Story and photos by #TEAMCLARISSA and #TEAMVIVIENNE
AFTER being closed for two years due to renovation, two of Langkawi’s most iconic tourist attractions, the SkyCab and SkyBridge, are now back in business.
The BRATs got the opportunity to visit the newly-improved facility during the BRATs Year-End camp last month, and learnt all about the upgrades – including the brand new SkyGlide inclinator in action for the very first time!
The SkyBridge is a curved suspended bridge located 660m above sea level at the peak of Langkawi’s second highest mountain, Gunung Machinchang. Some of us were initially a little apprehensive about going up, which requires a ride on the SkyCab cable car (it holds the record for the steepest incline, 42 degrees, between two cable car towers), but the incredible view at the top quickly put us at ease.
Aside from the breathtaking scenery, we also had the chance to check out the new bottom glass panels. The bridge hangs 100m above the mountain, so naturally, standing on those glass panels installed throughout the bridge can be quite scary.
The journey to the top wasn’t a walk in the park either. After the SkyCab ride, you still need to take another 230m hike from the top station to the SkyBridge. The more adventurous can hike the guided “SkyTrail” from either the middle station or base station, which takes 45mins and three hours respectively.
The new SkyGlide was built for visitors with physical ailments, senior citizens or families with young children. The all-glass inclinator ferries visitors from the top station to the bridge in just two minutes.
In order to keep the SkyBridge and SkyCab safe for the throngs of visitors they get every day, two teams of 20 technical staff are tasked with inspecting the bridge and gondolas every day.
And to further ensure that the SkyCab complies with its safety standards, a team of professional engineers from Doppelmayr (the cable car manufacturer from Austria) visits Langkawi at least once a year, after which it provides a technical report with recommendations on what to replace and fix.
The technical team also has strict safety guidelines – the SkyCab is closed whenever the wind reaches 12m per second, and the SkyBridge is temporarily closed whenever there is a thunderstorm.
But when you’re up on the bridge on a clear, sunny day like we were, Gunung Machinchang is a magical place, where you can watch glorious sunsets and views of both the mountains and the sea. The sandstones there are more than 550 million years old – that’s older than Mount Everest!
To read more about the BRATs’ adventures in Langkawi, click here.