Back for it’s 18th successful year, the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale has returned in 2016 and this time it is bigger and better than ever. The Sale was launched in style with an Amazing race-style shopping challenge, in which 14 teams of bloggers from across Asia and Australia raced around Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong district competing for a 100,000 Baht prize.
This year the race was joined by teams made up of media and celebrities from Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Korea, China, Cambodia, Laos PDR, Taiwan, Brunei, Japan and for the first time; Australia.
Upon registration, my team-mate and I were given a shopping kit containing a shopping bag, a passport to collect stamps (to prove that we visited each location), a shopping budget of 10,000 Baht in cash, team tags and a one-day pass for the BTS Skytrain.
While we were being briefed on the rules, I took a look at the map of Bangkok’s famous Ratchaprasong district. For each shopping mall, we needed to purchase something and take our receipt to the information desk where we were provided with a stamp to prove that we had visited each location.
- As in previous years, each team is given a 10,000 Baht spending budget.
- Starting at 11:00am, teams have 90 minutes to complete the challenge.
- The first team back, with the most points wins.
- Competitors who return late are penalised by having points deducted.
- One point being the equivalent of one baht spending money.
- Teams that head further away from the starting line earn more points.
- Teams must keep all receipts – they are used to calculate points.
- Walking and BTS Skytrains are the only mode of transportation allowed.
This year an interactive social media element was added to the Grand Sale Race to make it all the more exciting. Teams that take a selfie with the TAT mascot Sukjai, found at various locations, were awarded an extra 1,000 bonus points.
In addition, at least one member of each team had to broadcast a five-minute video of their race on Facebook, or other social media networks. This video gifted the team with an extra 1,000 bonus points.
It was hot work racing around Bangkok – and we both arrived at the Finish Line very red in the face! But it was great fun – can’t wait to spend more time at the shops.
Taking place from 15th June to 15th August, the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale takes in cities nationwide, this year with a special focus on female customers to celebrate the TAT’s Women’s Journey Month being held in August.
Over 15,000 businesses are participating in the Grand Sale, in more than 110 department stores and shopping centres in the seven major tourist destinations of Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Hat Yai, Hua Hin and Udon Thani. Outlets will offer discounts of up to 80% on goods and services as a way of boosting revenue and promoting Thai products internationally.
The Shopping Challenge is designed to showcase the huge range of products out there as well as the bargains people can pick up just in the Ratchaprasong district alone.