Sky Trail, Langkawi
This steep trail is in Mount Matcingcang, a mountain and a geoforest park which originated over 550 million years ago. And as you would expect, over the many years, the rainforest here has become a home to countless types of flora and fauna, and some of them so unique and stunning.
The trail starts at Oriental Village at the bottom or the base station of the Cable Car ride. The first part of the trail goes from the base station of the cable car up to the middle station through dense rain forest. The second part of the trail extends from the middle station all the way through dense jungle up to the top station or the summit of Mount Matcingcang.
So depending on the sections you choose to trek, there are three trek packages offered:
Skytrail Basic Package
This is the shortest and easiest of all. You will first take the cable car all the way up to the top station and trek downhill from the top station up to the middle station. This trail is 900 meters and can be completed in 45 minutes. This is suitable for all ages with average fitness level. You can wear casual attire and normal walking shoes like sneakers.
Skytrail Intermediate Package
This is the next level trek which will test your stamina. The trek starts from the base or the bottom station and goes up to the middle station. From the middle station you return by the cable car (you can of course ride the cable car up to the top station and then return as well).
This section of the trail is 1.3kms and will require uphill hike for about 2 hours 15 minutes. This is suitable for those who are physically fit. Proper jungle trek attire is recommended including shoes. I also recommend a pair of gloves as well and of course a bottle of drinking water.
Sky Trail, Langkawi
Photo: SkyTrail (Panorama)
Skytrail Extreme Package
As the name suggests, this is the hardest trek of all the three. In addition to the intermediate trek of 1.3kms you will hike uphill for another 900 meters from the middle station to the top station. Which means you are trekking the entire stretch of the trail which is 2.2kms. It will require 3 to 3.5 hours of uphill hike. This is suitable for adults and teens who have good fitness levels.
You should wear proper jungle trek attire, carry a pair of gloves, a water bottle and preferably an energy bar or fruits like banana which you can eat in between if you lose too much of energy. From the top station you will return by the cable car.
What can you see on the trek
It's a trail up the mountain through a rainforest. Within a stretch of 2kms, there are over 1,500 different types of plantations, and large number of which have great medicinal applications. There are trees with strange formations, some have a large opening with teeth like structures jutting out making it look like an open mouth of a beast.
You can spot Tongkat Ali (a tree native to Malaysia with lots of roots around it that serve as excellent therapeutic herb), umbrella trees, and trees that produce aromatic resins used in perfumes and lot more. You can also see different types of wildlife if you are lucky including macaque monkeys, monitor lizards, giant squirrels, snakes like pit vipers etc, and of course different kinds of birds.
Near the summit you can see wonderful rock formations as well as flowering orchids, colorful butterflies etc. There are quite a few look out points along the way offering great views.
How to take the Skytrail trek
The SkyTrail service counter is located next to the Cable Car ticket counter at the base station in Oriental Village. An experienced guide will take you along the trail. Before you start the trek, the guide will take you through light stretching and exercise session to prepare you for the hike. Once the trek starts, the guide will explain the different kinds of flora and fauna you encounter along the way.
Update 2020: While the Sky Trail still exists, the guided Sky Trail treks that were earlier offered by Panaroma Langkawi who operates the Cable Car, are no longer available. You can however do this trek yourself.
Visit Oriental Village
to know all about the facilities in the village and how to reach.
If you want to trek to the Mat Cingcang peak on a different trail and independently (this trek is comparatively more difficult than the Skytrail), then check out Trekking the Mat Cingcang Peak
Best time for the trek
During the wet season (June to October) there can be rains any time and it can get quite slippery. Although much part of the trail is covered with stones and stair-like structure, wet loose leaves on the trail can be quite cumbersome to negotiate. However unless the weather is very bad, treks do take place during this time as well. But you should carry a poncho or a rain coat.
The best time is however between November to March when it is usually dry and the temperature hovers around 32 degree Celsius and therefore quite pleasant.
Martin Lutterjohann (May 2019)
Hello Raj, thank you for your valuable information. I had expected this development. It is maybe unique in the world that you have to join an expensive package if you wish to hike up or down a mountain that can be reached by a ropeway. Fortunately there is the trail up Mat Cincang 701
, so people have the choice. It is a pity, because the "Skytrail" is comparatively easy to follow.
Raj (langkawi-insight.com) May 2019
Hello Martin, the Skytrail is now commercialized and a guided package is required to trek the trail. You are likely to be stopped along the way if you attempt to do it on your own.
Martin Lutterjohann (May 2019)
I have already included your excellent website in my Malaysia guidebook (in German). During my last visit in November 2017 I climbed "Mat Cincang 701" for the first time. Up to then I always used to climb the peak via the regular "Sky Trail" which in comparison is quite comfortable. My question is: Although a handwritten, unofficial sign at the starts (near the bridge towards Telaga Tujuh) says (or said) "forbidden", is it still possible to follow the trail and continue to the Sky Bridge and main peak? When I reached the middle station last time and wanted to continue towards the Skybridge (I think it was in 2015) staff wanted to stop me. But I continued anyway.
What do you think: do people still do the SkyTrail independently? There was a time several years ago, when this trail was signposted and promoted by the ropeway operators. But now they make it an expensive guided trip, unusual for a country like Malaysia where people love to do jungle climbs.