Opposite the Balai Adat is a steep concrete path leading up to plantations. A pleasant afternoon walk can be had by taking the path up and after 250m instead of turning left with the path, go right onto a hill crest. You will see a little hut containing a make-shift kitchen. Walking out onto the crest affords great views of Ketambe both up and down river along with views of plantations below. On a warm afternoon, the hill top offers a pleasant breeze.
If you continue along the concrete path, you reach plantations adjacent to the edge of the jungle.
And remember, the river is always there for a refreshing dip on your return.
A short walk out of Ketambe, past the derelict government owned bungalows and heading north towards Blangkejeran, are several street stalls selling coffee and snacks. The stalls are set up on a ridge overlooking Sungai Alas and offer great views and a cool breeze. The coffee, as in all Aceh, is good! These stalls sometimes act as road-side stops for friendly truck drivers. They are also a good place to spot scavenging monkeys.
Take a book with you and relax reading while overlooking the river.
One of the nicest aspects of Ketambe is that you can appreciate vegetation and produce growing right on the edge of the street.
Near the centre of the village is an organic chocolate/cacao plantation. You can also see durian, bananas, jambu and other fruit growing along the side of the road, along with corn plantations.
In front of houses you will see fruit and cacao being dried.
The quiet village of Ketambe is used to having tourists and the people are very friendly, extraordinarily helpful and enjoy hving a chat. When I first arrived I was dropped off in the centre of the village and had to ask for directions to Friendship Guesthouse. A young man called out to his brother who promptly got his motorbike and took me and my luggage on the back of his bike the 150m down to the guesthouse. He didn't ask for any recompense, just made sure I was where I wanted to be and left with a smile.
Walking down the street gives you a good opportunity to chat to the locals. One afternoon I said 'Selamat siang' to a group of woman, they called me over and offered me jambu from a tree. I had a terrific conversation with them.
On another occassion I stopped to watch a boy playing with his puppy. We chatted for a bit and his mother explained the process of drying fruit and drying cacao ready for market.
You really feel that you are away from the hustle and bustle of western civilisation in Ketambe.