Aceh Special Region Off The Beaten Path
Fungi in Gunung Leuser National Park,...
Fungi in Gunung Leuser National Park,...
Butterfly beside the hot springs,...
Hot springs meeting Sungai Alas, Ketambe
How orangutans keep themself dry when it...
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an Excursion by motorized BECAK
Banda Aceh is a small city, traveling in and around the city in a good weather by becak is a nice experience, just take a motorized becak, tell the becak driver to go around Banda Aceh city Center and go negotiating how much the fare, the cost is not so expensive, as my experience when I take becak from Ulee Lheue to Masjid Baiturrahman at City Center, its cost only IDR, 20,000. with a short stop at one of tsunami memorial, a big tanker which was dropped by tsunami in a village between Ulee Lheue to Banda Aceh.
Don't miss the SUNSET at Ulee lheue
When tsunami happened in 26December 2004, Ulee Lheue was heavily destroyed by a 800 km run per hour sea wave. Now Ulee lheue is a sea port which connect to Pulau Weh or Sabang. This place also a nice place for week end and fishing. The SUNSET was also stunning beauty
HeavyRainFall is a niceRain
The first day visit Aceh, a heavy rain fall in the afternoon, from Aceh River in Gampong Jawa, I take a motorized Becak head on to MasjidBaiturrahman. A shop waiter said that it was almost a few weeks no rain in Aceh, but today is a heavy rain coming, a nice rain down pour over Masjid Baiturrahman is a scenic picture
Simelue--How to Get There
How to get to Simeulue now is not such a big issue as it was before.There are twoflight goes to Simeulue, from Banda Aceh and Medan.Those flights are Susi Air (small, lean, looks fragile but meet safety standards of big humanitarian organization), Riau Airlines (new airlines, can accomodate 40 people) There is also ferry travels to Medan or Meulaboh, although it takes ages to reach there. With weather in the sea that easily change from breezy to stormy, I try as much as possible to avoid this option.
Simeulue--Off The Beaten Path??
Simeulue is situated in western part of Aceh province. This island was also affected by tsunami and earthquake in 2004. Even before the tsunami, not many people go to Simeulue.There was only small unreliable plan flew to Simeulue and ferry ship from Meulaboh, which takes 8 hours.Although the island has beautiful landscape, surrounded by small islands, coral reefs and homes for lobsters, crabs, shrimps, etc, Simeulue is considered as "Off The Beaten Path" place to visit. Overall infratructure is not ready for tourist. These days, Simeulue is getting better. Even painful to say this, but thanks to the disasters which blessing in disguise. I found Simeulue has better development now. New airport, housing construction program provided by humanitarian agencies, road building, new accommodations, etc.
Those who have sharp eyes will spot little tiny shop with pile of clothers. You will start wondering "is it a taylor?". It is not a taylor. This kind of shops offer laundry and press services with slightly cheaper price than laundry parlour. It's a modest place, but pretty reliable. A press-man is still using traditional iron, so they can safe for paying electricity.It takes three days or a week for the laundry process. Surprisingly, they have quite big number of customers. The shop also put notification "Completion also depends on weather". It means in rainy days, to get your fresh laundry soon will likely get delayed. Some people told me that they take that huge pile of clothes and wash them in a river stream. But until today, I still havent found time to prove it myself.
Fear Factor---Chew Betel Leaf
Betel leaf or “sirih” is usually chewed by elderly in Aceh. The youngsters chew it sometimes, but mostly when they hang out with grandparents. While for visitors like me, it becomes a fear factor game. The juicy leaf will leave an orange mark in your lips, while the taste…well it’s a mixture of sweet, bitter and ….(better you try and you describe it )The seller (mostly women) of betel leaf can be found in a corner of a grand mosque in Banda Aceh. They usually start selling in the evening, with a price of Rp 5,000.
Gunung Kemiri: this is how I imagined a rainforest
The second day we crossed a section of permanent mist. It involved steep and challenging climbing through dense moss forest, regularly using both hands and feet. This was really exciting! The trail was hardly visible and we had to make our way along huge curtains of moss, crawl under and clamber over strange and almost horizontally growing trees and branches. There was hardly any light. This was how I always imagined a rainforest!Six hours later, by the time we stepped out of the clouds and reached 2900m, I had really a sense of ultimate remoteness. The sounds of the saws had already faded away in the early morning and the thick carpet of clouds under us did me believe I arrived in another world. And...besides of us, nobody else was here!And then, as a wonder, suddenly the landscape changed drastically. Clear blue sky, strong sun and barren, low vegetation. That's where we settled for...
Gunung Kemiri: descending in one day...
Soon the weather got worse and, on my request, we decided to go down all the way from the summit to Gumpang Village the same day…which involved almost 9 hours of descending continuously. Due to the rain I slipped away several times and my sore and wet feet suffered from blisters. Usually this is split in 2 days, but I was really fed up with the bad weather and the snoring men in the tent.The day was long and tough. It came as a big surprise in the village when we arrived in the late afternoon, a day early.I stayed with Pak Abdul Karim's family for the night and continued onwards to Takengon the next morning. Towards the beaches! It had been a wonderful and surely unforgettable trekking though !
Gunung Kemiri: to the summit
In the early morning of day 4 finally the sky cleared up and it stopped raining, and we walked the last 30 minutes up to the summit. The night before the peak had looked so inhospitable and I was afraid it would be completely out of reach. But now, we were very lucky.The area became more rocky and the last part was quite a scramble. The views were great. We could see all over Gunung Leuser NP and in the valley at the villages below us. Gunung Leuser peak loomed in the distance… It felt great to be here!
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