High Point Rope Adventure Park in Koh Rong: What a Kid Would Love to Do on Vacation
What A Kid Would Love to Do on Vacation
You know, parents think that they are so smart. What makes it worse is that they think they have the answers to everything. Get an idea in their mind, and they will do everything that they can that their idea is just brilliant.
About two years ago my parents approached my two younger brothers and I and told us that we were to travel halfway around the world to a small island off the coast of Cambodia. I was 12 years old at the time, just about to head into my eighth grade year in school, and I had big plans for what my summer was going to be like. I was going to hang out with my friends, play baseball every day, hang around the mall, and do things that a 12-year-old boy should be doing with his summer vacation.
This was the great plan I had for my summer, but my parents had something else in mind. Their place involved some country called Cambodia. I actually had to go to a map to try to find where Cambodia was at. I search for it online and discovered the Cambodia was some kind of poverty-stricken country, at least that is the way it appeared to me, somewhere in Southeast Asia. I looked it most of the countries around it and not one of them even remotely rung a bell to me about what it was. We were going where?
I profusely expressed my dissatisfaction with this decision with my parents. I told them on at least four occasions that my summer was not going to be ruined by dragging me across the globe to someplace that no one had ever even heard of. They had to be kidding!
If you think my reaction was bad, you should have seen the reaction of my two brothers when they were told of this grand adventure. They were seven and eight at the time, and they had summer plans of hanging out with their friends and creating a whole bunch of exciting adventures together. They had no desire to spend 10 days in some area that they had never heard of.
Our dissatisfaction with this decision turned to utter anger when he was told to us that the flight from our home to Cambodia where we would catch a boat to head to Koh Rong would take us about 22 hours. This not only included a time in an airplane but also time sitting in airports waiting to transfer. 22 hours!
My parents thought they were so smart. First they tried psychology with this. “This will be the adventure of a lifetime for you,” they told us. No one was buying that. Then it was, “Do you know that hundreds of years ago people spent months out on a ship trying to get to these locations that will take us just 22 hours to get to?” While those people are stupid is what I thought. Who wants to spend months on a ship going to the middle of nowhere?
Despite our continual gripes and complaints, it was a no-win scenario. We were heading across the globe to this place that we had never heard of, and probably would have never heard of had it not been for parents forcing us to go. They might as well have just taken us to the moon.
So two weeks in June, off we went. Three planes and 10 ½ hours of waiting at different airports and we were finally landing in the airport in Cambodia. Next, we went out and waited by this dock to catchable ride out to KohRong. After 25 hours we were finally on the island. I could not believe how long it took to get here. It may not have been months, but it sure felt like it.
Let the Adventure Begin
We arrived there at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon. My brothers and I got into our room after we checked in, laid down in our beds, and were asleep approximately 37 seconds later. For the next 15 hours we were completely out. Both of our parents tried to wake us up take us to dinner, but no one was having any of that.
The next day we all got up and went and had breakfast. It had been the first time that the three of us had really looked at what the island was all about. We had a pretty negative impression simply because of the long travel but as we looked out over the beach area we soon started to realize that maybe this place in the middle of nowhere wasn’t as bad as we thought. It wasn’t great, maybe it wasn’t as bad as we truly thought.
Of course, we were going to say that out loud. Heaven forbid if our parents should think that they were right about whether we would like coming here or not. Relenting and acknowledging that they were right would set a really bad precedent.
For the first couple of days we laid out on the beach, sailed around the island, and even got in a little bit of fishing. Most of the vacations that my brothers and I took with our dad always included some time fishing together, so this was a real treat to know that you still able to do this family tradition that was part of our manly tradition. We caught some amazing fish and had a great time playing in the water.
On day four our parents told us that they had something very special in mind for us. They were going to take us toHigh Point Rope Park in KohRong. This did not sound like a particularly exciting adventure. What they explained to us is that they were going to take us to the forest area deep within the island to this kind of rope park. A rope park? Good grief! What did they think we were going to do, jump rope?
High Point Rope Park in Koh Rong was not someplace to look at ropes. It was a place where we could have incredible adventures swinging from tree to tree on zip lines nearly 100 feet above the ground. It was both the most exciting thing I had ever seen and the most terrifying rolled into one.
There was even so much more to it. There were incredible bridges made of rope. It felt like we were in an Indiana Jones movie for sure. There were great platforms in areas where we could let our imaginations run wild. To get started though, it all had to begin with that zip line.
They first gave us a little bit of instruction. We are kids and we know everything of course, but it was common sense to let us know a little bit about what we needed to do to be safe. Even a kid can appreciate that.
They showed us how to properly harness the rope around ourselves. The instructor gave us an explanation on how to slow ourselves down or stop if we wanted to. He showed us what to do if we suddenly found ourselves trapped between two trees because our momentum didn’t carry us enough. For my little brothers that seem like a good idea to learn, but I knew I wasn’t can have a problem. After about 30 minutes of instructions we were ready and off we went.
They help us climb up the first platform to get us into the trees and got us attached onto the zip line. A few minutes later we were on our way. There I was swinging out over the ground below, a ground below that seemed a long way away. I will not lie. On a few occasions I let out a rather large and girl like sounding scream. However, after a few minutes the adventure was incredible.
I zipped downlines towards the ground. I swung from tree to tree. I felt like the greatest adventurer of all time as I moved across the lines.
My brothers were not as brave as I was at first. My screams lasted but just a few minutes, while there is lasted quite a bit longer. Eventually though, they got into it and were having the time of their lives as well.
My parents were having a great time as well. They laughed and took pictures of us. They did everything we did and more. At one point, we all held hands and swung between trees is one long family precession across the zip line. It was honestly the most fun I had ever had in my life.
As our time on the zip line was coming to an end, my dad pulled this really close to each other on one of the platforms and he told us that this was going to be the time to let our imaginations run wild. He said we are just an ordinary family anymore. We are a family of great adventurers looking to solve a mystery of where a lost treasure has been left on this island. My brothers and I look each other in all this great adventure and my dad had set for us.
With our new mission in hand off we went down the zip line and to the ground. We were a great family of adventurers on a quest in the quest was just beginning.
My dad gave us a caution at first though. He told us that there were wild animals to be found, bears that lived in the trees, and animals that slithered along the ground waiting to get us. He was the job of my brothers and I to not only help to find the lost treasure, my dad specifically tasked the three of us with protecting our mom. We took this challenge very seriously, always ensuring that one of the three of us was close by her at all times.
As our journey got underway we approached our first obstacle. A V-shaped rope bridge was the only means we had to cross a treacherous body of water. We had seen these many times in movies and on television but here we were braving this kind of bridge for ourselves. I wanted to be scared, but I knew that I had to be strong for my mom and for my little brothers. Slowly I worked my way across that bridge, one foot in front of the other, always working to maintain my balance.
I was tasked with my brothers’ keep, so each of them held onto me as we slowly made our way across the bridge. If this quest was gonna be a success I had to ensure my brothers were safe. My mother followed closely behind my youngest brother. She said it was that she needed him to help her, but I knew it was really the other way around. We were tasked to follow this adventure and were living in a make-believe world, but come on, I’m not stupid.
The further we went along in our journey the more challenging the obstacles became. There was one place where we all had to hold hands to be able to cross this bridge safely. We all knew that one small mistake in all of us were to go into the water down below. The truth was that we were all securely fastened to a rope together to ensure that we were safe, but out on this adventure it was no rope to protect us in our minds. It was us versus the obstacles.
A short time later we were at the flying board. This was a small board inside a tube that was pushed across a rope to the other side. That was one of the finest experiences of my life. It was so incredible as I slid across that rope to the other side resting comfortably on that platform. It was almost like I was Aladdin.
There were many obstacles similar to one another. Bridges were rehabbed to hold hands, V-shaped bridges, and more flying seats. But they were also someone’s there were different from others. The zigzag bridge was one of my favorites. This was one of those bridges that you see in a movie and you think to yourself, who built this crazy thing? A bridge that didn’t go straight across, but zigzagged back and forth ensuring that you had to maintain full concentration as you headed for the other side.
Finally, after about one hour of making our way across bridges, obstacles, and other challenges we finally reached the end. They gave us a big prize when we did. A medallion that we placed around our necks. We were no longer little kids anymore; we were accomplished world travelers and adventurers.
It had just been a few hours since we arrived at the park, but my brothers and I were absolutely exhausted. It’s hard work being a great adventurer.
Ok, so my parents were right about High Point Rope Park in Koh Rong. They were just right; they were really right. This island was absolutely incredible, and this adventure that we went on together with something that has captured my imagination ever since.
For the last six days that we were on KohRong Island we did a whole lot of fun stuff together. We ate unusual and tasty foods, played on the beach, traveled around through the forest area and saw wild animals and birds, and just had a great time together as a family. My dad even took us back to High Point Rope Park the day before we left for one last great adventure.
Now it was time for the 25 hour trip to head back home. I wasn’t mad this time. The time didn’t matter to me one bit. In fact, I spent the entire trip back, when I was awake, talking to my dad about what a great time I had. That was the most fun adventure of my life, and I was so appreciative that he and my mom were smart enough and caring enough of my brothers and I to want to take us on this great adventure.
I agree that it took 50 hours to get there and back. That’s a really long time when you’re 12 years old. But the truth is those 50 hours gave me the opportunity to have memories that will last me for 60 years. You simply can’t replace things like that.
When I got home I shared all of my pictures with my friends. They were astounded at how great High Point Rope Park in Koh Rong Island is. They all asked their parents to go. Maybe some of them will get to go one day, but they’ll never be as great of adventurers as my family and I.