A Thrillseeker's Guide to Asia
By Mark Johnson
For all the thrillseekers out there we have put together the most exciting – or perhaps scary? – adventures that will get the adrenaline running quicker than an epinephrine shot to the heart. Trips to go mountain biking in Cambodia or yak skiing in India that you once considered exciting will never be looked at in the same light again.
Ride a Roller Coaster in Japan
We’re not talking about a delicate ride on the log flume or a dainty spin in the tea cups – the Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park in Tamanash, Japan, is the home of Takabisha, the world’s steepest steel roller coaster. Standing at 141 ft tall, it has a free fall angle of 121 degrees and will see you fighting the G-forces through seven twists and a drop of 43 metres. The exhilarating white knuckle ride hurtles along at 62mph and covers a two mile track in just 112 seconds. Translating as “domineering” it is clear to see why.
Cross a Bridge in Pakistan
The Hussaini-Borit Lake Bridge in Northern Pakistan is often hailed as “the most dangerous bridge in the world”. The rope bridge is very high, very narrow, very long, and poorly maintained. Many of the rotting wooden planks are missing, and strong winds shake the bridge as you cross it. It does little to ease nerves that a previous, older, broken bridge hangs in tatters next to the “new” one.
Despite its dangerous appearance, it is a relatively safe bridge. Local people cross it frequently as it is the only means to travel to big cities in northern Pakistan, while the view from the two bridge trek is picturesque. Having said that, one glance at the structure and we would need further convincing.
Jump off a Building in Malaysia
Thailand has a selection of bungee jumps in Pattong, Phuket and Pattaya, while Macau Tower in Macau plays host to the highest bungee in the world at 233 metres. Asia is home to some of the biggest and best sites in the world, giving you a pure unadulterated buzz that you have never felt before. That is until you try BASE jumping in Malaysia.
A BASE jumper leaps off a fixed object – which in this case is atop The Kuala Lumpur Tower – deploying a parachute and hoping for the best. At the annual Kuala Lumpur Tower Jump, daredevils from around the world somersault off the edge and drop 421 metres to the concrete. The Malaysian government has made BASE Jumping an official competitive sport, but this extreme form of skydiving remains to be more of a spectator sport than it is an actual tourist activity, I wonder why?
Climb a Mountain in Nepal
Look at any list of the most challenging mountains in the world to climb and you would struggle to find a single entree outside of Asia. That is because all fourteen of the mountains that are higher than 8,000 metres above sea level are located in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in this continent.
If ever you find yourself in Pakistan we would highly recommend tackling the second highest peak in the world by climbing the K2, or alternatively challenging the Nanga Parbat affectionately known as ‘Man Eater’ or ‘The Killer Mountain’. But none come close to the ‘Holy Mother’ Mount Everest. Just over 3,000 different climbers from 20 different countries have completed this feat but don’t get too excited about adding your name to that list as climbing Everest is strictly regulated by both Nepalese and Chinese governments. Permits costs thousands of pounds and waiting lists extend for years.
Chase Bulls in India
We’re blaming ethical repercussions from PETA organisation as our reason for abstaining from this incredibly scary event, but if you have more of a backbone than us we would recommend the Indian equivalent of Pamplona in Spain.
The Tamil Nadu festival takes place each July and is famous for jallikattu, a bull-taming sport. More than 600 bulls take part in this battle as villagers chase the drunk and fuming animals, risking injury to grab the money taped to their horns. Exciting, controversial, and steeped in tradition, this is a battle of honour and courage, blood and guts, pride and prejudice. We just hope you can keep hold of your backbone for its entire duration.
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