Part of our itinerary during our city was a visit to the Macau Tower, foremost among the tourist destinations in Macau. This 338 m. (1,109-ft.) high (taller than the famous Eiffel Tower of Paris) tower, the 10th highest freestanding tower in the world and the 8th tallest in Asia, was opened on December 19, 2001. Officially designated as the Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre (MTCEC), it is one of the members of the World Federation of Great Towers. Besides being used for observation and entertainment, the tower is also used for telecommunications and broadcasting. Constructed by the Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau, S.A.R.L. (STDM), the tower was designed by Gordon Moller of the architectural firm of Craig Craig Moller.
Macau Tower can be entered through the underground gates or via escalators within the Convention & Entertainment Centre premises. We entered via the latter where we were taken trough a shopping area attributed with a unique marble floor depicting an interpretation of the Pearl River Delta life.
The lobby has a model of the tower made with Lego bricks (installed December 2007). The tower comprises 4 public levels. The double-height Main Observation Level comprises 2 glass floor areas: the Outdoor Observation Deck and the revolving, 250-pax The Macau Tower Restaurant (takes 1 hour to make 1 revolution).
We were only interested in the Main Observation Level at the 58th level (223 m.). After paying the admission fee (MOP80), we got up there via one of 3 30-pax, glass-fronted, high-speed lifts, getting to our destination in 45 seconds.
Here, we could got the best and breathtaking view, up to 55 kms. away, of the city’s skyline as well as of Canton, the Pearl River and even some Hong Kong islands on a clear day. Sections of the Observation Lounge are fitted with glass floor, letting us see the ground beneath your feet.
It has, in recent years, been used for a variety of adventurous activities. On December 17, 2006, world-renowned A.J. Hackett, the “Father of Contemporary Bungee Jumping,” broke his own 1987 Guinness World Record of “The Highest Bungee Jump from a Building” from the tower’s outer rim. Today, visitors can emulate this vertiginous, tethered bungee jump (MOP$888), freefalling for about 4-5 seconds, at 200 kms. per hour, before the 50 m. long bungy rope is stretched and the guests rebound at approximate height of 30 m. At height of 233 m., it is the second highest commercial skyjump in the world, after Vegas’ Stratosphere skyjump at 260 m.
More novel, but no less thrilling, is the Skywalk X (MOP$588) where you can sit or stroll along the tower’s transparent, 1.8 m. wide outer rim tethered to nothing but a harness of the world’s first overhead rail system. There were some tourists trying this out during our time at the observation deck. Then, there’s the Mast Climb where one can climb up about 100 m. of the mast’s vertical ladders, completing it in about 2 hours. Finally, there’s the Skyjump. Not for the fainthearted, it requires thrill-seekers to jump off from the outer rim of the Macau Tower, traveling down at a speed of 75 kms./hr., for about 20 seconds, and will start to decelerate to a comfortable speed until you land at the base of the Macau Tower.
Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre: Largo da Torre de Macau, Macau, People’s Republic of China. Tel: +853 2893 3339. Fax: +853 2896 0103. Website: http://www.macautower.com.mo. The observation deck is open Mondays to Fridays, 11 AM-8 PM, and Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, 10 AM-8 PM.