The area is a reflection of this indomitable strength of the human soul, with the town having been ravaged by the tsunami that swept the Indian Ocean from 2004.
This corner of Indonesia isn't often visited despite its appealing coastal site. It has been the situation even before the tsunami.
People who attempt to come here are usually rewarded with turquoise colored waters, some critically grand monuments and buildings, and a number of the unique tourist attractions that you may see in town.
Banda Aceh is definitely worth a brief weekend trip, and within this guide, I have set my ideas for a one day or two-day trip, which you could readily follow. My choice to go to Banda Aceh was not a spontaneous one.
I've been interested in this far corner of Indonesia for quite a while now and eventually booked a trip as soon as an opportunity came up.
The major airport at Banda Aceh is your Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport and can be situated around 20 to 25 minutes in the middle of a city.
Do note that automobiles booked through Catch can not pick up passengers in the airport straight. If you're carrying a great deal of luggage on you, you might desire to jump one of those stalls, which cost a little more and need some haggling.
If you're carrying just backpacks, it's still possible to reserve a car through Catch, but you want to walk out into the major road (approximately 5 minutes walk). That is where Grab drivers may await passengers.
When you arrive in the middle of the city, you will probably observe that Banda Aceh appears cleaner and more organized than other towns in Indonesia.
This might be partly because of the tsunami tragedy that happened in December 2004. That left in the city devastated, and massive chunks of Banda Aceh needed to be reconstructed.
After settling at the hotel, begin your quest of Banda Aceh over in the imposing Baiturrahman Grand Mosque. Particularly appealing when viewed in the daytime with sunlight shining through the whitewashed Moorish facade of the mosque, the construction originates in the mid-1800s. The mosque was enlarged in the intervening years.
Only the middle area of the building comes in the initial build, together with the left, back and right portions added in the future.
Among the highlights of the mosque is its marbled flooring that extends out throughout its gated margin. This is only one of the tidiest mosques that you may see in Southeast Asia. To enter, one needs to leave his shoes out by the primary gate.
It is different from different mosques where you must remove shoes when entering the main building itself. Do note that non-muslims aren't able to put in the building but are not able to roam around the marble-floored compound.
Located directly south by strolling through a leafy boulevard is your Tsunami Museum (open every day from 9 am to 4 pm).
This is only one of Banda Aceh's unique attractions, provided that the town's recent history together with all the fatal tragedy that paralyzed it in 2004. Over 150,000 people were believed to have expired, and the distress of such a catastrophe can be perceived as a person goes beyond the museum's most dramatic entrance.
It is composed of a dark tunnel with water leaking from the ground, with perceptible cries for help coming from the audio system. Even though the museum commemorates a sad chapter in the town's history, regions of the museum seem visually attractive --especially its contemporary and instagrammable atrium.
Only a brief walk in the memorial is a playground known as the Lapangan Blangpadang. This squarish bit of green in the center of town is a popular area for running, but you may also discover the Seulawah 001 Aircraft Monument.
The Acehnese played a substantial role in Indonesia's quest for freedom from the Dutch by raising money to buy a plane to its cause. That is now immortalized via a monument using a replica of the airplane that was donated.
Also inside the park grounds is that as a result of the World Monument. It is a little nook with a sculpture of waves intended to signify the tsunami in 2004. The monument was built as a gesture of appreciation to the countries that aided in the relief effort after the tragedy. The listing of nations may also be found at the Tsunami Museum.
Walk to the east across the Jalan Sultan Iskandar Muda and stroll south across Jalan Teuku Umar. There's some disagreement about the roots of this whimsical whitewashed arrangement, with some signs about it being assembled as a playground during the rule of Sultan Iskandar Thani. But, some people believe that Gunongan's roots are older than that.
For lunch, a place of this town's famous noodles known as mie Aceh is recommended. Unlike this movie Goreng, which is generally discovered around Indonesia, Mie Aceh is hot and can be topped with a vast array of superior ingredients. One sequence of noodles generously came with three crab legs. For only about US$4, it is undoubtedly a steal.
Coffee shops are everywhere in Banda Aceh, and to tell the truth, I haven't seen such a massive concentration of cafes everywhere else in Asia except possibly in Ipoh, Malaysia. The brand has a significant range of outlets today, but the first one situated in Ulee Kareng remains the one to see. For people who can not take milk, this exact local-looking coffee store also has its very own coffee machine, which could dish outside espresso. I stumbled upon the proprietor during one of my visits and proudly showed me that their coffee grinder in the trunk.
One such instance is that the aptly called"ship on the roof" Survivors in the tsunami held to their own lives by remaining on the ship as the town was bombarded. The boat finally settled on the roof of 2 homes in Lampulo. Authorities chose not to clear it to recall the tragedy. These days, it's a tourist attraction. Entry is free, and also an inclined path lets you go around see the ship from a higher point of view.
Another boat that you need to see to envision the strength of these waves back in 2004 is your PLTD Apung, a sizeable metallic boat that washed all how many km inland. Visitors may enter and watch a variety of dioramas and videos which portray the"path" required when the tsunami hit Banda Aceh. You could climb to the topmost region of this boat to get a great view of the town. You will find few if any, tall buildings from the city, so stains that manage bird's eye views are comparatively rare.
Inside, an individual may also find scale versions of this Baturrahman Grand Mosque tracing its roots from a little village mosque to the numerous expansions through time.
There's not any lack of beaches across Banda Aceh with Pulau Weh, situated only one hour's ferry ride off, generally considered among the very best beach destinations in the nation. The island is full of beaches and incredibly blue waters. Even though it's relatively known for this, it has not seen the mass tourism which other similar islands in Southeast Asia have experienced. Many accommodation choices here are relatively simple, but at precisely the same time, you will discover unspoiled corners and magnificent snorkeling and diving.
The title Pulau Weh is generally used interchangeably with all the island's largest city, Sabang. To get here, you will find ferries that make the trip out of Banda Aceh. The ships do not land in Sabang itself in Balohan port in where it's around 15 to 20 minutes by car to the town center of Sabang. Most travelers go directly to Gapang or even Iboih for the most beautiful beaches, which can be approximately 50 minutes by car from the ferry dock.
It's entirely feasible to take a look at the ferry program to generate a day trip from Sabang. It is possible to make the oldest ferry, followed closely by an automobile ride to the shores. The whole journey takes about two hours to reach the beaches. In your way back in the day, you'll end up about the road/at sea for the following 2 hours that could be somewhat draining. Doing Sabang as a day excursion from Banda Aceh will depart you for approximately 3 to 4 hours of the non-traveling period at the shore/leisure places. That could be sufficient if all you're after is a stroll from the shore or a place of tranquility followed by lunch. However, this is not enough time if you also plan to snorkel or dive.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR BANDA ACEHAceh is the only area in Indonesia under Sharia law, so it's stricter here regarding grooming, particularly for ladies. As a man, I had no problems walking around the city in shorts, but girls are invited to wear pants and prevent sleeveless shirts. The sole exception is to the shores of Pulau Weh, where it is nice to wear swimsuits.
Many institutions are closed on Fridays between 12 noon to 2 pm because of Friday prayers, so take note of them when organizing your lunch programs.
For excursions within the city, Catch is highly suggested. Most trips within the town are about US$1 to $3. The only issue is that many lure drivers in Indonesia have this custom of phoning (not chargeable, mercifully!) Merely to confirm where you are. The majority of them do not speak English, so it'd be handy to find out a little Bahasa inside this sense.
Banda Aceh isn't just in the primary tourist path, so the town is almost entirely devoid of worldwide chain hotels. The only semblance of the global resort is the Kyriad Muraya Aceh situated right in the center of town. Bathrooms are spacious and utterly contemporary. This is the ideal resort in Banda Aceh. Many of the city's renowned eateries, for example, Mie Razali, are only in a few moments' walk from the resort.