Matt Harding of YouTube fame invited Hong Kongers to dance with him in Tsim Sha Tsui this week. I turned up in costume with friends and, as CNN reported, “…there were easily over a hundred people there, including a man dressed in a Mario outfit who Matt immediately pointed at and said: ‘You, my friend, will get me sued.'”
“I hereby make it my personal mission in life to perform a “brucey thinker pose” (in honour of light entertainment legend Bruce Forsyth) in as many countries around the world as possible!”
Bruce is an old British entertainer and presenter, he is famed for striking his trademark pose when he comes on stage. See his Wikipedia entry.
…I drove back to Kuta to do my third and final bungee jump on the beach. I’d bought a deluxe package of 3 jumps – a standard jump where the cord is attached at the feet, a ‘spider’ jump with a harness around the waist giving you more freefall freedom and a final jump where you do a run-up on a BMX (the bike is attached to you). In preparation, I’d not eaten for a while and did the biggest poo I could muster to ensure no messy accidents during the escapade…
I’ll be honest – I derived no enjoyment at all from the exercise and literally spent 8 minutes ‘contemplating’ on the edge of the platform during the first jump. By the second one I’d cut my emotional crisis on the edge down to 6 minutes. The crew told me that the longer I wait, the harder it would be – they weren’t wrong and I wish they’d have just pushed me. They say skydives are easier – I have a couple of solo skydives to my credit and agree, at least, that parachute jumps are more abstract – you’re up in the clouds and are generally pushed out! However, here you have a situation where you can see the ground clearly and are being asked carry out an action which your brain reminds you is – in essence – an act of suicide.
In summer 2002, I joined the rest of my gap year group in Uganda for a day of white water rafting down some of the best rapids in the world. There were 11 sets of rapids starting at the soon-to-be-flooded source of the Nile, Bujagali Falls. Four of the rapids were grade five (the biggest you can safely raft!). The last rapid, ‘The Bad Place’ apparently verges on a grade 6. A full day with lunch is US$75 with Equator Rafts, but you’d best be quick as a dam is being built and the serene Bujagali stretch will soon be lost forever.
I rafted again a year later in India on the River Beas (bottom row of photos). The Himalayas formed a gorgeous backdrop, and although the rapids weren’t as fierce (4 being the highest), it was still great fun. A morning of rafting from Manali with Himalayan Journeys was under £20.
In 2006 I went rafting down a stretch of rapids near Chiang Mai in Thailand (video below). A half-day on up to grade 4 rapids, mountain biking in the jungle and an elephant ride at a sanctuary totalled about £30.
The Tiger Temple, or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, is a Buddhist temple in Kanchanaburi province, Thailand – it is said to be a sanctuary for several tame tigers, which apparently walk around freely every day and can be petted by tourists.
Since visiting the Tiger Temple in 2006, a 2-year investigation by ‘Care for the Wild International’ revealed disturbing evidence of animal abuse and illegal trafficking at the Tiger Temple. Click here for the report.
“The Temple’s popularity is based around claims that its tigers were rescued from poachers and move freely and peacefully amongst the temple’s monks, who are actively engaged in conservation work. But this utopian façade hides a sinister reality of unbridled violence and illegal trafficking of tigers between Thailand and Laos.” – CWIs Chief Executive Dr Barbara Maas.
Video… Continue reading