Mapping the world's wildest jumps, from the tallest to the scariest.
Let's be honest: We're pretty scared about bungee jumping. But there are a few reassuring facts about the Jungle Bungy in Phuket: It's over water, so we figure we've still got half a chance if our bungee cord breaks; it's cheap--first jump of the day is 2000 Baht ($55) and it gets heaps cheaper if you do multiple jumps; and it's safe because the boss jump master is a guy from New Zealand who totally knows his stuff.
So what can go wrong? Nothing apart from us losing our nerve, perhaps. Maybe the tandem bungee is for us, but they also offer a catapult bungee, backwards bungee and a water touch bungee.
For nervy jumpers like us the website is very reassuring about safety, and then they say that if we have any troubles, "We can give you a nudge if you like!" If you make it (if you jump, that is, not if you survive) you get a "Certificate of Courage." We'd display that proudly on our most prominent wall, we think.
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Choosing a scenic spot like the Nile River in Uganda sounds like a good way to combine a death-defying plunge with some camera-happy moments.
The Nile High Bungee (five out of ten for the pun) has a platform about 140 feet above the river, and jumpers can choose to use a bungee cord long enough to dip them in water or just to dangle above it.
Perhaps the most famous tourist to ever jump here is Prince William who did a tandem bungee jump with a mate here a couple of years back. Wills only jumped once, but if you do two jumps ($75) then you get a third jump within the same 24 hours for free--just in case you haven't got the whole jumping thing out of your system by then.
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The last weekend in February every year is the best time to head to Wild Play near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, BC. Well, we think it's certainly the most interesting time.
That's the weekend when the annual charity fundraiser gets going and you can bungee jump naked off a 150-foot bridge. If you'll take off your clothes pre-jump, you'll get a hugely discounted rate of just C$25 ($20)--it's normally C$99.
In the past this nude bungee day has raised money for organizations like the BC Schizophrenia Society, so you can jump for a good cause--it's definitely rare that stripping off in public could lead to a tax deduction.
[Photo of naked bungee in Norway: sabadabado]
If throwing yourself off a platform with nothing but a bouncy cord tied to your feet is a bit too lame for you, then you're a candidate for the wildest bungee jump we've ever heard of: The Volcano Bungee near Pucon, Chile.
Basically you get flown up to an active volcano--yes, we mean a bubbly, smokin' volcano--and then you have to bungee jump off the helicopter into the caldera towards the molten lava. Are these people insane?
Anyone thinking that throwing themselves into a volcano sounds fun also needs to be fairly well off. You can do this bungee jump as part of a six-day package for $9,995, including accommodation and other (slightly less crazy) activities. And if you're asking the same question we are--Could you die doing this jump?--then the Volcano Bungee gang already has an answer for you:
Yes. You could. You'll be signing a waiver, so we're cool.
If you're going to bungee jump, you might as well do it properly and launch yourself off the world's tallest. The Guinness World Record chaps say that Macau Tower is officially the world's highest commercial bungee jump at 233 meters (nearly 765 feet). OK, that's pretty high.
Bored cubicle occupants can get their share of the thrills by switching on the Live Bungee Web Cam. It streams jumps in real time from Macau Tower--time zone dependent, of course.
· Macau Tower [Official Site]
· Amazing Race All-Stars: The Tyrant Makes Charla Jump [Jaunted]
· Macau Travel coverage [Jaunted]