I woke up early today because I was set to leave Hong Kong for good. I would have wanted to do an article entitled “Something Happened at Tsim Sha Tsui” except that nothing really happened at Tsim Sha Tsui. False hopes. My time will come, Hong Kong. My time will come. Anyway, I was doing some Hong Kong blog entries the whole morning so I didn’t really check out until someone knocked at my door at around 12 noon. That’s when I grabbed my bag, got my deposit, and left. Thanks a lot Hong Kong. You were damn expensive but well worth it. Coming back is always an option. This is one international route for which airlines in the Philippines always have promo fares.
After the MTR ride from Tsim Sha Tsui to Sheung Wan, I got out from Exit D, which is the right one for the HK - Macau Ferry. Do not venture into the streets anymore. Just enter Shung Tak Center. Two floors up is where the ticketing agencies and boarding dock are. Remember that you have to clear Hong Kong immigration before actually boarding the ferry. You should allot enough time for this or risk getting left behind. Sure there are ferries leaving every 15 minutes but I am not sure if they would refund your money or change your schedule.
No one was taking the buses which I found weird. This must be where the free shuttle buses come in. Indeed! They were lined up by the other side of the entrance of the ferry terminal. Choose your casino of choice. There was no playing the discreet non-gambling tourist for me because I had a huge knapsack on my back. No one forbid me to get on the bus so I think they are used to tourists getting free rides despite not really going to the casinos. After getting off at Starworld I lined up for another free shuttle bus to Galaxy. That’s where I found Starbucks, ordered a drink, and browsed the net for accommodations. I found Augusters. I took another free shuttle bus back to Star World and started looking for the said guest house. After half an hour I was able to locate it.
I got a bed for MOP100 for the night. They had no vacancies the following night so I settled for the folding bed which they gave me for MOP60. Sleeping at the lobby! Woohoo. As the owner told me, “Now you really are a backpacker!” Right on! After a quick test of the WiFi and a chat with a Filipina guest, I roamed the streets at once to look for the Macau Tower. It was half an hour of walking and buying time. Around three people jumped while I was walking. You could see them from afar. What a sight. Shit, could I really do this?
Fast forward to when I already paid the full package. I went into the changing room to put on the free shirt they gave me. An Indian woman suggested that I enjoy. She was one of the three i saw jump earlier. She gave me two thumbs up as I stashed my personal belongings in the locker (MOP20 refundable). Damn, what am I doing? The guy that assisted me on the platform was Filipino, which somehow helped in soothing my nerves. Or not. Chitchat. Before heading towards the platform they would suit you up first inside with the typicl belts and harnesses necessary for thrill rides like this one. They take your weight, mine is 49 kg, which prompted the Caucasian staff to tell me to fatten myself up. It’s not that easy! Anyway, there is no height limit, just a weight limit. They classify your weight by colors. Mine was yellow. They then write the figure on your hand.
They strap your shins together when you get on the platform. They ask you to sit on top of a table. The strapping part and the video interview go together. They would ask you to say something on cam. I told them “Pag napatid ang tali multuhan na lang ha!” (If the cord breaks let’s just haunt each other!). After that they would ask you to walk slowly towards the edge before they count five to one. Walking towards the edge is the point of no return. You want to back out but you’d probably be branded a coward if you do so. This is when butterflies overwhelm your stomach and you just feel like projectile vomiting on everyone. They then ask you to raise both arms sideways like Rose on the Titanic. Chin up. As you see the view below your stomach lurches once again. When they count 5-4-3-2-1 it would seem like you just received a death sentence. After one, you just jump and get the scare of your life.
The whole jump lasts for around six seconds. This is just for the trip down, not including the recoil of the cord. The first three seconds is where the entire thrill is packed. This is when you start chanting all the expletives you’ve learned in your lifetime. You regret having jumped. You want to axe-kick them for convincing you to jump. You know the drill. This is followed by a quick second of high-altitude migraine. You’ll feel the air ravage your face. The next two seconds is the anti-climax when you get back to your senses and realize, “Shit, I paid a third of my monthly salary for this.”
The cord recoils when you reach the lowest part of your drop. You sort of bounce back a few meters. This is when you do some abs exercise and try to yank the red handle of another cord linked to your legs. Once you successfully do, you would then be shifted to a sitting position comfortable enough for you to try and recall what just happened as the duo on the inflatable landing pad lower you down. You go back up the tower after that. Your t-shirt serves as your entrance pass. Yes, I forgot to mention that you have to pay MOP120 to get into the tower. That is on top of the fee for the bungy package. This simply means that you also lose the MOP120 if you chicken out and decide to come back another day.
Once you get back up they would give you the certificate and ask you to check if your name is correct. If you purchased the DVD and photo CD/two printed photos then it would all be ready once you get up there. Get your things from the locker and take advantage of the wonderful view before you head back to wherever your lodging is. There is a cafe on the 58th floor and the observatory is on the 60th. The 61st floor is where the extreme adventures start. That’s where you pay. That’s where you do the Skywalk. That’s where you jump. Upon availing the package you would be an AJ Hackett member for life. Your second and third jumps would just cost a third of the original. The fourth one is free.
For your second jump they advise that you do it backwards like they do in the Nestea plunge commercial. For the third they usually allow you to jump on your own like you normally would if a building is about to explode and you are stuck on the rooftop. Think Jackie Chan in Rush Hour. All with harnesses of course! I didn’t do any second or third jumps. Maybe next time, dudes. I’ve had enough thrill for one day! Macau Tower, conquered! Woohoo. This is the highest bungy jump by the way, so it really becomes some sort of achievement if you get to do it.
MACAU: 02 - Pseudo Suicide at the Macau Tower