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ESCAPE Adventureplay

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ESCAPE Adventureplay Theme Park (15 November, 2012)



B. Melayu

It's time to ESCAPE the hustle and bustle of urban life and head for Teluk Bahang, for there's a new playground in town! Sprawled over a seven-acre tract of secondary forest in Teluk Bahang is ESCAPE Adventureplay (GPS: 5.44942, 100.21538).

The ESCAPE Development

The map below shows the location of ESCAPE Adventureplay. Out of the entire development area (light-shaded green), only phase one (dark-shaded green) is ready and open to the public. This section is called the ESCAPE Adventureplay. (Throughout this write-up you will see me using the terms "ESCAPE Adventureplay" and "ESCAPE Adventureplay" interchangeably, though the latter refers only to the section presently opened to the public while ESCAPE Adventureplay includes areas of future development. The site is immediately north of the Penang Butterfly Farm, at the foot of the Teluk Bahang Dam.

Updates

3 December 2012 The ESCAPE Adventureplay Theme Park will be officially opened by the Chief Minister of Penang, the Right Honourable Lim Guan Eng on Saturday, 8 December, 2012.

ESCAPE Adventureplay is on the map of Teluk Bahang

Getting there

Coming by Car from George Town
Take the northern coastal road (Federal Route 6) from George Town via Tanjong Tokong, Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi to Teluk Bahang. At the Teluk Bahang Roundabout, take a 9 o'clock turn and head south till you see the Escape sign, a distance of around 900 meters.

Coming by Bus from George Town
Take Rapid Penang Bus 101 and tell the driver to drop you at the bus stop for Entopia. ESCAPE Adventureplay is just beside Entopia.

Coming Attraction: ESCAPE Waterplay

The second phase of ESCAPE, known as ESCAPE Waterplay, is an aquatic theme park. It is built on a plot of land that was considered a wasteland leftover from the construction of the Teluk Bahang Dam. To give the water park a natural cooling feel, ESCAPE brought it around a hundred fully grown trees which it managed to save from being destroyed.

ESCAPE Waterplay

This is the aquatic component of ESCAPE. It opened to the public on Sunday, 24 September, 2017

Details

Visitor Information

Beginning 1 January, 2017, ESCAPE Adventureplay is open daily from 10:00 am in the morning to 6:00 pm in the evening, Tuesdays to Sundays, and is closed on Mondays. Last visitor entry is at 5:15 pm.

Admission Fees to ESCAPE Adventureplay is as follows:

Adults (aged 13-60): RM83*
Children (aged 4-12): RM55*
Children aged below 4 and Senior Adults (61-100+) enjoy free admission as long as accompanied by other paying adults.

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Online Booking for ESCAPE Theme Park

You can now order your tickets or passport to ESCAPE Theme Park online, thereby foregoing the queueing in line! Just go to www.escape.my and click "Buy Tickets"!

Group Booking

Play while you learn. ESCAPE has the Greenie Program created specially for primary school pupils aged 4-12 accompanied by a teacher or assistant. The fee is RM38 per pupil and per teacher/assistant.

ESCAPE Logo

I didn't think much of the logo when I first glanced at it. I only saw a tree. But later on, as I looked up at the balloon hanging in the sky, I saw the figure making cartwheels. Then I saw the treetop cabana, and I suddenly found the logo to be incredibly adorable.

ESCAPE Tagline

The tagline for ESCAPE is "time to play". No more to add.

Contact Information

ESCAPE
Jalan Teluk Bahang
11050 Penang
Phone: +60 4 881 1106
Web: www.escape.my
Facebook: escape.my

And now, it's time to ESCAPE!

Okay, now that we've gotten the visiting information out of the way, let's get to know the park itself.

1: Car Park

There are two places to park your car: the main parking lot in front of the Entrance, and if that's full, the additional car park across Jalan Teluk Bahang. That's also where the parking bays for buses, motorcycles and bicycles are located.

Come as a group to ESCAPE! (15 November, 2012)


The ESCAPE balloon welcomes visitors visible from a distance (15 November, 2012)


Signage to additional parking bays at Escape theme park (15 November, 2012)


The additional parking bay across Jalan Teluk Bahang (15 November, 2012)


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What to bring and what not to bring

It's a place to enjoy and have fun, so bring along the spirit of adventure! At the same time, insect repellent is also useful, as you're going to be in proximity of the rainforest. Wear comfortable clothes suitable for sports and wear sports shoes. Sunblock and hat are optional, but useful if you burn under the sun easily.

Put away any jewellery, neck chains and other stuff that dangles and entangles. No food, drinks or pets should be brought in. If you get hungry or thirsty, the food court is within walking distance anywhere in the park.

Vegetable Garden in the (Car) Park

I find the main parking lot really "neat". It's like a vegetable garden. Some of these lots have pergolas where woody vines such as bitter gourds and cucumbers are trained. You can see the gourds hanging down above your car. All around are other vegetable and fruit trees, among them ciku, roselle, kacang botol (winged beans, Psophocarpus tetragonolobus), chien hom, potato, and many other vegetable plants and fruit trees.

Pergola parking bay at ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 November, 2012)


Pergola car porch growing with kacang botol at ESCAPE (15 November, 2012)


Bitter gourds hanging from the pergola of Escape theme park (15 November, 2012)


Cucumber growing at the ESCAPE parking lot (15 November, 2012)


Kacang botol growing on a pergola at the ESCAPE parking lot (15 November, 2012)

2: Ticketing Building

Before entering, you first get your ticket at the Ticketing Building, a steady thatched shed. The ticket is in the form of a Stored-Value Card. The card allows you unlimited play of almost all the activities. The few where you need to pay extra to use include Atan's Leap, which I'd describe later. In addition, you use the ticket to pay for the use of the Locker, as well as for meals at the ESCAPE Food Court. If your ticket runs low on value, you can top up at the Top Up Counter within the park.

Nowadays the majority of visitors buy their tickets online at www.escape.my so if you do that, you can straightaway enter.

ESCAPE Adventureplay Ticketing Building, front view (15 November, 2012)


Ticketing counters at ESCAPE Theme Park (15 November, 2012)


Escape Ticketing Building, rear view (15 November, 2012)


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3: Entrance

With ticket in hand, you enter ESCAPE Adventureplay (that's the official name for this phase of the theme park) through the turnstiles at the Entrance. Now let's go explore the attractions.

ESCAPE Adventureplay Entrance (15 November, 2012)


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The Attractions at ESCAPE Adventureplay

There are some two dozen different attractions at ESCAPE. In keeping with its green initiatives, the attractions are mechanical and do not require electricity to function. Therefore, they are still operational even in a blackout.

Introducing Atan

As you move about the park, you'd see the name Atan cropping up every now and then. Well, ESCAPE Adventureplay is styled as the village of your country buddy Atan who has invited you into his domain. It's where you ESCAPE from your iPhone/Pod/Pad and indulge in the organic thrill of climbing, crawling, leaping and some. City kids accustomed to urban life gets an intro to the country while grown-ups who left the kampungs get to rekindle their childhood.

4: Monkey Business

This is one of the star attractions at ESCAPE Adventureplay. There's a monkey tower and monkey poles connected by ropes over three tiers. Ape your jungle cousins in negotiating this obstacle course. It gets tougher the higher you go, with the top tier challenging all but those with fitness to match.

Entrance to Monkey Business (15 November, 2012)


Monkey Business, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 November, 2012)


Monkey Business Tower: negotiate to different directions from here (15 November, 2012)


Tall Monkey Business (15 November, 2012)


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Kids doing Monkey Business too (15 November, 2012)

5: Zoom Bug

It's kid's play. Remember (or should I say, do you know) the Malay adage Seperti kumbang putus tali? This attraction got its name from the bug zooming away as soon as it is released.

Zoom Bug, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 November, 2012)


Zoom bugging at ESCAPE! (15 November, 2012)

6: Party Rooms

These are rooms that can be rented out for a day or two to hold corporate events, seminars and team buildings.

Party Room, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 November, 2012)

7: Photo Kiosk

The place to get your photos developed then and there. This is also where some snacks are sold such as ice cream and pop corn.

Photo Kiosk, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 November, 2012)


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8: Tattoo/Face Painting

The tattoo/face-painting kiosk is where you can get temporary tattoos and face painting.

Tattoo & Face-Painting Kiosk, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 November, 2012)

9: Coco Climb

I believe this coconut-tree climbing activity is not up yet, as the trees have just been planted and are being stabilized.

Coco Climb, with the Poles Monkey Business in the background (15 November, 2012)

10: Gecko Tower

See the cicak on the wall defying gravity? Now imitate it. The Gecko Tower lets you time yourself as you speed up the tower. You can do it alone or race a partner. There are four faces to the tower, each with its own level of difficulty. And after you've climbed to the top, you can abseil down again.


Gecko Tower, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 November, 2012)


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11: Atan's Leap

Atan's Leap adalah antara mainan yang paling mendebarkan hati. Anda boleh melompat dari ketinggian 13 meter atau 20 meter. Tak serupa bungy jump, keturunan anda dinyahpecut oleh talian keselamatan yang membolehkan anda mendarat dengan lembut.


Atan's Tower (15 November, 2012)


Keyakinan melompat (7 January, 2017)


Atan's Leap, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 November, 2012)

12: Tot's Trail

This is the kiddie version of Monkey Business. It lets children climb through various obstacles, but on a grander scale than the play station at KFC. It's an opportunity for the grown-ups to take a breather.

Tot's Trail: a place for the kids to play while the adults rest their tired bones (15 November, 2012)


Tot's Trail obstacles at ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 November, 2012)

13: Foxy Burrow

A children's introduction to spelunking. These two sheds contain a labyrinth of burrows that fit only the little ones. While the kids make their way through the fibreglass caves, their parents can watch their progress on CCTV.

Foxy Burrow, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 January, 2005)


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14: Learning House

Ah, those village games from the days of yore ... at the Learning House your kids get to learn them once again. This is a playhouse for children to be taught all the kids games that do not involve staring at the computer screen.

Learning House, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 November, 2012)

15: Picnic Area

An area beside the stream is set aside for people to have their picnic.

Picnic Area, ESCAPE Theme Park (15 November, 2012)

16: CubsPlay

Another obstacle course for the little ones. This one has a set of zigzag planks for children to negotiate.

CubsPlay ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 November, 2012)

17: Go Ape

If monkey see, monkey do, then humans see, humans ape. This course tests your agility in climbing trees. Again this can be a solo challenge or a race among friends. The auto-belay system secures the climber against falling off the tree.

Pengajar memberi taklimat sebelum memanjat (15 November, 2012)


Footholds to aid the climb, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 January, 2005)


Girls go ape at ESCAPE (15 November, 2012)


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18: Treetop Cabanas

These are tree houses which you can rent for a day. Built on a slope above the park, it's a place to seek respite from all the playing down below. There are quite a number of designs to choose from, ranging from single-storey adobes to triple-storey jungle mansions.

Single-storey cabana, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 January, 2005)


Double-storey jungle haven, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 January, 2005)


Room with a view of a forest, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 November, 2012)

19: Tubby Racer

This is tubing on land. Sit on a tube and go racing down the slope.

Tubby Racer, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 January, 2005)


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21: Discovery Dig

Live the life of a gold prospector and sieve for gold. Nuggets of fool's gold are embedded in the sand for you to retrieve. Eventually, those who discover the nuggets can exchange them for a medallion.

Discovery Dig, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 January, 2005)


Nuggets of fool's gold, Discovery Dig (15 November, 2012)

20: Tarzan's Rope

This is one of the new attractions at ESCAPE Theme Park. It is a suspension rope that allows participants to swing through the trees. The rope can support a maximum weight of 40 kilograms. Feel the exhilarating rush of air as you swing through the trees.

21: Kite Flyer

This is one of the new attractions which was added after my first visit. It requires the assistance of other guests to make it work. Two people sit attached to the "kite" while two more sit on tandem bicycle. As the cyclists pedal, they raise the kite into the air and also pull it backwards. Once the kite reaches the desired height, the people on the kite pull a quick release and they swing through the air.

Kite Flyer, ESCAPE AdventureplayKite Flyer, ESCAPE Adventureplay (7 January, 2017)


Kite Flyer, ESCAPE AdventureplayKite Flyer, ESCAPE Adventureplay (7 January, 2017)


Kite Flyer, ESCAPE AdventureplayKite Flyer, ESCAPE Adventureplay (7 January, 2017)


Kite Flyer, ESCAPE AdventureplayKite Flyer, ESCAPE Adventureplay (7 January, 2017)

ESCAPE Base Camp

Return to nature with ESCAPE Adventureplay. The theme park has a camping site for those who wish to enjoy camping. Called BASE CAMP, it has ready tents with basic amenities such as BBQ area, shower and toilet. Other items provided include air mattress, firewood, and for those who just could not escape from city living, there's WIFI and mobile charging locker.

The BASE CAMP at ESCAPE AdventureplayThe BASE CAMP at ESCAPE Adventureplay (7 January, 2017)


The BASE CAMP at ESCAPE AdventureplayThe BASE CAMP at ESCAPE Adventureplay (7 January, 2017)


The BASE CAMP at ESCAPE AdventureplayThe BASE CAMP at ESCAPE Adventureplay (7 January, 2017)


The BASE CAMP at ESCAPE AdventureplayThe BASE CAMP at ESCAPE Adventureplay (7 January, 2017)


The BASE CAMP at ESCAPE AdventureplayThe BASE CAMP at ESCAPE Adventureplay (7 January, 2017)

Food Court

Feeling famished after an exhilarating time at ESCAPE? Then head for its Food Court. Let's take a look at the menu, prices shown as of time of opening (Nov 2012):

ESCAPE Food Court (15 November, 2012)


The industrial-themed cast-iron taps of ESCAPE (15 November, 2012)


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Top-Up Counter

If your stored-value card runs dry, you can top up at the counter located next to the food court.

Top-Up Counter, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 November, 2012)

Lockers

Leave your belongings safely locked up while you go play. There is a charge of - if I'm not mistaken - RM5.00 for the full-day rental of the lockers, payable using your stored-value card from the touch-screen terminal.

Lockers at ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 November, 2012)

First Aid Room

If you don't feel so well after all the fun, head to the First Aid Room, located between the park office and the Gift Shop.

First Aid Room, ESCAPE Adventureplay (15 November, 2012)


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Gift Shop

This is the final site at ESCAPE before you exit the park. You can purchase park-themed souvenirs as mementos of your visit.

ESCAPE Gift Shop, park-side view (15 November, 2012)


Gifts galore at the ESCAPE Gift Shop (15 November, 2012)


The ESCAPE Gift Shop, as seen from outside the theme park (15 November, 2012)


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Nature-inspired Design of ESCAPE Theme Park

The Gift Shop, Park Office and Food Court, which collective I'll refer as the administrative buildings, preserve quarters originally housing workers involved in the construction of the Teluk Bahang Dam. These have been given a period look with exposed brickwork.

As I explored the ESCAPE Theme Park, I come across several instances (and the park people were fast to point them out to me) where environment and nature-friendly designs were incorporated. The roof of the administrative buildings is grass. Though the grass needs regular maintenance, it keeps the interior temperature down while allowing excess water to collect for recycling. This is channeled into a brass drum with a tap at the bottom.

Workers tending to the grass roof, ESCAPE Theme Park (15 November, 2012)


Rain-gutter water recycling, ESCAPE Theme Park (15 November, 2012)

Meet the boss, Sim Choo Kheng

ESCAPE Adventureplay is the brainchild of Mr Sim Choo Kheng, the Penang-born chief executive officer of Sim Leisure. Having spent his childhood in the village, Mr Sim want every urban child and child-at-heart to experience the joy of life in the kampung. The opportunity arose when the state government opened to tender the land in Teluk Bahang for the creation of a new world-class tourist attraction in Penang.

ESCAPE Theme Park enables urban folks jaded by life in the concrete jungle the opportunity to enjoy the natural environment. For those who grew up in the countryside, Mr Sim hopes to bring back fond memories of the joy of living close to nature. This particular theme park materialises his vision of creating a world-class theme park for his native home island, and at the same time showcase how much fun it could be to enjoy and appreciate nature. ESCAPE taps the experience garnered by Sim Leisure in developing theme parks all over the world.

I am delighted to see the opening of ESCAPE Theme Park in Penang, and wish Mr Sim and the ESCAPE team all the best!

Tim with Mr Yeoh Seng Hooi (Director of Finance, Sim Leisure) and Mr Sim Choo Kheng (CEO, Sim Leisure) (15 November, 2012)

Return visit to ESCAPE Adventureplay

About five years after ESCAPE Adventureplay opened, they invited me back to have a look around at the progress since then. I am happy to see that the nature theme park is still attracting visitors. They have also added a few new attractions such as the Kite Flyer and a new camping site.

ESCAPE AdventureplayHere I am with the owner of ESCAPE Adventureplay, Sim Choo Kheng (left) (7 January, 2017)


On my second visit to ESCAPE, I had a chance to sit down with Sim Choo Kheng, the CEO of Sim Leisure, which owns and manages ESCAPE Adventureplay. We met briefly when the theme park first opened. This time, we get the chance to sit down and have a long talk. It was a most invigorating conversation, and we discussed a wide range of topics, from environmental protection to challenges facing Penang's tourism industry, and when I finally took leave, I learned that we have been talking with each other for five hours! I discovered that we are in agreement on a lot of things, and we also have much in common: we are of the same age, we were born in Penang's countryside, and we bore witness to all the changes to Penang over the past half century.

ESCAPE AdventureplayMy wife and I at ESCAPE Adventureplay (7 January, 2017)


ESCAPE AdventureplayESCAPE Adventureplay (7 January, 2017)

ESCAPE Adventureplay on Google Street View

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