17 extreme things crazy travellers do for fun

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans are a daring bunch when it comes to food, but a little more reserved when asked to jump into an ice hole in sub-zero temperatures.

Most prefer a leisure trip with strictly spas, shopping sprees and food haunts on their list, but a couple more vacations like these can take the joy out of travelling after awhile.

We travel to explore, discover and create fresh experiences we can never find back home. So here's a tip for 2016, snap out of your sedated lifestyle and take a plunge into the wide wild world of an adventure junkie.

Lifebuzz has hunted down 20 of the boldest challenges anyone and everyone should try.

The real question is: would you dare?

1. Sopelana Nude Race, Spain

The only thing you should be wearing to this event is a pair of running shoes.The Basque Country Naturist Club holds this annual 5km race on a beach in Biscay to promote naturism, sports and healthy living. The race was started in 1999 when naturist and sportsman Patxi Ros decided to combine his two favourite pastimes in a public event.

2. Red Bull's Cliff Diving World Series

Not for the faint-hearted, this world series is an extreme sport that requires divers to jump from a platform at a height ranging from 26m to 28m. The annual event, which was first held in 2009, takes place at various venues around the globe.

3. CN Tower EdgeWalk, Toronto

Strap on your harness and go on a hands-free walk around the sky ledge of CN Tower. The 553.33m-high building is the tallest tower in Toronto and the sixth tallest free standing structure in the world.

4. Mysterious mountains, Antarctica

Check in with the National Geographic Explorer or National Geographic Orion on their sailing expeditions and hop on board to learn the ways of the far south. Besides the usual penguin, Antarctica is home to a number of mysteries that scientists are unable to solve till today. Buried below a thin sheet of ice is an entire mountain range and freshwater lakes. According to Livescience.com, the Gamburtsev Mountains rise to 3,000 meters and stretch 1,200 km across the interior of the continent.

5. Palau's Jellyfish Lake

Jellyfish may sting, but not these ones. The lake is relatively isolated, causing the diversity of the marine life to be greatly reduced from other lagoons. Having evolved differently from their close relatives, these jellyfish are completely stingless and adventure junkies can float along side them without a worry.

6. Glass bottomed bridge, Hunan, China

The Haohan Qiao, or Brave Man's Bridge, is 180m above the ground and suspended 300m between two peaks of the Stone Buddha Mountain in Hunan. The glass-bottomed-bridge was opened in September last year and its creators have claimed that the 24mm-thick glass pads are so shock resistant that tourists can jump on it without any issue. However cracks started to appear after a tourist dropped a stainless steel mug on the walkway, sending tourists running in panic. Shock resistant? Perhaps not. 

7. "Cage of Death", Australia

If leisure dives are not your thing, try this deal with a killer view. Divers are sent underwater in a cage as "bait" for killer crocodiles. The huge reptiles will occasionally snap their massive jaws at the cage, but otherwise it is pretty safe. 

8. Scale Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia

Climb the iconic Harbour Bridge in Sydney for superb views across the city area. The BridgeClimb team provides suits and harnesses, so all you need to do is to pay, gear up and get climbing. The iconic steel structure was opened in 1932 and stands 141m above sea level.

9. Skydive above Mount Everest, Nepal

We all know that Everest is the highest mountain in the world, but it doesn't stop there. Everest Skydive takes adrenaline junkies 29,500 feet over the mountain, and literally drops you mid-air. According to the team, it is the highest skydiving experience in the world. Once you get over the initial three-second vertigo, the views of the snow-capped Himalayas and surrounding valleys are spectacular. Even if you're too frightened to open your eyes, imagine the bragging rights you will get after this.

10. Moroccan Marathon des Sables, Sahara Desert

It's not known as the toughest footrace on earth for nothing. The Moroccan Marathon des Sables, or simply known as the MdS is a gruelling multi-stage adventure through the Sahara desert. Faced with one of the most inhospitable climates in the world, racers have to be self-sufficient, carrying equipment, food and water while they make the 251km journey across the dunes.

11. Trift Suspension Bridge, Swiss Alps

The longest pedestrian bridge in the Swiss Alps is 99m high and 170m long above the Trift Glacier. Visitors will need to ride a gondola up and then hike for about two hours to get to the bridge.

12. Ice hole swimming, Finland

Who says you can only swim in summer? Do it the Finnish way and dive into an ice hole with sub-zero temperature waters. According to the Finns, icy swimming has rejuvenating benefits, leaving swimmers invigorated and relaxed. The winter ritual is so popular that the Finnish refer to it affectionally as "avanto", or hole-in-the-ice. The next time you make a trip to the wintry north, don't be surprised to see people lounging in the ice with skimpy bikinis and trunks.

13. Volcano boarding, Nicaragua

Cerro Negro may be an active volcano outside of Leon, Nicaragua but that doesn't deter thrill seekers from shredding down its flanks. To get to the drop zone, hikes need to trek for about 45 minutes, suit up in protective gear and then start their surf down on a wooden sled. "Surfers" will also be treated to volcano burritos cooked over hot lava.

14. Zorbing, New Zealand

Strap yourself into a zorb, an giant inflatable clear ball and roll down the lolling hills in New Zealand. According to Zorb.com, the balls can travel up to 50km an hour!

15. Heli-ski, Canada

Canada, the land of winter sports. As early as the 1950s, skiers were dropping off from helicopters in remote areas just to pack in a decent ski or two. The country has the highest concentration of heli-skiers, an unsurprising fact, considering the vast terrains of glaciers and slopes.

16. BASE jumping, Norway

Preikestolen, Norway is home to the iconic Pulpit Rock - an attraction which many tourists flock to. But come May 25 to Sept 9, the 604m rock transforms into a platform for BASE jumpers and wingsuit flyers. The extreme sport is incredibly risky and jumpers need to be trained and certified to practice it.

17. Dive into the Titanic, Atlantic Ocean

3.8km below the Atlantic Ocean lies the Titanic. You've seen in on screens, now its time to swim through it - at the price of $60,000. Sunk in 1912, the liner has been thoroughly reclaimed by the sea, with marine life teeming about its cabins and decks. Visitors have the option of viewing the ship on a luxury submarine tour or - for the more adventurous - dive through it.

debwong@sph.com.sg

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