An Amazing Day at An Amazing Venue for An Amazing Race with An Amazing Group of People (#TSDAYOUT 30th March 2012) |Being Lost On Greatness


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

An Amazing Day at An Amazing Venue for An Amazing Race with An Amazing Group of People (#TSDAYOUT 30th March 2012)

“The world is waiting for you. Good luck... travel safe... go!” (Phil Keoghan-Amazing Race)

I must say that those starting words uttered by the host in each of the first episode of each season of the AMAZING RACE has spurred me to pursue my passion of seeing various parts of the world.
I always wondered how it would be to participate in the Amazing Race. After 12 years since the first Amazing Race episode, I was finally able to say “Yes! I did participate in an Amazing Race and it’s all thanks to the Amazing people at Tourism Selangor”.

However, it wasn’t that easy getting selected. Facebook and Twitter users were given the chance to be selected by just providing their Names and Email address. This meant it was purely down to luck and I had to compete with 33,887 Facebook fans of Tourism Selangor (as of 9th April) and an unknown mass of Twitter followers. My chances were further lowered as I’m not a citizen of Twitterland. Anyway, I just decided to give it a try and spent 30 seconds keying in my details and hitting the “Comment” button on TS Facebook page J……And as they say, the rest is History!

I was thrilled to find out that I was selected as the Top 30 names for the TSDayout for its AMAZING RACE Edition!!! I know how lucky I was coz as you can see in the image, I’m name number 30!! The rest of the day was filled will congratulatory comments on Facebook from friends as well as an email from the organizers telling us on what to prepare for the big day on 30th March 2012. Oh ya, I forget to mention that this Amazing Race will take place at the Largest Man-Made Forest in the World—Forest Research Institute Malaysia. FRIM was founded in 1929 and is located 16 km north west of Kuala Lumpur consisting of 544.3 ha of land that is surrounded by the Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve. A quick check on their website ( shows that they have won an array of awards and recognitions! Tourism Selangor could not have chosen a more fitting venue for its inaugural TSDAYOUT Amazing Race Edition.

Okayyyy…back to the event….Let me guide you through my experience on the day of the event.

30th March 2012

I find myself unable to sleep. The excitement is already starting to build but I know I must get some sleep or risk being “too tired to complete the tasks” later in the day. I take a look at my clock and force myself to sleep….ZZZZZzzzzzzzz….
My MCD Breakfast!
Krrrrriiiinnnggggg!!!! My alarm goes crazy as I jump out of bed and into the bathroom. We were required to meet at FRIM at 8.00am but a few of us decided to meet up for breakfast to recharge before heading to FRIM. I quickly got ready and packed my clothes as I waited for my fellow Kajang-ite (Milo) to pick me up.  I was sooooo excited that I forgot to pack extra shorts (haihz!). After picking me up, we picked up another friend (Kanmani) and met up with 2 other crazy homo sapiens (Dian and Suran) for breakfast at McDonalds.

Suran, Hidayat, Me and Milo
The Krezi Krabi Krew
We arrived at the meet-up point in FRIM.  The organizers were already putting up Tourism Selangor buntings. The participants were required to sign their attendance and they were given a goodie bag consisting of a button badge, T-shirt, 500ml Tourism Selangor edition mineral water bottle and a raincoat! I quickly changed into the T-shirt and mingled with the other participants. Fortunately or unfortunately, some of the Krabi Krezi Krew were also selected to participate in this event … hahaha… You might be wondering what’s this KKK is all about. They are actually some of the wonderful frens I made while being on a trip to Krabi with Tourism Selangor earlier this year (I shall not comment further on the specifics of that trip!)


Me Stretching
As usual, being Malaysians, the event started “on-time” (with reference to the Malaysian Timing policy). We were first given a brief introduction on FRIM by Mr. Eddy. Next, we stretched our muscles in preparation for what was about to come. (Note: Stretching before any strenuous activities is recommended to avoid injuries).  After being warmed up, we were told that the organizers have taken the liberty to put us into groups of 3’s! I was silently hoping not to be paired with any of the KKK because I wanted to make new friends (ahem…ahem…I was actually afraid of going crazy halfway through the race and also possibly getting lost in the jungle, not finishing the race and not to mention the highly likely thought of committing suicide running through my mind).

The Tarik Tarik Team

The Briefing Session
I let a sigh of relieve as I was grouped with 2 new lovely team mates….Patricia and Nazim!! At first sight I knew our team was meant to be! We elected Patricia as our Team Captain (girrrrlll power) and named our team “The Teh Tarik (TTT)”. We were then briefed on the route for the race and were given 2 “treasures” that were to be carefully guarded and returned at the final checkpoint. The treasures were 1 rotten egg (apparently it was kept for a month) and a map of the route. We were told that there are 9 checkpoints in total and the teams will be scored in every checkpoint. They also stressed that coming first does not mean the team will win (and sadly we found it out the hard way). If I’m not mistaken, the total length of the route is approximately 3-4km.  And not forgetting…..we also needed to create a cheer for our team after each task!

Group Photo before Flag Off
After a few photo sessions (with the Media as well as our own cameras), we were Flagged Off! Jom….read on as I elaborate each check-point we passed through!
Our treasures to guard
Checkpoint 1: Marbles in the Pond
Into the pool we go!
I never thought we will be made super wet in our first challenge but that’s what happened! We were required to collect 3 marbles per team from the pond. It was not an easy task as the cold water coupled with 30-odd excited people running around in the water made it harder than looking for a needle in a haystack!! It must be my team’s lucky day as I managed to find one and catch one of the marbles being thrown into the pond. After what seemed like eternity, the organizers must have given up hope as they told us that those with 2 marbles can move on to the next challenge….yaaaaayyy!!!! Our team was the first to dash out the pond, do a quick cheer and run to the next check point.

Catch the marble if you can!
Checkpoint 2: Aborigine Village

Vincent Van Gogh in action!
When we reached the second check point, we were told to use the natural items (leaves, branches, twigs, etc.) to form accessories and wear them. We were also given pastel colors to “freshen up our faces” after the cold morning bath in the previous checkpoint. Without wasting time, we quickly designed our priceless “designer wears” and helped each other to paint the faces (I must admit it was fun using my team mates faces as a canvas..hahahah!). Once done, we were asked to perform an aborigine cheer which we gladly did! As we were  ready to remove our “nature wear” the marshals gave us an unexpected surprise by telling  us that we had to keep them on until the last checkpoint! Oh my gawd….if I knew it earlier, I would have just made one leaf bracelet instead of going for the fancy “big-huge-dried leafs-around my waist” look!

The Smelly Egg is is safe

Ugaaa Ugaaa...Rashgaa Wagahaa Magase

 Checkpoint 3: Walking on coconut shells

Me racing to the finish line!
Our footwear for the task.
 The journey to this checkpoint was definitely the most difficult. The map made less sense. The path seemed dead. We didn’t know what to do! (This is one of the main disadvantages of being the first team to arrive as we need to set the path for the rest!) Fortunately, Nazim figured that the pipeline would lead to the pipe house and we followed it through the jungle. We had to climb uphill through streams of falls and slippery stones. I found myself admiring God’s creation while preserving through the unknown path. None of us, including our personal photographer, Rasyidi Awaludin, knew if we were on the right path! After 15-20 minutes of hiking, we finally arrived at the top and reached the tar pavement (The Rover Track).  We instantly knew were on the right track and followed it to the checkpoint. It was still a good 10-15 minutes’ walk so we used that time to plan and practice our “Teh Tarik Team Cheer”.

At this checkpoint we were asked to open our shoes and use coconut shells as our footwear. The shells were connected by a raffia string and we needed to balance ourselves and walk 10 meters to pass the task.  Needless to say, we all had excellent balancing skills and aced the task in no time! :)

The road not taken...Toughest route in the race

Teh Tarik getting ready to rumble with coconuts

 Checkpoint 4: Completing the Puzzle
Completing the puzzle
This must be the easiest of all the checkpoints. We were shown a photograph of the “Crown Shyness”.  Let me share with you a little info on the “Crown Shyness”.  The type of tree that forms this phenomenon is a Southeast Asian timber tree species called Kapur. Its distribution is limited to Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo; often grow in clusters on well-drained soil on hillsides.  The Kapur trees in FRIM were planted together in the same areas and around the same time to facilitate the forming of the “jigsaw puzzle” pattern in the sky, otherwise known as the “crown shyness”. This pattern results from a natural phenomenon where the crowns do not overlap or touch each other.  We completed this task and were told to look out for a natural “treasure art” as the next checkpoint.
Team Work at its best!

Checkpoint 5: Treasure Art
This checkpoint brings to mind Rihanna’s song lyrics, “like diamonds in the sky”. The treasure art that we were supposed to look for is the “Crown Shyness”. No words can describe how beautiful it is. The puzzle shown earlier in Checkpoint 4 does not do justice to this magnificent sight! All of us, just stood in awe for a few minutes (I reckon it’s longer than the time taken to complete the puzzle..hahaha!) to admire Mother Nature in all her glory! For your info, this work of art has been documented on National Geographic in 2008. At this checkpoint, we were required to take a picture of the “treasure” to be shown at the final check point but Patricia’s camera met its end when it went head on with the pipes while hiking towards the Rover Track :(
God creations are never flawed!
Checkpoint 6: Commando Crawl
Me doing a John Rambo!
Here we were required to crawl through a man-made mud pit! I was worried Patricia and Nazim might fear going through this leech infested ditch but much to my amazement they both volunteered to go before me!  We did pretty well at this task and hugged each other knowing we maybe have just passed the hardest task. Our energy levels were raised and we semangat-ly jogged to the next checkpoint.

Checkpoint 6: Trust no one but your own! (Blind folded)
Distraction in progress
The reason I named this checkpoint as such is because me and Patricia were blind folded and Nazim was handed the task of guiding us with only his voice to collect stars made out of paper. Being blinded was not easy as I had to identify Nazim’s voice among the many voices that were trying to lead me to the wrong direction. The checkpoint marshals were good in distracting but Patricia and I stood strong and focused well to complete the task! The marshal also commented that we were the fastest team to ever reach this checkpoint in their history of organizing!!! J J

Waiting to hear the voice of the chosen one!
To the left..To the right...Front...Back..Bit more...Yes! Pick it up!
Checkpoint 7: Amazing Nails
Nazim in action
The task that cost us the first place :(
Personally, I feel this checkpoint caused us the first place! Here we were required to arrange the 10 nails in a given way without touching the wood. Nazim knew the way to do and he was lightning quick to complete the task. However, we were then told that we scored 0 marks for teamwork as only one member completed the task L Should have acted a bit la…haihzzz..It’s okay….We learn from mistakes….

 Checkpoint 8: Coins among Worms
Worms Fear Factor
In this checkpoint, it felt more like “Fear Factor” than “Amazing Race”. We were blind folded and led to a container. Each of us needed to dig into the container and find 2 coins. Only after opening our blindfold did we realize the containers were filled with worms! I must say the worms behaved very well! :p

Worms? Challenge Accepted!

Checkpoint 9: Memory Test
Completing the final task
The final checkpoint seemed easy but in actual fact it was not. Although remembering the previous 8 checkpoint might seem like a simple task, being drained out, covered in mud, aching muscles and blood loss from leech attacks made this check point harder than we thought! Thank God our minds prevailed and we managed to name the entire previous tasks as well as drawing the treasure art since we didn’t take a picture of it. For one final time, we summoned all our remaining energy and did our “the Tarik Cheer”. We were also told we are the first team to complete the race and in my mind all I could hear was…..............................................

“Congratulations! You are the first team to arrive!” (Phil Keoghan-Amazing Race)

The FIRST team to complete the TSDAYOUT Amazing Race Edition!! (Teh Tarik!!)
After finishing the race, the three of us took a dip in the “Marble Pond” and got changed. We were then served lunch as we waited for the prize giving ceremony. The prize giving ceremony was done by Pn. Nor Hayati. She was accompanied by Fazly Razally (the Boss of Tourism Selangor events).  Pn.Nor Hayati stumped us with her knowledge of the trees and plants in the institute.  She was really into the questions asked by the participants and I feel that she had to force herself to stop or she could have go on and on and on about nature!  Her love for the flora and fauna must be deeper than the Marina trench! I wish we had more time with her for the Q&A session.
Giving us vital insights on FRIM and nature itself

Teh Tarik doing their team cheer
The winners for the blog competition and the Amazing Race were announced. As stressed by the staff earlier that morning, coming in first does not mean you win the race (Note: This rings true for all challenges in life as well!!). Although we were the first to arrive (clearly 30 minutes before the second team finished), we did not win (and I am 100% sure it because of checkpoint 7!)..hahaha…Anyway, at least we won something ryte? Below are the winners list *drum roll*

Champion  : Group Sampat

2nd Place   : Teh Tarik

3rd Place    : Kame-Hame Haa


Winners of TSDAYOUT Amazing Race Edition
Looking back, everyone who participated was a winner….Although not prize wise, each of us found new friends, collected memories that can never be erased and persevered through each and every of the 9 challenges! A big congrats to all 30 participants and organizers of the TSDAYOUT AMAZING RACE EDITION!! *clap clap clap*
Congrats to all who participated!!!
Completing the race felt extremely fulfilling. I never knew 9 challenges can bond a team so well. I’m glad I met Patricia and Nazim. We started the race as 3 individuals, strived through the race as a team and finished the race as friends!  I’m indebted to Tourism Selangor for giving me this chance of challenging myself and meeting new people.
~The 3-in-1 Teh Tarik Friends~
You can watch our team cheer here: Teh Tarik Team Cheer

And when I thought it was all over, The Star featured a write-up by Farah Fazanna and my picture and name was mentioned in it!! What a way to freeze this wonderful memory!

The event write up in The Star
All said and done, kudos to Tourism Selangor for encouraging the younger generation to participate in outdoor activities and also a big big appreciation for FRIM for preserving our natural habitat for the future generations!
Note: I would like to credit the photos in this blog to Dian Azura, Rasyidi Awaludin , Ashraf Saharudin, Kanmani Mani, Hidayat, Patricia, Nazim, Amirul and S.S. Kanesan.


  1. Replies
    1. Teh Teh Teh Tarrrrrriiiiiikkkkkkkkkkkkkk~~~ :)

  2. melvin, what is TS day out??

  3. Hi! TSDAYOUT stands for Tourism Selangor Day Out. It a monthly event organized by to showcase the travel spots around Selangor.. Do like their FB page: to learn more and get a chance to participate in the coming events! :)

  4. hey you did looks slimmer! how come??!

  5. Really? thank you..i think the fun events by Tourism Selangor are helping me to live a healtier lifestyle!! :)