How I Won The Amazing Race Style Garmin Asus Live Navigation Challenge Contest

24 December, 2009

19 December 09 (Saturday) 12:44pm – I was having a serious case of pre-race jitters, wondering what I am getting myself into when I signed up for the Garmin-Asus Live Navigation Challenge.  This was understandable considering the situation I was in:

  • Rainy Day
  • No Car
  • No Driver
  • No GPS Navigation Device
  • Uncertainty over how long and far the race will go
  • Definitely not in the best shape (Round!) of my life now (the sumptuous cruise buffets I had a few weeks ago didn’t help :-))

Just when I was thinking of just giving up and heading straight home, the fateful email – First Clue of the Live Navigation Challenge came in at 12:45pm – 15 minutes earlier than expected!  The rest as they say it is history (as you can infer from the title of this post) – I won the Grand Prize of the Garmin-Asus Live Navigation Challenge – 2 Return Economy Airfare to Maldives by Singapore Airlines!

Garmin-Asus Live Navigation Challenge Contest

Besides sharing on my experience of participating in this Garmin-Asus Live Navigation Challenge, I will also share some tips on how to win such races – hopefully it will serve as an useful reference if you intend to take on such challenges in the future.  Who better to hear it from than a Winner of the Garmin-Asus Live Navigation Challenge!

Ok enough with my yaya-papaya attitude!  🙂  If you are interested in “participating” in this challenge from the comfort of your chair, I had also structured this post such that there is a gap between each clue and the answer so don’t scroll too fast!

Tip 1: Be Well-Prepared (Food, Drinks, Communications etc.)

Participating in such races can be really tiring – you will feel thirsty and hungry from the anxieties from moving around places.  Keep yourself hydrated and energized with water and snack packs – though the organizers were thoughtful enough to provide water at each pit stop.

Phones are essential to stay in touch with your headquarter (HQ) – more about that in Tip 2.  I used two so I could multi-task (using Google Maps or Googling for info) while calling back to HQ for more info.

Lastly, manuals for the Garmin-Asus phones – the organizers said we have to familiarise ourselves with the phone to complete challenges at each pit stop.  🙂

Preparation Garmin Asus Live Challenge Contest

With the basics settled, let’s go to the race proper.  The first clue was – the location of the former Singapore Traffic Police Headquarters which is now a creative hub – Googling helps.  🙂

Asus Garmin Live Challenge First Clue

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Pit Stop 1: Red Dot Museum

Yes it’s the Red Dot Museum – the first pit stop for participants doing the Green Route.  There are 2 routes – Green and Blue in the race and both groups start at different pit stops and attempt each stop in a different sequence – an attempt by the organizers to regulate traffic.

We had to sign an indemnity form (the usual don’t-hold-organizers-responsible-for-any-injuries-damages clauses) before we start the race.  (by the way that’s not me in the picture – the pit stop pictures are courtesy of the organizers)

Asus Garmin Challenge Idemnity Form Red Dot Museum

The challenge at the first pit-stop was easy – a True/False question about Garmin-Asus Phones’ Ciao privacy feature.

Asus Garmin Live Challenge Pit Stop 1 Red Dot Museum

The 2nd Clue of the challenge was quite tough – we had to find out where is Alkaff Mansion and look for semi-circular terraces near it.  Hailed a taxi off the street – however the taxi driver was not sure where it is.  Thus I had to call back to my HQ to google for more information and search for directions on streetdirectory.com.

Asus Garmin Live Challenge Clue 2

This is where Tip Number 2 on how to win an Amazing Race-style races comes in.

Tip 2: Setup a Command Centre/Headquarter/Resource Centre to Google for Information and Directions

My participation in Garmin-Asus Live Navigation Challenge involves TY as well.  She is based at home with phones and computers with internet access, ready to supply me with information I might need.  In this case – the Alkaff Mansion is quite a tough one and I will have to tap on her to find out more information.

Garmin Asus Live Challenge Headquarter Resource

Pit Stop 2: Telok Blangah Hill Park Terrace Garden

The 2nd pit stop Telok Blangah Hill Park Terrace Garden is located in a very ulu place along Telok Blangah Green and it is quite a distance from the Alkaff Mansion (see following map – Yellow Marker: Alkaff Mansion and Green Marker: Pit Stop – notice the semi-circular structure?)


View Pit Stop 2 – Terrace Garden in a larger map

While I had never been here before, this place looked very familiar perhaps because this is where many of those 80s-early 90s SBC Channel 8 shows were filmed – the final showdown location between good and evil.  🙂  Ok no time to indulge in nostalgia here – still got a long flight of steps to conquer before reaching the pit stop.

Thankfully, the challenge at this pit stop was easy too – all I had to do is match Garmin-Asus phone icons with their functions e.g. an envelope with WWW icon to be matched to Email.

Garmin Asus Live Challenge Telok Blangah Hill Park

Telok Blangah Hill Park Terrace Garden at more peaceful times.

Terrace Garden Telok Blangah Hill Park
Credits: stevensimbox (http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevensimbox/3399067718/)

The third clue will definitely require some Googling as it asked about a location formerly known as Banda Street Community Centre.  However from the rest of the clue, it is quite obvious its in Chinatown (e.g. bullock carts used to roam there)

Asus Garmin Live Challenge Clue 3

The worst thing about Pit Stop 2 is that it is such an ulu place – no cabs could be hailed here.  I decided to take the long trek downhill to Henderson Road for a taxi – calling a taxi will take an even longer time.  This is where Tip Number 3 would come in.

Tip 3: Secure a Taxi to Drive You Around During the Race

I tried asking the cab driver who drove me from Pit Stop 1 to 2 to wait for me while I complete the challenge at the pit stop, promising him that I will leave a deposit of $10 on top of my fare to assure him I am not trying to pull a fast one.  However he said he could make more money by driving around to pick up his fare.  Oh well that’s his loss – good luck to him finding a fare during such weather.  🙂

I was lucky to have a taxi driver who agreed to fetch me around during the race and wait for me to complete the challenges.  This is a win-win for all parties – I need not look for taxis out in the rain and in ulu places and save money as well (need not start with the $2.80 starting fare each time I board) and for the taxi driver, he can still earn some money during this rainy period.  Another big plus over driving my own car is that I need not bother myself with directions, the taxi driver knew where and how to go e.g. shortcuts to reach my next pit stop quickly.  🙂

Pit Stop 3: Kreta Ayer Community Centre

The next pit stop is located in the multi-purpose hall of the Kreta Ayer Community Centre.  This is where the Blue route participants start their race so it was quite busy when I arrived.  The challenge here was to use a M20 Garmin-Asus Phone to locate petrol stations or post offices around certain locations.  While having tried out the online simulator, it took me some time to get used to and I took just over 2 minutes to find a nearest petrol station to Bedok Simpang.  🙂

Garmin Asus Live Challenge Kreta Ayer Community Centre

The next clue was very obvious.  I had just attended a Halloween party there in November.  🙂

Asus Garmin Live Challenge Clue 4.

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Pit Stop 4: MINT Museum of Toys

There is no need to pay admission to MINT Museum of Toys (at least for the Garmin-Asus Challenge participants) and the staff were quick to point me to the right direction (3rd floor) for the next challenge.  No time to admire the toys this time.  🙂

The challenge here is a real tough one – at least for people like me who is quite poor with jigsaw puzzles and I am not prepared for this (no phone manuals can prepare me for this :-))

Garmin Asus Live Challenge Mint Museum of Toys

We are supposed to complete a jigsaw puzzles based on the picture below (either the guy or the gal) in 5 minutes.  If you can’t complete it in 5 minutes, you will have to dismantle the puzzle and re-queue in the line to attempt the puzzle again.  Luckily, I completed it in the nick of time and ready to go the next pit stop!

Garmin Asus Live Challenge Puzzle

The next clue is a familiar revisit back to my history textbooks – the reference to Forbidden Hill.  🙂

Asus Garmin Live Challenge Final Clue

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Final Pit Stop: Fort Canning Park Old Married Officers’ Quarters

Yup.  It is at Fort Canning Park and I ran around the park looking for old remnants of a fortress.  I saw a guy running in the opposite direction as me – must be another competitor who had completed the challenge and going to the next pit stop – that was what I thought.  Little did I know that this is actually the final pit stop and the participant who reached here with all the clues will win!

Garmin Asus Live Challenge Final Pit Stop Old Married Officers Quarters

So what happened is that the guy who ran past me earlier was actually the first to arrive but left his clues in his car!  As I carry my bag of barang-barang e.g. water, food, clues everywhere I go, I was the first to arrive with all the clues – making me the winner of the Grand Prize of a trip for 2 to the Maldives!

Tip 4: Carry Essential Items (e.g. Clues) With You At All Times

This is where Tip Number 4 comes in – needs no further explanation.

Me – Winner of Grand Prize:  Return Economy Airfare via Singapore Airlines to the Maldives!!

Garmin Asus Live Challenge Prize Winner Maldives Ticket

Maldives, here I come!

Maldives Beach
Credits: notsogoodphotography (http://www.flickr.com/photos/notsogoodphotography/2517856049/in/set-72157594587533756/)

If you are interested, check out the locations of the pit stops and the route I took during the Garmin-Asus Live Navigation Challenge Contest.

View Garmin-Asus Live Navigation Challenge Route (Green) in a larger map

Zhiqiang & Tingyi

Comments (10)

  • NeoReply

    25 December, 2009 at 11:26 am

    look like you have enjoyed the race….enjoyed your trip to Maldive.

    Does Garmin GPS work in Maldive?
    .-= Neo´s last blog ..CJ Internet will launch open beta for Mini Fighter in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines =-.

    • ZhiqiangReply

      26 December, 2009 at 11:03 pm

      @Neo

      Thanks. Don’t think I will need GPS in Maldives since won’t be driving around and its a series of small islands – unlikely i will get lost there. 🙂

  • chinesealbumartReply

    25 December, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Congratulations ! I am impressed. Plus the fact two of you are such good travellers, the first prize must have found a good owner 🙂

    I am jealous too.. I want to go there too ! 🙂
    .-= chinesealbumart´s last blog ..邓丽欣 Music Cafe =-.

    • ZhiqiangReply

      26 December, 2009 at 11:04 pm

      @chinesealbumart 🙂 Thanks

  • EstherReply

    29 December, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Congrats! I am jealous! You’ll have a great time in Maldives. Try the White Sands Resort and Spa – we went in 2006 and had a wonderful time.

  • Sy YuanReply

    30 December, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    CONGRATS !!!!!!!!

    Maldives is waiting for YOU !!!!! 😉

    hahas. have fun and i must say this challenge can’t be done without a car. unless u are on a taxi ! 😉

  • Nuffnang Singapore | Asia Pacific’s First Blog Advertising Community » » Nuffnang-Garmin Asus Blogging Contest – Win Garmin Asus phones and attractive Cash prizes!Reply

    12 January, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    […] Grand Prize: Topic A: http://hpility.blogspot.com/2009/12/garmin-asus-blogging-contest.html Topic B: http://www.passportchop.com/asia/singapore/garmin-asus-live-navigation-challenge-contest […]

  • HpReply

    13 January, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Congrats to you too! ^^ well done ur post! 🙂

  • Running BlogReply

    30 August, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Congratulations on winning the race! I wouldn’t have had any ideas on where to find half of those places even with the help of Google!

    So are you going to send us all a postcard from the Maldives lol?

    Ross

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      30 August, 2010 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks Ross – we swapped the air tickets for flights to Istanbul instead. 🙂

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