Written by @Joehairie
Photos by curiostraveller.com & credited source
An engineering marvel that offers unique experience, ascending over 550 millions old rock while at times gives riders that thrilling moments, SkyCab Langkawi is the steepest cable ride on earth! Mobilizing nervous but excited riders to the Top Station, where the SkyBridge awaits curious visitors, Langkawi SkyCab is indeed the best thing to do if you are in Langkawi. TripAdvisor community ranked this particular SkyCab at #1 out of 97 attractions in Langkawi Island. This is our experience at both SkyCab and SkyBridge.
The Base (Oriental Village)
The SkyCab ride started at the base where ticket counters are located. Various combo tickets are available with different prices for Malaysian and Non-Malaysian. Options available are the SkyCab Basic Package (Normal and Express Lane), SkyCab with Private, VIP or Glass Bottom Gondola and SkyCab Combo. Each comes with value added benefits but all types of tickets will at least give access to the SkyDome, SkyRex and 3D Art Langkawi.
Should you need more updated and detailed information in regard to Oriental Village (The Base), SkyCab, SkyBridge and other facilities or attractions, do visit Panorama Langkawi official website.
Our Thoughts: The Base (Oriental Village)
Being seasoned travelers, we have to honestly say that the attractions at the base (Oriental Village) are just all right, perfect for the kids but to sustain in the long run, the base needed to have world-class facilities in the sense that the standard and quality of attractions must be parallel at least to Universal Studios or similar establishments standard.
The SkyCab and SkyBridge are already two world class attractions thus whatever being located at the base must have the same quality. The day we visited this place proved our thoughts as the SkyCab service was temporarily closed due to ferocious winds. Majority decided to leave the premise, thinking of coming back the next day. Some decided to wait for a while (including us).
There was this announcement that other attractions such as 3D Art Langkawi, remains open and staff were seen here and there trying to sell tickets of the base attractions, with different combo options. The attempt attracted local families with kids but not the others. The only main reason why people finally visited the attractions at the base was because it is included in the SkyCab and SkyBridge combo tickets.
That being said, the Management needed a world-class mind set to help them upgrade all the attractions at the base. However, the SkyCab and SkyBridge are already great, two world class facilities and the only thing needed to do is ensure it’s running.
When they said it’s the steepest in the world, they really mean it! It is…and the ride to the middle station is one experience that visitors to Langkawi should not miss. It might be thrilling for those who are afraid of heights but worry not as it’s safe to be in the cab. The experience gives riders a goose bump even for those who have tried it in previous visit.
We shared our gondola with a family from Kuala Lumpur. The head of the family have been here before but he’s still excited to ride the SkyCab. Sharing a gondola with others is one great way to get new friends! It’s still quite windy during the ride and all of us were indeed thrilled. Just when the gondola was about to enter the middle station, it trembled a bit to which we were later informed that during windy day, it’s the exact point where strong winds go through.
SkyCab riders are expected to disembark at the Middle Station and most will take the opportunity to take some photos at the viewing platform. From this station, riders may line-up again for the next SkyCab that goes to the Top Station. The second ride is not that lengthy as in from the base to middle station, but..it’s still an awesome ride.
There is another way to get to Top Station from Middle Station, walk along the track known as SkyTrail.
Panorama Langkawi official website released this interesting image (map) where you get to see the entire trail going up to the Top Station. According to the website, there are actually 3 options for those who prefer the SkyTrail but I guess an advance request is needed as they will surely to have a guide to assist you along the way.
If you are planning to come to Langkawi and looking forward to be at the top of Mount Machincang (on foot), you may refer to Panorama Langkawi website, give them a call or email them and ask for information in regard to this interesting SkyTrail.
The Top Station has a number of viewing platforms and you will get to see the entire area of Machinchang Mountain, Burau Bay and its Cenang Beach. Visitors will have the option to head to the more interesting SkyBridge or stay at this Top Station, enjoying the view. At this point of 708m above the sea level there is a SkyBistro that offers unique vista and cool breeze. Have your coffee, juices and snacks and simply enjoy the tantalizing panoramic view. We did not have anything here as we personally think that its product are overpriced.
We decided to spend our money wisely on that interesting, efficient SkyGlide that took us to the starting point of SkyBridge. There are two options to get to the SkyBridge, walk or simply descend via the tram or SkyGilde. Getting into the SkyGlide is kind of entering a lift but soon you will get to see it that it is actually a modern tram.
To get to the SkyBridge, we purchased our SkyGlide tickets at the counter in Top Station. The fee for SkyBridge is RM5 per person and ticket for SkyGlide is RM10 per person (Return transfer: Top Station-SkyBridge). If you choose to walk, it will only cost you RM5 (SkyBridge entrance fee).
“The SkyGlide is a cabin type of transport that can move upward and downward according to a certain incline level. In, general, the design of the cabin is like an elevator with the finishing of glass panels on all sides. This is to allow visitors to have a clear view of mount Machincang and its surroundings.”
“Currently visitor who wish to visit SkyBridge will have to take a short 10 minutes’ walk through a jungle trail. This short walk is both fun but a bit challenging especially to the elderly and children. However with SkyGlide visitor would have a much faster and convenient way of visiting SkyBridge.”
“With 94 meters of track length, SkyGlide cabin can accommodate up to 12 passengers or 1050 kilogram of load per trip. It takes less than 2 minutes for the cabin to travel from top station to SkyBridge. SkyGlide ticket is sold separately from the standard SkyCab ticket. The ticket is available only from the SkyGlide ticketing counter at our top station. For an additional fee of RM10 for adult and RM7 for children, visitors would be able to use SkyGlide for both your travel and return journey.”
“For the adventurous that might prefer to take a walk to SkyBridge but later would love to try our SkyGlide ride for your return trip back to top station, you can purchase your one way ticket at our mobile counter at SkyBridge.”
Apart from that SkyCab ride, this is the other element of the entire experience that really excite visitors. This is a world-class facility that will make people wonder how on earth they erected the whole structure! There is no road whatsoever that might explain the process of lifting all the metals up to this mountain. Luckily, Panorama Langkawi website did explain this remarkable feat of engineering.
“Completed in 2004, this suspended bridge is built on top of the Machinchang mountain. Accessible from the Top Station, the bridge is suspended from a 82m high single pylon, hangs at about 100m above ground and it can accommodate up to 250 people at the same time. It swings out over the landscape to give visitors a unique spatial experience, and to bring them into otherwise unattainable locations, above virgin jungle with spectacular views. Notably, in contrast to a straight bridge, where the end is always monotonously in sight, a curved bridge offers spectacularly changing perspective that reinvent themselves, as one proceeds along it.”
“Measuring at 125m in length, the structure ranks among the world’s longest curve suspension bridge and constructing it was not an easy feat as the solutions had to factor the following critical elements; structural balancing from a single point (top of the pylon), optimal weight management and load distribution, pre-fabrication of bridge and on site installation. The entire bridge, in all its elements had to be lifted to the top of the mountain by helicopter and was later assembled to its current position.”
So, what to do on this bridge? Nothing but walk along the pedestrian bridge to the other end, enjoying the view and breeze (cold winds!) and return to the main starting point to view more amazing scenery of Langkawi Island. While walking have a look at the left side where you get to see the Straits of Malacca and further north-west is the Andaman Sea.
Somewhere along the bridge, there are few glass panels, a see-thru glass panel meant for people to step on it, do it if you are not afraid of heights. We saw some people did it and we tried it too. It’s thrilling but fun!
I am not sure how many people can go on to the panel at one given time but there was no problem at all for 2 people to do that. I wonder how many people will dare to walk on it if the glass panel is a bit longer, like from the start to the other end? I would!
Well, if you have the courage to stand on the glass panel, do take off your shoes. It’s clearly written there. While strolling on the bridge, there are times when you will get to feel the bridge is shaking but there is nothing to worry about, it’s the wind, the bridge is safe to walk on. As they said it, that’s something to give a goose bump if you can get the gist, so do come and experience it yourself. We’ve been here, done it, have you? If you have not, consider Langkawi as your next destination for your vacay.
Panorama Langkawi Sdn Bhd
Cable Car Station, Oriental Village,