If you like looking down from on high, but fear the daredevil thrills of, say, bungee jumping, then maybe riding an aerial gondola’s for you.
And why not, since a cable car offers comfort, convenience, security and a scenic route, while you journey from point A to point B. There are loads of such elevated travel options around the world, but the ones here — including Singapore’s, Malaysia’s and other Asian countries’ — will probably provide you with the most awe-inspiring experiences and arresting views.
Not to toot SG’s own horn, but yes, the Singapore Cable Car Sky Network is one of the world’s most excellent rides. You get to enjoy not only vast views of the island but also SG’s resort mecca, Sentosa island.
A number of ticket options are available, including the best value Mount Faber + Sentosa Line package of $35 for adults and $25 for kids. In addition to the standard cable car journeys, there are other exciting experiences available, such as the Evening Rider nighttime cable car ride (from $10).
Having transported some 24 million passengers to the top of Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway is not only the quickest and easiest way to summit the most famous of the city’s landmarks (and one of the new 7 wonders of nature), it’s also one of the best ways to enjoy sweeping views of the Cape Town city bowl.
A return ticket on the cableway will cost ZAR $293 (SGD $29.20) for adults and ZAR $151 (SGD $15.05) for kids aged between 4 to 17 years old. It’s recommended to book your tickets online beforehand — the cable car ride, which has a rotating car allowing for constantly changing views of the surrounding mountain and cityscapes, is extremely popular with tourists. Tip: If you’re South African and happen to be celebrating your birthday in the Mother City, make sure to redeem your free return ride on the cableway, valid for a week.
There really is no better way to take in the beauty of Rio’s peaks, bays and beaches than on the beloved Sugarloaf Mountain Gondola. The iconic Rio attraction was opened over a century ago in 1912 and since then, a staggering number (almost 40 million) of people have enjoyed the ride to the top of the city’s famous Sugarloaf Mountain.
Tickets for this most mandatory of Rio adventures cost R $85 (SGD $29.66) for adults over the age of 21 and R $42 (SGD $14.66) for those between the ages of 6 to 21 years. Kids up to 5 years old ride for free.
Another record-breaking cable car – this time for the world’s largest rotating cabin – the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway in California carries passengers over the rugged Chino Canyon towards the pristine Mount San Jacinto State Park.
Because of the cabin’s rotating mechanism, passengers are afforded innumerable vantage points from which to appreciate the surrounding mountains and valleys. Once within the Mount San Jacinto Park, visitors can enjoy the unspoiled wilderness of the park which includes over 85 kilometres of picturesque hiking trails – ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, avid campers and nature lovers. A trip up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway will cost adults US$25.95 (SGD $35.43) and US$16.95 ($23.14) for children from 3 to 10.
If you’re enticed by the thought of gliding through the sky, unencumbered by walls and ceilings, then this world-first is an absolute must.
Located along the banks of Switzerland’s Lake Lucerne, the CabriO is the world’s first double-decker cable car (it can sit up to 60 people) where the upper deck is completely open allowing for a wind-through-the-hair freshness and incomparable lake and mountain views.
A one-way trip per adult on the groundbreaking cable car starts at CHF $37 (SGD $50.87) – children 6 to 16 years pay a quarter of this fare – and will ferry you up through the clouds towards the summit of the Stanserhorn, a quintessentially Swiss 1,900-metre-high mountain.
Previously known as Teleférico de Mérida, the Mukumbari in Venezuela’s north-western city of Mérida is another record-breaking ride, being the world’s highest and second longest cable car system in the world.
Taking you from Mérida up to the towering Espejo Peak, the Venezuelan marvel of engineering will gift you with unending extraordinary views of the Venezuelan Andes. For international tourists, prices do vary over different dates but as of November 2016, the cost of this hard-to-beat Andean adventure is US$50 (SGD $68.30).
Mi Teleférico is not your standard cable car experience geared towards tourists and intrepid travellers. The Bolivian cable car was actually created mainly as a public aerial urban transit system to ferry local workers between the capital of La Paz and the neighbouring Andean city of El Alto.
Though its primary purpose is to aid local workers’ commutes, the stunning mountain and city views provided by the almost 15-kilometre-long cable car ride have become highly popular with visitors to the South American nation. Regular adult fares are set from 3 Bolivianos (SGD $0.59).
For many visitors to this bustling Asian metropolis, a trip on the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car is on their list of must-do Hong Kong attractions. Besides whisking you on an airborne journey of almost 6 kilometres over the spectacular Hong Kong mountain, city and sea landscapes, the 25-minute cable car ride also offers the best way to appreciate the size and sheer magnitude of the world-famous attraction, the Big Buddha statue (or Tian Tan Buddha).
A few cabin options are available, including a standard option, a crystal cabin complete with a thrilling glass-bottom and even a private cabin for the most exclusive experience. If you purchase your tickets online (which is recommended), prices for a standard cabin start from HK $233 (SGD $40.59), with kids aged 3 to 11 paying HK $136 (SGD $23.69).
One of the longest cable car journeys in South-east Asia, the Awana SkyWay, soars high above verdant majestic Malaysian jungles to Resorts World in the gorgeous Genting Highlands of Malaysia.
The thrilling journey on the Genting SkyWay will allow unrivalled opportunities to see the Chin Swee Caves Temple (you can disembark at the Chin Swee station to have a closer look) as well as have a bird’s eye view of the upcoming Twentieth Century Fox World Malaysia, slated to open some time this year. And because it’s one of the region’s quickest cable car rides, you’ll be scooped up to the mountaintop resort in just over 10 minutes. Tickets start from RM 8 (SGD $2.69) per person for a one-way trip.
As the world’s longest non-stop, single-wire cable car ride, the journey on the Ba Na Hills Cable Car in Vietnam will certainly be a memorable one. Traversing almost 6 kilometres of thick Vietnamese jungle, it was launched in 2013 to commemorate the 38th anniversary of Da Nang city’s liberation.
When aboard the 35-passenger gondola, you’ll be able to fully appreciate the panoramic views of the idyllic Vietnamese countryside, characterised by lush vegetation, beautiful waterfalls and undulating hills. Just take note of the cable car timetable and route map as the cars leave in scheduled blocks, and operates across three cable car lines. For adults, one ticket costs 650,000 VND (SGD $38.65), while children who are 1 to 1.3 metres in height pay 550,000 VND ($32.71).
Text adapted from Luxury Insider, August 2017; Additional reporting by Christopher Ong Ujine, 5 July 2018.
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