Today, in a premiere event, a game of Mahjong took place on the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

It was a spectacular sight of East-meets-West on top of one of Australia’s most recognisable icons. The players, Pauline Heng, Tony Liu, Winnie Kiu and Jak Heng, scaled to the summit of the Bridge, 134 metres above sea level, and tested each other’s skills in this sport which combines strategy, skill and luck.

It was also an ultimate test of concentration for the players to focus on their play, and not be distracted by the panoramic views of Sydney and the Harbour on all sides. There was tension, excitement and even laughter as the players put on an unforgettable display. 

BridgeClimb launched its newest climb, the Mandarin Climb, which features local Mandarin speaking guides, on January 21st 2013. While everyone revelled in the excitement of being so intimately linked to a genuine Australian icon, climbers were also rewarded with a spectacular 360 degree view of the city and one of the most beautiful harbours in the world.

The players come from very different backgrounds, but all have a passion for Mahjong. Winnie is a dental nurse, Tony is the proprietor of Jade Express Travel, Pauline is a business migration agent and an organiser of Mahjong tournaments, while Jak is a lawyer. Jak first learned to play Mahjong when he was an eight year old on a trip down the Yangtze River. He spent many hours watching the Chinese onboard playing the game. Not speaking Chinese, he had to learn how to play by studying their actions over the three day cruise. They thought he was a very strange Chinese kid, only able to speak English!

Pauline Heng, who organises Mahjong tournaments around Sydney said, “The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a powerful symbol of Australia. Similarly, Mahjong is an iconic game that originated in China, so it was a rewarding as well as unusual sight to have the two brought together in such exceptional circumstances”.

The Mandarin Climb offers Chinese visitors, aged 10 years and over, a chance to fully participate in one ofAustralia’s iconic experiences. Climbers safely travel along the 2 ¼ hour express route through the heart of the Sydney Harbour Bridge’s massive structure before ascending to the very top of the Bridge, 134 metres above sea level.