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|Focus: Relive your childhood at ESCAPE Theme Park, Teluk Bahang ~~~ by Carolyn Khor|
Relive your childhood at ESCAPE Theme Park, Teluk Bahang ~~~ by Carolyn KhorEveryone has an inner child who just cannot wait to come out to play, that is, if given a chance. Spread over seven acres for now, ESCAPE Theme Park in Teluk Bahang is a childhood dream come true. Its Founder and Chief Escape Officer, Sim Choo Kheng is every bit the Peter Pan who still believes in fun and laughter, along with a heavy dose of nature.
“We need to reconnect with Mother Nature. It is only instinctive of us to be protective of the environment when we love it,” said Sim, who reminisces his youth as a kampong boy who used to climb trees, swam and fished for fresh water prawns in the streams in Thean Teik Estate, Ayer Itam where he grew up.
Sim hopes to share this joyful experience with the children of current generation whom he describes as having a ‘lack of creativity and curiosity’ due to the overdosed institutionalized learning.
‘Low-tech, High Fun’ is how Sim describes his theme park.
“We do not have the money like the 'Big Boys' in Orlando, but we have the creative flair, the international experience and more importantly the passion and drive to realise a new theme park genre that is distinctively in harmony with nature and its surroundings,” he said, adding that ESCAPE adheres to the international safety, operational and cleanliness standards.
Sim, 48, has been in the theme park industry for more than 20 years and is involved in the operating, designing and building of theme parks worldwide. ESCAPE, according to him, will be his ‘final destination’ when he manages to re-create his playground he lost to 'progress'.
"I yearn to be a kid again, I shall return to where it all started!”, he exclaimed.
Having realised ESCAPE since ten months ago is a personal fulfillment in addressing the void of human interaction with nature such as participatory learning and reconnecting with our core values.
According to Sim, the idea of a theme park started during the Industrial Revolution where people needed to take a break to ease their minds off the stark reality of hard work.
Unlike other theme parks, ESCAPE does not have roller-coasters or sugar coated fantasies. Sim thinks that some theme parks are ‘distorted in their views between having fun and being scared’. "We think we have solutions for everything, in reality very often we resolve a problem by creating a new one".
“The idea of outdoor fun is to enhance bodily motor skills and coordination besides boosting physical fitness,” he said.
ESCAPE Waterplay is expected to be featured in late 2014 and Treetops Hotel in the near future. The total area of 44 acres within the vicinity of the ESCAPE Theme Park will host many more attractions later.
“Repurposing this former Teluk Bahang Dam construction site means we didn't have to disturb much of the surrounding nature, almost all the old structures built by PBA were enhanced with many thought-provoking ideas complying to ESCAPE's ethos. We respect nature and we hope that we could convey this message of love for nature to those who visit our theme park,” he concluded.
ESCAPE Theme Park opens daily from 9:00a.m to 6:00p.m. Further details may be found here: www.escape.my.