I’ve been to so many places in Malaysia—I’ve set foot in almost all states except Perlis, and I’ve proudly stayed at villages (kampungs) where tourists rarely venture into. Ironically, I hadn’t been to Langkawi—known as the Jewel of Kedah and one of the country’s most prominent tourist hotspots—until recently.
Aside from the famous mangroves, on the top of the list of the activities I wanted to do on my visit were the SkyCab and SkyBridge at Panorama Langkawi. I mean, I had seen these many times—especially in Tourism Malaysia’s promotional materials—and I couldn’t take them off my head. Luckily, our friends at Panorama Langkawi had me over and took me to try them out.
Located on the foot of the Machinchang Mountain Range over on the west coast of Langkawi, Panorama Langkawi is a complex of family-friendly and affordable activities, the most popular of which are the SkyCab and the SkyBridge. Thanks to Uber and GrabCar, getting there is easy and inexpensive—it’s only about 30 minutes from the main area in Pantai Cenang by car.
It was Ramadan and hence low season in Langkawi during my visit, so lines were almost inexistent at the SkyCab. However, as I was warned, during peak seasons, lines can be kilometric, so an Express Lane pass is advised.
According to Panorama Langkawi’s website:
An intermediate cable car station on the eastern ridges provides the much desired access to the eastern cliffs with its 3 vertical chimneys and the beautiful 360-degree views. The journey from the Base Station to Middle Station will cover 1,700 meters in distance and upon reaching the Middle Station at an elevation of 650m above sea level, visitors will be able to alight and walk up to the viewing platforms. Visitors will enjoy panoramic view of the main island as well as the many surrounding islands. Visitors also be able to observe at a close range the unique flora on the ridges and the forested valley between the Middle Station and the Top Station.
A short walk up the stairs from the Top Station at an elevation of 708m above sea level and that will take visitors to the two viewing platforms at the top of Machincang mountain. Visitors will be amazed at the unfolding dramatic views from the platforms, the most unique and exciting features of Machincang, are dominating rock tower peaks providing spectacular 360 degrees panoramic views of the Langkawi islands and Southern Thailand as well as dramatic views of the deep chasms, overhangs cliff walls and isolated pinnacles. Such nature monuments are seldom seen anywhere else in this combination except in Langkawi.
I’ve ridden dozens of cable cars in several countries, but the experience at the Langkawi SkyCab is quite unique—it was definitely steeper than most others I’ve taken, and the views were spectacular. Going down, we took the glass bottom gondola, and the experience was even more exhilarating.
The SkyBridge was definitely what I was looking forward to. Upon alighting at the uppermost terminus of the SkyCab, we hurried to get to the SkyBridge.
According to Panorama Langkawi’s website:
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.
It was a windy afternoon, so the bridge was shaking a little, making the experience more thrilling! A cool yet terrifying feature of the bridge are the glass squares, where visitors can step on to see the view from the bottom. Of course, I didn’t pass up on the opportunity to try them.
For more information on Panorama Langkawi, check out www.panoramalangkawi.com.
How to get there: Public transportation is inexistent in Langkawi, so the only way to reach Panorama Langkawi is by taxi, GrabCar, or Uber. It’s about 18 kilometers (~30 minutes) from Pantai Cenang and 13 kilometers (~20 minutes) from the airport.