The most natural form of fun and adventure
By:Vicky Fong

The world’s longest zip coaster was launched in Penang in May 2022, proudly putting Malaysia prominently on the world tourism map. The 1.1-kilometre Zip Coaster, created by Escape Penang, which had also created history with its world’s longest water slide, has officially entered the Guinness Book of World Records. This is a remarkable achievement as there are now two world records in the same location of a theme park. 

The world’s longest zip coaster was launched in Penang in May 2022, proudly putting Malaysia prominently on the world tourism map.

The 1.1-kilometre “Zip Coaster”, created by Escape Penang, which had also created history with its world’s longest water slide, has entered into the Guinness World Records. This is a remarkable achievement as there is now two world records in the same location of a theme park. 

The launching ceremony was officiated by the Governor of Penang, Tun Dato’ Seri Utama Ahmad Fuzi Haji Abdul Razak, who said, “I am glad to see that Sim Leisure Group has played its part in bringing new and innovative rides to once again invite visitors near and far with internationally recognised attractions. This is especially important as we rebound into a post-pandemic era with the reopening of Malaysia’s borders.”

The zip coaster is a new breed of ride. It fuses the free flying sensation of a zip line with ups, downs, and turns on a steel track attached to the tree line, meandering through the tree tops, giving riders the ultimate thrill of flight.

Sim Choo Kheng, the founder of Sim Leisure Group, emphasised that in building the zip coaster, every effort was made to ensure the preservation of the natural environment in which ESCAPE Penang is located, amidst lush trees and foliage.

“It certainly wasn’t easy making a zip coaster that is more than a kilometre long. However, those who know me can attest to the fact that I like to accomplish the impossible. So, we set out to make this a reality, “said Sim, whose lightbulb moment came about while working in Vietnam in 1998. He was reminded of the fun and adventure during his childhood days in the kampong by the rainforest in Penang. In that era, it was all about climbing trees, diving from tree tops to the pond, and racing downhill. 

ESCAPE was built in stages from 2009 from a 44-acre construction wasteland in Teluk Bahang, in the north western part of Penang. They have to plant the trees in the theme park with a retro-eco concept for its adventurous and nature-loving guests.

The media, including our writer from Kuching, attempting the World’s Longest Zip Coaster at ESCAPE Penang.

Today, ESCAPE has not only won many accolades but has seen this Penang brand expanded to many cities.

In conjunction with the launch of the world’s longest zip coaster, ESCAPE Penang has partnered with two notable brands to offer visitors an unforgettable experience. 

The first is Captain Oats, a Penang-born food brand that has made its mark around the world, much like Sim Leisure Group. 

Dato’ Seri Lee Kah Choon said the tie-up will also promote an active lifestyle and healthy eating amongst Malaysians and the ESCAPE brand. 
As an added element of healthy competition and fun, visitors to ESCAPE Penang can attempt the monthly Captain Oats Energy Run and compete for exciting prizes.

Travelodge was the official hotel partner of the Zip Coaster launch.

An experience of the Zip Coaster
A pleasant cable ride up to the starting point of the zip coaster allows us to enjoy some stunning views of the theme park with its striking and longest in the world water slide, which snakes around lush green surroundings.

A group of other media people were already queuing up for the zip coaster when we arrived. I was paired up with a guy who was also on the heavy side like me. 

We thought we were going to be like a bullet train since our body weight might pull us down faster when we descend. Yes, for certain segments of the ride it was extremely speedy, but there were also moments when it slowed down, allowing us to catch our breath and prepare for the speedier parts of the ride. 

Concerning safety concerns, there is no worry as we were securely fastened and then hoisted up onto a metal rod. With both our hands gripping tightly onto a bar on top to balance our bodies, we were set to go.

Within seconds, we sped down and had the most unforgettable adventure. The exhilarating 6-minute ride saw us flying over a tree canopy and amidst trees. The speed was so high that we only caught fleeting glimpses of the greens, the sea, and some distant islands.

Most let out screams to express their excitement or fear. It may seem like a never-ending ride at some point, but don’t forget that this is the world’s longest zip coaster. We got an adrenaline rush, especially at the twisty, curvy parts of the ride. 

Overall, this place left quite an impression, and the possibility to return with friends to explore other activities is very likely. We had in fact arrived a day before the official launch of the Zip Coaster and tried the World’s Longest Water Slide and enjoyed other water-related activities and games. 

A tall water slide is also one of the attractions in ESCAPE Penang.

It offers great therapy for computer addicts to get a healthier lifestyle. For two years during the pandemic, we have been indoors so much that we really need to get outdoors, feel the nature, suck in some fresh air and destress.

Millennials, the younger consumers who are driving holiday spending, do place a higher priority on health and wellness than any other generation. They will be seeking fun and thrills in places with a much greener environment.

Sim said Escape Penang will be adding a Treetop Hotel with 200 units of nature-based accommodation on 6 hectars of land, with work starting in 2023. 

Sim Leisure Group is a well-established developer and operator of themes, listed on the Singapore Exchange since March 201. Sim Choo Kheng, the company’s founder, has over 30 years of experience in the theme park industry and has built and managed parks in Europe, the Middle East, and Asean.

The sister company of the group, Sim Leisure Gulf, currently based in Dubai, provides theming design and construction. Its international clients include The Lost Paradise of Dilmun in Bahrain; Bollywood Theme Park in Dubai; Yas Waterwood in Abu Dhabi; Ski Egypt in Cairo; Ski Dubai; the Motiongate Theme Park in Dubai; Aquapolis in Bulgaria; Ulynovsk park in Russia; and the Egypt and Jurassic Park zones of Universal Studios Singapore.

In Malaysia, besides the ESCAPE outdoor theme park in Penang, there is the ESCAPE Challenge indoor park at Paradigm Mall in Petaling Jaya. 

The group has also acquired KidZania Kuala Lumpur and plans to acquire KidZania Singapore too.

New Sarawak Tribune e-Paper

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New Sarawak Tribune is a Sarawakian news portal that highlights Sarawak-centric news and other stories of relevance to Sarawak.

Today, New Sarawak Tribune focuses on happenings in Sarawak’s cities, towns and small places no matter how remote these are and events of relevance in other states of Malaysia and other countries.