The last time I visited Langkawi was 18 years ago. What I remember most was the incredible time i had playing golf inside a beautiful rainforest…and the large number of balls I lost. So when Ironman Langkawi asked if i would like to cover the race for this year, I hopped on a plane faster than my sprint race T1 transition.
For a destination Ironman race, Langkawi should definitely be in your top list. It offers everything you’d wish for in a tropical paradise—pristine beaches, lush virgin forest, unique culture and hot and spicy cuisines. There are tons of activities that you can do before and after your race. If you’re one to bring your kids to your races, then Langkawi will not disappoint them.
Race coverage is quite hectic. You have to cover many pre-race events and activities. But I made sure to squeeze some time to see the islands. I woke up early one morning, hopped on my rented scooter and just rolled where the roads will take me. I think going around Langkawi in a scooter is the best way to best appreciate it. Traffic is very light, roads are wide and well-paved. You have long stretch of roads and exciting mountain twisties making it an exciting chill ride. The best part of it is just stopping by the roadside to enjoy a beach, a mountain view lookout or grab some delicious street food.
I also had one free morning to choose one place to visit in Langkawi. Being a math major, I wanted to see the engineering marvel of the famous Langkawi Sky Bridge. My friends from Ironman Langkawi were kind enough to show me around the place. The tour to the Sky Bridge starts at the Oriental Village. It’s a themed complex full of retail shops, restaurants and a bunch of activities you can try and enjoy. Your kids will surely have a grand time at the 3D Museum. You can have a week’s worth of IG photos just inside this museum.
There is only one way to go up the Sky Bridge and this is via the steepest cable car ride in the world. The ride in itself is worth the trip to this village. It offers stunning views and it’s one of the longest cable car rides that I’ve ever done. There are 2 stops, with the first stop having two viewing platforms to enjoy 360 degree sea and mountain views. The second leg is across 2 mountain peaks which takes you finally to the Sky Bridge.
When you finally step on the bridge, one thought enters your mind, this is one piece of engineering genius. It is the longest free span and curved bridge in the world. It is held by 82m high single pylon while it hangs at about 100m from where the pylon is grounded and the bridge is 700m above sea level. It is unbelievably stable and strong as it can accommodate up to 250 people at the same time. But the main draw of course is the stunning view from the bridge. The bridge is located at the peak of Mt. Mat Cincang and from the bridge you can see over virgin mountain forest and the Andaman Sea, a view you can’t see unless you’re on the bridge or flying in a helly. This, plus the fresh cool mountain air, make a trip up the Sky Bridge a must-do, be-sure-not-to-miss when in Langkawi.