Aceh - Sumatra
Baiturrahman Mosque, Acehenese food
Cities and towns in Sumatra
Aceh (pronounced Ah-chey) in the province at the far north of the Sumatran island. The capital of Aceh the city of Banda Aceh.
The 2004 Tsunami on Dec 26th is believed to have killed 130,000 people in Aceh.
Aceh was a wealthy trading port from as early as 1585 when a trade agreement was signed by the Sultan of Aceh with Queen Elizabeth I. Aceh's main exports at this time were gold, ivory, tin, spices and sandalwood. Now one of the main exports is oil and gold.
The Acehenese have been trying to gain independence from the Indonesian Republic. A rebellion group has been running a guerilla war for over 10 years against Indonesian troops though since the Tsunami there has been a ceasefire and things have been peaceful ever since. Even during the conflict tourists were never targetted and the Acehenese encourage tourists as desperately need the foreign income. Aceh still has a wealth of oil and gold Though most of the funds are siphoned to Jakarta.
The capital of Aceh is Banda Aceh. Most of the city was ruined in 2004 although reconstruction is moving ahead.
One of the most beautiful buildings in Banda Aceh survived. The Baiturrahman Mosque, which was originally built in the 12th Century was rebuilt in 1883 by the Dutch Military Government.
Malahayati is the seaport for Banda Aceh. Ferries can be caught here to Pulau Weh, a beautiful island with superb beaches for swimming and snorkelling. The ferry ride takes two and half hours and leave daily
On the West Coast of Aceh you will find some excellent beaches for swimming and snorkeling.
Lho Nga and Lam Puuk beaches are 17km from Banda Aceh. Kuala Doh is 3 hours from Banda Aceh, 12km north of Calang is a 4km beach with great body surfing opportunities.
3km east of Banda Aceh is the grave of Syiah Kuala. Syaih Kuala was one of the greatests Muslem Ulama's of Aceh, spending 15 years in Mecca for religious teachings. Once he returned to Aceh he dedicated his life to science, the teaching of Islam and the community. His grave is a shrine to Muslims from Indonesia and Mayalsia.
There are regular ferries leaving the Ulee Lheue ferry port in Banda Aceh to Pulau Weh. There are slow public ferries or their are fast boats going to Sabang on Pulau Weh which depart at 9:30 and 15:30 price for 60,000Rp per person.
A taxi from the centre of Banda Aceh to the Ulee Lheue ferry port will cost 40,000Rp.
You are unable to get a Visa on Arrival at Banda Aceh so you will need to either arrange your visa before flying from Malaysia into Aceh or arrive first in Medan or elsewhere in Indonesia.
The airport at Banda Aceh is called Sultan Iskandarmuda Airport.
A taxi will cost 70,000Rp from the airport to the centre of Banda Aceh.
Air Asia has direct flights from Banda Aceh to Kuala Lumpur. www.airasia.com
Firefly is a new Malaysian budget airline flying between Malaysia and Sumatra. Firefly have direct flights from Banda Aceh to Penang Malaysia. www.fireflyz.com.my
Bus to Banda Aceh
A bus trip from Medan to Aceh takes around 11 hours. Most buses travel overnight and cost 150,000Rp.
Accomodation in Banda Aceh
4 Star Hotels
Hermes Palace Hotel is a quality 4 star hotel with swimming pool in the centre of Banda Aceh. Prices from 500,000Rp weekend rate per night or 635,000Rp week nights includes breakfast. www.hermespalacehotel.com
The Pade Hotel is a business hotel in Banda Aceh with room prices from 850,000Rp+ www.thepade.com
Swiss-Belhotel Banda Aceh
Jalan Mujahidin No. 2B
Rp70,000/with fan, Rp100,000/with AC, Rp200,000/large with AC.
Al Kiram Guesthouse
Last updated 20th July 2012
© 2009 Sumatra Travel
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