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Archive for the ‘Macau’ Category

It was finally the day, the nervousness over the past couple months was setting in. At this point I was still unsure if I would be able to muster up the courage to be able to take the step off the Worlds Highest Bungee Jump at 233M. Yes thats right I jumped off the highest commerical bungee jump in the world. Run by AJ Hackett daredevils and/or crazy people make this leap every day with the fear of going SPLAT.

Now one might ask who would be stupid enough to actually do this. I’m not going to get into the heated debates that arise from those who are anti Bungee and those who are pro bungee. But to say the least to do a bungee was definitely on my list of things to do before I do. I figured “this one is the biggest in the world might as well be this”.

As you can imagine I was nervous as anything and as I stood at the bottom of the bungee watching countless others perform this terrifying jump, I was still reconsidering if I would actually do the jump or not. So as usual i sussed out what it’s like by talking to others who had just come off the jump and they reassured me that I wouldnt regret it. So I made my way inside to the paying counter to see the different types of packages that they offer. I ended up going for the full package DVD, photos the shebang. I said goodbye to my girlfriend and made my way up to the top of the tower.

Going up this elevator made the 233 meters feel higher and higher. I reached the top, showed my ticket and was informed that I would be able to jump straight away. (apparently there arn’t enough crazy’s who do this jump for there to be any significant waiting line. I was given my awesome bungee t-shirt of which I will end up framing with my certificate, so i went to put it on and made sure that there wasn’t anything that might fall out of my pockets as I was upside down.

After the usual bungy formalities of weight checking and safety harnessing I made my way out to the bungee preparation area to get further safety equipment put on. Scared as usual I asked if the the feet harness fell off what would happen. The New Zealand guy running the operation kindly informed me I have a backup which was definitely a plus. Just to mention the fact that this guy was from New Zealand was so reassuring, considering that NZ is pretty much the birthplace of commercial bungy’s.

I was all harnessed up and attached to the safety line (normally there arn’t safety lines on bungy but considering the height and that I was jumping off a building not a bridge, safety lines are in place to make sure that i fall more or less directly down). This however does not affect the speed of decent and still qualfies this bungy jump to be the highest in the world.
-So I was asked to move out to the tiny platform on the tower said a few words to my video of how I was feeling and took in the view (still crapping myself). I started thinking of pulling out but that would of just been a complete waste of money because once you reach this point theres no going back in terms of money anyway. I took a few moments to took the amazing view standing above all the casinos of Macau (yes I was higher than the buildings…..) The staff told me that there would be quite a bit of weight once the guide fell of the platform. This was definitely an understatement there was a significant amount of weight. I was instructed to step as close to the edge as possible all the while still terrified that I was about to do this. I took a few deep breathes…… and…..

3…….2………1………….Bungy

I stepped of the bungy and started freefalling and intense speeds, there just isn’t any explanation I can give for how fast you actually free fall. The moment of stepping off was insanely scary and for the first second or so you really think your going to die. As you continue to freefall the length of the bungy cord in this situation stops any serious jerking so as the cord almost stretches out to its full length, you slowly come to a stop before being gentlely sprung back up.

At this point I remembered that I was told to release the leg harness but pulling on the cord with a quick jerk. This was also an understatement I literally pulled on this cord several times before it finally was released and I could sit upright on my decent down to the huge inflatable pad. Considering I have written this blog I havn’t died and I have lived to tell the tale.

Every time I watch the video I still cringe and think how crazy I was to do something that amazing, but all in all the experience was pretty amazing. There just isn’t anything that compares to falling at the speed of gravity. To all those bungy blogs out there who say there is significant jerking action. The Macau tower Bungy didnt have any jerk at all and they also followed very strict safety standards which made the whole experience more liveable.

Would I do it again? The Macau Tower probably not but I would definitely like to do the Switzerland jump shown in Golden Eye 007. Maybe next time when I head out that way.

If you would like to read more info on the jump please go here:
        http://www.ajhackett.com/macau/
If you would like to read more on my Macau adventures please refer to the other blog. Otherwise until next time!

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There are several ways to get to Macau, but the most common and by far the cheapest is by ferry from Hong Kong. Ferries depart from Hong Kong several times per day and only take about an hour to reach the Self Governed City of Macau. Upon reaching the ferry terminal if you have no plans you can head to the tour desk to organize a walking tour of the main historical sights. There are also people who tout tours but I’m not sure of the quality of these tours. If you’re just after the gambling side of things hail a cab and ask them to take you to any of the casinos on the island. Before I get started a bit of background on Macau: Macau is a self governed city with its major business sector being gambling. The gambling market over the last few years has grown even larger than Las Vegas with 06 figures at 6 Billion US dollars. Macau also has several other attractions being mostly historical and museums and is also home to the current ‘Worlds highest Bungee Jump: The AJ Hackett Macau Tower” which I leaped off towards the end of the day. But for that blog you’ll have to wait till tomorrow.

We exited the terminal and as we had our friend with us to help us with the language barrier we were able to get around with ease. First stop was the Largo Do Senado Plaza which is usually the starting point for most tours in Macau. The Plaza has amazing old style architecture with a heavy Portuguese influence and several notable buildings including the Church of St Dominic, Macau Cathedral, Lou Kau Mansion, Church of St Augustine and most notable the two main attractions here: Monte Fort and the Ruins of the Church of St Paul. We began our day walking to and from the main buildings around the plaza before heading up to Monte Fort. We went the back way to Monte Fort up the huge hill that was painful to walk up. Most tourists go the front way which starts at the Ruins of the Church of St Paul and take the escalator to the Monte Fort. But unknowing to this information we hiked up the hill. By the time reached the top we were sweating and couldn’t wait till we got some water. The breeze at the top and the views of Macau were a great reward for our hard work. We took some snaps before heading into the museum here to see what they had to offer. The museum was home to a lot of old style architecture building miniature all es as well as a lot of local history. If your into really local history this kind of museum will be perfect for you. We exited out and stopped by the souvenir shop to pick up some stamps and to get me a copy of the Hong Kong and Macau Lonely Planet Guide book. Not so much for the information as our trip was more than half way over but just to add to my collection.

We continued on to Macau’s main historical attraction the Ruins of the Church of St Paul. It is quite mesmerizing to be here and if you were to compare to other famous landmarks, the Ruins of the Church of St Paul is the Maccu Picchu of Macau. We took a huge assortment of pictures here from different angles trying to lower the amount of random’s in our shots, in the end we had to settle for a few in the front and a few in behind as shown in the picture – top right. The view from the top of the platform greens right down into one of the main tourist shopping alleyways that sell a good assortment of local delicacies. We were told that if you come here to Macau you have to try their Custard Egg Tart and pick up some Pineapple or Mango biscuits. We had both and there some of the best snack food I have ever eaten. The Egg Tart was by far the best Egg Tart I have had the privilege to try thus far on my travels. Mcdonalds was calling and we grabbed a bite to eat before taking a taxi to the Macau Tower for my infamous jump. For my bungee jump blog you will have to wait until tomorrows posting. It was getting dark and we had tickets to watch the ZAIA Cirque Du Soleil show, showing at the Venetian so we jumped into another cab and headed to one of the largest Hotel and Casino complexes in the world.

First impressions of the Venetian were that it was at least 1000x better than my local Brisbane Casino and that everything they did screamed ‘luxury’. From the frescoes on the ceilings to the make shift canals with Chinese singing Italian melodies. It was just amazing! The gambling floors were massive and the main gambling floor easily had a good 20 thousand or so people (90% being asian). Getting onto the Casino floor they do have an age limit which I believe is 18 for foreigners (don’t quote me on this) and older for citizens of Macau. You need to be decently dressed in smart casual clothing – definitely no thongs or singlets. As I was in one of the largest casinos I definitely had to try my luck at some blackjack. Even though the fortune teller told me that I would have bad luck at gambling I decided to gamble anyway. An hour or so later and about $200 AUD down I decided to give up on gambling! I wrote this $200 off as an entertainment expense as a ‘must do in Macau’ and we went started to head over the ZAIA stage. The ZAIA show was nothing less than spectacular but this was to be expected of Cirque Du Soleil but my only complaints where that it was a little short at only 90 minutes long with most other shows being slightly longer than this plus a interval. It seemed like it finished quickly and we knew we had to make it to the free shuttle buses as fast as we could as a Lady GAGA show was also finishing at the same time. We quickly rushed out of the hotel and were able to make it onto one of the first few shuttle buses heading towards the ferry terminal. All in all our day in Macau was quite eventually but due to the ferry traveling and bungee jump I was quite exhausted and definitely ready to head home for a good nights sleep. Tune in tomorrow for the second part of this blog were I tell my story of my jump off the worlds highest bungee!!

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