Here's some trivia for you: did you know that the world's highest bungee jump is in Macau?
What's that? Where's Macau? Do you know where Hong Kong is? No, “somewhere in China” is not an acceptable answer to this question.
Although Macau is likely always described in the context of its more popular neighbors China and Hong Kong, it is in fact a sovereign city-state, and it's famous for one of three things (depending on where you're from in the world):
- Being one of the eleven places in the world that uses Portuguese as one of its official languages (although it's not widely spoken)
- Being the gambling capital of Asia (and debatably the Eastern Hemisphere)
- Having the highest commercial bungee jump in the world (for now)
- Or number four (I know I said three), having egg tarts (which personally, I am not a fan of)
However, the one of these things we're most concerned with today (and the thing on my most recent bucket list) is the 764 foot / 233 meter bungee jump.
Macau Tower (aka Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre) plays host to the world's highest (commercial) bungee jump.
The height of the tower (including the antenna) is 1,108.9 ft / 338 m – the bungee jump platform is on the top floor at 764 ft / 233 m. Having never bungee jumped, that number doesn't really mean much to me; is that actually high? The number 233 doesn't seem very big. How tall are other bungee jumps? Like 50 meters? Again, I have no idea.
There's a viewing platform with 360 degree views and transparent floors located ten floors below the bungee platform, so I go there to check out what the deal is. It looks pretty high – I guess?
But there's still one more obstacle to tackle once getting past the height of the jump – the cost.
The price may be even more shocking than the height, and at 3,350 MOP (Macau Pataca), it'll do some serious damage to your wallet. I'll let you look up the conversion on your own (for the lazy).
And if you want the pictures/video from your jump, it'll cost you an extra $120 US. But don't worry, no matter what you choose you'll also get a t-shirt, an e-Certificate, and a membership card. Yeah, I know, right?
NOTE: if booking online, you may have only the option to pay for your pictures/video as well. You can always buy these after your jump (and after seeing them), so I would urge you to wait and make the decision after jumping (that is, if you jump :). Try calling to book (I just walked in and jumped without booking ahead of time).
I had budgeted an afternoon, a night, and a morning for seeing Macau, and for it being only 11.6 mi² / 30.3 km², I was being generous.
It was a foggy, and I wasn't having the greatest of days; I was just in one of those funks. After walking around the Ruins of St. Paul's, filling up on samples of various sweets and jerkies (or jerkys?), and getting kicked out of a casino, it was time to turn my day around.
What better remedy than an overdose of adrenaline?
It took half an hour down to Macau Tower where I went in, convinced two guys on the fence to jump, paid for mine, took the elevator up to the observation deck, took the elevator up ten more floors, and kitted up for what would be my first (and hopefully not last) bungee jump.
I didn't care it was foggy, I was up here to jump off a building, not to get a view.
With the harness and equipment all hooked up I scooted myself to the edge where I stood awaiting instruction. The weight of the bungee cable threatened to prematurely pull me down, but I trusted that my handlers knew what they were doing.
Then without warning they started a countdown. FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE, BUNGEE!
I lean forward into the abyss.
So was it worth it?
If you ask me, I vote 100% yes. It was fucking incredible.
I knew it would be cool, and I knew it would be a rush, but the jump literally showed me an entirely new level of awesomeness previously unknown to my being.
In describing it to people I've become fond of equating it to explaining what it's like to be drunk to someone who's never had alcohol; it doesn't matter how specific, detailed, or thorough you are in your explanation, without firsthand experience it will be impossible for explanation to accurately convey the experience.
Check out the video below to see what I look like (and sound like) falling off a building (and yes, I know it's foggy):