When Virgin Atlantic recently got in touch with Sassy Hong Kong (a website I – and that Charlotte used to – write for) to issue a challenge for someone to take on the Macau Tower bungy jump, I threw my hand up to do it. As the team’s token Kiwi and having bungeed twice before – both times at the Auckland Harbour Bridge site in New Zealand – I figured it was a good opportunity to brush off some cobwebs, get the blood pumping and heart racing.
Then I crunched the numbers…
While the Auckland Harbour Bridge jump is 40m high (and pretty scary), the Macau Tower site dwarves that by standing at a whopping 233m! Not only did I realise it was more than five times the height, I discovered it’s the current title holder of highest commercial bungy in the world (my hands get sweaty just typing those words). I immediately freaked out. What was I thinking signing up for something so extreme?! So high?! So extremely high?!
Once I got my head around the task that lay ahead, I locked in the time and date of the jump and the countdown began…
In the days leading up it, I become increasingly nervous. I tried psyching myself up by reading reviews and watching as many videos of people doing it as I could. I kept imagining what it would be like when it came time to stand on the edge of the platform. Unlike a skydive (where you’re strapped to the instructor and therefore don’t actually make the decision to jump out of the plane yourself, you just get taken for the ride), with a bungy it’s all down to you to jump, step or fall off the ledge. And the moment when you make that decision is intense.
After telling anyone who would listen about my impending jump, the big day finally arrived.
The Macau bungy site is managed by AJ Hackett. For those unfamiliar with the brand name, AJ is in fact the man who invented bungy jumping – the godfather of the sport. Did I mention he’s Kiwi too? Anyway, it’s needless to say the technology, safety and professionalism makes for one slick operation.
There’s no mucking around when you reach the observation deck of the Macau Tower. With dance music pumping, things happen pretty swiftly once you’ve been registered, weighed and suited up in the harness. The team is awesome. Not only are staff relaxed, friendly and insanely knowledgeable (they have detailed answers for every bungy-related question under the sun), the set-up process makes you feel really secure.
After watching four people (successfully) jump ahead of me, it was my turn.
With my harness pulled tight, I tried my best to keep it together as I shuffled out to the edge of the platform. I was told to stay calm and – rather than jumping – to fall forward as though I was landing on the end of a bed. My plan was to avoid looking down at this point, but curiousity got the better of me. I started screaming as soon as I locked eyes on the ground below. A few more safety checks were carried out and then it was time: 5,4,3,2,1 BUNGY!
It’s best to let the video do the talking from this point but I will say, IT WAS A MASSIVE FREE-FALL. It was long enough for my brain to register what was happening about halfway down – a very weird realisation to have mid-drop. It’s hard (almost impossible) to explain how it feels to be completely aware of falling.
And then it was done. I had done it! And I’d survived! The rush was insane –a feeling of complete, adrenaline-induced euphoria. It was absolutely awesome.
So, do I think you should take the plunge too? Short answer: YES!
If you’re an adventure seeker and in need of a thrill that revs the system, the Macau Tower bungy is a way of pushing your limits in a really safe, controlled environment. The sense of satisfaction once it’s all said and done is indescribable. Given how scared I was in the build-up, if someone like me can go through with this, I think anyone can – and I challenge you to give it a go. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience (and pretty cool to say you’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt for conquering the world’s highest bungy)!
An adapted version of this post originally ran on Sassy Hong Kong