You wouldn’t be the first person to call me an idiot. After all, I do have a track record of doing some pretty stupid stuff.
During my junior year in college I jumped out of a second story window. One time I even got naked at a strip club (yeah, I know–it’s supposed to be the other way around). I even managed to get myself kicked out of both high school and college (but I still graduated…and with honors distinction!).
And these are only the stories I’m legally allowed to tell you about.
These days, my stupidity is a little bit more premeditated. The last time I found myself jumping from high places I ended up stark naked on the edge of a bridge.
This time, however, I was explicitly told that I would not be allowed to jump in the nude. Apparently, my reputation precedes me.
This is the highest bungee jump in the world, located in Macau, just outside of Hong Kong. The jumping platform rests at a staggering 764 feet, or 233 meters, on the top floor of the Macau Tower.
Because foreplay is important (or so I’ve been told), the staff at AJ Hackett put me on a ledge that wraps all the way around the top of the tower. For half an hour, I took on different shenanigans from the comfortable height of 764 feet in the air. My ledge buddies and I ran at full speed, entrusting that our harnesses wouldn’t snap as we flung ourselves in random directions.
We balanced on one foot, with the other foot hanging over the edge. This was actually the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I don’t have a fear of heights or a fear of jumping. I have a fear of ledges. Somehow, I still managed to muster a smile.
We even decided to have a little rest, swing our feet over the edge, and sit down for a spell.
It’s only 233 meters, guys. Come on.
Next, I was due to jump. I swapped harnesses and stepped outside onto the ledge. I was excited for this one, and I wasn’t even nervous. I had done this before. In hindsight, I realize that I probably should have been.
With much deliberation, I finally convinced the guys running the show to let me jump backward. I told them this would be my fourth bungee jump and, eventually, they conceded. I had heard that jumping backward is the scariest way to do it (determination: true). When jumping head-first, you can see what’s going on below you. Jumping backward, you’re essentially entering a free-fall completely blind.
We counted backward from five and, without disinclination, I jumped.
I should have waffled. I could not have anticipated the horror that I would experience. All of a sudden, I was falling…very, very fast. And I had no idea where I was or which direction I was heading (well, down, obviously, but you know what I mean). I was completely disoriented and I had no frame of reference except the top of the tower which disappeared very, very quickly.
233 meters and a few minutes later, I was lowered safely onto the big cushioned mat that lay atop the cold, hard pavement. I’m convinced that anybody who does this has got to be at least a little bit insane.
Me, though? Well, I’m just an idiot. Ask my friends–they’ll tell you.
For more information on bungee jumping at Macau Tower, and to book, visit http://macau.ajhackett.com.
Many thanks to AJ Hackett who graciously provided me with a media pass and complimentary activities. All opinions, as always, are my own.
My 24 year son is in China on vacation and he is going to do this jump tomorrow. He’s a firefighter, jumped out of planes, always taking risks, but this is really making me nervous and scared. I appreciate your sharing and surviving. 🙂 It helps a mom a little.
Hey Gabrielle! You have NOTHING to worry about. They are super professional and they’re a well-known and reputable company. Your son is in good hands—I promise 🙂
Do they push you if u r scared to jump?
I’m sure they’d give you a little help… 😉
Thank you, Ian! It’s great to have you on board. You are going to love China 🙂 The Great Wall, of course, go to a Chinese nightclub, and eat at the most local restaurant you can find! Eat some crazy things–you won’t regret it.
I stumbled upon your blog this evening and am absolutely hooked. I love reading about other travelers’ experiences and hearing their stories.
I recently arrived home from 3 months studying abroad & traveling throughout Europe.
I am headed to Shanghai, Beijing, and Macau in May; England/Scotland in August.
Aside from the Bungy Jump are there any other ‘must do’s’ or ‘must ‘see’s’ in any of these Chinese cities?
Safe travels, my friend
This one’s in my list!
I read some of your comments and agree that price isn’t really a factor, besides you’re paying for the experience.
Spending money on experience than on things is a better way to spend the money 😉
You said it!!
I still don’t think I could ever do this – my mind would just keep telling me, no no no no!
That’s what it’s all about! Overcoming fear!
Just a quick question! If you don’t decide to pay for the photos/video, do they allow family/friends to take videos/photos of you while you jump?
Yep! But the shots won’t be as good, because they have cameras set up to take photos from all the best angles.
You’re absolutely insane & with this story alone you’ve just earned a spot in my heart (and my blog roll haha) as one of my favourite travel bloggers! Don’t know what rock I’ve been living under only discovering your site now! I’m terrified of heights and keep thinking bungy jumping would ruin my back… but pff, excuses! Good for you mate & I look forward to reading more from you!
Pff, excuses, indeed! Just do it. You’ll thank yourself later 😉
As for the insanity, my mother might just agree with you on that one.
I totally want to bungy jump, but I’m afraid I’d chicken out. And having to walk away would just be mortifying!
Do it! Best thing you’ll ever do.
Terrifying! I am intrigued by bungie jumping because it seems like it could be an extraordinary experience – if it weren’t so utterly terrifying! I am inspired by your post! Maybe someday…! Loved the photos! You never once look vaguely concerned! Amazing!
Oh my gosh! That looks absolutely terrifying! Just the view in your photos is scary enough, I don’t know how you coped when you were standing there looking at it. I’m not convinced I would have been able to go through it. I’m so impressed you actually got up the courage to jump. Kudos!
Thanks, Turtle! That was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done!
The second bungie I ever did was backwards. After jumping from planes, numerous bungies around the world, getting into a few car accidents and having kids (just wait until the day it happens) the absolute scariest moment of my life was that jump.
The guy convinced me to try it backwards. He then then asked which hand was my best and then grabbed the other one. After that he got me to stand on my tiptoes and lean out backwards as far as I could. A quick look behind me started to get the blood pumping as I dangled there a few hundred feet off the ground.
I was also painfully obvious of the weight of the bungie at that moment on my legs. Back then the harness’s were only around the ankles. The guy looked me straight in the eyes, told me to breathe and said that he was going to count down from 3 and then let go.
He started to count down. 3… and as soon as he was about to say 2 he let go. As my heart jumped out of my throat all I can remember is the smile on his face and pure, unadulterated fear. It’s been over 20 years since I did it and to this day just thinking about it brings a flood of adrenaline to my body.
Would I do it again… In a hearbeat. 🙂 Being able to isolate such a specific moment in a life well lived is worth it. I’m by no means an adrenaline junkie however how can someone truly live without pushing the fine line of life and death once in a while.
Great post Jeremy! I guarantee you 20 years from now that moment you pushed off will still be as vivid as the day it happened.
That’s awesome! The backwards jump was, without doubt, the scariest moment of my life as well. It’s that split second, just as you depart the ledge…
I think it’s SO funny that the guy played you like that. It all adds to the experience! I’d imagine those guys get a little bored throwing people off the same ledge every day, so they’ve gotta find a way to make it more interesting! And for your sake, and the sake of a good story, I’m glad they did.
You know, I’m almost looking forward to the day when I can look back on all these crazy things I did. For now, though, I’m going to push a few lines and we’ll see where I end up!
Thanks for sharing your story, Charles!
Ahhhh, SO EPIC!
You do look pretty terrified in those jump shots, though!
Haha, is it that obvious!?
The scariest thing i have read in a long time!!
Oh my gosh! It had my heart racing just looking at pictures from that height!
Now imagine standing on that ledge!!
Yes, thank you for that! Got my heart a fluttering again!
You were right about too much information.
No worries. The worst part was seeing my son jump off a high tower.
Love these pictures! I did this as my first bungy jump, in October 2012 and can’t wait to do more!
There is a difference between being an idiot and being impulsive. Seems like you are more the latter type — which is good, those often unexpected adventures make for the best stories. Some may not be the most enjoyable at the time, but everything becomes funny in hindsight given enough time.
Cheers to the only other travel blogger I’ve found who says “these are only the stories I’m legally allowed to tell you about”
And Jeremy, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we’ve got to cross paths sometime during 2013. Hope the teaching gig is treating you well!
Haha I think my faults probably lie somewhere in between the two, but those “qualities” are also what I love most about my life and my personality. My adventures are countless and my past, like you mentioned, is hilarious.
One of these days, we’re definitely due for a good night out!
Thats absolutely brilliant. Man, you’ve inspired me again as you did when you jumped off the Nevis in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Oh, did I tell you that you’re one crazy fool?! And I’m disappointed you didn’t wear your bright pink shirt…
I’m happy to hear it, Ed! If I remember correctly, you did the bungy jump as well, didn’t you? Hope you’re well!
I wish I could do this, but when it comes heights I resemble a scared little school girl.
Well, maybe it’s time to conquer that fear!
Re: Paragraph 4. Dad, too!
Re: Last Paragraph. Dad, too!
congrats mate. even having done bungees before, it’s pretty damn brave doing 233m AND doing it backwards. love the shot of your feet out of focus on the ledge.
Thanks! Yeah, that’s one of my favorites too. 233 wasn’t the biggest issue for me. Doing it backwards is what really scared the life out of me!
now that is awesome! want to try it out someday, but man, 300 bucks? haha. someday, maybe. did a ledge walk before in Cebu, Philippines, but the tower’s nowhere near 700 feet. nonetheless, it was a fun experience. 🙂
The price isn’t a factor (for me, at least) when you consider the life experience. It’s something I can look back on for the rest of my life and think of with fond memories. And now I’ve got a great story to tell!