Can't afford to go to space? Try the world's tallest bungee jump instead. It's insane!
[July 30, 2021: Josh Shavit]
For those who have successfully overcome their fears and can't afford the $25 Million to go into space, China has your next thrill.
Straddled between two cliffs in China's Hunan province, is one the world's newest wonders and greatest thrill rides. The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge is a 430-meter glass-bottomed suspension bridge and offers the world's highest bungee jump from a footbridge.
From the jump height of 260 meters, visitors can take a leap and experience a stomach-churning way to take in the stunning views of the surrounding Wulingyuan wilderness, a UNSECO World Heritage site.
Famous for its quartzite sandstone pillars and peaks extending high into the sky, the area has become a popular international tourist attraction. It's deep ravines and gorges provide the ideal location for the bungee jumping operation.
The bungee jump is operated by the BungyChina team and Zhangjiajie Retallick Outdoor Sports Co.,Ltd. The latter company was founded by Beau Retallick, who also created BungyJapan, and is a bungee veteran holding multiple records.
Operator Jonni Deaker said business had been building slowly as domestic tourists began to return to the region now that restrictions imposed by the Chinese government because of the coronavirus pandemic are being lifted.
"We are probably averaging twenty jumps a day at the moment, which is pretty good for a jump this size," Deaker said, adding he was confident of a solid July-August holiday season.
To drive more tourism traffic, the cost of a jump has been cut by around 40% to RMB 1998 (roughly US$306).
A bungee-themed bar and restaurant at the end of the bridge allows the fainthearted to participate by ordering bungee-themed drinks and watch daredevils leap off the bridge.
The pedestrian bridge, designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan and opened in August 2016, was once the longest glass-bottomed suspension bridge in the world. The views looking out over the sides and through the glass bottom are other worldly.
Jumping into the abyss below might be terrifying for some, but Deaker believes the sheer height makes it less intimidating than smaller jumps.
"Because it's so high, it actually makes it easier", Deaker said. "When you're this high, it's kind of like skydiving."
Visitors to the bridge can book their tickets on Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon's official website.
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