And you think you know what all Macau offers!
Over the last several years I have lost count of my friends, colleagues and family members who have come to visit Macau just as a by-product of their trip to Hong Kong. It makes sense also as for a regular tourist it doesn't take more than 48-72 hours (and that too at a very relaxed pace) to thoroughly scan all the extravaganza Macau has to offer. Only those who would want to sinfully indulge in gambling wouldn't mind spending any more number of days in the ubiquetous casinos of Macau until either they go crazy with their bounty hunt or maybe have to put their house on sale!
For the third category of customers (and also for the ignorant ones from the first two) who constantly wish to set the bar higher in their wanderlust of exploring the lesser travelled path there is indeed a pleasant surprise in store. The very majestic Macau Tower houses one of the best names any well read and conscious thrill seeker would swear by and that is the Holy Grail of the industry viz. AJ Hackett!
So who exactly is AJ Hackett?
If you go to its official website https://www.ajhackett.com the welcome message profoundly screams into your eyes, "Everyday do something that reminds you you're still alive"! It also very proudly showcases The Eiffel Tower's image carrying a caption "Defying Gravity" and why not! It's at this place where all of this madness began three decades ago when the legendary Kiwi jumped from!! And that's how Bungee jumping was introduced to the world.
In the last 3 decades Hackett has done phenomenal job in lifting the standards of gravity based adventure sports across different parts of the world.
As Wikipedia would confirm, "On 17 December 2006, the Macau Tower started operating a proper bungee jump, which became the "Highest Commercial Bungee Jump In The World" according to the Guinness Book of Records. The Macau Tower Bungy has a "Guide cable" system that limits swing (the jump is very close to the structure of the tower itself) but does not have any effect on the speed of descent, so this still qualifies the jump for the World Record."
When I accidentally stumbled upon this piece of information nobody (I knew) else has ever remarked about, even in passing reference, my body and soul somehow got fixated to it. It was not on the cards and we had a packed schedule for our limited stay in Macau which got further hit by 24 hours as the level 8 typhoon warning in Hong Kong on the date of our travel to Macau meant we couldn't do anything else other than cursing mother nature for being at its annual worst!! I still had my fingers crossed for being able to make it to this extreme indulgence. It helped that not just Bungee but AJ Hackett also had Sky Walk on its menu which meant that it was going to be a thrill-some experience for the whole family, including for my six years old daughter!!
Sky Walk - The Preparations
The moment we landed on the 61st floor of the Macau Tower we knew that we were going to be in for something special as some pulsating music welcomed us. We were greeted by the ever so smiling crew members Tony and Jimmy who though didn't rush us through the motions still managed to make for quite a speedy ready reckoner cum "preparing yourself" set of activities like wearing proper shoes, harnessing, etc. They also provided us with the cute little cords to keep our glasses safe from accidentally falling off such heights. We were also provided with a locker to put all our stuff safely and let me tell you that I have never come across better quality lockers which you could just blindly trust with in your absence.
The fun begins!
What a joy it was for me to see my little one and her mommy getting as excited to walk on the edge of Macau Tower as I was! Our guide Jimmy was a very relaxed and happy go lucky guy who shooed away any stress and anxiety, if there was any of it left in us. What I couldn't help notice was the minutest detailing these guys have taken flawless care of to ensure that the safety of everyone involved in all of the activities through the entire duration is truly unmatched!
Basis our individual comfort Jimmy would ask us to pose at different places on the outer rim of the tower which was barely a metre in width. I obliged him by making for some of the craziest "thrill moments". At the end of it all of us had a sense of an amazing accomplishment and pride of doing what not many would ever even think about let alone eventually being able to do in their lives!
Macau Tower Skywalk - The Verdict
I would strongly recommend this activity for all the age groups. Trust me, whether you are with your family or friends you won't regret being part of this dare devilry which under the strictest of safety norms ensured by the AJ Hackett crew makes it a real "cake walk" and after the initial apprehensions / unease / scare / vertigo you can expect a truly exhilarating experience that you could expect to cherish for your life time. Just go for it and yeah, like very few other recommendations I have given with the undisputed money back guarantee this one unapologetically qualifies for the ROPE™ Acreditation! You just need to embark upon this 'walk' and if for whatever reason, of course other than your inherent fear, you feel that the AJ Hackett crew wasn't upto it to make it memorable for you do write in to me with all the relevant details and I shall oblige you with one third of the ticket price (yeah, from my own pocket!) you have paid for the activity. Like all good things in life this one also has a limited life and the offer is valid until 31st December 2017!
Bungee - how not to do it!!
I would always tell myself that I want to so very dearly do a bungee jumping before I die & four years ago in Pattaya I got this opportunity to jump from 50 metre. For all of my bravedo I knew it beforehand that it's not going to be easy by any stretch of imagination & it didn't help the way both of my legs got so tightly tied together. Before I could take the plunge the pain was getting increasingly unbearable for even my kind of tolerance. It certainly wasn't the best frame of mind if one is expected to jump unaided & with only that 'rope' as your saviour! Even before I could hold my breath to let the fresh air in & gather courage the trainer just pushed me from the platform! Here I first went down & then swung endlessly like a volatile pendulum for next few minutes. I must have screamed more in this activity alone more than all of what I did in my nearly three & a half decade of existence put together. To say it was a nasty & avoidable experience would be an understatement!
Bungee Jumping - The AJ Hackett Way!!
As they say, "keep the best for the last". After my first experience with this mind blowing adventure going bad it required lot of courage for me to be able to motivate myself into trying it again, especially for the top dollar it demands. But I didn't have to think about it too much after having seen the level of perfection AJ Hackett crew had put in my family's Sky Walk. In a flash I decided to just go for it, paid for my already discounted ticket and I promise you guys that it turned out to be the best decision of my life!
Sure, it doesn't come cheap but I am equally sure that for the kind of extra ordinary arrangements these guys have to put in, added with the fact that it could actually command a premium for it being the World's Highest Bungee Jumping one could and should definitely opt for this truly once in a lifetime opportunity.
The entire experience from the very moment you dress up in the gear & get introduced to the crew (assisting and motivating you in the most affable manner) till the time you actually jump from 233 metres above the ground level is beyond words.
You don't even get to realize when you are already on the 'platform' to do it and when the crew gently starts the countdown, " Five, four, three, two, one...." all of the slowly built up anticipation giving you goose bumps comes refreshingly true.
On hearing "Go", quite inexplicably, feeling is that as if you are just about to get into the heaven! Wow, incredible! Now the real dive. For the initial fraction of seconds you don't even realize that you are free falling at 200 Kmph! You feel like remaining in that stage of tranquility forever. Oh so beautiful breeze around & then you see the land down there while your photographer is busy capturing your excitement & frenzy. All of a sudden the fall is curtailed as the cord recoils to slowly allow a rebound & you wonder for how long did you actually free fall and why can't that duration be prolonged! You don't trust when your trainer later tells you it was around 4-5 seconds. You gradually get down in a nice sitting posture! Oh my God...how i wish time stopped its haughtiness then just for few more moments to allow this poor, deprived soul enhale "the life"!
See it for yourself in the award winning short film of the Millennium (featuring yours truly) - World's highest bungee jumping in Macau. Here's yours truly's leap of faith to kiss the death :)
https://youtu.be/dFhywVrGBYA (light version, easy to load)
https://YouTu.be/23L8NlyN_Nk (High resolution clip)
*Rits Original Platinum Endorsement (ROPE) is a unique and pioneering concept and it indicates that the object under author's critique has qualified for his personal guarantee which though doesn't come with any caveats yet claims under it have to necessarily pass the commonly used yardsticks to establish the merits of individual case(s). The author reserves sole and exclusive rights to reject claims lacking objective and/or subjective propriety. While he hopes that he won't ever have to go for it, should he feel the program getting abused the author further keeps the rights to terminate the ROPE qualification acredited to any and all of the products/services without any further notice. As such in common public interest enjoy it responsibly. Of course, to be eligible for this program one needs to let it be known to the service provider in advance that s/he is going for the same and the service provider should send an email to the author to this effect at least 24 hours ahead of the scheduled/booked activity.