Since we were staying at the Batu Ferringhi stretch in Penang, we couldn’t give the nearby ESCAPE adventure and water park a miss.
Spanning a total of some 20 acres, ESCAPE is the #1 theme park in the whole of Malaysia. But beyond that accolade, what really impressed me was the ethos of ESCAPE.
Their “About” page explains that ESCAPE wanted to deviate from the conventional ‘roller-coaster rides, and sugar-coated fantasies’ of theme parks. Rather, its vision was to reintroduce the concept of play in a kampong setting, whilst building resilience in our youth through adventure activities.
ESCAPE re-introduces such play so as to inject reality into a world overdependent on isolating electronic lifestyles. Through fun activities, with an emphasis on self-directed and self-powered play, the visitor experiences what they term “Low Tech, High Fun”.
Look at the challenging zip lines and height activities that they offer!
Highlights of the park include a 135metre-long ‘Go Bananas’ zipline, two ‘bungee jumps’ (one from 7 storeys, and the other from 4 storeys) as well as the highest flying fox which is 35m above ground!
Here are two photos courtesy of ESCAPE, so you can see how extensive their activities are!
What also made an impression was how safe and high-quality this adventure-play park was. No wonder, since its founder who is a Penangite, is also the owner of Sim Leisure, which is a leading theme park consultancy based in Dubai that has been designing theme parks for over 20 years.
Over here, you can see the compulsory safety video that all participants have to watch before they attempt the various adventure zone activities. The belay harness and carabiners are also high quality Penzel brand equipment used by professional mountaineers.
The activities are well-staffed by guides and the use of clear video instructions at stations certainly help maximise safety.
Here is their flying trapeze station.
This just looks like a bunch of trees, but look closer, and you can spot a boy trying to climb this coconut tree. There are actually various challenges associated with just this one station – you can try to climb the tree with no aids, or with foot and hand holds. There is even a prize if you complete the challenge!
At the central area, there’s a board showing the Play Schedule of the day. You can have a zoom-bug race, or gather for a Sepak Takraw match! There’s always something going on, if the height challenges are not your thing.
Apart from some smaller trampolines (at the Jumping Jack station), there’s also a large central trampoline, and one of the friendly staff obliged us with an aerial somersault.
There’s also an interesting Discovery Dig station where you can ‘pan for gold’, which are little yellow clay nuggets that you can convert into a ‘medal’ in the hut below.
It is clear that utmost care has been taken to preserve many trees and natural foliage, so that the activities take place in a lush green environment.
Chickens and ducks also roam around freely to re-create a kampong feel to the entire place. Really effective, I must say!
There is a section with activities that are more suited to those aged 6 and below, so there’s something for everyone.
There is also an F&B area for you to take meals and recharge, since you’re likely to be there for the whole day!
Across the road is the water park – at present, helpful guards will facilitate your crossing but there are plans to build an overhead link bridge to make moving between both parks seamless.
The girls were more keen on water play, and ESCAPE has 12 acres worth of it! We were indeed privileged to visit barely days after its official opening on 16 December 2017.
The gorgeous photo above from ESCAPE shows the majority of their slides, including one of the yellow-blue ones which is the longest water slide in Malaysia. I tried all the yellow-blue ones!
What impressed me as I slid down the unending curves was the gorgeous views of Penang’s forested hills.
There are quite a number of thrilling slides that would appeal to adrenalin junkies, such as the “Banana drop’ – where you are catapulted into the air as such:
I thought it was helpful that at each station, there is a board clearly explaining the activity, and even the “courage” level required, haha.
The board above explains the activity below, for instance.
There are a number of diving boards, and a suitably deep pool so you can fulfil those diving dreams that you’ve got!
There are also two large water playgrounds. One for older kids, where my girls had loads of fun sliding down at…
…And one for toddlers and younger kids too!
The park is well decorated, and there are cute boats like these to chill out at, too. There are also adequate bathing and restroom facilities.
Their Wave Ball pool is also impressive – with a shallower section for younger kids, and a deeper section further behind for the really large waves!
For more information on the many exciting and fun activities that ESCAPE has to offer, you can visit this page, and click on the photos for detailed information on each activity!
Here are the ticket prices at a glance, and other useful information on ESCAPE. To avoid scams, it is always best to get your tickets from the official ESCAPE website, which also offers great discounts!
Stay connected to the ESCAPE Facebook Page for updates as well, since I’ve read reports that they will be launching GravityPlay, a new series of rides and activities, around end-2018!
This will include the longest water slide in the WORLD (1km long!), where thrill-seekers will be chairlifted to a height of 420m to the top of the hill to get to the starting point of the slide. From the hilltop, they will zoom down the slide which will cross Jalan Teluk Bahang beside a pedestrian link bridge and end in a swimming pool inside the water theme park.
Time to plan your visit now!
Note: Thanks ESCAPE for inviting us to review your awesome adventure-play theme park!