Saturday, January 20, 2007

Macau II – Macau Tower

In continuation of Macau I, I crossed over the border and headed straight for the taxi stand. Like manna from heaven this cab pulls up in front of me with a sign on the door saying I can fly to Jakarta for only $88!!! That is unreal. I could literally go to the airport and be back home having spent only $100. How cool would that be? I could make all my trips in and out of China via Macau.

Later on however I checked the website for Viva Macau and it was all a scam. The flight is $88 with no additional charges. Once you add it all up it still comes out to about $400 US. But who knows, I still might give the airline a shot and build up some street cred in sin city. So I jumped in the cab and told the driver to proceed to Macau Tower. All the while there was a void stirring in my belly. I have not experienced butterflies in years. I was actually nervous.

Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment center is located on a peninsula of what seemed to me to be the edge of Macau. There are a bunch of shops and restaurants there but what is the big draw is the actual tower that overlooks the entire city. The vast observation deck offers a commanding view of the entire surrounding area. Although the day was pretty muggy and visibility low, I paid my fee and took a ride on the gas powered lift to the 61st floor.

Had I been planning to chill out on the deck and enjoy the view my mission would there and then have been a failure. Looking out to the horizon I could see nothing from out there. Apparently the last few days had been really clear, but on this particular day they were experiencing typical London weather.

The view looking down was quite splendid though I am quite sure anyone with a fear of heights would not appreciate it. The deck is constructed in such a way that you can look straight down through a window to the street below. On a clear day I am sure the tower would be worth visiting just to enjoy the view.

I proceeded to the highest floor of the tower where I came face to face with the AJ Hackett Adrenaline Park. It is not actually called an adrenaline park but that is what I like to call it. I was pumped, I had been looking forward this for a long, long time.

At the AJ Hackett shop 233 meters above ground level on Macau tower they offer The Worlds Highest Bungee, The Worlds Highest Sky Jump, Sky Walk X, and The Mast Climb. Never have I been in one location where there are so many extreme activities available. But an adrenaline fix does not come cheap these days. In fact the going price is about the same as a gram of jejo in a western country, about $100 US. The Sky Walk X however is only about the price of a dime bag, $20. Way to get a healthy fix.

The facilities at the site were impeccable. All the crew was super friendly, and knowledgeable. It is very reassuring to see professional people around you when you are about to throw yourself of a mammoth building. There are changing rooms, lockers, and even jump suits available to patrons. They check, double check, and even triple check the straps and equipment before putting a jumper on deck. This dude from New Zealand or Australia was a personal friend of the AJ Hackett manager on site. This was not his first jump but he was nervous as hell. It turns out that the manager had also worked in Bali for a while at the jump site in Double Six. Having something in common with a person there was cool, considering I was on a solo mission.

Jumps from the tower are taken from the edge of the rim insuring you will not swing back and smack into the stem of the tower. Actually that is not even a possibility because this is a guided jump. There are 2 cables running along side the jumps zone from the launching point all the way to the ground below. The jumper is hooked to these cables insuring he/she does not fall victim to the wind. I was worried the cables would make the fall feel controlled but watching people jump from the bottom I could see that clearly was not the case. Although I am sure jumping off a bridge or hot air balloon might feel slightly more liberating.

I have been sky diving once and bungee jumping a few times already. I found both experiences exhilarating but I definitely preferred the bungee because my skydive was tandem and the freefall was not nearly as long as I would have liked or imagined it to be. Also bungee jumping is more of a rush because you can see the ground and you can really face a fear of heights if you have one. In bungee jumping you actually feel like you are falling and then gradually slow down, whereas in skydiving you are falling through the sky at an unimaginable speed and then the chute gets pulled and your balls shoot up to your throat. Then you spend the next 25 minutes descending while trying to enjoy the view, meanwhile the straps are cutting into your thighs and your balls are still somewhere around your chest. Not cool. Standing at the top of tower on that rainy day I could not decide what activity to partake it. I could surly not afford all 4 so I had to make a choice, and stick with it.


AmitD said...

Another on my list of to do's. That view must have been amazing man. I love heights, which is kinda strange considering how close i am to the ground. :)

Avi said...

that skydive was an awesome day ah bro? took us like 6 hours to get tot north shore though.