The World’s Longest Pedestrian Bridge, Kind Of

The World’s Longest Pedestrian Bridge, Kind Of

Imagine being at a shopping mall. And then hopping on a cable car for a 15-minute ride. And then getting off of the cable car and finding yourself on a long walkway that’s all of 1.8 meters (6 feet) wide, suspended high above a green jungle, with virtually no signs of human existence except for the walkway beneath your feet and the cable car you arrived on.

That’s what it’s like the visit Malaysia’s Langkawi Sky Bridge.

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The Sky Bridge is located on the beach-strewn, vacation island of Langkawi in the far north of Malaysia near the Thai border. Indeed, from the lofty Sky Bridge you can see Thailand’s Tarutao Island on a clear day. Also on offer are amazing views of the Andaman Sea and of Langkawi’s green jungles, which look like they could have served as the model for the Ewok’s world in Star Wars.

The Sky Bridge itself, completed in 2005, gleams in the sun and resembles a curved work of modern art—modern art that’s 700 meters (2,300 feet) above sea level and with glass sides that will scare the hell out of anyone harboring a fear of heights. We visited on a clear day but it is a whole different kind of cool in the fog when visitors to the Langkawi Sky Bridge feel like they are walking above the clouds.

walking bridge The Worlds Longest Pedestrian Bridge, Kind Of follow me on pinterest button The Worlds Longest Pedestrian Bridge, Kind Of The Langkawi Sky Bridge is 124 m (410 feet) long, a length that has prompted many (including the tour guides on Langkawi) to declare it the world’s longest pedestrian bridge. It is not.

The bridge with the longest span that people can legally walk across is San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge (1,280m / 4,200 feet). Though, the Golden Gate is open to vehicle traffic also.

The longest pedestrian-only bridge span belongs to theWalnut Street Bridge (720m / 2,376 ft) in Chattanooga, USA. But that’s a truss bridge—a bridge stressed from tension and/or compression—not a suspension bridge.

The longest pedestrian-only bridge in total length is the Walkway Over the Hudson. That’s not a suspension bridge either. It’s a
Cantilever bridge, and while it’s total length is a whopping 2082 meters (or 6,767 feet) the longest single span is only 168 meters (546 ft).

So is the Langkawi Sky Bridge is the world’s the world longest pedestrian-only suspension bridge? Actually, no. Spot Cool Stuff is of the strong opinion that there’s at least one bridge in Nepal that deserves this title. Deep in the Himalayas locals construct some rather incredible—and incredibly long—suspension bridges. They are often washed away with the monsoon rains, only to be rebuilt again. We suspect one of those is the true world’s longest walking-only suspension bridge. Officially, though, that title goes to the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Canada—its 134 m (446 feet) length is 12 meters longer than the Langkawi Sky Bridge.

For the Langkawi Sky Bridge to be the world’s longest something you’d have to limit the competition to suspension bridges that are cable-stayed (as opposed to the simple-suspension style of the Capilano Bridge).

Absolutely none of those technicalities will matter to you when you are standing high above God’s green creation gazing out upon the natural beauty of Southeast Asia.

The Langkawi Sky Bridge might not be the world’s longest walking bridge. But it might be one of the coolest.

Where to stay: The Datai. The question is whether you should visit Langkawi for the beaches and stay at the Datai while there or whether you should go to Langkawi specifically to stay at the Datai, which just happens to be near great beaches. Either way, this is one superb resort. The Datai is a ritzy rain forest retreat surrounded by think jungle (see photo, below). There’s a world-class spa, an excellent golf course, and a prime location close to the Langkawi Sky Bridge. Get a complimentary half bottle of champagne with a Mr. & Mrs. Smith Membership. Highly suggested.

updated: 26 Mar 2011
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The Datai Resort:

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Other Cool Bridges in Malaysia

Not incidentally, there are a few other cool bridges in Malaysia. Here are three of them:

Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge:
The Skybridge, spanning between the 41st and 42nd floors of the Petronas Twin Towers, is the highest 2-story bridge in the world.

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Seri Wawasan Bridge, Putrajaya:
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Penang Bridge:
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Responses

  1. Escape Traveler says:

    We visited but did not know it was the world longest! A must visit if you are in Langkawi, but it is not for those who are afraid of heights. The cable car ride to the top is scary but the view is awesome. You can see thailand from the observatory. See our visit below:

    http://www.escapetraveler.com/langkawi-the-hawaii-of-malaysia-sky-bridge/
    Escape Traveler recently posted..Isla Saona – Dominican Beach/Island ParadiseMy Profile

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. The Happy Pontist says:

    Pish and tosh to all this. The Nesciobrug in the Netherlands spans 163m, and Eagle Canyon pedestrian bridge reaches 183m. The Dreiländerbrücke reaches 230m. The Arroyo Cangrejillo bridge spans 337m, although carrying pedestrians only as a secondary function.

    Bigger still are the Ryujin bridge in Japan, at 375m, and the Kokonoe Otsurihash Bridge, also in Japan, at 390m.

    The biggest footbridge of them all is the Wanjiazhai Dam Bridge, which spans 500m.

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. jon says:

    the longest pedestrian-only bridge in the world just opened as the former Poughkeepsie-Highland RR bridge, at Poughkeepsie, NY over the Hudson River. 6,700 Ft.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Travel Stuff Reply:

    Thanks Jon! We’ve been follow the news on this. But are you sure it is actually open yet? It seems like it has been “about to open” for the last few weeks now.

    [Reply to this comment]

  4. Spot Cool Travel Stuff says:

    Jonathan,

    Here we get into semantics a bit.

    The Chain of Rocks Bridge is not a pedestrian-only bridge since it allows bicycle traffic. (In fact, the bridge sees more bicycles than walkers).

    The whole bridge, from one end to the other, is indeed over 5,000 feet long (5,353 to be exact) so you might be tempted to think that it is longer than the Golden Gate, which we listed in the post at 4,200 feet. But that 4,200 represents the bridge’s longest span. The longest span of the Chain of Rocks Bridge is only 700 feet. Taken all together, the Golden Gate is over 8,000 feet long.

    However, the Chain of Rocks does have the longest continuous length of any bridge that does not allow motorized traffic.

    [Reply to this comment]

  5. Jonathan Parrish says:

    Actually the longest pedestrian bridge only bridge in the world is the chain of rocks bridge in st louis, being over 5,000 feet long.

    [Reply to this comment]

  6. Craigor says:

    Once again, Spot Cool Stuff finds a travel gem. I’ve been to the Golden Gate but this bridge looks even more interesting.

    [Reply to this comment]

  7. Ships says:

    Wau, It can’t be true. I really was amazed by langkawi skybridge. And it should be so extreme to walk through it that I cannot imagine. It is beautiful and the pictures are so profecional. Please excuse me for shuffle words and not clear mind but I liked this bridge so much.

    [Reply to this comment]

  8. art says:

    that bridge in the forest is amazing. there is a similar, but lower one in south-west australia. it is a bit lower so it is possible to peer into the canopy to see bids etc.

    art’s last blog post..Brighton Fringe Festival: Highlights

    [Reply to this comment]

  9. Jeff says:

    Malaysian officials are completely mesmerised by ‘biggest’ ‘longest’ ‘tallest’ so ignore all that crap. It is a nice bridge.
    I tried walking up the hill to reach the bridge and the top station. Unfortunately Malaysians aren’t so good at marking trails so when I emerged on top of the hill after a sweaty climb through the dense rainforest I turned out to be on the next mountain over. Still, great views and no other tourists there.

    [Reply to this comment]

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