‘Run Yangon’ Scavenger Hunt Set to Kick Off

By Lwin Mar Htun 2 August 2019

Yangon’s most enjoyable outdoor challenge for youth, the “Run Yangon” scavenger hunt, is back with some new rules and challenges, and organizers expect that more than 60 youth will take part in this year’s event.

The purpose of the event is to get young people better acquainted with the hidden secrets of downtown Yangon, including its people, old buildings and history, and to boost their teamwork skills through game playing.

“Run Yangon is a scavenger hunt launched in 2016 as a fun way to empower youth. We skipped it in 2018 because we were busy with our personal causes, so this year’s event is the third time it’s been held in Yangon,” said Ko Khine Khant Zaw, one of the organizers of “Run Yangon”.

He added, “It was first organized by senior students at the Pre-Collegiate Program—that’s where it all started. Really, the thanks should go to P-CP for their support and for sponsoring the venues for the last two events.”

This year’s event will be held on Aug. 3, and will be separated into two morning and evening sessions.

“The number of runners increases every year. This year we’re expecting more participants. That’s why we have separated it into two stages,” Ko Khine Khant Zaw said.

A team takes a selfie in front of a church while completing one of their missions during the ‘Run Yangon’ scavenger hunt. / photo supplied

The rendezvous spot is at Seedspace Yangon. There, organizers and volunteers will assign each group their first missions, including clues, orders and rules.

“All the missions are the same but there are different orders for each team. We don’t want to create a huge crowd in one place. When the team completes its first mission, a volunteer is waiting to give them another mission. It goes level by level. The team that finishes the entire mission first and fastest will be the winner,” Ko Khine Khant Zaw explained.

The scavenger hunt resembles the famous South Korean variety show, “Running Man”.

“The difference is that scavengers can learn about downtown Yangon through this event. There are tests to see how daring they are, and how much they know about downtown Yangon, from eating crickets to finding the only Armenian Church in the city,” he said.

The “hunters” will be sent out onto the streets of Yangon to complete missions such as visiting colonial buildings, taking photos of structures that have received blue plaques from the Yangon Heritage Trust, hugging strangers on the street, finding out the original names of old buildings, and so on.

Members of a ‘Run Yangon’ team read up on their next mission on a street in Yangon. / photo supplied

“Each team must have three members. During the mission, we do not allow them to use any transportation. They must walk around downtown. In this way they will learn about the geography of the city,” Ko Khine Khant Zaw said.

Runners can use their phones to access the internet in order to find information on the old buildings’ history and backgrounds.

“The hardest mission for us was holding the football on my head for five seconds. It was really hard,” recalled Ko Nay Ye Htike, one of the runners from the Immortal team, the first-prize winner at Run Yangon 2.0.

The teams from the ‘Run Yangon 2.0’ scavenger hunt pose for a group photo. / photo supplied

He added, “This event is really fun and I got to know more about the city’s buildings and roads…and by daring to communicate with strangers. All young people should try this event.”

“Run Yangon” is now open for registration. The entrance fee is 7,000 kyats (about US$4.65) for each runner. The event is limited to those aged 16 to 28. “Both locals and foreigners can join the event but they need to produce a valid ID. Runners who bring a current student ID will receive a 2,000-kyat discount,” Ko Khint Khant Zaw said.

Registration will be open until midnight on Aug. 2, but the organizers are planning to accept walk-in registration.

“If you don’t have a teammate, no worries, just contact us through the Run Yangon Facebook page—we can arrange it for you. All the adventure and fun await you; it’s gonna be super fun!” Ko Khine Khant Zaw said.