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  • Writer's pictureRolf Graf

Koh Samui Amazing Race with Graco on

Time to board your off-road 4 by 4 vehicles and be ready to start your exhilarating team building event on Koh Samui. Be competitive, be creative, experience local life, have a sense of adventure and learn about local culture in our chase of a race around Koh Samui and stop the clock first! With a mix of cultural and activity location challenges, Amazing Chase Samui is the perfect event for teams looking for a competitive event whilst experiencing local life and visiting some of the most well-known sites on the island!

On the 28th March 2014, 40 delegates from Graco International a well-known fluid design solutions organization did just that and chose the Amazing Chase Samui organized by Beunite, for a mix of western and Asian delegates from a variety of locations around the world. The participants experienced a full morning of local culture and intrigue with plenty of team tasks whilst enjoying lighter moments as during the challenges and travel around the island, by off-road vehicles.

The Location:

The location was the beautiful tropical island of Koh Samui, departing from their chosen hotel Vannabelle (part of the Sheraton group), Graco delegates travelled on set routings, racing each to complete the challenges and score as many time bonuses as possible along the way.

The Schedule:

08.30 – 08.45 – Event briefing, allocation of facilitators, team colors and team materials 08.45 – Challenge 1 – Solve the cryptic clues to reveal the locations of the challenges and pinpoint on a map, once compete, the teams were free to leave and embark on the Amazing Chase race!

08.45 – 12.30 – Teams raced to complete as many of the challenges in the time allowed and aimed to arrive back at Vannabelle within the allotted time frame. 12.30 – 13:00 – Event de-brief, reviewing performance, awarding prizes.

The Program:

A mixture of cultural, activity and adventure team building challenges, had been hand-picked and organized at a variety of spot and scenic locations around the island, allowing the participants to enjoy the event and experience the stunningly beautiful views and scenery of Koh Samui, an amazing team building event location! The group of 40 participants were divided into 4 teams, put on their team colors and prepared for the challenges that awaited them. First, they received pictures of the locations with cryptic clues to solve to try to pinpoint the places on the island map.

Once this had been completed they were free to leave the start point and head out on the pre-set routings and to the first challenge locations. Graco had selected a full mixture of cultural, activity and adventure challenges which a high priority for the client, and each challenge had to be completed to move on in the race, with some such as rifle shooting awarding extra time bonuses for the highest score. Teams departed from the hotel and were sent in various directions, traveling along the same course which included crossing over at the highest point of the island before descending to the other side.

The Cultural challenges

Experiencing local life and culture is a big part of the Amazing chase event on Koh Samui and we arranged three such activities which required full team participation and interaction with the locals.

Rhythm is the answer – Teams were set the task of learning a classic Thai long drum music rhythm and then with the assistance of the expert music teacher perform the piece to perfection within the allotted time. Participants took part on this activity with real sense of enjoyment, playing with the various drums and percussion instruments and evening dancing, each team completed this challenge successfully.

Spice up your life – Papaya Salad or Som tum as it is known in Thailand, is the world-famous spicy salad for which the country is known for, eaten by many Thais, (religiously every day by some) it is a concoction of many fresh ingredients, with a serious touch of spice! Teams were set the task of making this salad, by following an instruction card and presenting it to our Somtam making expert, Khun Tong, who scored each teams plate, based on taste and eat ability put of 10. Key to making a good som tam, are the amounts of fish sauce, lime, salt, and chilies that you add, generally the spicier it tastes the better. Every team performed this challenge admirably with everyone scoring at least 8 out of 10, and the best team was awarded 9 ½, for which they received a time bonus, plus everyone got to eat some of their own creation.

Market Barter – Thai’s love markets, and the like a bargain and in traditional culture, bartering down the price is part and parcel of purchasing local items, including souvenirs. Teams arrived at the islands capital Nathon and were provided with a list of souvenir items that they had to locate and purchase for the best possible price, with one instruction, you have 15 minutes to closing to complete the challenge.

Teams decided on the best strategy whether to search for an item each or travel in one group, with time against them, they had to form a plan quickly and concisely. Some teams managed to buy most of the items and returned before closing, others went over time and although they bought some of the items, some were not quite what we were looking for and for this reason, received a time penalty. For each correct item a time bonus of 1 minute was awarded to each team.

Adventure challenges

High up on the list of the Graco organizers priorities was to include some adventure challenges and the two that were chosen, would prove pivotal in the outcome.

Lap it up – ATV challenge. – Teams arrived at the ATV circuit in the Na Muang Safari park region of Koh Samui. First, they received their safety instructions, put on their helmets and gloves and then boarded their vehicles. Their task as a team, was to compete as many laps of the circuit as possible within 10 minutes. Each team had a practice round and then had to decide the order in which they would go around the course, knowing that the only score that would count would be when the whole team had completed a lap, rather than individual laps. Once they had worked this out some teams put the slower drivers at the front, others mixed up the formation and one team had the foresight, to carry the slower people on the back of the ATV, there was no rule about this, and because of this decision, as it allowed the team to ride around the course and record the highest number of laps for which, time bonus was awarded.

Ready, Aim, Fire – Rifle shooting Range – At the Chaweng shooting range, teams received the instruction to score as many points as possible, by hitting the targets with their bullets. First the teams received a safety briefing, and were shown how to fire the weapons, then one by one they took to the stand, and prepared to fire at will. Plenty of skill and dexterity and teamwork were shown by all competitors, with rifles, pistols and an AK47 used in the activity to deafen affect, which is always why everyone had to wear ear muffs, provided by the location. Once each team had completed their challenge, it was time to check the bullet holes and the facilitators judgement was final regarding do the bullet hit the target and where did it hit in terms of the final scores which would be presented in the de-brief.

Team Roadblock challenge

To create time and a gap between the teams at the start, and towards the finish, a diversionary activity challenge was set up at one of Koh Samui’s main attractions, Koh Hua Jook Pagoda, which is a giant golden pagoda, overlooking Chaweng Lake, high up on top of a ridge. Teams arrived at this location and received instructions to search the Pagoda location for answers to various questions and to work out the names of specific locations on and off shore on Samui from the stunning viewpoint which looks out to sea off of the north and east coast of the island and inland towards the mountains, whilst below they could observe the flights arriving and departing the islands runway which seems like a stone’s throw away from you.

Teams searched the location, found various answers about items and objects and signs and then proceeded to the viewpoint at the top to take in the breathtakingly stunning views and to pinpoint 5 landmarks that they could see from the viewpoint on the map of Samui. All the teams found the answers to the questions and completed the map challenge, which provided a perfect team roadblock for the event.

12:00 – Return to the hotel

At midday, all of teams receive the final instruction, complete the challenge and race to the hotel, you must be back before 12:30 otherwise a time penalty will apply. All of teams completed the last challenges and then returned to the hotel with only one team incurring the penalty for arriving after the cut off time. The only questions left were, how did each team perform? how many challenges did they complete? which team had the best overall time? All would be revealed in the event de-brief!

12.45 – 13.15 – Team building event de-brief

Each team settled down in their groups at the outdoor bar area of Vannabelle and Beunite lead facilitator, Mr. Martin Lavis proceeded to de-brief the event, questions were asked in relation to their overall team performance, which challenge they enjoyed the most and which of the activities they felt was the most challenging from a team perspective as well as discussing how their performances relate to over objectives on teamwork.

First we revealed how many locations each team had visited and the number of challenges completed, then we added the various time bonuses on offer for the cultural and adventure challenge winners, before finally reviewing the result and announcing the placements and the winning team (in reverse order), who came forward to much applause to receive their winning team prizes including coconut shell products and , som tum mortars and pestles some of the many locally made items on Koh Samui, ‘’Maprow Island’’ the stunning tropical island paradise, land of coconut plantations. Searching for an event full of culture, teamwork, activity and creativity, choose our Samui Amazing Chase for your next team building event in Thailand!

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