. It was during that time that she adopted a daughter.

In 1931, Cuifen returned to Hong Kong with her adopted daughter, Sun Zhongying, and later moved to Guangzhou upon Sun Fo’s (Sun Yat-sen’s son’s request).

According to her grandson, when the anti-Japanese war broke out; Cuifen took part in the battle against Japan.

Chen Cuifen was not recognised officially. History does not remember her name, and her relation with Sun was never made public.

Sun Zhongying’s son, Sun Bisheng; reported that Chen Cuifen’s name has been added into the Sun genealogy as Sun Yat-sen’s concubine. Sun Busheng once told the media that Cuifen passed away in his embrace on October 21st, 1962. As she lay dying, she passed him a gold ring and a pocket watch, the two items that she had most treasured throughout her life. The pocket watch had SunYat-sen’s English name engraved on it and was the only keepsake he gave her. She finally let him go and breathed her last. (Chia)(8)

This article also states that Cuifen died in 1960. Her body was later buried in the tomb of the Sun family. On her deathbed, what matter most to Chen Cuifen, Sun Yat-sen’s partner was a gold ring and a pocket watch, engraved with Sun’s English name. (7)

I am not sure if I am clouded by the mysteries about Chen Cuifen. I think I have managed to capture what Chen Cuifen would have wanted me to share with the world about her to some extent. She came from humble beginnings. She was kind. She was honest. She was loyal.

I have not managed to find that “secret passage” of her life, the untold chapters. Most of the articles about her were written by Chinese authors in their native language. The information from the internet would have been translated to English from Chinese. In those passages of translation; there could be some misinterpretation and loss of the essence of its meanings. Some information differs (like when she died) between the articles from different writers.

I am sure there are many more good untold stories of Chen Cuifen. I am happy that I know a little more of her.


  1. A steam or road roller is a compactor-type engineering vehicle used to compact soil, gravel, concrete or asphalt in the construction of roads and foundations.
  2. What are tarred roads made of? asphalt, black or brown petroleum-like material that has a consistency varying from viscous liquid to glassy solid. It is obtained either as a residue from the distillation of petroleum or from natural deposits. Asphalt consists of compounds of hydrogen and carbon with minor proportions of nitrogen, sulfur, and oxygen.
    asphalt | Components, Development, Properties, & Facts | Britannica › science › asphalt-materi
  3. Why is tar used for roads? The chip seal treatment is a cost efficient method of pavement preservation that helps prevent water from seeping into and softening the base of the road. … The tar-like substance is actually an emulsion of water and liquid asphalt which penetrates and seals small cracks in the existing pavement
  4. Chen Cuifen was born into poverty. She was “handsome and well-built”. She met with Sun Yat-sen, who was China’s first provisional president in 1892. She was a female guard and nurse to Sun Yat-sen. It states in this article, “She is willing to accompany Mr Sun all the time, even if she is displaced and frightened, “even if her name is not right”.
  5. I have said many times in the past that I will not write about politics. I will leave the writings about politics for others to do so. Here, in this essay; I am relating parts of history – the angle which I am writing from.
  6. Taiping, Perak in Malaysia.
  8. Chia Yei Yei, Senior Correspondent, Lianhe Zaobao;


It was a moonlit night in old Mexico
I walked alone between some old adobe haciendas
Suddenly, I heard the plaintive cry of a young Mexican girl …

“La la laaaa,” (the guitar strumming rapidly a tune); “La la la la la la la la laaaaaa” (The guitar continued with its rapid strumming but in F#m (chord change) …

“You better come home, Speedy Gonzales”…. hang on, … going off track…😅. The sun this evening must have gotten to me on my long walk.


I have reverted back to my usual 15 kilometer (km) walk per day starting yesterday, from the 15,000 steps which covers 11.9km. This is to work at reducing the gained 2.2kg overweight from 2 days ago. Signs of progress – weight is down by 0.4kg after yesterday’s exercise.

While walking, my mind wonders off at times (I am a dreamer) … Speedy Gonzales? How did that come into the picture?

At the same time, I was treated to battle royale: The time was after 6.00pm in the evening. The sun was out strong, but not as scorching as over the past few days. It was slowly making its way to the west for its sunset. There were some clouds from the North-East, gathering and building up overhead slowly. They didn’t look like rain clouds. A short while later, I heard the rumbles of the sound of thunder in the distance. The sun was still shining brightly at this time.

There was a sudden thunderclap. It looked like the sun was not going to have a peaceful sundown. But it didn’t seem like it wanted to give up. The rain clouds showed force by dropping a drizzle of rain. The sun retaliated with all its might by shining even more brighter, and thus evaporating the raindrops. The clouds could not respond to that move and just remained where they were.

The sun had a peaceful and beautiful sunset, shining radiantly and faded away slowly, thus creating a beautiful sunset.

At the same time; I was also thinking as to what my next essay would be on. I had several topics in mind and I was already framing my storyboard. Hey, why not I write about my trip to Taiping? No, no… Not the one in southwestern China. (1)

Flower in Taiping. Picture courtesy of Dato Devan

Jeannie and I visited the “Taiping” in Perak, Malaysia on an overnight trip last Friday (October 15th, 2021) evening. We were invited by Dato Devan to stay the night with him and his family.

Pronounced as taipen by Malay, thaipin by Chinese and thaipeng by Hokkien (a Chinese dialect); Taiping is made up of two Chinese characters (tai – “great”) and (ping – “peace”). (2)

Picture by Dato Devan

Being a true Malaysian; the first thing on the agenda is food. It can be the only thing on the agenda for most Malaysians.

This is char kuey teow. It is neither Penang nor is it Ipoh char kuew teow. This is “Taiping” char Kuew Teow with a twist. It had a slight hint of lime added to it when it was being “char” or fried; making it unique; not the usual limau kasturi (3) squeezed over the already prepared dish.

Dato Devan and myself at a Taiping coffee shop (or restaurant as they are now known these days.)

Friday evening was light and easy. It was dinner, then back to the house for chit-chat, drinks and some snacks.

The Taiping moon, Friday night. Photo by Dato Devan with his Samsung S21 Ultra’s 108 times zoom.

Saturday morning, Jeannie and I began with breakfast with Dato Devan and his wife Datin Poonam; at a coffee shop near a Chinese temple, reputed to serve good, simple food. Then, they took us on a tour of Taiping

One of our first stops was to St Louis Catholic Church – the oldest church in Perak. It is a beautiful church with a stone style architecture. It reminds me a bit of the Holy Rosary Church in Sapa, North Vietnam.

Jeannie and I at St. Louis Church, the oldest church in Perak

The bell tower. Jeannie was tempted to give it a go at ringing the bell.

Jeannie. Picture by Dato Devan
Picture by Dato Devan

We drove around the Taiping Lake Gardens. Being a Saturday morning, this park was full of people.

The famous 134 year-old giant rainforest tree near the lake, which is a tourist attraction; had just died recently. The authorities had tried to keep the tree alive and maintain it by placing metal beams as support to keep it from falling.

Since it was a dry spell even for the wettest town in Malaysia (Taiping attracts the most rainfall every year); the waterfall was suffering a “falling water” shortage.

The waterfall at the back of us. Photo by Dato Devan

We stopped by at a famous shop, selling a wide variety of Chinese biscuits and cookies – a must for tourists, local and foreign alike.

Visiting Taiping as a tourist without visiting the most famous Aun Tong coffee mill in Assam Kumbang, is like not having visited Taiping at all.

I love coffee. I got to see for the first time how coffee was made. Actually, I only had glimpses. A lot of the machinery look like they were from a from a different century 😃
The furnaces are at the back of us.
The furnaces behind Jeannie, where the beans are roasted.
Coffee beans from Indonesia.
The beans, roasted.
Picture of beautiful Chen Cuifen. (1867 -1962). She was Sun Yat-sen’s partner – long story. (3) This selfie photo was taken in the museum room at the Aun Tong coffee mill.

The picture of Chen Cuifen caught my eye. She was beautiful and powerful, too. This little museum room is a must-see. It is history, but not from too long ago. In the museum, there are a lot of artifacts, each with a story behind it.

Jeannie, at the Antong (Is it “Aun Tong” or “Antong”?) coffee mill. The mill has been around since 1933.
Modern design packaging has taken away some of the nostalgia of the old coffee mill. The green packet on the left is coffee with mint.

You get the mint flavour at the beginning and at the end of the sip. It is something like being on the surface of the coffee. Designer coffee?

Another old charm of Taiping is the Nagaria Steak House restaurant in the heart of the city of Taiping. Why old charm is because it has that original Coliseum Restaurant (now closed down) dark and rustic look; having been left behind in the era of the 1950s; in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, minus the old rude and rough waiters which gave character to Coliseum. The western food served at Nagaria is supposed to be the best Taiping has to offer.

It was past 2.00pm when Jeannie and I decided to make our way back to Subang Jaya. When we on the highway, just out of Taiping; we could see it was already storming in the hills of Taiping behind us. There were also drops of rain beginning to fall on us, too. So that’s what rain looks like. It has been so long since the last time we had rain that we almost forgot what they looked like.

Taiping may seem to be like just about any other city or town in Malaysia. But it does have a lot to offer in terms of sight-seeing and things to do. No major mega shopping malls here, though. It may take a bit of getting used to in living a simple, yet happy life there. Heavenly peace.


  1. Taiping, China; is a subdistrict situated in eastern Anning City, Yunnan province. southwestern China.
  3. “Limau Kasturi” is Calamansi. It is also known as Philippine lime and is important, econimically . It is predominantly grown in The Philippines but it is also easily available in South East Asia, Southern China and Taiwan in East Asia.
  4. Sun Yat-Sen’s lover Cuifen and her Malaysia villa, Chia Yei Yei, 16 Oct 2019.,
  5. “Speedy Gonzales” – This music and everything in it is owned or licensed by Believe and UMG
Pat Boone – Speedy Gonzalez