ST subscriber wins glamping trip for his 75th birthday

Mr Richard Tong, with his wife Rita, won a glamping trip for two to Shangri-La, Yunnan, worth $10,000, which is part of the ST+ news with benefits programme.
Mr Richard Tong, with his wife Rita, won a glamping trip for two to Shangri-La, Yunnan, worth $10,000, which is part of the ST+ news with benefits programme.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

For retiree Richard Tong, winning a six-day glamping getaway in a contest for subscribers of The Straits Times is nothing short of serendipitous.

The day he chanced upon the giveaway - Feb 8 - was his 75th birthday and also the deadline of the contest, which he read about in the newspaper.

"It was a totally impromptu decision to join. Since it was my birthday, I thought 'Why not?'" said Mr Tong, who used to work in the banking industry.

On Wednesday, he received news of his win - a $10,000 glamping trip for two to Shangri-La, Yunnan - which he described as a "belated birthday present". He will be going with his wife Rita, 73.

The couple will savour their first glamping experience at The Hidden Valley Resort, where they will get to sleep in a tented villa furnished with Wi-Fi, a king-sized bed, wood-burning stoves and personal shower facilities. They will also enjoy round-trip airfare, guided activities and meals prepared by the resort's resident chef.

The contest is part of the ST+ news with benefits programme to reward loyal subscribers. The glamping trip is sponsored by The Hidden Valley Resort.

Ms Cynara Tan, the resort's managing director, said: "They can look forward to an authentic travel experience, immersing themselves in Tibetan culture and farm-to-table dining. I hope they can soak up the ambience of the resort because it's a destination in itself."

The couple, who celebrated their golden anniversary last year and have three children, are avid travellers who have been to countries including Croatia, Egypt and Switzerland.

Said Mrs Tong, who is also retired: "We love travelling and I love mountains and flowers, so I'm really looking forward to this trip."

Her husband, who is an adventurous eater, is excited about digging into the exotic dishes of Shangri-La.

"I love to eat and I eat everything. I want to try yak meat, yak pizza, and yak butter and cheese," he said.

The couple have been ST subscribers for more than 50 years and read the newspaper daily at breakfast.

But this is the first time they have participated in an ST contest.

"I've never taken the time to join before, so winning this trip on my first try is a nice surprise."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 24, 2019, with the headline 'ST subscriber wins glamping trip for his 75th birthday'. Print Edition | Subscribe