Things to Do in Hong Kong
If Nadine Gray was a committed world traveler who would try anything twice, there was one exception: bungy jumping. How did she get talked into doing it, and why was it one of the things she wanted to do on her trip to Hong Kong?
First a very brief bio ... where you were born, where did you grow up, something about your education, your career, and your travels?
After growing up in the middle of the desert in Australia, my eyes were opened to the world of travel with a brief trip to Fiji for work almost 10 years ago.
Since then I’ve visited 51 incredible countries, experienced dozens of different cultures, eaten weird and wonderful foods, gazed upon wonders of the world, lazed on tropical beaches, and experienced the true meaning of travel.
I understand you’ve tried bungy jumping, which is sometimes spelled bungee jumping, more than once. What would prompt you to want to leap off a tall structure?
I had always said my whole life I would never try bungy jumping, but who was I kidding? My motto is try everything twice!
I had just gotten a job at a travel agency in Cairns, tropical Australia, 2.5 years ago, and one morning on my arrival to work I was told I was going out to the bungy jumping site for a group famil [familiarization experience].
The aim was to see the site, learn how to sell the product, and of course try to Bungy Jumping and the Minjin Swing for ourselves.
I agreed to just do the Minjin Swing, but when every other agent in the group said they were jumping, I decided I couldn't be the only one not to jump!
I demanded to be first so I didn't have much time to think about it. I was shaking with fear; I didn't look down the whole time walking up the tower or waiting for my turn. And then I just leaped.
I didn't become addicted straight away. It was weeks later we were taken on another group famil to the Bungy Jumping site, this time after a day of heavy drinking.
So that jump was easy and I loved it. So I signed up to become a member and began jumping every weekend.
When I booked a holiday to visit Hong Kong, there was no way I couldn't skip across to Macau and do the biggest Bungy in the world!
I can’t even imagine doing this. What was going through your mind in the lead-up to the big moment?
It was actually the most terrifying moment of my life. I was shaking uncontrollably and I even cried!
Despite knowing I had to do it, I didn't actually think I would. When we walked outdoors from the tower onto the platform, I thought it was the worst moment of my life!
How did you feel when they were getting you ready?
The staff in Macau were incredible. A very manly, stocky Kiwi guy managed to talk me out of crying and actually having the courage to take the leap!
He distracted me and was telling me the 50m Cairns Bungy Jumping was scarier in comparison to this 234m jump due to your brain not registering the actual height compared to a smaller jump.
Moment of Truth
How did you feel as stood there?
Complete and utter fear and insecurity.
Did you leap or were you pushed?
Despite my fear, I actually did the jump before they had even counted back from 3! The Macau jump is so high and the cord so heavy attached to your feet you can't actually "leap", but you just fall off the edge.
They hold onto your harness at the back until you start to lean forward and then they let you go.
How did you feel as you spiraled downward?
Incredible! It was literally the best feeling in the world! The jump is so high it was similar to the feeling of a Skydive, the wind so loud and strong against your fall.
What was the sensation like as you hit bottom and then bounced up and down?
I was ecstatic! I was screaming at my mate below that it I wanted to do it again! The rebound is actually almost as high as the jump itself so you almost get double for your money :)
What about the end? Were you hauled back up to the platform or lowered down to the ground?
Once you have rebounded twice, you reach up to your ankle harness and release yourself so you are no longer in a position of being head first to the ground.
You are then hanging by your body harness so you can enjoy the view until you are lowered to the ground.
Of the several jumps that you’ve tried, which one was the best?
This was by far the best! The Cairns Bungy is amazing in the fact that you can do so many different "style" jumps including running and jumping off the roof. But the Macau freefall is so much longer you can actually think and feel the experience much more.
How about the worst?
The worst was a jump called the "bar drop" in Cairns. Some people love this jump! You shuffle out across a bar on the tower, lean back, grab onto the bar with both arms and dangle yourself over the pond.
Once you're counted down you let go of the bar. For me the fall was extremely awkward, the rebound was intense going from a standing position to being flung around to hanging by your feet.
Finally, what advice would you give someone thinking about doing this?
DO IT! Everybody has a fear of heights, its natural. But allow your mind to get past the fear and just take the leap (or fall!)
Knowing what I know now I would tell everyone not to be as scared as me. It’s one of the best experiences you'll have in your life!
Thanks, Nadine. I’ll take your word for it! I feel as though I've experienced it vicariously through you. No need for me to do it myself!
You can follow Nadine at her travel blog, Tales of Nadine!
Macau Tower towers 338 feet over the Pearl River. At 233 metres, its bungy jumping platform is the world's tallest. Macau Tower also offers sky walking, sky jumping, and tower climbing.
Macau is a one hour jetfoil ride from Hong Kong, with departures every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day.