ACM ICPC Asia Bangkok Regional Contest 2014

16 November 2014.

Despite the heavy study load and the proximity of exam, we had some getaway by joining this competition. It was a very memorable experience and was way better that ICPC KL 2014.

After I finished my class at 4.08pm, I rushed to my room, finished my last pack-up and directly went to Pioneer MRT (which I arrived at 4.30pm). We (me, Peter, Joshua, and Joey) departed at 5.12pm and there were heavy traffic jam! Arriving at Changi airport (with Prof Rui), it was matter of minutes before the check-in was closed. Darn! It was closed during our check-in using the machine. Hence, we went for the manual counter check-in. After that, we rushed in, but me and Peter was rejected as we got some problem with the boarding pass. After getting the stamp from the airline, I finally managed to get in, but since I’ve renewed my passport, I couldn’t use the auto-gate and had to use manual counter. Luckily, I was accepted on the “special counter” as I reasoned that the flight was boarding. After that, we ran towards the gate. Well, in the midway, I lost my breathe and walked quickly while having heavy breath to the gate (which was the furthest gate). Cutting up queue, I was still one of the last passenger to get into the airplane. Nevertheless, I was in there and met the rest of the group (despite not having dinner). The flight took around 2 hours and after we arrived, we had to wait for some times as some of us need to do visa matters before going out. Meeting the ICPC committee, I bought some sandwiches from 7-Eleven which was so cheap compared to Singapore and despite its location in the airport. Next, we went off to hotel by train which was quite nice although hot.

Arriving at the hotel, we did some admin stuffs, received our competition shirt, and went for rest at our own rooms. Without free Wi-Fi, we slept around 1am and woke up around 5.30am, preparing ourselves for breakfast at 6am and departure to the university at 7.20am, although it was dragged until around 9am since the limited transport.

Arriving there, we re-register ourselves, met some friends from other universities (NUS, UI), and went for the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony was very long (and we spotted that Prof Rui had fallen asleep :P ).

There were some interesting program such as the mute ventriloquist performance, the speech by Dr C.J. Hwang (the ICPC Asia Director, who told us that success is gained through opportunity, opportunity comes from working hard), the EDM by the winner of Thailand Got Talent (the group name was Bangkok Wake Up), and the grand typewriter keyboard light performance which opens up the competition.

After we had lunch at the competition room, at 12th floor, we started the practice session which we finished in like half an hour. Next, we tested out some stuffs on the judge computer and then we played the games pre-installed in the computer that we used until the competition ended.

After this, our group went online by eduroam at the field downstairs.

We went back around 5pm to the hotel and I had some rest before going our for dinner.

We went out around “Chinatown” as it were quite deceiving for a Chinatown: the normal arch-gate for Chinatown was not a gate, it was just a monument inside a roundabout. Hence, we went to a restaurant and I had Pad Thai and Thai coconut before buying some sandwiches and Slurpee from 7-Eleven to spend the night. And we slept around 11pm.

Waking up at 5am, and finished breakfast by 6.30am, we were ready for the competition.

After another registration, we went up to the competition room, and started the competition.

Our first hours were great, we hit AC one by one, although we made some terrible mistake such as Compile Error and index-out-of-bound error (shown as Wrong Answer). The last hour was quite bad as we can’t solve any problem anymore except the one that we hit 2 times Wrong Answer. On the freezed scoreboard, we ranked #15 with 6 AC. On the other hand, our friend, AAA, had fallen to #3 with 9 AC and the groups above them had 10 AC. Well, they said they managed to have 10 AC, and we didn’t know what happened during the last hour of that 2 groups.

Finishing the competition, we went down to have lunch before going to the city tour at a Buddhist temple next to the Royal Palace, and Asiatique, an open-mall next to a river. We went one round that Buddhist temple, and had some snacks at Asiatique.

Had a great dinner after we went back, the closing ceremony commences with some quizzes, speeches, and the best part of it: the announcement of winner.

It was announced that AAA won the competition. :D Yay :D

The event had ended with a nice result to our university. We went back to hotel, but having checked-out from the room, we stayed at the lobby and had rest there before going to airport at 4am. Our flight departed on 6am and I slept throughout the flight. After arrived, I had my first bad stomach and it continues until now. Going back to NTU, I cleaned up my room, had lunch, and then a nap which resulted in me fallen sick (fever + bad stomach). Hope that I can be well soon and started revision as soon as possible.

Update: Photos taken by me during the journey are publicly available at Facebook.

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