Nadagogo Japanese Restaurant Pre-Opening at Wyndham Grand Shenzhen

Step through the double doors on the right of the Wyndham’s Grand Kitchen and you will be greeted by a resounding chorus of ‘Irasshaimase!’ – ‘Welcome’ – to Nadagogo Japanese Restaurant.

Tastefully decorated to give an authentic Japanese feel, Nadagogo is unlike any other Japanese restaurant in Shenzhen. The opening ceremony was certainly an occasion to remember. The pièce de résistance was a 70 kilogram Yellowfin tuna, which was expertly prepared in front of a rapt audience. Costing roughly 30,000 RMB for the whole fish, this was an amazing treat for connoisseurs of exquisite foods.

The chef gave a running commentary on how the fish was being prepared and the uses of its different parts, one of which was for the sashimi course of the celebratory dinner. Dinner also included other delicacies such as slow cooked lobster with black truffle egg yolk paste, robata-yaki A5 Miyazaki Wagyu beef and minced shrimp wrapped with perilla leaf tempura.

In contrast to other Japanese restaurants which usually specialise in one type of cooking, there are five different cuisines and atmospheres in Nadagogo. Select your area depending on your mood and dining preference. Each section has its own specialty chefs ready to prepare your food as you order it.

Kushiyaki consists of grilled skewers of a variety of meats, vegetables and seafood, including the famous ‘yakitori’ – grilled skewered chicken Japanese style. You can choose to sit at the bar and watch the food being cooked, or sit at one of the tables and enjoy the friendly, relaxing ambiance.

For a more intimate experience, the teppanyaki room can seat up to ten people. You will enjoy your personal chef displaying his culinary skills on the iron hotplate that is ubiquitous with teppanyaki. Here you can share tastes of your favourite dishes – and perhaps try a few new flavours – with your friends, family or colleagues.

If a more formal dinner is required, such as for business meetings or special occasions, a special kaiseki menu is available in a private room. Here a more traditional Japanese style of cuisine is engaged. There will be several courses of haute cuisine and you can expect to see excellence in every detail.

Of course, no Japanese restaurant would be complete without fresh tempura, cooked to perfection while you watch at the bar. Sushi and sashimi is currently prepared behind the scenes, although in the future there will be a sushi counter for customers to enjoy the skills of the chefs up close.

Nadagogo also specialises in robatayaki – Japanese ‘fireside cooking’, similar to barbequing yet with that authentic Japanese style. Every dish is prepared with the utmost care as the chef carefully monitors the heat of the charcoal to bring out the best flavours of the food with the minimum of seasoning.

To accompany the sumptuous food is the best range of sake in Shenzhen. Nadagogo has roughly 130 varieties of sake in specialised dispensers, ready and waiting for you to try. This may seem a little daunting, especially if you know very little about sake; however, the restaurant sommelier is on hand to explain the different types and recommend pairings with particular dishes.

If you wish to try your hand at finding your perfect combination there are descriptions to accompany each bottle, along with a brown, green, blue or red character which indicates the main flavour. You simply have to top up the exclusive card at the cashier desk, insert it into one of the nine machines housing the sake and choose your desired beverage.

Top chefs from Japan, Hong Kong and mainland China, many of them having trained in Japan or at well-known Japanese restaurants, bring their talents to the table here. Nadagogo brings the perfect combination of Japanese cuisine and sake culture to Shenzhen.

Opening hours:

Lunch 11:30-15:00

Dinner 17:00-23:00

Address: 

3rd Floor, Wyndham Grand Hotel, 2009 Caitian Road, Futian, Shenzhen

深圳温德姆至尊酒店三层,中国广东省深圳市福田区彩田路2009

To reserve a table call: 0755-88398330

Merchiston International School (MIS): The Future of International Education in Shenzhen?

Merchiston International School (MIS) is the first of its kind in Shenzhen. Priding itself on providing a British education and boarding system, MIS is the first overseas campus of Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. With a history of over 185 years, MIS combines experience and knowledge with modern facilities and up-to-date technology, creating a unique setting for students to fulfil their learning potential.

Having only opened in August this year MIS already has around 200 students currently on roll, with the capacity for up to 1,200 students. The specially designed building is spacious and airy, centred around The Colinton Atrium that stretches to the seventh floor. This provides an area for the whole school to congregate and joins onto The Castle Hall auditorium where assemblies and presentations are held.

Extensive sports facilities include a basketball court, badminton courts, tennis courts, a fitness suite, an indoor swimming pool and a running track which starts inside then leads out of the building and around the football pitch. These facilities are used for a range of extra-curricular opportunities as well as Physical Education lessons which follow the English National Curriculum. MIS sports teams are already taking part in local competitions against other schools and will likely follow the example set by Merchiston Castle School in having a fantastic sporting reputation.

Sweeping staircases and a bank of glass elevators lead students, staff and visitors to the other levels of the school. Here can be found Science laboratories set up with state-of-the-art equipment, Design and Technology rooms, a Dance studio, a Music suite with individual practice rooms and a black box theatre for Drama. This is alongside the school library which – although already substantial – is still a work in progress. When complete it will be on two floors: one section for the Juniors and the other section for the Senior students. The library has several spaces for quiet study which the students are welcome to use whenever they need to. The Librarian and Library Assistant are always on hand to help students with any request they have.

Enticing murals decorate the corridors leading to the Art rooms, produced by the students from various classes. Each classroom has a wall of windows facing into the corridor along which students’ work is displayed and it’s easy to see the light open rooms waiting to be filled with eager children. The classrooms are all multi-media with either interactive whiteboards or interactive televisions set up for use by teachers and students alike. All students in the Juniors section of the school get a tablet to use in lessons and for their studies; students from Year 7 upwards have a laptop each.

The youngest members of the school, aged 5-7, have open classrooms leading out to an enclosed play area, suitable for outdoor learning as well as playtimes. Colourful and useful displays decorate the walls, interactive televisions are ready to be used by teachers and students alike, and up a spiral staircase is a mezzanine floor waiting to be converted into a habitat for the latest topic.

Once students reach Year 3 they usually board at the school during the week, and from Year 7 it is compulsory. This is what sets MIS apart more than anything else – it is the only British International boarding school in Shenzhen. From Year 5 students are allowed to stay at school during the weekends and can take part in the numerous activities on offer; everything from tree climbing and slack-lining to French cooking classes to visits to Window of the World. Sundays are more relaxed and students focus on completing their homework while being supervised by the teachers on site.

The curriculum at Merchiston International School is based on the English National Curriculum. At the Juniors level this is integrated with the International Primary Curriculum and Merchiston Castle School Edinburgh Juniors Curriculum. This ensures that every student develops valuable learning skills, creativity and international-mindedness which are then extended and enriched. In the Seniors, Years 7-9, a program is being developed based on the English National Curriculum with a focus on cultivating English skills to ensure students will be ready for the IGCSE exams at the end of Year 11. In the final two years at MIS students study for Advanced Level (A Level) examinations. This curriculum gives students an ideal starting point for their future prospects, especially for those wanting to study or work abroad in the future.

MIS goes a step further than most schools when welcoming prospective students. Not only are they given a full tour, they are also given the opportunity to take part in school activities for a day or even two. Students from Year 3 upwards are able to board at the school; this can be daunting for children who have never stayed away from home before. To show potential new students that living at school can actually be great fun whilst also being a valuable learning experience, they are invited to spend a night at school and take part in the usual evening activities. This way they get a real feel for the school and what it would be like to attend, as well as having the opportunity to make new friends from all over the world.

Outside of lessons MIS prides itself on the extensive program of Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) on offer. There are two sessions every day at the end of lessons and after a short break. The youngest students choose from options such as gardening, cooking club, board games, tennis, Maths, gymnastics, martial arts and Chinese culture and language clubs. Students in Years 3 to 6 have a wider range of activities, including calligraphy, swimming, French, Spanish, yoga, IT and multi-sports, as well as the opportunity for the same clubs at a higher level than the younger years. Seniors students have a more challenging range of options: Science, creative writing, jewellery making and drama, to name a few, alongside external competitions like the Mini United Nations (MUN) and activities with a whole school impact such as the School Yearbook Club.

MIS ensures that parents are also involved with the school as much as possible. To this end there are Parent Forums once a month on a variety of topics, such as Learning outside the Classroom, Inclusive Education and Additional Support, and Boarding Life. There are also regular tours of the campus for prospective parents.

For further information or to visit Merchiston International School please see the contact information below.

Chinese and Pinyin Name: 深圳曼彻斯通城堡学校 shenzhen man che si tong cheng bao xue xiao

Address: No. 12 Shilongzai Road, Dalang Sub-district, Longhua District, Shenzhen

深圳市龙华区大浪街道石龙仔路12号(大浪时尚小镇)

Website: Merchiston International School, Shenzhen’s Website

Phone: +86 400 867 0177

Email: admissions@merchiston.cn

 

 

Wyndham Grand Kids Puppy Activity

The second season of the Wyndham Grand Kids Activity was a howling success. With a theme of puppy dogs plus scrumptious food, games and competitions, the children who attended had a ‘pawesome’ time!

There was even a real live puppy to greet the children as they arrived!

Puppy balloons surrounded the outdoor garden of the lobby lounge and decorated the tables. To top it off, a stage was set up at the front with a huge ‘Discover the Cutie Doggy moment’ display.

Exciting objects and gifts could be found on every table, including pots of modelling clay in a range of bright colours for the children to play with. Wyndham Grand mugs were carefully wrapped as an additional gift for the adults at the event, although some of the children were so excited they unwrapped those as well!

One of the competitions was for the best clay model made during the afternoon, which almost all of the children (and some of the parents!) took part in.

The models showed off some very creative skills and great imagination. Puppies, chicks, ladybirds and snails were just a few of the creations displayed for the competition – it was very difficult for the judges to decide the winners!

The prizes were giant soft toy dogs, ready and waiting for a new home. They found their new homes with a green dinosaur, a multi-coloured hedgehog and a lime with a tiny hedgehog and carrot on top.

Even the food was puppy themed. Doggy-licious desserts – some in the shape of the most popular dog breed in China, the Shar Pei  – made a mouth-watering display.

Mini plant pots filled with sponge cake, crunchy flakes, fruit and chocolate, complete with a tiny spade; heart shaped chocolate truffles; all kinds of macaroons; puppy-shaped biscuits; mini waffle cones filled with fruit cream; chocolate, fruit and nut balls covered in purple chocolate; and frozen lime and pineapple-shaped desserts were a selection of the delights on offer.

The dessert display was completed by a pink chocolate fountain with marshmallows, jelly sweets and fruit skewers all ready to dip.

As for the main courses, every appetite was catered for. From finger sandwiches and BBQ chicken wings to kung bao chicken and sushi, an eclectic mix of Chinese and Western cuisines was on offer.

No kids’ activity would be complete without a ball pool, and the Wyndham Grand was no exception. Kids of all ages had a pawsitively fantastic time playing with the inflatables, balls and balloons.

The final competition was a ‘fetching’ game where the children had to find and retrieve small blue boxes. Each box contained a piece of paper with a number which could result in a prize – from small red puppies to giant 2m long soft, fluffy dogs all ready and waiting to be taken to their new home.

As usual the Wyndham Grand staff were ever present, helpful and involved with the event and the children.

Look out for the Third Season of the Wyndham Grand’s Kids Activity, coming early next year. An event definitely not to be missed!

Address: 3rd Floor, Wyndham Grand Hotel, 2009 Caitian Road, Futian, Shenzhen (深圳温德姆至尊酒店三层,中国广东省深圳市福田区彩田路2009 )

Tel: +86 755 8299 8888 (EXT 8560)

Grand Halloween Tradition at the Wyndham

The Wyndham Grand, Futian, doesn’t do events by halves, and Halloween this year was no exception. The Grand Kitchen, the Wyndham’s buffet restaurant, was host to the Halloween Buffet Dinner. No word could be used to describe it other than ‘spectacular’.

As soon as the elevator doors opened on the third floor, you were greeted by Halloween decorations and spooky sounds. Cobwebs were draped over light fittings; staff were dressed in cloaks and witches hats, with the occasional addition of scars, vampire teeth or dripping blood; skeletons and skulls caught your eye in every direction.

The most remarkable aspect was the amount of effort that had obviously gone into the Halloween themed food. Even the bread was shaped like ghostly faces!

From 6pm to 9.30pm over 100 people came to spend Halloween eating sumptuous savouries and delectable desserts. Appetizers included a selection of Asian-style and Western-style salads, as well as ‘design-your-own’, sushi, sashimi and an array of imported seafood – the Grand Kitchen’s specialty.

Everything from New Zealand scallops to oysters from Iceland, Alaskan salmon to South American shrimp, was available for the guests’ delight.

At the opposite side of the restaurant, a wide variety of Asian and International dishes greeted guests.

Alongside the usual dishes such as beef brisket, braised noodles with seafood, fried sole fish with cream sauce, Chinese BBQ chicken and pork, and Guangdong-style soup, the food was accentuated by Halloween specials.

A ‘Terrorist Mummy’ of BBQ pork rib with sausage was the centrepiece, complete with ketchup blood, laid ready and waiting to feed hungry guests.

The pièce de résistance of the whole experience was – without a doubt – the desserts. This is where the Halloween theme really came alive – or undead! A human brain, a bleeding heart and a dismembered arm were proudly displayed, surrounded by tombstones, spiders and skulls.

Luckily they were filled with delightful flavours like chocolate cake with raspberry and cream filling, almond cake or Swiss roll. They looked so good people were almost afraid to eat them!

As well as these masterpieces there were over 30 different types of dessert, all designed and made by the bakery chef.

Eyeballs filled with chocolate truffle and nuts, honeycomb witch hat cupcakes, Halloween sugar cookies, sweet witch poisoned soup, 3D spider puffs, fruit tarts in mini white chocolate coffins and chocolate spiders were just a few of the petrifying puddings on offer.

The treats didn’t stop at food either. Free-flow soft drinks and beer were also included with the buffet, along with a complimentary glass of wine and exclusive Halloween mocktails.

Free face paint, stick on scars and wounds, hats and masks were provided for anyone who wanted to embrace their inner scariness.

To top off a spectacular evening, what Halloween celebration would be complete without a pumpkin carving competition!

Eight guests took their places in front of fresh pumpkins, ready and waiting for life to be carving into them. Two children joined in, although after a while it became clear that their parents were doing most of the work as the children decided to go elsewhere and play!

After intense concentration and hard work from the participants, the restaurant manager chose a winning pumpkin. All pumpkin carvers received a Wyndham Grand mug as a special gift and the winner also received an exclusive bottle of house wine. The decision was very difficult to make as a lot of thought and effort had gone into every Jack o’lantern.

This was the third consecutive year the Grand Kitchen has put on a special Halloween Buffet and Mask Party, ever since the Wyndham Grand opened in 2015. If you can’t wait until next October, the international seafood buffet is also available every day for lunch and dinner!

From Monday to Thursday the buffet is RMB268, and RMB318 between Friday and Sunday. All diners are also welcome to enjoy one complimentary glass of wine. Prices are subject to 10% service charge and 6% VAT.

Address: 3rd Floor, Wyndham Grand Hotel, 2009 Caitian Road, Futian, Shenzhen (深圳温德姆至尊酒店三层,中国广东省深圳市福田区彩田路2009 )

Tel: +86 755 8299 8888 (EXT 8560)

Tailor-made Perfection

 

Something that is often associated with China – and with Shenzhen in particular – is tailor-made clothes. Many people visit Shenzhen from Hong Kong and further afield specifically to get top quality and reasonably priced clothes made to fit. One of the best tailors to be found in Shenzhen is Calvin’s Tailor Shop.

Situated in Commercial City, Luohu, on the 5th floor, Calvin’s is easy to find as it’s not far from the escalators. Here Calvin will greet you in English or Chinese, depending on your preferred language. This sets him apart from many other tailors in Luohu as he will understand everything anyone, whether Chinese or foreign, would want.

Calvin comes from a family of tailors going back three generations. Originally from Shanghai, he has worked as a tailor for 25 years and has had the same shop in Commercial City since 1999. He will guarantee anything he makes for you; however, his clothes are made to such detail that customers rarely – if ever – need a second fitting.

Sewing handmade clothes.

You have different options when choosing how your clothes will be made. You can either bring an item of clothing you want copied or a picture of the item of clothing you want and Calvin will reproduce it. Alternatively, if you’re not sure exactly what style you want Calvin can make items based on designs he has in store. He understands which styles and fabrics will suit which body types and skin colours and is an expert at recommending the perfect cut.

What sets Calvin apart from the numerous tailors you can find in Shenzhen is not just the outstanding service and attention to detail. Calvin also provides personal service to travellers: he will visit you in your hotel to take your measurements and show you a selection of fabric to choose from, and then your handmade clothing will be delivered to your hotel 24 hours later. Perfect if you are making a whistle-stop visit to Shenzhen, and amazing considering the usual turnaround time is one week. Don’t despair if you live elsewhere, or if you don’t have the time to wait in Shenzhen for 24 hours, as Calvin can arrange to have your clothes delivered anywhere in the world purely for the cost of the delivery.

Calvin’s business has grown since he first started fixing hems and sewing buttons when he was only 17. He now has 18 reliable staff working for him, many of whom have been working for him for over 20 years. This means you don’t need to worry that Calvin will be too busy to give you personal service, and you can expect the same professional service and standard no matter how many items you want made.

Men’s suits and shirts are Calvin’s favourite things to make as this is what he started with all those years ago. Men’s shirts usually cost around RMB 200 and suits vary in price depending on the quality of the fabric, ranging from RMB 750 up to RMB 2,500 for imported fabric from Italy or England. Ladies’ suits are also a specialty of Calvin’s with prices from RMB 650 to RMB 1,200. Calvin can also personalise your clothes by embroidering your name or initials on the cuffs of your shirts or inside the jacket to add that extra touch.

Whether you want a high-end suit or a one-off outfit for a special occasion, Calvin’s Tailor Shop is the ideal place to get perfectly-fitting quality clothes at a reasonable price.

Business Hours: Open 7 days a week 10am-8.30pm

Place Name: Calvin’s Tailor Shop

Place Address: No.5049 5/F,Luohu Commercial City Shenzhen (Luohu metro station, exit C) 深圳罗湖商业城5楼5049号 罗湖地铁站C出口

Phone/WhatsApp/WeChat: +8613682435489

Email: tailor-calvin@163.com

Website:  www.chinesebesttailor.com

 

 

Unlimited World Cup BBQ & Beer at the Wyndham Grand

The Wyndham Grand is a well-known international 5-star hotel. Open in Futian CBD, since January 2015, the Wyndham Grand never ceases to impress, and this summer is no exception. To celebrate the FIFA 2018 World Cup beginning on 14th June, the Wyndham Grand is hosting a summer barbeque buffet with free-flow craft beer for the bargain price of RMB188 per person.Wyndham GrandWorld Cup BBQ

Situated in the picturesque outdoor garden of Vintage Bar on the ground floor, the barbeque buffet offer will begin on 13th June and run until 15th July when the World Cup ends. Matches will be shown live on televisions in the only outdoor hotel garden in Shenzhen. What better way to enjoy the game than with unlimited glasses of ice-cold craft beer and a never-ending plate of tasty barbeque food?World Cup Combo at the Wyndham Grand

As well as free-flow craft beer or soft drinks, there is a delightful range of barbeque foods cooked fresh to order. Shrimp, squid, oyster and Japanese mackerel are the seafood delicacies you can sample, along with a variety of beef, lamb, chicken and pork barbeque dishes, all seasoned deliciously. If vegetables are more your style, try the barbeque corn-on-the-cob or roasted garlic eggplant. All of these dishes will be cooked as you order them to ensure the freshness of the food and that they are prepared to your requirements.

Before and between the matches there will be the opportunity to play games and win prizes. For every match you can predict who you think will win and each entry will have the chance to win a voucher for RMB500 that can be spent in any of the Wyndham Grand’s bars or restaurants. Whoever predicts the winner of the final will be in with a chance to win RMB3000 voucher plus free-flow beer at Vintage Bar until the end of 2018! A fantastic prize, by any standard. In addition, there will be smaller prizes on offer for customers who score a goal in the Wyndham Grand mini-goal.

Vintage Bar outdoor garden

Director of Food and Beverage from the Wyndham Grand, Shenzhen, Roy Huang has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 15 years and joined this hotel about 2 years ago. He shared with us his aim is to have the best outdoor bar in Futian CBD, and he understands that the key element is staff. To that end, all new staff have at least two whole day’s training in the first month before they are assigned to the appropriate position to provide quality service. All employees also have training once a month to ensure the highest standards are maintained. This process is obviously working as there has been an excellent retention of staff since opening.Roy Huang, DFB

The Vintage Bar and attached open-air garden is a stylish setting, suitable for any event. The Wyndham Grand is in an ideal location in central Futian, easy to get to by metro (Gangxia station) or by taxi. A warm welcome will greet you as you enter the foyer and on your left you will see the distinctive sign of Vintage Bar. A list of match dates and times will be on display in the entrance to the bar, so you can keep track of who is playing when. Due to the time difference between here and Russia, some of the matches will be on well past midnight; however, Vintage Bar – and the barbeque – will stay open until the last match finishes each night.World Cup BBQ

Whether you enjoy football (or soccer, as some people call it) or not, the Wyndham Grand World Cup Combo offer is one not to be missed. Bring your friends, play some games, win some prizes, and enjoy 5-star food and drink in an exclusive setting, all at the same time and for the great price of RMB188+10%+6% per person. . What more could you ask for?

For reservations or enquiries call 0755 82998888 ext.8550.

Address: 2009 Caitian Road, Futian CBD, Shenzhen.

The Queen of Spas

Everyone loves a relaxing spa day, and what better place to enjoy such a day than Queen Spa in Luohu, Shenzhen. The name itself is completely appropriate, although perhaps it should be called ‘The Queen of Spas’ instead.

The reputation of Queen Spa precedes it, and I had high expectations which were not only met but exceeded. The best ways of getting there are either by taxi or by metro. By taxi it costs about RMB30 from central Futian and takes around 15 minutes to get there, depending on traffic of course. Alternatively you can get the metro to XiangXiCun station on line 9, leave by exit C, walk straight to the corner, turn left and Queen Spa will be on your left. There are also free shuttle buses to and from Luohu and Huanggang borders, every 15 or 25 minutes respectively. The Luohu shuttle buses run from 7am to 11pm near the taxi rank on the first floor by door 6. At Huanggang the shuttle buses run 24 hours to match the border hours; once you’ve arrived through the border cross the footbridge, turn right and head down towards the buses to find the shuttle.Queen Spa entrance

As you walk through the entrance, you will be greeted by security guards who will point you towards the sweeping staircase down to the reception area. A chorus of ‘欢迎光临!’ ‘Huān yíng guāng lín!’ (Welcome!) rings out as you descend the stairs and a member of staff will escort you to a seat.

If you’re a foreigner you will need to show your passport, or at least a photo of it. This is not common practice in Shenzhen spas; however, at Queen Spa they have been told by the government to request ID from all visitors. Once they’ve taken note of your passport details the staff will give you a wristband with a number on it. This will be your locker number as well as your ticket to all the treats Queen Spa has to offer.

You will then be asked to enter the changing rooms – women’s changing rooms are on the left as you come down the entrance stairs, men’s are on the right. An attendant will check your wristband number and escort you to your locker where you will be given a towel and shower slippers, and asked if you would like a shower. In this section of the spa are showers, toilets, a jacuzzi pool, sauna, steam room and several treatments such as aroma oil bubble baths, back rubs and body scrubs. Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, toothbrushes, combs, cotton buds and various other amenities are provided for your use, so you don’t need to bring anything with you. Chinese guests will usually walk around the changing area in just a towel or naked, but if you prefer to wear a swim suit to use the jacuzzi, sauna or steam room, that’s absolutely fine.

An extra layer of security with the lockers is that they have to be opened with a pass held by one of the attendants as well as your wristband. There are always many attendants around, so you will never have to wait more than a few seconds for your locker to be opened.

Once you’ve finished your treatments and use of the facilities in this section, you will then be given pyjamas to wear for the rest of your visit. These are really comfortable and they actually have sizes to fit Westerners. You can also have a robe to wear over your pyjamas if you wish, and you keep your shower shoes for the duration of your visit. Feel free to bring your phone, book or e-reader with you; everything else can be left in your locker. You are, of course, welcome to return to your locker whenever you wish; however, once you’re comfortable in the lounge area you probably won’t want to move.Relaxing lounge

The attendants will escort you out the other side of the changing area to a lift which will take you to the third floor. This is the main lounge area where you will spend most of your time whilst at Queen Spa. It is a vast room with rows of comfortable reclining chairs, each of which has its own TV with on-demand movies and TV shows. In the centre is a counter with a huge variety of soft drinks which you can help yourself to. There are also pastries and ice cream available for a small fee. Anything you wish to purchase will be added to your tab, which you will then pay for when you leave. In addition to free soft drinks, beyond the seating area is a fruit ‘shop’ where all the fruit is free.Free fruit

On my visit I decided to go for a full body massage before making myself comfortable in the lounge area. A 90 minute aromatherapy massage is RMB269++; the minimum suggested tip on the receipt is 80rmb which makes the total including service charge and tip around RMB350. There are many other treatments available, such as different types of massage and salt scrubs, as well as a whole list of services when you’re relaxing in the lounge area watching movies. Another great service that Queen Spa offers for foreigners is that they have English-speaking staff available who wear a badge saying ‘English’. When I approached the desk for booking my massage, an English-speaking member of staff came over straight away to assist me. He also checked on me once I was in the massage room to make sure I knew what to do about adding the tip and signing the receipt at the end of the massage, and to see if I would like some water to drink.Massage room

After an hour and a half of massage I was fully relaxed and ready for some food. Queen Spa also caters for this with a full restaurant in the centre of the lounge floor. Once again, the English-speaking staff member came over to check I had an English menu, help me choose what to eat and to take my order. As I don’t eat meat and I prefer food that isn’t very spicy, he was very helpful in finding something I would enjoy. Unfortunately, my first choice wasn’t available so he came back and arranged a different meal for me that was adapted from menu items. I ended up eating udon noodles with vegetables and seafood in a tasty sauce – simple yet delicious.

Queen Spa dining

Finally I found myself a reclining chair and made myself comfortable. There was quite a selection of movies and TV shows available to choose from, some of which were very recent releases. From your chair you can order drinks, fruit, food and a variety of treatments, all while charging your phone and watching what you like snuggled up in your pyjamas and a blanket. Bliss!

The entrance fee for Queen Spa is RMB108 for 24 hours; however, if you spend over RMB189 on treatments during your visit – which is easily done! – the entrance fee is waived. All prices are detailed in treatment menus and on clear posters which usually have English as well as Chinese. One thing to be aware of is that all fees are subject to 13% service charge, which is not included in the menu price. This is one of the few places in Shenzhen where tips are expected – suggested amounts for tips are written on the receipt which you have to sign for each service. Even with the added tax and tips, prices are still reasonable for the service you get. You even have the choice of paying in RMB or HKD, and can pay by cash, card or WeChat.

I spent a lovely relaxing day at Queen Spa. The total cost was RMB631 for an aromatherapy full body massage, foot scraping, ear cleaning, dinner, soft drinks and a movie, and I was at the spa for around six and a half hours. You definitely get your monies worth here and I would certainly recommend it to anyone visiting or living in Shenzhen. It’s a fantastic experience!

ISNS Scholarships: The Opportunity of a Lifetime

The International School of Nanshan, Shenzhen campus
The International School of Nanshan, Shenzhen campus

The International School of Nanshan, Shenzhen, is an exceptional school. Established in 2002, ISNS has grown from only 118 students to over 800, all of whom graduate and get accepted into top universities around the world. The graduating class of 2018 includes students who have acquired scholarships at such institutes as the University of Ottowa, York University and Queen’s University in Canada, and School of the Arts Institute of Chicago, Seton Hall University and the prominent institutions Stanford University, Northwestern University and University of California, Berkeley in the United States. Cumulatively, the ISNS class of 2018 has obtained over US$554,000 in scholarship offers up to April this year, which is testament to the outstanding academic achievements of the students.

In order to give back to the community which plays such an important role in the life of the school, ISNS has decided to continue their scholarship program for the upcoming academic year. There will be five scholarships available: four will be available to prospective IB Diploma Program (DP) students, and one will be available to a current student for the Diploma Program. Successful applicants will receive a full-ride and full-tuition scholarship at ISNS for the two years of the course, providing academic standards are maintained during the first year of study. This is a wonderful opportunity for both existing students and those considering a change of school for Grades 11 and 12, or for students new to Shenzhen.  

ISNS is renowned for being the first full continuum International Baccalaureate school in Shenzhen. Throughout Grades 1 to 5 (the Primary Years Program or PYP) and Grades 6 to 10 (the Middle Years Program or MYP),it provides a unique combination of the New Brunswick curriculum from Canada and the world-recognised IB framework. Students completing the Diploma Program also have the opportunity to complete a New Brunswick Diploma as part of their studies. The key difference between a regular IB school and ISNS is that New Brunswick curriculum topics are used as the focal point for the IB units of enquiry, thereby expanding the areas covered to include provision towards the NB diploma.

The scholarships and bursaries provided by ISNS this year have been increased to an incredible total of RMB3,000,000. The school fosters a culture of inclusivity and cultural diversity, and by providing this service they ensure that their program is available to as many students as possible.

One of the fantastic aspects of ISNS is that all educational visits outside of the school are included in the tuition fees – or, in this case, within the scholarship funding. Every year groups from Grade 6 to Grade 12 take part in Service as Action and CAS trips (MYP & DP) or Education Outside of the Classroom (PYP) residential trips outside of Shenzhen. Destinations include Foshan and Yunnan Province in China as well as places which are further afield, such as Indonesia and Japan. These trips give students the opportunity to learn outside the school environment and help them to become true world citizens.

The students also plan and carry out a project to help the local or wider community as part of the ‘Service’ aspect of the IB framework. In Shenzhen students have worked with Captivating International, a charity based in Hong Kong and Shenzhen who support poor families and girls in rural China, and the Sunshine Academy which cares for and educates abandoned Chinese children. One project by Grade 11 students involved the students visiting Cambodia and building a house to help deprived local families. Other projects have included helping farmers in rural areas of China and discovering the culture and communities in different regions of China and South-East Asia.

In addition to the excursions away from Shenzhen, students also have the opportunity to take part in activities both within and after school. An extensive Arts program includes more than 23 different arts activities such as choir, dance and visual performances; sports choices are just as wide ranging, with the school participating in various inter-school events organised by Shenzhen International Schools Athletic Conference (SISAC). These events and activities are complemented by the state-of-the-art facilities at the ISNS campus in Nanshan, including a 200-metre outdoor track, a fitness centre, a 300-seat auditorium, libraries, fully-equipped science laboratories, art and music centres, wireless connectivity in all classrooms and interactive learning resources.

This year the International School of Nanshan, Shenzhen, will celebrate the significant milestone of its 100th graduating student. ISNS wants to give back to the students and give parents and wider families the opportunity to become part of the school community. Scholarships for academics, athletics, most-improved, all-rounder, and demonstration of the IB learner profile provide the perfect chance to join ISNS and grow to be one of their successful alumni.

For more information about the scholarships visit the scholarship and bursary section of the ISNS website or call the Admissions office. Alternatively, email the ISNS Admissions team at admissions@isnsz.com.

Applications close on 31st May 2018, so get your applications in quickly for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Chinese Name: 深圳南山国际学校
Place Address: International School of Nanshan Shenzhen -11 Longyuan Road, Taoyuan Sub-District, Nanshan District, Shenzhen 518055
深圳市南山区桃源街道龙苑路11号
Place Phone: +86 (755) 26661000

Kidz With Heart Mini-Olympics

The Kidz With Heart event presented by Captivating International and Shenzhen Charity Federation was a resounding success. Celebrating its 10th year, Captivating International has grown from strength to strength, developing charity projects around the world. This successful organisation was started in 2008 as a Hong Kong Charity with partnership links to Australia and the US. From there, founders Andrew and Julie Colquhoun, took the idea of helping impoverished children from remote villages in China, and over the years this charity work has extended to include seven different provinces throughout China as well as Kenya and Nepal.

The first of two annual events, the 7th annual Kidz With Heart event held at Shekou International School’s Jingshan Villa campus on Saturday 17th March, had more than 175 children from 29 countries taking part in a fantastic day of sports. A range of different events comprised the mini Olympics for children aged from 5 to 11 years old, with each child taking part in seven activities. Basketball shoot, soccer shoot, long jump, bean-bag toss, 3-legged race, a limbo competition and archery were a few of the exciting events on offer. Children and adults alike cheered on the participants and everyone competing received a T-shirt, a medal and a goodie bag for their efforts, as well as a great sense of achievement. The winners of each event also had the chance to display their country’s flag on the winner’s podium while being presented with their gold, silver and bronze medals at the end of the event.

In addition to the brilliantly organised events, delicious food was also on offer. Trafalgar from Shui Wei, Futian, provided hot dogs, burgers, kebabs and fries; Artisans Pizza provided – yes, you guessed it – pizza and Maximo provided creamy gelato, all at reasonable prices. You had to be an early bird to sample the ice cream though as it sold out before 11.30am! What was even better is that each of these sponsors donated 60% of their sales from the event to Kidz with Heart, and considering the roaring trade they did this should be a substantial contribution to a really worthy cause. Next time, which will be at SWIS on 24th March, Trafalgar and Artisans Pizza will be back with more savoury delicacies, along with ice cream from Alexander’s. Make sure you bring an empty stomach and a full wallet to sample one of everything and contribute further to Kidz With Heart.

To accompany the great food, the first Kidz With Heart event this year was sponsored by a plethora of other companies, including Raffles Medical who also hosted a first aid station at the event. The silver sponsors were AMROSIA Global Sourcing and Inspection and KidKraft; while Five-Star Sports, GPA Global, QSI, JEC British Early Learning Centre, NVD New Vision Display and First Code Academy were all Bronze sponsors. Of course, none of this would be possible without a location, kindly provided by Shekou International School with China Merchants Shekou Holdings and Jingshan Management Group. The next event will be sponsored at gold level by WIK Development and Manufacturing Service, making it WIK Kidz With Heart, and will be sponsored at silver level by ISNS and AMROSIA Global Sourcing and Inspection. Bronze sponsors will be GPA Global, NVD New Vision Display, Five-Star Sports and JEC British Early Learning Centre.

The second-to-none organisational skills of the volunteers organised by Gary Ellis from Shenzhen College of International Education (SCIE) at this first event ensured that everything ran swimmingly. Special thanks to Tom Simpson and Jenny Wu from SCIE who were MCs for the day. The next event will have volunteers from Shen Wai International School (SWIS), International School of Nanshan Shenzhen (ISNS) and The Academy, with Tim Mitchell and Chu Qi starring in the role of MC.

We haven’t got the final figures yet, but Kidz With Heart is hoping to raise around 350,000RMB over both weekends this year. All funds raised go to a range of charity projects run by Captivating International, with a focus on helping impoverished children in China reach out for a better tomorrow. These projects are the Healthy Village Program which provides health information, medical checks and basic healthcare supplies to remote villages; Greenhouses for impoverished families; Vocational High School Scholarships which sponsor girls to finish high school; My First Job Program, sponsoring girls who never had a chance to go to school to become a chef or home services worker; and Pig Project where two breeding pigs are given to a single-parent family or families with physical disabilities in remote villages.

This is such an important cause that it’s worth popping along just to eat pizza or a burger and cheer on the children competing – even if you don’t have children yourself! And if you missed it on 17th March don’t worry, the next one is 8am-1pm Saturday 24th March at Shen Wai International School, Shekou. Registration has closed for this event but make sure you put it in your diary for next year – kids only!

Shekou International School – A Community of High Quality Learning

Shekou International School is one of the most well-known international schools in Shenzhen. It is a not-for-profit private school which funnels all proceeds back into the school, which is clearly seen in the state-of-the-art facilities which are renovated every year. Established in 1988, SIS has a reputation for high quality education for expatriate children from around the world, and it prides itself on its Secondary Program and exceptional level of university acceptances.

If you ask the students what they like about SIS, they’ll tell you it’s the small, caring learning community where teachers and students form relationships and share a love of knowledge. They’ll also tell you that at SIS students have an opportunity to take on projects, service learning and challenges that they might not be able to tackle in a larger school.

Staff will tell you that SIS is a unique community because of the exceptional students, and the fact that their colleagues are passionate educators is a given. 75% of the faculty have a master’s degree or higher and it is not uncommon to see SIS staff presenting at leadership conferences throughout Asia.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is studied at both ends of the school – the Primary Years Program (PYP) is taught from pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5; the Diploma Program (DP) is taught in Grades 10 and 11. The curriculum in Grades 6 to 9 is based on the US Core Education Standards, and adapted to extend children’s learning from the Primary Years Program to the Diploma Program. Focused around enquiry-based learning, the IB program gives students a firm foundation in the PYP, during which they learn how to ask the right questions, how to find answers, how to collect, collate, organise and analyse data, make interpretations and conclusions and then evaluate their findings. Students become eager, autonomous learners by Grade 5, which stands them in excellent stead for their progress onto the DP course.

The aim of the Diploma Program is essentially to prepare students for university. It is an exam-based program which matches university expectations from around the world, and is linked directly to the enquiry-based learning students have done in previous years. Alongside six subject areas – Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and The Arts – within which students can choose one or two courses, there are also three core areas of study which every student has to complete. The DP core aims to broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.

The Theory of Knowledge (ToK) is possibly the most important aspect of the DP core skills students learn at SIS. This course teaches students about the philosophy of knowledge and education, it explains how different people learn and produce new knowledge, and how that knowledge is used and communicated. The Theory of Knowledge links to all curriculum areas studied, as well as any future studies the students may complete. It is often a favourite subject of the students as it gives them an opportunity to critically examine different topics, have discussions with their peers and teachers and talk about their own opinions on a range of matters.

The second core area is Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS). This can be conducted as three separate projects or combined into one which includes all the elements. The aim is for the students to become involved in the local community in an innovative and productive way, by using their imagination and creativity to design and carry out a project over 100 hours supported, of course, by the staff at SIS. Robert Stearns, the Head of School, has a great deal of experience in this area, and has guided students in projects such as arranging for refugees in Hong Kong to learn how to kayak.

The final core area in the IB Diploma Program is the extended essay. This enables students to demonstrate and put into practice many of the skills they have learnt at SIS by allowing them to choose their own research question, plan their line of enquiry, carry out their research and present their conclusions. The extended essay is also an impressive piece of writing that can be used to aid university applications.

In addition to the study programs throughout the school, SIS also runs a ‘Week Without Walls’ program of their own design. During this, students from Grade 4 to Grade 12 spend a week at another location either in Hong Kong, mainland China or Malaysia. This enables the students to put into practice their skills as global citizens, as well as giving them invaluable cultural and adventure experiences.

A strong advisory program throughout the school ensures that all students’ needs are provided for, whether academic, social or emotional. Paula Brunning is the High School Counsellor at SIS and part of her purview is to help the students find the best university match – not just within the country they want to live or the subjects they want to study, but also which university would suit their personality and character the most. The acceptance rate is extraordinary. One hundred percent of students from SIS are accepted into university and most of them get into their first choice of university, whether they apply to the USA, the UK, Canada, other European universities, Korea, Australia or Hong Kong.

The students themselves believe that SIS is a great school with a rewarding study program. One student explained that the IB Program exposes you to different subjects, is challenging and rigorous, and it makes you a better critical thinker. Other students share similar positive opinions: The teachers are all caring and professional and have a good relationship with the students; SIS has a comfortable environment and is student driven; it has small classes where everyone is friends and it feels more like a family; it’s easier to find your own voice at SIS than in a bigger school; the environment pushes you to be a better student.

In a rapidly growing city where the choices for our children’s education are ever-widening, SIS provides an established and reliable study program which ensures students have the best possible opportunities in the future.

Chinese Name: 蛇口国际学校
Place Address: Jing Shan Villas, Nan Hai Road, Shekou, Shenzhen 深圳市南山区蛇口南海大道鲸山别墅
Place Phone: +86 755-26693669