Travel is meant to take us out of our comfort zone, bring us to unfamiliar territories and expose us to new experiences. And no type of travel tests our limits more than adventure travel. Not only does it open your eyes to new cultures and ways of living, it also allows you to experience a country in the most invigorating way. Here are some unique acts of adventure that will get your heart pumping.
1. Abseil off a HDB block in Singapore
You’ve heard of abseiling (also known as rappelling) off a vertical drop, such as a rock face. Now you can also try urban abseiling off a HDB block. Singapore’s West Coast Community Centre (CC) has literally taken the sport to the next level with free monthly abseiling sessions. Sign up and show up on the second Sunday of every month from 9am to 12pm to channel your inner Spidey. A different block is picked each time to keep things fresh, and the change of scenery means you get to take a cool new set of photos for the ’gram.
2. Try cheese rolling in Gloucester, England
The Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling competition takes its name from the hill outside Gloucester, England – a two-hour train ride from London – where it is held each spring. The next event is set to take place on May 25 this year. The slope is so steep that very few contestants manage to stay on their feet. Instead they tumble head-over-heels down the hill in an attempt to catch the coveted prize – a 3.6kg wheel of double Gloucester cheese. Of course, in reality the cheese can never actually be caught, but the first person to cross the line at the bottom of the hill is declared the race winner.
3. Take to the SkyCycle in Davao City, Philippines
Eden Nature Park and Resort is home to the thrilling SkyCycle – an absolute must-try for adrenaline junkies. The 80ha man-made mountain resort is the ideal spot for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and one of the best ways to admire the resort’s beauty is to experience it from above. The SkyCycle, which is a bike tethered to a steel cable 18m above ground, allows you to do that and more. Pedal at your own pace across the 200m cable and enjoy the magnificent view.
4. Run the Great Wall Marathon in China
The architectural grandeur of the Great Wall – a 1.5 hour drive away from Beijing – is reason enough to visit China, but a marathon along this UNESCO World Heritage Site will make your experience all the more compelling. The annual Great Wall Marathon is a nine-day expedition organised by tour operator Intrepid Travel. This is China’s only sanctioned marathon, and sees more than 2,500 participants every year.
The Great Wall Marathon is not for the weak-hearted, though, as it is seen as one of the most challenging marathons in the world. While first-timers may hesitate about taking part, seasoned runners will welcome the challenge to conquer the tricky brick paths and sloping mountains. Still, if you would like to experience running along the Great Wall but aren’t ready for a marathon, you can do the half-marathon or 10km course instead.
5. Climb a cliff to reach this hidden lagoon in Palawan, Philippines
The twin lagoons are hidden away among the jagged cliffs of Coron Island and separated by limestone cliffs that protect them from currents and tides, making the water calm. The dividing rocks also create two entrances to the lagoons, and your boat will be moored on either side. You can access the lagoons via the two entrances, but to travel between them, you will either have to swim through a crevice in the cliff when the tide is low or climb over on a ladder that doubles as a diving platform. Before you leave, check out the nearby Barracuda Lake, a picturesque spot known for its underwater cliffs and marine life.
6. Go rock-climbing before bungee jumping into a quarry in Shanghai, China
The 18-storey InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland is a sight to behold, hugging the rock face of a disused quarry, with 16 of the 18 floors underground and two, underwater. The thrillseeker can scale 88m of a sheer cliff face, bungee jump into the quarry, zipline across it at the theme park next door or kayak around the quarry which has been filled to support water sports. Later, make sure you stay and catch the light and music show that plays every evening, then literally sleep with the fishes in its six underwater suites.
To book a flight to these destinations, visit singaporeair.com