Sunday, 31 March 2013

#TSdayout - The Amazing Race @ FRIM

Finally, I got my first invitation from Tourism Selangor to join their monthly ‘TSdayout’ programme. This time around it was themed ‘The Amazing Race’ and the venue was at FRIM (Forest Research Institute of Malaysia) at Kepong, about 20 minutes drive from Kuala Lumpur city centre. I was quite excited about the idea of going to FRIM again, the last time being more than 10 years ago. “Please wear appropriate sports attire and don’t forget to bring along fresh clothes” was the reminder that came from Siti of Tourism Selangor when she called to reconfirm my attendance the day before.

FRIM is a popular place among joggers and cyclists 
Even foreign visitors feel very much at home at FRIM
One of the few traditional houses at FRIM
I reached FRIM at 7.30, went to one of the stalls near the parking area and got myself a plate of nasi lemak with fried egg and a glass of teh tarik (an all-time favourite Malaysian breakfast combo). Very high calorie breakfast, but I wouldn’t worry so much as I anticipated to burn them down soon. It was a very pleasant moment for me, sitting there all by myself, enjoying my delicious breakfast in complete tranquility of the man-made forest. FRIM is a very critical and special institution to the forestry sector in Malaysia in that it promotes sustainable management and optimal use of forest resources in the country by generating knowledge and technology through research, development and application in tropical forestry. Established in 1926, the 220 hectares park is the habitat of various species of tropical trees as well as flora and fauna. Besides being a leading tropical forest research institution, FRIM is also a popular spot for picnikers, joggers, cyclists, tourists and nature study groups. Among the attractions are The Canopy Walkway, Botanical Garden, Wetland Area, Traditional Houses, Ethno-botanic Garden, Arboreta, Picnic and Camping Areas, Research Gallery and many others.

Waterfalls and streams add to the tranquility.

All participants were there by 8.20 and were given a TS t-shirt each to be worn for the event. There were 28 of us and tasks/challenges were to be completed by every team. The Amazing Race consists of ten tasks/challenges to be completed by every team. They are: marbles in the pond, Orang Asli (indigenous people) costume using nature as props, Coconut clog walk, Complete the Jigsaw Puzzle, Spot the Unique Spot, Mud Crawl, Blind Man looking for Coloured Paper Stars, Nails on a Nail, Fear Factor and the final task was to list down all the nine previous challenges and hand over 2 items that were given to us at the start of the race (an egg which we were supposed to hold in our hands for the whole duration of the race and a map) . To make the whole activity more interesting, each team was required to create and perform their signature ‘haka’ dance after completing each task, and there would be marks given for that as well. 

A similar picture of this forest canopy was featured in the National Geographic magazine.
You need quite a skill to do the Clog Walk!
Winner of The Amazing Race @ FRIM with Puan Norhayati and En Fazly
The deserving winners posing for the album.
By 12.30pm, all teams were back at the meeting point and a scrumptious lunch was served. Asam Pedas, Chicken Soup, Ayam Goreng Berempah, Ulam and Stir-fried Cabbage were all finished in no time.Right after lunch, all participants convened at the main gazebo near the eating place for the prize giving ceremony. Puan Norhayati Nordin, Head of Corporate Management FRIM was given the honour to present the prizes to winners of Amazing Race as well as to the three best blog write-ups on the previous TSdayout programme at Skytrex. Our team didn’t  win anything on this outing but we sure win over a few friends. Mani and Amit, you guys have been great teammates! See you in the next TSdayout. 

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