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Revisiting British Colonial Splendour at the Fullerton Hotel, Singapore
By Myra Fong

As a travel destination, Singapore is a food lover’s paradise offering fabulous food from its Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures and of course the local Singapore must-eat specialties prawn laksa, Hainanese chicken rice and chilli crab.  Whether it’s in the colourful open-air hawker centers found in every neighbourhood on the island, in the air conditioned food courts or in upscale fine dining western restaurants, you will be spoilt for choice. Furthermore, Singapore has an endless parade of glitzy shopping malls, and The Great Singapore Sale held every year in June and July has heavy discounts attracting tourist from around the region. The clean air, safety and green tropical environment also makes Singapore a wonderful place to discover.

Among the dazzling gravity-defying skyscrapers, you will find beautiful traces of Singapore’s British colonial past and none other is more prominent than The Fullerton Hotel. Completed in 1928 to celebrate Singapore’s centennial in the British Empire, the Fullerton building was an ambitious symbol of the wealth, optimism and industriousness of the people.  Majestic neoclassical Greek columns grace every side of the building, and with its position at the mouth of the Singapore River, the Fullerton quickly became a symbol of Singapore. Initially the home of the General Post Office, the building was also used as a hospital for wounded British soldiers during WWII and then became the headquarters of the Japanese military administration after Singapore surrendered. After the war, it returned to being the Post Office and finally in 2001 was transformed into a 400-room 5-star luxury heritage hotel.

The Fullerton Hotel’s location cannot be better. The Boat Quay and Clarke Quay restaurant-bar area is just outside the hotel along the meandering Singapore River. Many of the city’s attractions are at the hotel’s doorstep including the water-spewing Merlion (the lion headed statue with a fish body), the Marina Bay Sands casino-entertainment complex and the durian fruit shaped Esplanade concert hall. You are literally right in the center of the beating heart of Singapore.

From the moment our airport car pulled up to the entrance of The Fullerton, we experienced an exceptional level of service. As part of The Straits Club privileges that came with booking a suite, our personal butler was waiting for our arrival, opened my door and greeted me by name. Our luggage was whisked away, and we entered a world of refined elegance that resonated with the grandeur of the building’s monumental past. We caught a glimpse of the lobby’s high vaulted atrium, dramatic columns and sweeping staircase while we were escorted directly to our room for in-room check in. Other benefits of The Straits Club included daily Champagne breakfast, afternoon tea, evening canapés and cocktails in the lounge.

Our suite had a balcony with a magnificent view of the Marina Bay, and the Merlion was just across the street from us with tourists lined up to take pictures. The bathroom was stocked with Bvlgari amenities, and in the living room there was a Nespresso machine and a collection of TWG tea – a premium tea brand from Singapore.

The bed was the pièce de résistance. There was a 4-inch thick down mattress topper, silky high-thread count cotton sheets, a down duvet and fluffy down pillows. There was even a pillow menu with fifteen different pillows: buckwheat, micro-gel, a cooling jade pillow for menopausal women, etc. – but the down pillows were already perfect. The bed was a sublime cocoon of down feathers, and it made sleeping such a sweet pleasure, so much so that it was very hard to leave the bed in the morning, but breakfast provided a compelling reason.

On the first morning, we went to the elegant Straits Club Lounge for the Champagne breakfast. Along with a buffet of steamed baos, dumplings, rice congee, meats, smoked salmon, fruit, cheese and bread, there was an à la carte menu of decadent items that changed daily. We encountered The Russian – vodka scrambled eggs with caviar and sour cream that made you tipsy after two bites, and The French – toast with a poached egg, foie gras and truffle Hollandaise sauce. There was also a Singapore breakfast option on the menu each day, such as Pan Fried Turnip Cake or Roti Prata – a thin crispy pancake with soft chewy layers served with a fish curry. Servers were happy to fetch silver pots of TWG tea for you and continuously pour Perrier-Jouët Champagne into your glass.

Hotel guests with Straits Club privileges can also choose to have breakfast at Town Restaurant with a larger buffet selection but no champagne. Here you can sit outside at the patio next to the Singapore River and watch the business people rush to work in the financial district while you linger over a leisurely breakfast.

One morning at Town Restaurant, my companion mentioned to me that his phone was running out of battery. A manager nearby overheard this and immediately whipped out a charger and offered to charge the phone. We were quite impressed by this level of service. Every wish you have is tended to without you having to request it. The comfort and enjoyment of the guests is the mission of every Fullerton Hotel employee, and they execute their duties with genuine grace and politeness.

For lunch, Town Restaurant serves local Singapore specialties, and the Hainanese Chicken Rice was superb. It was a masterful interpretation of the famous Singapore hawker center dish with soft silky poached chicken breast and flavourful rice cooked in chicken stock. The rice was soft but not mushy nor overly oily. In every individual grain of rice, perfumed with ginger and garlic, you can sense the hours of preparation that went into it.

Another delightful place for lunch is the Lighthouse Restaurant & Rooftop Bar on the 8th floor of the hotel. This space used to house the beacon that guided ships into port in the 18th century and is now a fine-dining Italian restaurant with gorgeous views of the city skyline and Marina Bay waterfront. We were treated to burrata freshly flown in from southern Italy that had a solid mozzarella shell and a rich sensuous filling of stringy mozzarella and cream. The Tagliolini al Limone was served with lightly spiced prawns, and the pasta sparkled with the brightness of Amalfi lemons. The Delizia al Tartufo were divine mini raviolis that burst in the mouth, releasing a truffle scented buttery liquid. Generous shavings of black truffle and mascarpone cheese sauce made these raviolis a truly extravagant indulgence.

A hotel of this calibre of course includes a luxurious spa to pamper its guests, and The Spa Artisan certainly lives up to The Fullerton’s reputation. I tried the Artisan Touch massage, which is their signature massage that features a fusion of eastern and western classical massage techniques. My masseuse presented me with a selection of massage oils to choose from, and I picked the Italian blood orange oil which energizes, detoxifies and removes dead skin cells. I was swathed in fine silky cotton sheets and laid on the massage table face down to begin. The masseuse walked over my body with her hands and knees, similar to how a Thai massage begins, the weight of her body loosening the tension in my muscles and preparing the body for the massage. True to the spa’s name, my masseuse was an artist. Her skilled hands worked in firm rhythmic strokes and used a variety of techniques. For the legs she employed long Balinese strokes. For the back, shoulder and neck area, she used Chinese style acupressure finger work to really reach those tough spots and stimulate blood flow followed by kneading techniques from western massage to relax. The different techniques were suited to what each body part needed, and the change of touch also made the massage interesting. After the massage, the tension in my shoulder and back were worked out and the massage oil left my skin soft and renewed.

2015 is a great year to visit Singapore because it’s the 50 year birthday of her independence, and there will be festivities throughout the year. The National Day celebration on August 9 promises to be extra special this year, and a balcony room at The Fullerton Hotel will give you a front row seat to the parade and spectacular fireworks show. Jetstar Airways flies direct from Hangzhou to Singapore five times a week.

Latest 5 Stories

Get Lost in the Maze-like Concentric Rings of Buildings "Tulou”

Uncover the Secrets of the Fujian Earth Buildings

T I M E 

Tour Signup Deadline: December 20th
Tour Date: December 21st – December 24th

V E N U E 

Xiamen, Fujian

T I C K E T S 

Price: 1,999RMB/adult
(Min 10 Pax, Max 16 Pax)

There’s no doubt – if your destination is Fujian and the south-east, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you miss these mammoth World Heritage wonders! Take four days to visit the Tulou closed settlements (pronounced “two”-“low”) for an encounter with China’s ancient Hakka culture, then let a local guide you to experience the real heart of life in Xiamen.


1. Explore the Tulou and discover why these mammoth communal dwellings were deemed precious items World Cultural Heritage – study their wisdom to get a unique look into Hakka culture!

2. Spend the night in comfortable Tulou tavern room lodging at the Hongkeng Tulou cluster’s Renquan’yuan Lou, ‘Square’ Lou or Wufeng Lou.

3. Get lost in the maze-like concentric rings of buildings inside the “King Tulou”, or seek out the ‘slither of sunlight’ in the Gaobei Tulou cluster. Had enough of Hakka Tulous? Then explore a different mystery in the Da’di Southern Min Tulou groupings in Hua’an.

What's included

1. 8 Meals (Including Breakfast x3,  Lunch x3, Dinner x2)
2. 3 Night’s Stay in Comfortable Hotels(Double occupancy, for single supplement please add 550 rmb)
3. Activity costs and admission fares for all items on the itinerary.
4. All transportation costs for the itinerary (Airport and Station pickup not included)
5. Full travel accident insurance for the duration of the trip.
6. Full bilingual guide accompaniment.

Not included

1. Transportation costs to Xiamen and Xiamen Plaza Hotel
2. All additional costs incurred by the individual not mentioned in the itinerary above.

Important Information

1. This is a coupled Chinese-foreign tour, meaning your tour group will include both Chinese natives and foreign expats. There is a minimum 10-person (maximum 16-person) signup threshold that must be reached for this tour to go ahead. If you sign up and the threshold is not reached, the cost of the tour will be refunded in the means by which you paid.

2. Want to come? Signup can be completed through the TA mini-program. Once the group reaches the minimum number of attendees you will receive a message from TA customer support confirming that the tour will go ahead.

If after successful payment and signup you become unable to attend your booked tour, your refund will be processed minus deductions as per the following scheme by the Trendy Adventurer Financial Affairs team:

- 14 or 14+ days before the activity date: 1% of the signup cost;
- 7 or 14 days before the activity date: 10% of the signup cost;
-7 to 3 days before the activity commencement date: 40% of the signup cost;
-3 to 1 day(s) before the activity commencement date: 55% of the signup cost;
-Within 24 hours of the activity commencement date: 70% of the signup cost.

Refunds will be processed within 5 working days after the date of conclusion of the tour.
(if the air ticket is included in the itinerary and the air ticket has been issued, 100% air ticket loss shall be borne, because the group ticket cannot be changed or refunded)

Take the Train With Just Your Passport

Standing in line for high speed train tickets is a thing of the past. Just enter the station and board the train by scanning your passport. This is a huge time saver for expats and international visitors who are denied access to the automatic ticketing machines.

This week I bought four tickets for travel between Hangzhou East and Yuhang. I used Chinese language APPs 12306 & Ctrip as well as English language apps and China Train Ticket for 铁路12306火车票. Each APP was successful for boarding trains without paper tickets, which was not the case when I did this two weeks ago.

Because the English charge a 20RMB service fee, it was a little disappointing that they didn't seem to give the boarding gate information, however it was easy to check the departures board once I was on the station concourse. I contacted their help desk and they said that they’ll pass the suggestion on to their IT team.

BTW, I didn't actually travel on each train - I just waited for each boarding time and went to the gate to scan my passport to check the success of each booking.­

PS - Paper tickets are still available for business travellers seeking reimbursement.

Here’s the current procedure when you arrive at Hangzhou East Railway Station:

1. At any of the station's entrances, expats and international visitors must go to the manual line which is usually situated at the far left.

2. For the security check, place all bags on the conveyor before being scanned quickly by security staff. users can check the departures board to see which gate to use. (The other APPs inform you online).

4. To access the platform for boarding, go to the manual line (usually on the right hand side) and scan your passport

Hot Spring Weekend Trip at Wuyi Forest

Wuyi Forest Hot Spring
Weekend Trip

T I M E 
Tour Signup Deadline: December 13th
Tour Date: December 14th – December 15th

V E N U E 
Wuyi, Zhejiang

T I C K E T S 
Price: 865RMB/adult
(Min 10 Pax, Max 16 Pax)

Tour the scenic mountain forest reserve, admire stunning scenes of peaks and streams, and experience the rugged glass cliff-face and treetop canopy walkways at Niutou Mountain Forest Park. Check in at the in-park Hot Spring Inn and spend a night enjoying invigorating hot spring baths, deep in the forest.


1. Explore the Niutou Mountain Forest Parks, long known as the “Jiuzhaigou Valley* of Zhejiang”, experiencing the thrilling glass cliff-face walkway and forest canopy treetop walkway.

2. Spend an away from the cold of winter, soaking in pure comfort in hot spring pools at the Hot Spring Inn.

(Note*: Jiuzhaigou Valley is a National Nature Reserve Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site in located in Northern Sichuan, China. The park is known for its many multi-level waterfalls and colorful lakes.)

What's included

1. Round-trip shared transfer
2. Pickup and drop-off from designated meeting points
3. One night's lodging in the Hot Spring Inn(A standard room)
4. Breakfast of Day 2
5. English-speaking Tour Guide
6. Travel Accident Insurance
7. All taxes, fees and handling charges
8. Explore the Niutou Mountain Forest National Park – the glass cliff and forest canopy walkways, and bathe in the Dream Spring hot springs. (includes scenic area entry ticket, glass walkway shoe wraps, hot spring entry ticket, sightseeing bus costs, etc.)

Costs does not include: other meals and personal purchases.
Note:You must bring your own bathing suit.

Important Information
Concerning the Hot Springs

1. Senior citizens over 70 years of age, pregnant women, women in menstruation and individuals weakened by sickness are all prohibited from entering the hot spring baths.

2. Minors or senior citizens with reduced mobility must have a guardian or adult caretaker present when in the hot springs.

3. It is recommended that individuals do not bathe in the hot spring baths for excessive periods of time.

4. Individuals who have suffered from or currently suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure, frailty of health or alcoholism are urged not to use the hot spring baths.

5. Wherever the above-mentioned cautions are ignored and an individual who has entered the hot spring baths meets with an unforeseen incident, hot spring management will not be responsible for payment of compensation.

6. Before using the hot spring, please review the relevant hot spring usage notes and bathe safely.

Additional Info

1. Children must be accompanied by an adult
2. Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
3. Minimum numbers apply. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund ( ONLY FOR GROUP TOUR)

Private Departures for This Tour

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking local guides in each destination.


1. Pricing for children under 12 years old who do not require an individual bed is 560RMB per person; Pricing for children above 12 years old share the same price as adult.

2. Breakfast cost for accompanying minors is 30RMB per person. (paid on site)

After signing up, for insurance purposes attendees are required to provide their name, phone number, Passport/ID Card number and passport information;
After making payment and signing-up, if for any reason you become unable to attend, refunds given will be subject to following loss expense rates:

A. 3 days or more prior to departure date – 1% of the total tour cost
B. 2 to 1 days before departure date = 55% of total tour cost
C. On the day of departure - 75% of total tour cost

All refunds will be paid to the relevant accounts within 10 working days of the conclusion of the tour event.

Caring for Your Skin During the Winter Season

Your skin is the largest organ that you have in your body and it is one that has multiple uses. It not only covers and protects everything inside your body, but it also helps your body stay at just the right temperature and allows you to have the sense of touch. Your skin, however, is often the one organ that we do not look after-especially during this time of year.

The winter and spring are particularly vulnerable seasons for your skin. The winter in particular can play a huge role in the way your skin reacts. This is especially the case in the northern parts of China where the weather is harsh, cold, dry, and dusty. People with sensitive or dry skin are particularly prone to problems during the winter season.

A common condition during the winter season and one that we treat often is dry, itchy skin. If you are suffering from this condition it is often easily treated, but remember to see your dermatologist or doctor straight away to be properly diagnosed.

By following the tips below, you will be able to beat dry itchy skin before it even starts this winter.

Tips to help you get your skin through the winter season

Do not take more than one shower/bath a day
Over washing removes the natural lubricant that skin produces and makes skin dry and flaky.

Do not shower/bathe for more than 10 minutes
The longer you stay in the water, the drier your skin will get.

Do not shower/bathe in hot water
Heat increases the rate that water evaporates from your skin leaving it dry. Luke warm water is a better choice.

Avoid saunas and steam baths
Like hot showers, they increase the rate that water evaporates from your skin leaving it dry.

Use a mild formula soap or shower gel and don't exfoliate

Apply moisturizing cream right after you shower/bathe while your skin is still damp

Moisturizers lock water into your skin but do not help add water so the best time to apply them is straight after your body has been in contact with water. For very dry weather, a thin moisturizer that is applied after a shower is not enough; in this circumstance, some thicker and greasier creams will do a better job.

Avoid wearing nylon or woolen clothing because these materials can irritate your skin
Loose fitting undergarments made out of 100% cotton are best when your skin is dry.

Air-conditioners, over-heated rooms, and windy weather all make the environment dry, which in turn can make your skin dry
To combat this, put some plants, fish-tanks, or humidifiers in your office and home.

Apply some extra protection if you have to go out on a windy day

The sun is not as hot or bright in winter

however, if you are outdoors for long periods of time, your skin can still get sunburned, particularly in the snow
Be sure to apply sunscreen in these cases.

Avoid spicy food as it can make your skin dry and itchy

Drink lots of water and limit your intake of alcohol

Dr. Eason Zhong is the Dermatology of United Family Hangzhou Clinic, he speaks English and Mandarin. To make an appointment with him, call 0571-89705148 or scan the QR code.

Clinic Hours:
8:30am -5:30pm,
Mondays – Saturdays
(Closed on Sundays)
0571 8970 5148

Learning about IGCSEs at Wellington

9am to 11am, Tuesday, December 3rd
9am to 11am, Tuesday, December 17th

Wellington College International Hangzhou 
2399 Xuezhi Road, Xiaoshan District, Hangzhou 

Wellington College International Hangzhou is pleased to announce the opening of admissions for their first ever cohort of Year 10 students to take the IGCSEs in the 2020-2021 academic year.

What are the IGCSEs?

IGCSE stands for International General Certificate of Secondary Education, which is a globally recognised qualification taken in Years 10 and 11 (Grades 9 and 10) and carries the same weight as the GCSEs that are offered within the UK. The IGCSE is one of the most sought after and recognised qualifications in the world, because it helps students develop core skills and competencies, including investigative skills, problem solving, teamwork and critical thinking. These skills are highly sought after by universities around the world, and as such, students who have completed the IGCSEs are generally regarded as highly competent candidates to enter such universities.

IGCSEs are also the most popular international qualification in schools around the world, with more than 4,800 schools over 150 countries doing the Cambridge International Examinations version of the IGCSE alone. Enrolling your child in the IGCSE programme at Wellington will provide them with a vital boost to their academic career, which will not only help them build on their study skills, but will make them more competitive and prepared to enter their senior school programme, whether that is offering A Levels or the IB Diploma Programme.

For the 2020-2021 academic year, Wellington College International Hangzhou is accepting an extremely limited number of applicants into Year 10 and is seeking students who will be able to achieve the world-standard results expected of them at Wellington.

In reflection of the importance of this first cohort, Wellington College International Hangzhou is proud to announce a range of scholarships, including an academic scholarship for Year 10 that includes significant reductions in tuition fees for the duration of the two-year IGCSE programme, with the option for this to be extended throughout the two-year A Level programme, subject to a favourable academic assessment.

This is an exciting opportunity for talented students in Hangzhou to receive a significant tuition reduction, allowing access to the world-class holistic education which Wellington has to offer.

As well as meeting the admissions requirements for Wellington College International Hangzhou, and being able to demonstrate significant academic potential as determined through the admissions assessment process, other traits that Wellington College International Hangzhou seeking from their Wellingtonian pupils include;

An international outlook and a desire to be a global citizen of the future

A willingness to work hard with a positive attitude towards learning

A desire to develop all Wellington Identities, to take full advantage of the opportunities on offer at Wellington and show a commitment to making a positive contribution to the wider Wellington community

An aspiration to live by the Wellington Values

To learn more about the IGCSEs and the academic scholarship programme, we encourage prospective parents to join Wellington for their IGCSE Parent Information Sessions being held on Tuesday, December 3rd and Tuesday December 17th.

To register to attend an information session, please scan the QR code below, or follow the link at the bottom of this post.

If you would prefer a private tour, please contact the admissions team at your convenience via phone at (+86-571) 8239 6366 or by emailing

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