Hello everyone! So as you know, I had a lovely stay in Thailand during the last few days and I simply can’t seem to get over it. I must tell you that this time round my trip was just not another work trip. Over and above the shopping, eating, swimming, massages and sight-seeing – I participated in a very exciting contest. It was an international shopping challenge – ATGS 2016.
To celebrate the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale aka ATGS 2016, the Thailand tourism board, in association with a number of shopping malls invited around 20 countries to take part in this competition. The objective of the competition was definitely to celebrate and kickstart the ATGS 2016. When I initially read the rules, they looked fairly simple but when we got down to actually following them, we realized how challenging the entire race was.
So each country had a team 2-3 of participants. Team India consisted of me and two other lovely girls. Each team was given a total of 10,000 Thai Baht. The theme of the challenge was ‘shop your own style’. The rules were as such –
- We had to visit and shop at around 15 malls and department stores participating in the ATGS 2016 in the main Bangkok shopping district (each mall was approx 5-7 minutes away from the other) and spend all our 10,000 THB. One THB represented one point.
- Each team was given a shopping passport which consisted of the entire department store list which we had to visit. And we had to get stamps on the store logos once we shopped something from there and presented our receipts. The catch here – we had to find these stamping counters in the malls. The farther the distance of the department store from the starting point will fetch us more bonus points.
- A Sukjai standee board was present in most of the malls. For more bonus points we had to find this standee and take a selfie with it.
- We couldn’t split. We had to shop and move as a team. We couldn’t cheat either as a representative from the ATGS 2016 was assigned to every team who’d tag along & supervise.
- We had to broadcast a 5 minute live video on Facebook/Twitter for bonus points.
- We had to finish this entire challenge within 90 minutes. In case we got late, points would be deducted every few minutes.
- We could only commute by the train (BTS) or walk.
So, we thought we’d easily win the competition because as girls, we love to shop. What we didn’t realise was the time constraint was a REAL BIG constraint. We decided to move backwards. So we went to the furthest mall first, Emporium, without realizing that it was a good 30 minutes away from the starting point. Once we reached Emporium, we just had an hour in hand. Emporium is also an out & out luxury mall. So naturally, it was quite difficult for us to find anything cheap there but we did catch hold of some lingerie on sale & rushed out to search for the stamping counters which took away another 10 minutes of our time and then finally hunting for Sukjai selfie. In short, by the time we left Emporium, we hardly had 45 minutes left and we still had to cover around 13-14 malls. We managed to make up for the time lost because we did a fairly quick job in the next few malls – Emquartier, Siam Paragon & Robinson. Also, not all the malls were located close to the station – some were a good 5 minute walk away (we ran like maniacs of course)!! A big shout-out to staff members at Robinsons for being so polite, helpful and the most friendliest!
By the time we reached the 5th mall, we barely had 15 minutes left, around 10 malls to cover and about 7500 THB left. So we just walked into ZARA, divided the cash and picked up somethings for ourselves. The lady at the ZARA cashier wasn’t very cooperative & rather arrogant. So despite picking up things in less than 5 minutes, we spent nearly 10 minutes at the cashier just to settle the bills. So there we were – already passed the 90 minute mark and still another 10 minutes away from the starting point. However we reached just on time, the last team to arrive… LOL. Had we been another minute late, we would have been disqualified.
Well, we tried our very best and we had an amazing time. Never knew shopping could be this stressful .. but hey, we must have lost of oodles of weight simply by running from one mall to another.
When the results came out, I was actually surprised to learn that despite coming in the latest, we came 10th in ranking out of the 20 teams that participated. So, it wasn’t that bad because despite coming in late and not covering all the malls, we did get a lot of bonus points for fulfilling many of the bonus requirements, utilizing the entire 10,000 THB and shopping the furthest. We scored a total of approx. 18,000+ points and the winning team , Team China had about 27,000 points. They walked away with 1,000,00 THB. They did a great job.
All in all, participating in ATGS 2016 was great fun. And given a choice again, I’d love to re-strategize and plan out better. Oh well. So yes girls, if you’re in the mood for some shopping – do keep in your mind that Thailand has the most amazing grand sale happening for the next couple of months and this is something you wouldn’t want to miss. If you don’t believe me, check out episode 2 of my vlogs below and see the crazy sale that’s happening right NOW.
Once again, do check out my travel vlogs. As you know this is my first time attempting a travel vlog, so your feedback is important. Do check out the videos & let me know what you feel.
Episode 1 reviews Anantara Siam hotel.
Episode 2 and 3 are about what all you can do when in Bangkok.
Episode 4 is about Rayong, a city less discovered located on the outskirts of Bangkok.
Episode 5 is all about Koh Samed.
Thanks for tuning in!