Banda Aceh Things to Do

  • Stunning backdrop of Lampu'uk Beach
    Stunning backdrop of Lampu'uk Beach
    by Daihappydai
  • Walking along Lampu'uk Beach
    Walking along Lampu'uk Beach
    by Daihappydai
  • Coffee shop on Lampu'uk Beach
    Coffee shop on Lampu'uk Beach
    by Daihappydai

Most Recent Things to Do in Banda Aceh

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    Lhok Mata-Ie bay

    by theo1006 Updated Jun 26, 2012

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    Lhok Mata-Ie bay
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    Taking our cue from a tip by VT-er Rinjani, we set out to find Lhok Mata-Ie. This is a bay on the peninsula west from Banda-Aceh, part of Peukan Bada district. As we found out the greater part of the district consists of relatively unspoiled rain-forest.
    The owner of our rental car told us to go direction Ujong Pancu. Almost at the end of the road we spotted the Ujong Pancu Information Center (UPIC). This turned out to be an activity of local youth (Remaja Pecinta Alam Indra Purwa, short REPALA INPRA) to promote nature tourism in the area, under supervision of a local NGO, the Lamjabat Foundation.

    We made an appointment for a day trip hiking to Lhok Mata-Ie bay. This proved to be an easy walk of less than an hour. The trail is easily found without a guide, provided someone wants to point you to where it starts - across a fenced field. On a weekday, when it is deserted, the bay should be ideal for a private picnic and some snorkeling. As we came on a Sunday, many locals made the short walk with us, both male and female. When some of the latter decided to take a dip into the sea fully dressed, the men discreetly left the water. But when Helen wanted to change into her modest western swimsuit, our guide prevented her from doing so citing local custom. So, if you are a woman and want to go swimming here, avoid the holidays or bring 'muslim' swimming apparel (i.e. long sleeves and trousers) .

    Near the end of the trail there is a clean water source. And close to the beach one can climb into a small cave.

    The fee for two guides was Rp 200,000 (January 2011); guide only, bring your own food and snorkeling gear.

    See also our next tip: Ujong Pancu Nature Tourism.

    Address: Jalan Hamzah Fansuri, Ujong Pancu, Gampung Lampageu, Peukan Bada district.

    Directions: From town take Jalan Iskandar Muda to Ulee Lheue and turn left (south) at the mosque. Pass the Banda Water Boom and after one km turn right (west) into the Jembatan Lamteh road. This reconstructed road through wetlands with replanted mangroves leads to Gampung Lampageu and beyond it to Ujong Pancu. Distance from town 12 km.

    Phone (mobile): 08126992692 (UPIC), 081377444983 (Nazar), 085260319930 (M. Syukri)

    Website: http://www.lamjabatfoundation.or.id (Indonesian langauge)

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    Walking around Lampu'uk

    by Daihappydai Written Apr 6, 2012
    Tsunami memoril plaqu, Lampu'uk
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    I stayed for three nights at Dian Rana Bungalows, right on Lampu'uk beach and just 15km from central Banda Aceh. One morning I went for a long walk heading south down the beach, stopping for a coffee, and then heading back to the road to walk north and complete the circuit.
    Along the road there are several homestays frequently mostly by surfers. There is also a tsunami memorial site with a Mushalla in a garden setting. Having been in Banda Aceh and visiting several tsunami memorial sites, this small memorial was another poignant reminder of the destruction in December 2004. It has been said that water from the tsunami reached 7km inland in the Lampu'uk area.
    Many of the homes in the village of Lampu'uk were built be NGOs from different countries.
    Like many places in Aceh, I easily found a small coffee shop to have a brew and a chat with the locals.

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    A private stretch of beach

    by Daihappydai Written Apr 6, 2012
    Momonk beach
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    Lampu'uk beach can get quite bust on the weekend as day trippers from Banda Aceh take advantage of the beautiful stretch of coastline. If you are staying in the area and want something a little more private, Momonk beach is the place to go. Starting from the road leading down to Lampu'uk beach there is a sandy track which winds its way through the jungle and behind the cliffs at the northern end of Lampu'uk before opening onto a small cove. On my first visit I was guided by one of the friendly young men from Dian Rana bingalows, but after that it was easy to find my way.
    Note that there is very little shade and you will be sharing the beach with an army of timid sand crabs, but it is a quiet haven in the afternoon and you can cool down sitting in the shadows and getting buffeted around by the low rollers.

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    Scenic Backdrop of Lampu'uk Beach

    by Daihappydai Written Apr 5, 2012
    Stunning backdrop of Lampu'uk Beach
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    Lampu'uk Beach is approximately 15km from Banda Aceh. The north end has some stunning cliffs as a backdrop. During the week, the beach is almost deserted but it is a popular place for Banda Aceh residents on the weekend. The water is clean and the southern section is frequented by surfers. Early morning walks, before the heat of the day, are especially invigorating. There are a couple of little shacks selling coffee, water and cigarettes at the southern end. More stalls open on the weekend.
    It is a beautiful quiet place to stay overnight during the week or to have a day trip from Banda Aceh.

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    Monuments in Banda Aceh

    by Daihappydai Written Feb 8, 2012
    Freedom memorial monument, Banda Aceh
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    In the park area on Jalan Sultan Iskandar Muda, adjacent to the Aceh 'Thanks the World' site, are two more historical monuments. The first is a monument presented by the national government to Aceh commemorating the fight for freedom. The second is a replica of the first Garuda plane - the national carrier of Indonesia.
    The park area is a short becak ride from the centre of Banda Aceh and close to the tsunami museum and kherkof.

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    Central Pasar

    by Daihappydai Written Feb 8, 2012
    Pasar Aceh Central, Banda Aceh

    The central pasar, right next door to the grand mosque is a hive of activity during the day - stalls overflowing with fresh fruit and other produce, and small shops selling clothing, toiletries, kitchen needs; you name it you can probably find it.
    In front of the pasar you will find a becak stand and labi-labi terminal.
    At night, one side of the pasar, Jalan Chik Pante Kulu is all but deserted; the other side, Jalan Diponegoro becomes a bustling night market.

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    A riverside promenade

    by Daihappydai Written Feb 8, 2012
    Riverside promenade, Banda Aceh
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    On the west side of Sungai Kreung Aceh, adjacent to Jalan Cut Meutia and less than five minutes walk from the cetral pasar and grand mosque, is a small newly built riverside promenade. The well kept gardens are called 'Taman Pembibitan Kreung Aceh'. There are wide paths along the river for a 300 metre stretch and some strategically placed seats looking out onto the river where young folk meet and while away the sunset hour.
    It is a delightful little break from the traffic of the city centre.

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    'Thanks to the World'

    by Daihappydai Written Feb 8, 2012

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    Aceh Thanks the World Memorial Park, Banda Aceh
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    In my short time in Banda Aceh I spoke to several locals on the street. Everyone had a story to tell about the tsunami. And, without fail, everyone was grateful for the support Indonesia had received from other countries. Many would say 'That road was built by Australians' or 'Those house were built by Americans'.
    As a sign of the gratitude an Aceh 'Thanks the World' Memorial was established in parklands. It is a simple yet beautiful memorial. Walking around the curved pathways, one sees plaques - approximately 150 - thanking each individual country who contributed to the reconstruction. Plaques are inscribed with a flag of the country and the words 'terima kasih dan damai' or 'thank you in peace' in the language of the respective countries.
    Quite beautifully too, the pathways are used as jogging/fitness tracks by the local people - although how they jog in slickers in the heat, I don't know.
    The memorial is located very close to the Tsunami Museum and Kherkoff, so is easily visited along with the others in one afternoon.
    It is a really moving tribute.

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    Tsunami Museum

    by Daihappydai Written Feb 6, 2012

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    Tsunami Museum, Banda Aceh
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    The newly built Tsunami Museum houses many photos and video footage of the destruction wrought by the December 2004. There are stories from survivors and the entrance corridor of two high walls or water represents the tsunami itself.
    It is a chilling experience being reminded of the devastation, the ferocity and what must have been the absolute terror of the people who simply had no place to hide.
    The building itself is a feat of architecture as the roof resembles a tidal wave and the floor is modelled on traditional Acehnese houses.
    Visitors will surely appreciate such a harrowing experience.

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    Kherkof - The Dutch Cemetery

    by Daihappydai Written Feb 6, 2012

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    Crosses placed at the Kherkof post-tsunami
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    The Kherkof in central Banda Aceh is a cemetery housing the remains of many Dutch soldiers who fought against the Acehnese. It suffered some damage during the tsunami and since then 50 wooden crosses have been erected as rememberance to those who had been buried there.
    It is a well-kept cemetery with some pleasant walking paths and historical headstones to read. It is interesting to see the quality of the different headstones - there appears to be a clear distinction between those of wealth and rank, and those who may have had neither.
    It is right next door to the Tsunami Museum so easily visited in the the same trip. It is possible to walk from the centre of Banda Aceh - market area - but easier to get a becak for 10,000 rupiah maximum
    Well worth the time of reflection.

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    Kapal Tsunami Lampulo - A Boat on the Roof

    by Daihappydai Written Feb 6, 2012
    The 'Boat in the Roof', Lampulo, Banda Aceh
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    A memorial of sorts is being built in Lampulo village, a 10 to 15 minute becak ride from central Banda Aceh, where a boat was pushed several kilometres inland by the 2004 tsunami and lodged itself on the roof of a house. The boat saved the life of 53 people who clambered aboard and 'rode' the wave in the boat.
    In December 2011, the memorial site was still under construction, but you can currently see the boat still perched on a the roof and climb a ramp to view the boat and the surrounding landscape.
    Another poignant, chilling reminder of the tremendous force of the waters but with a more pleasant outcome as you read the inscription of people being saved by this comparatively flimsy vessel.

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    Tsunami Education Park

    by Daihappydai Written Feb 6, 2012
    Tsunami Education Park, Banda Aceh
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    The force of the December 2004 tsunami pushed a huge power-generator vessel 4km inland where it still stands today. The Taman Educasi Sunami - Tsunami Education Park has recently been built adjacent to this vessel.
    The park contains some quite graphic images of the destruction caused by the tsunami along with some gardens and pathways for reflection. In December 2011 work was still being done building pathways around the huge ship and ensuring the area is completely safe.
    The park is worth a visit to really understand the impact of the huge wave.

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    Spectacular mosque by night

    by Daihappydai Written Feb 6, 2012
    Minaret of Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman, Banda Aceh
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    If the Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman is beautiful by day, it is certainly one of the most spectacular buidlings I have seen at night. Lights on both the minaret and the main mosque building cause them to almost shimmer in the dark.

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    A beautiful mosque by day

    by Daihappydai Written Feb 6, 2012
    Minaret of Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman, Banda Aceh
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    The Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman, the grand mosque in Banda Aceh, is a beautiful sight during the day. If appropriately dressed you can enter the grounds and look inside the mosque. The mosque is right next door to the market where water from the tsunami in December 2004 reached the second floor but the mosque was untouched. The grounds are very well kept and the sun shines brilliantly off the white walls.

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    Some history at the Rumah Adat

    by Daihappydai Written Feb 6, 2012
    Rumah Adat, Banda Aceh
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    Inside the grounds of the Museum Negeri Banda Aceh is a Rumah Adat - a traditional house that is built without nails. I was taking photos of the Rumah Adat when a young woman walked up to me and asked if I would like to go inside. She took me on a guided tour, explaining the pots and bowls, the kitchen tools, and the sleeping areas as well as explaining how the house was constructed and the symbolism. The grounds also house a huge traditional bell.
    Well worth a visit to gain knowledge of the traditional way of life.

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Comments (1)

  • Lukansveta's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Hello! Thank you for your usefull reviews. I am going to Indonesia in this November. May be you will help me and advise about that season. Is it right to visit Banda Acheh in the end of November? Thanks.

    • Sienlu's Profile Photo
      Feb 14, 2013 at 9:17 AM

      Hi, i would advise you to post this question in our forum World Travel Forum, you will get more answers there, our members are very knowledgeable. Happy Travels, Barbara, VT Staff

    • Acehexplorer's Profile Photo
      Mar 16, 2014 at 9:00 AM

      November is the start of the rainy season, at least in Banda Aceh.

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