ACEH, FUN IN THE SUN
Sun, sea, surf – that’s what Aceh province promises and that’s what it delivers as it has some of the most beautiful, white sand beaches in Indonesia, from Gapang Beach and Iboih beach in Sabang to Lampuuk and Lhonga beach in Banda Aceh. Apart from beaches Aceh is also rich in unique cultures and attractions, and is endowed with a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Aceh is located in the northwestern tip of Sumatra Island and is surrounded in the north by the Straits of Malacca, on the east by North Sumatra province, on the south and on the west by the Indian Ocean.
Aceh has a land area of approximately 57,367 sq km and consists of 119 islands, 73 major rivers and two lakes. Some of the provinces most beautiful tourism and historical sites and beaches were damaged by the December 2004 devastating tsunami. The province is now on the road to recovery and most of the infrastructure has been repaired and restored.
The provincial capital is Banda Aceh, which is the main gateway to the region.
Aceh has two distinct seasons – the dry season is from March to August and the rainy season is from September to February. Temperatures range from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius. The weather along the coastal areas is usually warm, while the mountainous areas tend to be cooler. The amount of rainfall varies between all parts of Aceh, with the western and southern coasts receiving the most rainfalls. Humidity varies from 65% to 75%.
PLACES TO GO, THINGS TO DO
This is one of Aceh’s main attractions. Built by the Dutch in 1880 on the spot where the palace of the Sultan of Aceh once stood, this building is one of the provinces historical sites. It has a unique architecture and filled with traditional artifacts. The Residence is a restricted area and permission has to be obtained for entry.
Baiturrahman Grand Mosque
The Baiturrahman Grand Mosque is one of the most outstanding landmarks in Bandar Aceh. Dating back centuries it was burnt down at the beginning of the Aceh War and rebuilt in 1875. The present mosques shape and structure are a result of numerous renovations and expansions.
These beautiful undersea wonders are found offshore around Rubiah Island in Sabang, Aceh Island and Beras Island, about a 45-minute speedboat ride from Banda Aceh. Attractions are gigantic clams, angelfish, lionfish, sea fans and other marine life.
Danau (Lake) Tawar
Located in Aceh Tengah province the lake is popular for water sports, such as water-skiing. Adventure-seekers can explore the caves along its slopes or go mountaineering. There are hotels to cater to the growing number of tourists.
Capital of Aceh Tengah province, the town lies on the west side of Danau Tawar, 1120 meters above sea level. With an average temperature of 20o C the town’s cool weather plus its panoramic views of the surrounding area make it a popular holiday resort.