The Langkawi Cable Car is located at the foot of the Mat Cincang mountain range and is one of the highlights of anybody’s visit to the island. The gondolas of this infamous cable car travel 70 metres above the canopy of forest and when you’re all alone it can seem like a slow death!
The Base Station is located at the Oriental Village, a themed shopping centre housing 30 individually designed buildings showcasing Malay architecture. As well as the Base Station, the Top Station is located at the peak of Gunung Mat Cinchang (which is the second highest peak of Langkawi), and in the middle is an “angle station”, where the gondolas make a 45-degree turn to reach the Top Station.
There are 35 normal gondolas that operate on the Langkawi Cable Car, but there are also bottom glass gondolas and VIP gondolas, which seem to the norm nowadays on virtually every cable car in the region.
The gradient or the slope between the Base Station and the Middle Station is said to be the steepest in the world at 42 degrees. This is why when there are strong winds the cable car operation closes down. The views of the forest below – while scary – are nonetheless spectacular. I have experience with the Singapore Cable Car and that does not have anything like as amazing scenery as here in Langkawi.
However, the main draw that the Langkawi Cable Car has is its steep gradient up from the Oriental Village. I was dreading it! The gondola has a somewhat jerky motion as it rises towards the sky – it’s not as smooth as you would ideally hope for! I admit that I got a little bit scared – not so much of it falling to the ground below, but rather it getting stuck with no way of being rescued!
If you can conquer your fear and open your eyes (!), then you’ll admit that the ride affords views of the surrounding forest, the Telaga Tujuh Waterfall, as well as the Andaman Ocean. From the top station there is even an access route to the equally spectacular Langkawi Sky Bridge, which is the main reason people make the scary ascent!
There is a 2.5km walking trail through the forest from the top station to the middle station, and then down to the waterfall, though walking unguided through this trail is not advisable as I was told it is not well-maintained and there is a risk of getting lost. After enjoying the views on the top of the mountain, it was time to come back down again! Oh no!