Macau Trip
Headhunters' Team Building Activity

A Macau trip is not only ideal for casinos and Portuguese foods, we actually went there for a 3D2N offsite as part of our team building activities. Though I always visit Macau, but organizing a company offsite there for 28 people is my first time.

My Macau trip began from appointing a travel agent, which to me meant one-stop shopping and made life easier. We chose to stay at the Westin on Coloane Island, as our company had good business relationship with them.

Headhunters’ Macau Offsite Agenda
November 20-22, 2008

Participants: 28
Average cost per person: HK$5,000 (all inclusive)

November 20, Thursday – Kick-off dinner
November 21, Friday – Team building activities
November 22, Saturday - Debriefing

Macau Discovery Project - Fortaleza
Early in the morning on Friday, we were divided into seven teams of four to discover seven of Macau’s most famous tourist spots. Each team has to answer five questions related to the site they visit. My team was assigned to explore the Fortaleza.

1. When was the construction of the light house finished ?
2. What is the height of the lighthouse ?
3. When were the frescoes (several related painting types, done on plaster on walls or ceilings) in the chapel discovered ?
4. How many windmills can you see from the Fortaleza?
5. When did Dr. Sun Yat Sen first arrive in Macau ?

Though I am a typical Macau fan, but this particular Macau trip was a bit challenging. Team members had to work together to find the answers - quite a good project for team building. Actually if you want to add fun to your own Macau trip, you can ask me for the question sets and I am happy to provide them to you. Unfortunately only my boss has the answers. So I need to ask him for them if you want.

The other sites are:
Senado Square (St. Dominic, Holy House)
Lou Lim Ieoc Garden
Monte Fort (Macau Museum)
Dr Sun Yat Sen Municipal Park
A-Ma Temple and the Maritime Museum
Mong-Há Fort

Note: these are popular Macau sightseeing sites. Do include them in your Macau trip planning.

12 Chinese Zodiac Animal Quiz
This exercise is based on the 12 Chinese zodiac animals. Though our company is very international, but team members all love Chinese culture. My British and German boss created this game. Team members were pre-selected in a way to ensure no duplicate animals in the same group. Interestingly, our company has at least half a dozen of Tigers. I am the only Monkey.

Team leaders had to lead conversations about team members’ personal and family background, interests, likes and dislikes, secret passions etc and the extent to which each team member has the "typical" characteristics of his or her corresponding zodiac animal. During the next morning’s debriefing session, we had to report back on two or three remarkable and previously unknown characteristics of - or facts about - each team member.

This was actually a very good exercise. After all, we did get to know each other better. Such as I never know our receptionist has a twin sister and is a quarter Norwegian. Three members in our team, including myself, are number six of seven in our families….

Here is a reference table of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals – to be repeated every 12 years.

1972 Rat | 1973 Ox | 1974 Tiger | 1975 Rabbit
1976 Dragon | 1977 Snake | 1978 Horse | 1979 Sheep
1980 Monkey | 1981 Rooster | 1982 Dog | 1983 Pig

Macau/Portuguese Food Report
A Macau trip is never completed without enjoying Macau and Portorguese food. Eating is a very important part of our offsite as everyone of us love Macau food and Portuguese food. The two major meals were dinner at Fernando and lunch at A Petisqueira.

Strangely the famous Fernando wasn’t doing well at all. The tiny little shop A Petisqueira impressed everybody.

Fernando on Coloane Island which we can walk from our hotel doesn’t accept reservations. They also don’t accept credit cards. Their menu had almost no dessert and vegetables. For drinks, they served only sangria and wine - not even a regular coffee. Only espresso without milk is available. The meat of the roast pig was close to rotten. The other dishes were just fair to bad. The bill was terribly high: MOP9,700 for the 28 of us.

Grilled Chicken
The only acceptable dish at Fernando

The next day after the discovery project, we went to A Petisqueira for lunch and found all dishes were very nicely done as well as delicious.

Around at the city of Taipa Island where many other restaurants are, this tiny little shop isn’t at a very good location, I must admit. But they serve lunch only between 12.30pm and 2pm. If you are late, sorry no service. This little Portuguese restaurant is always full and we had to made reservation well in advance. Unlike Fernando, their menu is very well-rounded, with friendly services, accept credit card with reasonable price - only MOP6,700 for the 28 of us.

Do these dishes from a Petisqueira look nice?


Paella (Seafood Rice)

Pineapple on Red Wine

ZAIA Show at Venetian

After a group outing nearby our hotel, we went on to the secret event soon after enjoying a refreshment tea set at Westin.

The ZAIA show was actually quite amazing and stunning, though expensive. We paid MOP709.2 per person after a group discount of 10% which meant MOP788 was the full price. Though expensive, our boss was happy to buy everybody surprise. We named it as secret event, and didn’t announce what it was until the last minute. Because of the advance booking, we were guaranteed of best seats.

This is a very huge theatre within Venetian. Unfortunately there weren’t many audiences, and they reduced the show from two shows per night to one which starts at 7pm. The show lasted 92 minutes. Unfortunately we had to stay 15 minutes longer due to technical problem.

Venetian Casino Report
Some colleagues went on later dinner after the show. I chose to explore the Venetian casino. This Macau trip for me is a lucky one. With an investment of HK$50 and three minutes, I yielded a net profit of HK$757 from a slot machine. Not a big win comparing with my previous results but it was fun. My historical biggest slot machine win was HK$12,000. But that was Macau’s pre-Vegas period when I was only paid 90% of my win, 10% was forced tipping. Nowadays I can collect 100% of my winnings.

Note: HK Dollar is the official currency in all Macau casinos.

Team Building Achievements
I have proved my talent on time management, as everything under my control. It was quite a challenge in controlling a big group to act on time, but it did happen. Our colleagues had proved to be very cooperative with good team spirit. Event management as well as budget control is another challenge. I managed to make it within budget while each of us have our own room.

We didn’t announce the address of A Petisqueira, and team members had to work together to find the place, if they want to eat. It wasn’t easy, I must say, but everyone managed to arrive on time – quite a surprise. The discovery and animal project allowed us to speak among colleagues, apart from work base, getting a better understand of each other. I would grade this Macau trip as a successful team building activity.

More info on planning a Macau trip