The Oriental Village is one of the known attractions on the Malaysian island of Langkawi. The name might lead you to believe that it is an old local community but the “Oriental Village” is first and foremost a commercial and recreational complex, designed to tickle the fancy of visitors to the island.
The complex sits along the foothills of Mt. Machincang (Gunung Machincang). Here, you can find everything from galleries, spas, retail stores, cafes and restaurants. A number of products sold in the village feature local artistry and Malaysian craftsmanship. So, it’s a good place to get some authentic crafts and souvenirs. The Oriental Village is an ideal destination for visiting families with children. After hitting the beach, your whole group can head out to the Oriental Village for some shopping, dining and leisure. Kids will most likely love boat paddling on the artificial lake in the middle of the village as well as spending time at the animal petting corners.
For the kids at heart, Segway guided tours and elephant rides are available. If you are the adventurous type, then you might consider going for a quad bike ride or motor-cross riding. You can rent out the vehicles at the Oriental Village, but the actual riding usually occurs along the foothills and surrounding forests of Machincang.
The complex may offer a number of activities, but the most popular among them is the cable car ride to the top of Mt Machincang. The Langkawi cable car, officially branded as Langkawi SkyCab is indeed a must-experience for anyone visiting the island for the first time. Thus, Chasing Places grabbed the opportunity to go for the ride that took us 700 meters above sea level, climbing steeply at an angle of about 42 degrees.
Riding a gondola is one of my favorite travel activities because I have always had a fear of heights. So, riding one makes me feel like I am overcoming my fear and living on the edge. As the gondola made its ascent, we were treated with fantastic view of the Seven Wells Waterfall as well as the surrounding heavily forested landscape. We eventually stopped at the middle SkyCab station. At this point, guests are welcomed to get off the gondola and walk to the viewing platforms set at the eastern ridge of the mountain. From here, we got a closer look at the geological formations, which are believed to have been formed 500 million years ago.
After several minutes, we got back on the gondola to reach the top station. From here, we walked up the stairs to the viewing platforms. Many people believe that the panorama here is one of the highlights of any trip to Langkawi, and this is true in my case.
On a clear day, you will get to see the surrounding rock tower peaks and other smaller islands dotting the Andaman Sea below including some of the Southern Thai Isles. The Top Station is also equipped with a café and stalls that offer some snacks and other goodies to hungry guests.
Some visitors plan to come early in the morning to avoid long line-up and the midday mist that disrupts the view. Unfortunately, the SkyCab starts its operation at 9:30 am. But to compensate, you will be able to view the sunset from the top as the last gondolas go back to the base station at around 7 pm.
SkyCab Operating Hours:
Opening Hours: Mon-Thurs 10.00am – 7.00pm, Fri-Sun, Public & School Holiday 9.30am – 7.00pm
There is another reason why it is worth going up th SkyCab and this is: the SkyBridge. Built on top of Mt. Machinchang, it is one of the longest suspended pedestrian bridges in the world. SkyBridge is quite special because it curves around the mountain, giving you varying perspectives of the landscape depending on which section of the bridge you look from. Unfortunately, the bridge was closed for renovation for almost two years. According to a local news outfit, the bridge has opened to the public again in December 2014, together with a new additional attraction called the SkyDome.
How to Get Here:
Oriental Village is situated close to Pantai Kok and Seven Wells Waterfall. You can easily reach it by taking a taxi from major districts in Langkawi. There are no regular buses on the island, so the other transport alternative is to rent a motorcycle or car during your stay. The rental fees and gas are quite reasonable and the vehicle traffic around the island is laidback.
How to find the cheapest rooms on Langkawi Island?
Langkawi is loaded with accommodation choices. The top choices do sell out early, leaving some shabby options if you book last minute (especially on weekends). The most popular site for rooms on Langkawi is definitely www.agoda.com with a massive selection of rooms and solid prices. When we visit Langkawi we either use Agoda or www.hotelscombined.com to book our rooms. Hotelscombined is a common choice in Malaysia for people looking to compare prices prior to booking their rooms. Either one of these options should work for you.
For more information about the SkyBridge and SkyCab and other attractions in the area, visit http://www.panoramalangkawi.com/