Tethered to the external frame of the Macau Tower with climbing ropes, I placed my toes over the edge of the observation deck. Leaning out, committing my full body weight to the lines attached to my harness, I stare down towards the faraway ground – a full 233m below me. The wind howls against my face, but even at this height it does little to clear the sweat forming from the excitement of my Skywalk. The views are impeccable, some of the best I’ve ever seen of a city, but still I can’t take my eyes off of the ground, completely distant from my perch on top of Macau.
Piercing the skyline as the tallest building on the island, the Macau Tower has become an iconic destination; not only for city sights aficionados, but also for extreme adventure enthusiasts. On the 61st floor of the tower, a 1.8m wide platform circles its way around the outside. For those who are not averse to literally living on the edge, you can step through a door and onto the walkway, where no windows, guards or handrails exist to keep you back from the 233m high drop.
The adventure tour company AJ Hackett Macau Tower has been attracting adrenaline addicts to the Macau Tower since 2002. While the Chinese S.A.R. (Special Administrative Region) has been gaining popularity for gamblers from the Mainland, AJ Hackett saw an opportunity to develop a new kind of tourism to the peninsula, something away from the casinos. The kind of tourism that is more suited to people like us, who would rather experience an unforgettable adventure than throw our money down on a Blackjack table.
We had originally headed to the Macau Tower so I could throw myself off of it in the world’s highest bungy jump, but Lesh didn’t want me to have all the fun. One of the other activities on offer was the Skywalk, and we couldn’t wait to get out on the deck!
The cheerful staff harnessed us up and performed all the safety checks, then we were lead out into the staging area for the Skywalk. Our guide was a local man named Andrew, and the glimmer in his eyes showed that he couldn’t wait to get us out there! He clipped two safety lines to our harnesses and led us onto the walkway.
Our timing couldn’t have been better, because as soon as we stepped out for the Skywalk, another fearless comrade was just about to take the plunge on the neighbouring bungy jump. Andrew suggested we sit down and dangle our legs over the edge so we could watch the man jump from the tower. Letting our feet swing in the breeze with nothing below them for 61 storeys was a surreal feeling. Lesh’s nerves started to tremor and she alternated between looking at the ground and then back up at the stunning Macau skyline. In a matter of seconds, the bungy jumper had been counted down and we watched him dive with impeccable form off of the building. I couldn’t believe that less than 30 minutes earlier, that was me trying to fly.
Andrew then instructed us to follow him around the walkway, having us lean out over the edge and pose for photos. Then the glimmer in his eyes started to twinkle again, and he asked if we were ready for some real fun! He shortened our safety lines and instructed us to run as fast as we could, and then lift our feet off of the deck – essentially gliding through mid-air at a dizzying height. Andrew led by example and showed us how it is done by the professionals – flying gracefully through the air as if he were a majestic eagle. It was obvious that he loves his job. We chased after him, throwing our feet in the air and soaring around the edge of the Macau Tower. Our style was far less elegant, but still exhilarating.
Even the tremendous vistas towards the horizon couldn’t distract us from the amount of fun we were having, running and dangling over 200m in the air. The whole Skywalk experience lasted over 20 minutes, but as we completed our full circle and made it back to the exit, it felt like we had only been out there for seconds. Andrew guided us back into the confines of the building and unstrapped us from the safety lines. He didn’t even have to ask us if we enjoyed ourselves – the ear-to-ear grins plastered on our faces said it all.
I thought that the bungy jump would be impossible to match in terms of excitement, but the Skywalk did a pretty good job at exceeding expectations. While thousands of people were cooped up inside on roulette tables in the city below, we were hanging high in the clouds. If I had the choice again, I would much rather watch the world spin by from the top of the Macau Tower.
About The Skywalk At The Macau Tower
The Skywalk at the Macau Tower is run by the great team at AJ Hackett, and has been operating since 2002. Since that time they have had no incidents or safety breaches, and despite the fear-inducing aspects of dangling from a rope at 233m, the Skywalk is completely safe.
The cost for the Skywalk is US$99, and can be done either during the day or at night.
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We were provided with a media rate on the cost of our Skywalk by the legends at AJ Hackett, and they supplied the photos for us. All thoughts and opinions are, of course, our own.