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Pantai Sumur Tiga On Pulau Weh, Sabang

Pantai Sumur Tiga is another one of Indonesia’s many “must-visit” destinations. It is located on the east coast of Pulau Weh, approximately 15 minutes from Sabang, in the Aceh province, northwest Indonesia. Literally translated to mean “the Beach of three wells,” Pantai SumurTiga was given that name after the five fresh water wells you will find along the coast. The main stretch is situated around the third well, “SumurTiga,” though the actual beach stretches much further than that, making it the longest beach on Pulau Weh.

Once a very isolated beach, frequented mostly by locals living in the nearby area, and the occasional foreigner, Sumur Tiga may very well have been one of Indonesia’s best kept secrets. It has now, however, become a much more popular destination among those who enjoy diving and snorkelling, or simply those who want to relax and do absolutely nothing at all. It nevertheless remains fairly secluded – an ideal getaway from the stress and bustle of everyday life, and the perfect place for those who don’t quite fancy the more “commercial” tourist areas.

Picture this: Stepping foot into a stunning, natural painting — sparkling, crystal clear water, the sea breeze and summer sun, white sands, scattered with coconut trees and exotic species of flora, rarely found on other beaches.The natural beauty and serenity of Pantai Sumur Tiga is sure to leave you in awe, and is almost enough to make the entire trip worthwhile.

Days on Pantai Sumur Tiga are best spent lying on the sands, or sitting in the grass under the palm trees, listening to the sounds of the wind through the trees, and the crashing of the turquoise sea against the sand.The peace and tranquillity found here will no doubt leave you feeling so happy and refreshed by the end of your trip, you’ll never want to leave. Have a chat with the local residents to hear the local legends of Pantai Sumur, or maybe simply about their favourite past times here. Take a swim, if it suits your fancy. With water so clear, it will be hard to keep out of it! For the snorkelers and divers, though coral is rumoured to be better on other beaches on Pulau Weh, the variety of fishes and other ocean-life will more than make up for it.

Somewhere near the fourth well, (Sumur Empat,) there is a historic bunker from the time of the Japanese Occupation. It was built through slave labor during World War II, and is unfortunately not very well maintained. If you travel along the road further south, past the fifth well (SumurLima,) you will come to another beach—a black sand beach. There is another, larger Japanese bunker here. This area is also a popular weekend hang-out place among the locals.

In short, Pantai Sumur Tiga: Secluded and serene. White sand, crystal clear water, summer sun, exotic coral, rich ocean-life, friendly people, tropical resorts. What more could you want? Just don’t forget to bring your camera!

Sumur Tiga has a variety of resorts and bungalows situated just minutes-walk from the beach, and ranging from very affordable to high-end. Most hotels are equipped with diving and snorkeling gear, so you won’t necessarily have to lug your own around from wherever it is you’re coming from. The best time to visit would be during the summer season (of course,) or immediately after the rainy season if you don’t want to see so many other people. Find Hotel Where to stay on PANTAI SUMUR TIGA: http://santai-sabang.com – “Freddie’s” seems by far the most popular place on Pantai Sumur Tiga. 9 bungalows and 3 family rooms. With fan, bathroom, hot water: Rp. 240-300.000. Complete international restaurant and an ala carte Restaurant on the beach. Access to meeting room for 60 persons. Wi-Fi available. Booking needed. I haven’t searched all of Pulau Weh, since the article i wrote was mainly centered around that beach. http://www.casanemo.com/ – Casa Nemo. The next most popular one. 8 Bungalows facing the sea. All bungalows equipped with a large living room, a terrace, chairs & table, mini bar, mosquito net and ceiling fan. Bathrooms have hot water and either a shower or bathtub. Family bungalows have a double bed and a single bed, while Standard bungalows have only a double bed or two single beds. Extra beds can be added. Price range @200,000/night.

Getting to PantaiSumurTiga is quite a journey, but one that will be worth it. The first step is to fly to Banda Aceh Airport, which is accessible domestically from Medan (North Sumatra,) and Jakarta (the country’s capital city,) and internationally from Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malaysia.

After arrival in Banda Aceh, take a taxi to Ule Lhee, the port of Aceh. From there, you have a choice of a “fast boat” or a ferry to Sabang, the port on Pulau Weh. The fast boat takes approximately 40-60 minutes, while the ferry can take 1.5-2 hours. (Take note of the duration of the boat ride, if you need to catch a flight home on the same day!)

Boats depart from Aceh to Sabang twice a day, in the morning and the afternoon. Afternoon trips are recommended, as you will get to experience not only the sunset, but you will also have the chance at dolphin sightings as you approach PulauWeh. From the Sabang port at PulauWeh, take a taxi or if you’re feeling more adventurous, a becak (local rickshaw) to your final destination of Pantai Sumur Tiga.

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Weh Island

Embraced by vivid and healthy coral reefs, Weh Island is naturally untouched despite its small size and convenient access. It is another garden often forgotten. Its location is at the westernmost island of the Indonesian archipelago. Situated at the entrance way of the Malacca Strait, the island is commonly a sea passage and a jewel for many yachts and cruise ships to visit and see.

Diving in Weh Island is a well established recreational activity. Dive masters and dive instructors are ready to offer a variety of dive sites like the fabled Sea Garden in Rubiah Island. You’ll find many delightful sea creatures, most notably manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins and sea turtles.

Come and enjoy a swing on a shady hammock by the high tide hut in an island that many divers call it the unparalleled underwater universe. Although it is a small island, it gives you the sea experience and waterfall up in the rain forest as well. A gateway you can always remember as an Eden.

Diving is surely one of the most recognized activities in the island. Many dive masters and instructors will gladly escort you to explore the underwater universe in Weh island. The current here can be strong and gliding is quite fun. Be careful and always accompanied by a dive master if you are a beginner. You can see how the island separated itself from the Island of Sumatra million years ago. Sabang is the capital city of Weh Island. Why not explore the town as well? You might want to take a picture of a sign bearing “Indonesia Nol Kilometer” (Zero Kilometer of Indonesia). Water Front Resort is also interesting if you want to see the diversified marine life.For shopping enthusiasts, try visiting traditional markets to get fresh tropical fruit and snacks.Many other fascinating points of interest include a waterfall, volcano and hot springs, the Japanese bunkers from WWII, the historical graveyard, Durian Keramat (sacred Durian), and Sabang town.

You will be able to swing it, no matter how tight your budget is. Various accommodations are available and you just choose one that fits. Try basic wooden hut if you want to experience the simple life. Perhaps a pricey bungalow is your option for more comfortable surroundings.Iboih Beach is famous among backpackers, world travelers, and divers. Iboih Beach presents simple life with horizon of fisherman villages. Live like them and use facilities they use. New businesses are opening such as bungalows and dive centers. Open air cafes are irresistible. Everything here is affordable. Some of the guesthouses along the beach is O’ong Guesthouse, Yulia Guesthouse, Erick Guesthouse, Ayub Guesthouse, Anna Bungalow, Fina Bungalow, Fatimah Bungalow, and Mamamia Bungalow.Gapang Beach is another resort in the vicinity of Rubiah Sea Garden. This beach is nothing strange to divers. Among the available accommodations are: Gapang Jaya and Ramadila.

Handmade souvenirs from coconut wood will delight your loved ones and perhaps you’d like to keep one as a memento.Traditional markets offer fresh tropical fruit and traditional side dishes and snacks. Dodol (some kind of sweets made of certain flour, sugar, palm sugar and sometimes fruit), chips, cake and bread (specialty of this island) can be found here. It’s a lively place to mingle with the locals. Most foods here are organic. Come in the morning when the market is at its busiest time.

You can have your fill of sea food dishes in the restaurants throughout the island. Try to visit Bungong Sakura at Ujong Kareung, Mama’s Jungle, Dang Dang Na, Naguna, and Coco’s Café at Gapang, or Olala, 7 Bungalows, and Chill Out at Iboih.

Minibuses are available, motorcycles and three-wheeled pedicab or becak are there to explore this island. For a more comfortable journey, you can also rent a car.

To explore Sabang and the beaches, nothing is more enjoyable than walking on foot, although taxis are also available.

From Banda Aceh, you can take a ferry in the morning in Ulee Lheue Sea Port and arrive in Gapang Beach. The trip will only take a couple of hours, or 45 minutes if you decide to ride a speedboat. Or if you’re from Medan, you can go to Banda Aceh first by bus or plane. Traveling from abroad? Several airlines can be used as well to reach Banda Aceh. Please refer to Banda Aceh to see ‘how to get there’.

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The Land-Stuck Pltd Apung I Ship: Witness To The Devastating 2004 Tsunami In Aceh

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and Tsunami that occurred on 26 December, is recognized the world over as one of the deadliest natural disasters recorded in the history of mankind.

With a magnitude (energy release) of Mw 9.1 to 9.3 on the maximum 9.9 Richter Scale, it is the third largest earthquake ever recorded on the seismograph. The earthquake had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, that is between 8.3 to 10 minutes. Scientists say that it caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 centimeter. The tsunami that followed the earthquake, burst and ravaged through cities of multiple countries.

While in Banda Aceh, capital of the Aceh Province, the force of the tsunami was such that a huge Floating Diesel Power Station Ship named PLTD Apung I was lifted like a toy and swept up by the huge waves to be thrown and to run aground some 2 kilometers inland.

Today, the ship can be seen at Punge Blang Cut Village, in the city of Banda Aceh. Most of the houses and buildings near where the ship landed were destroyed by the disaster but have now been replaced by new buildings. But the ship still stands incongruously in the midst of a housing estate.

The floating Diesel Power Station that weighs 2,600 tons, is 19 meters long, and 9 meters wide had beenbuffeted over the mainland to about 2km from the Ulelheue Port, where it was originally stationed. The floating power station belonged to the National Electrical Power Company (PLN) that was sent to Aceh in 2003 to meet the need for electricity in the area. Prior to being moored in Aceh, the ship that had a 10 megawatt power capacity, had been placed in a number of areas in several parts of the Indonesianarchipelago.

Just looking at the sheer size of the ship and its enormous weight one can well imagine the huge strength of the tsunami. On top of that imagine how great must have been the panic and shock that people experiencedwatching this enormous ship being carried and swept on by the tsunami, destroying everything in its path.

The floating power station was stationed about 3 Km from the Ulelheue Port when the tsunami struck. There were 11 crew members on board at the time, of whom only one came out alive. When the first powerfulwave carried the ship on land, all 11 men were still aboard ship. When the water subsided, 10 men stepped down from the ship leaving only one on board. By then, the second huge wave of the tsunami struck and the 10 crew members were swept away, leaving the fortunate survivor who was left on board ship.

At the site, you are not only able to observe the ship from the outside but you can also step on board and explore all of its 3 levels. To climb up the ship, take the steel stairs near the hull.

Not too far from the on-land wreck, you can also visit the Tsunami Education Park. Featuring pictures from the tsunami disaster, the park is also planted with neatly arranged sheltering trees standing by a winding footpath.

To reach the site of PLTD Apung I you will need to go by a village road and follow this for about 300 meters. The road is quite narrow, but is properly asphalted. The site is situated at Punge Blang Cut Village, which is only about 1 Km away from the heart of Banda Aceh.

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The Inspiring Seudati Dance Of Aceh

Aceh may be known for its distinguished Coffee and outstanding natural splendors, however the people and their well kept traditions are what truly give this most northwestern province of Indonesia its character. While the vibrant traditional Saman Dance has long gained its worldwide reputation and acknowledged by UNESCO as an Intangible World Cultural Heritage, Aceh still has plenty other equally outstanding authentic cultural features. Among the most exceptional one is the enchanting Seudati Dance.

Seudati is a traditional Aceh Dance that originated from the initial spread of Islam into Aceh and further through Indonesia. The word Seudati itself is believed to derive from the Arabic ‘Syahadat’ which means the creed or statement of embracing Islam, while others also suggest that the word Seudati comes from the local language “seurasi” meaning harmonious. Thus, the dance is not only an artistic form of entertainment, but also acts as media to spread religious Islamic messages to its audiences.

Seudati is believed to have started as a coastal folk art in the Pidie regency, then known as Ratoh or Ratoih which literally translated means “To tell”. In Ratoh, many tales are told in song as musical lyrics to the dance choreographies ranging from folktales, religious messages, to inspiring spiritual stories. This art form later transformed itself into Seudati which developed first around Pidie, then on to Northern Aceh, Eastern Aceh, and ultimately to the entire province.

Seudati is performed by eight male dancers consisting of one leader called the syeikh, one syeikh assistant, two accompanying dancers on the left known as apeetwie, one at the back called apeet bak, and three other dancers. Complementing the dancers are two singers known as Aneuk Syah. This enchanting dance does not involve musical instruments, but instead, dancers clap their hands, stamp their feet and hit their chest to create rhythmic musical accompaniment. As the singers dynamically change tempo, the dancers adjust their movements while the harmonic “musical” accompaniments follow the lyrics of the songs.

The dance is performed in several parts or Acts that usually consist of: Saleum Aneuk Syahi (greetings from the singers), Saleum Sheik (greetings from the main dancer), Likok, Saman, Kisah (story), Pansi, Lani, and Gambus.

The costume of the Seudati Dancers consist of a simple white pair of pants and long sleeved plain t-shirts; Songket cloths wrapped around the waist; a Rencong (the traditional dagger of Aceh) also at the waist; and a red tangkulok headband. The Aneuki Syahi (singers) on the other hand does not have a distinct costume.

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The Grand Mosque Of Baiturrahman

With its bright white walls and majestic black domes, the 130-year old grand mosque is a magnificent site. It was here that hundreds of people sought refuge during the 204 tsunami that flattened most of the landscape of the city. The tsunami was so damaging, it demolished any structures, old and new, along the way of the tearing swell. This is a fact that gives significance to the Grand Mosque of Baiturrahman in the city of Banda Aceh. It is more than just a masterpiece of Islamic architecture in the nation, its survival from the tsunami is viewed by many residents as a direct intervention from the divine.

Royal scripture has it that the mosque was firstly built from wood in 1612 under the reign of Sultan Iskandar Muda. Some say that it was built even earlier in 1292 by Sultan Alaidin Mahmudsyah. During the Aceh war in 1873, the mosque was burnt to the ground. Realizing the value and its importance to the people of Aceh, in 1879, Major General Vander acting as current military general, rebuilt the mosque as it was once promised by Governor General Van Lansberge in 1877. Two more domes were added by the Dutch in 1936 and another two by the Indonesian government in 1957.

The Grand Mosque of Baiturrahman is located in the center of the city of Banda Aceh. Characterized by a 35-meter tower, 7 grand domes and 7 minarets, the Baiturrahman is probably the prototype for many mosques in Indonesia and Malaysian peninsula; supersede the layered roofed-style mosque.

Taxis are available in Banda Aceh, other public transportation are Labi-labi (local public transport by using minibus/van). You can also hire a motoped rider to take you around town.

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The Dutch Kerkhof: The Largest Dutch Cemetery Outside The Netherland

Around 2,000 Dutch soldiers were buried here, in the land that long ago had been very persistent to resist colonialism. The incident happened during the Aceh War (1873 – 1904), a war that is far much embittered than the Napoleon War, according to the Dutch historical pages. It is recorded that the Dutch invaded Aceh on April 8, 1873 by attacking the sultanate from the sea, shooting cannonballs from the war vessel, Citadel Van Antwerpen. At that time, the Dutch soldiers were accounted for around 3,198 men. Many had died, including Javanese, Ambonese, Batak, and other Indonesian ethnic soldiers sent by the Dutch. The cemetery is now the largest Dutch cemetery after the one in the Netherland.

The Grand Mosque of Baiturrahman was captured as the Aceh Sultanate could not stop the Dutch invasion. However, in the first period of war (1873 – 1874), the Aceh people could defeat the assault. Johan Harmen Rodolf Kohler, the spearhead of the assault, himself died at that time. The grueling part was to retract the mosque. The war continued up to four waves, whereby guerilla was the method that finally ruined the Dutch agreement with the Aceh Sultanate that came to its surrender. Cut Nyak Dhien was the one who led the guerilla and kept fighting the colonialism, until she was finally captured, isolated, and died in Sumedang, West Java.

Getting There and around
The site is in the downtown of Banda Aceh. Going by bicycle or motorcycle is possible and convenient to see other historical attractions and related destinations.

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The Dampeng Dance: Traditional Dance Of Aceh Singkil

Situated in the most north western part of the Indonesian Archipelago, the province of Aceh is blessed with abundant cultural treasures. In the heydays of the Aceh Sultanate, the province was a melting pot of cultures from different parts of the archipelago and from the world, brought in by numerous traders and merchants. One of the finest examples of this cultural fusion can be observed in the traditional art of the Dampeng Dance found predominantly in the regencies of Aceh Singkil and Subulussalam.

For centuries, the Dampeng Dance has been performed in ceremonies such as weddings, circumcision, art festivals, as well as to welcome honored guests. Dampeng is a coastal ethnic dance which shares similarities with other traditional ethnic dances of Sumatra’s West Coast that include Central Tapanuli and Sibolga. Dampeng is also influenced by the art of Randai from the Minangkabau ethnic group of West Sumatra which combines singing, music, drama, and the “Silat” martial art into one single performance.

The dance is said to have also been influenced by the cultures of the Malays,the Batak ethnic group of North Sumatra, the Javanese, Indians, and Persians. The reason being since Aceh Singkil lies directly at the hub of Sumatra’s West Coast regions, thus making it a strategic place for traders from all over Asia to come and settle here.

The dance is estimated to have been around since the years 1500’s. Over time, the dance evolved according to regional preferences creating the variety of the dance as known today. However, that which define the Dampeng Dance are the musical accompaniments and the word play and puns (pantun) which are put into song. In this dance, singers and dancers engage in a word play “battle” in which they respond to each other. Although, the pantun may differ in various towns, they all feature Islamic religious teachings or messages since Aceh is regarded as the place where Islam was first introduced to and later spread across the entire Indonesian Archipelago.

The dance features 8 to 12 dancers forming a circle around an urn containing a flower bouquet known as “Bungo Limou”. The “Bungo Limou” bouquet has seven different flowers as required for the performance, where its choreography resembles movements in the Silat traditional martial art. Dancers are usually pairs of men and woman or occasionally men only. In a wedding ceremony, the male dancers represent the groom’s family while the female dancers represent the bride’s family.

In Aceh Singkil, the movement of the dance are simpler compared to those in other regions. Instead of firm martial art movements, the Dampeng Dance in Aceh Singkel features more supple movements.

The dance initially was performed only by elderly persons, however, over time a many youths began to learn and perform this. Along with continuous cultural preservation efforts, the dance which is a symbol of cultural diversity in Aceh has been listed among Indonesia’s Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic Indonesia. Dampeng Dance is also currently submitted to the UNESCO to be listed as one of the World’s Cultural Heritage.

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The Beach At Iboih – Pulau Weh’s Hidden Paradise

All is silent as the wooden boat appears to be floating through the air, but in fact is slowly moving along the shallow waters of the Iboih Beach: the waters are so calm and crystal clear that it feels as if it is floating in the air. The beautiful and natural beaches at Iboih will surely change your perception of a boat coming in to dock at the pier.

Pantai Iboih, also known as Teupin Layeu, is located opposite the west bank of the legendary Pulau Weh, or Weh island, in northern Aceh, Sumatra’s most northern province. When compared to a U-shaped horseshoe, Iboih lies left of the arch. Its geographical location facing the wide Indian Ocean signals openness for anyone to come or leave at any time, but the memories and experiences received here will not be forgotten soon.

The town of Iboih, located on Pulau Weh is the most westerly point of Indonesia. Pantai Iboih (Iboih Beach) will bring your expectations of ‘natural beauty’ to a whole new level. This small, hidden paradise has remained largely untouched by much of the tourist traffic, giving it a more relaxed and laid back atmosphere. Its forests are well protected by Iboih’s charming coastline of golden sands that is strewn with giant boulders. The shallow ocean water which is so clear that you can see the ocean bed, has a bluish-green hue which exudes a feeling of peace and relaxation. The coast which appears to be curved, resembles lips, smiling and welcoming passersby to come and partake in its warmth and see the exotic flora and fauna of the tropical rainforests that are part of Indonesia’s natural wealth.

Near the town of Iboih is a large protected forest reserve. It is no exaggeration when this protected forest is described as a paradise, as noted by many visiting tourists. You can explore the forests which has a lovely beach nearby that is available for when you want to cool off and swim among the small fish and colorful coral. The tropical forest trees also give shade to many parts of the sandy beaches.

Accommodation in Iboih village is bungalow style – either on the beach, in the center of the village or just behind near the jungle.Bungalows in Iboih have greatly improved their standard over the last few years. Inexpensive bungalows are still there, but there are also now more bungalows with private bathrooms, even with air-conditioning and hot water. The majority of the bungalows at Iboih are in a row along the coast. Below is a list of several coastal bungalow accommodations along with their contact numbers.Yulia’s Bungalow & RestaurantPh: +6285270706003, +6285260850400Iboih Inn & RestaurantPh: +62811841570, +628126991659

O’Ong Restaurant & BungalowsPh: +6281360700150 Iboih Hill BungalowPh: +6285260904101 Erick’s Green HousePh: +6282167899876 Fina BungalowPh: +6285262111366

Banda Aceh Airport is the gateway to Iboih, lying 40 km. to the south on the tip of Aceh Province. Flight time from Jakarta to Banda Aceh Airport is approximately 2 hours, 40 minutes. There are daily flights to Banda Aceh from Jakarta and Medan with Garuda Indonesia , Sriwijaya Air , and Lion Air.

From Banda Aceh, make your way to the Ulue-lue port where you have the options of either a ferry or speedboat to Sabang, on Pulau Weh. The speedboat costs Rp. 50,000 and takes about 45 minutes to get to Sabang Port with departures twice daily. The ferry ride will take around 2 hours and costs Rp. 18,000. When you get to Pulau Weh, you can catch a bemo (minibus) to Iboih which is about 40 minutes away via a picturesque, hilly drive through a number of rustic villages.

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The Aceh Tsunami Museum

On Sunday, 26th December 2004, one of the most devastating natural disasters in recorded history occurred: at 7.O am local time in Aceh, – the north-most province on the island of Sumatra, – when a huge 9.2 RS earthquake with epicenter near the island of Simeuleu, close to the shore of Aceh shook the area. This was followed by an enormous tsunami that made landfall in Aceh within only 15 minutes. By the end of the day the Indian Ocean tsunami had killed an unsuspecting 280,000 people in fourteen countries around the Indian Ocean from Indonesia, Thailand, Srilanka to the Seychelles and Madagascar, drowning coastal areas with waves up to 30 meters high.

Known as the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami, vast swathes of the west coast of Aceh that included the cities ofBanda Aceh, Calang, and Meulaboh, were completely destroyed being located closest to the epicenter, giving no time foranyone to escape. It is estimated that in Aceh more than 170,000 people were killed by the tsunami and about 500,000 were made homeless.

As a monument and symbolic reminder of this incredible calamity, on February 2008 the Aceh Tsunami Museum was officially opened, which serves as an educational center as well as an emergency tsunami disaster sheler, should the area be hit again.

The Aceh Tsunami Museum is located on Jalan Iskandar Muda Street, Banda Aceh, and is open daily (except Friday) from 10.00-12.00 noon, and 15.00-17.00 West Indonesia Time.

The Museum building has adopted the traditional raised Aceh House , while at the same time it resembles a ship with itsprotruding funnel. The architecture of the museum combines Aceh’s traditional house with a shelter on raised ground to serve as evacuation center from an eventual tsunami. The building is decorated with patterns depicting the traditional Saman Dance, an illuminated graphic of the word “Allah” (God), and has an open urban garden.

The design and architecture were created by M.Ridwan Kamil, renowned architect who is currently Mayor of Bandung, capital city of West Java. The building layout also captures the epicenter of the disastrous earthquake and Tsunami.

Stepping inside, one will find a narrow corridor with water flowing from either side accompanied by a scary rumbling sounds,reminding of the devastations made by the 2004 tsunami. The Museum also features an electronic simulation of the Indian Ocean earthquake, pictures of the casualties, and stories and testimonies of survivors.

Building the museum had cost about IDR70 billion, and consists of 2 floors. The first floor is an open space area which serves as reminder of the tsunami disaster. There are several sections on the first floor which recall the unfortunate day including pre-tsunami, during the tsunami, and post-tsunami pictures. Several images, remnants, and a diorama are showcased here. Some of the most notable dioramas are fishing boats being hit by the high waves and dashed onto the shore. There is also a picture of the PLTD Apung Ship which was swept up and carried far inland to finally come aground at Punge Blang Cut.

The 2nd floor features educational media including a library, simulation rooms, 4D room, and a souvenirs shop. Some of the simulation showcased here are an earthquake resistant building and a model of the earth’s crust. There is also a roomdisplaying tsunami disaster paintings and diorama.

The Aceh Tsunami Museum was established on the initiative of several parties namely the Aceh-Nias Reconstruction Board, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, the Province of Aceh, the city of Banda Aceh, and the Association of Indonesian Architects.

The Aceh Tsunami Museum is located at Jalan Iskandar Muda street in the heart of the city of Banda Aceh, near the Simpang Jam, the Clock tower Intersection. It is situated near the Blang Padang Field, next to the Dutch Cemetery or Kerkhof Peutjut.

The cafeteria at the museum has an open outdoor concept served by about 30 vendors. Here you can try some of the most popular Aceh cuisine such as Mie Aceh, Gulai Kambing, Rice Briyani, and Martabak Aceh.

And, while you are in the city, don’t forget to try the legendary Aceh Coffee which you will find served in the many cafés and traditional coffee shops found all over the city.

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Tapaktuan : Surf , Beaches And Waterfalls

Tapaktuan is a fairly remote and rugged town on the coast of southwest Aceh Province facing the Indian Ocean, affectionately dubbed by many foreign tourists as “the prettiest town in Sumatra.”

The coast of Tapaktuan is lined with large boulders and sees massive waves striking the shore. Aside from the beautiful waves, another main attraction is the large expanse of shimmering white sand along the beach. Beyond the beaches are a string of high mountains with excellent hiking and views. The sunsets here are particularly beautiful. The views from the surrounding hills are a breathtaking experience as well. The friendliness and hospitality of the local people is another aspect that will make your visit warm and enjoyable.

Tapaktuan is known as the Dragon City which comes from a legend of the Dragon Princess and Tuan Tapa, who, has become a regional icon passed down from generation to generation.

The Dragon legend tells of a pair of male and female dragons that are believed to inhabit the bay of Tapaktuan. Both were banished from the country for being unable to have offsprings. As chance would have it, one day the dragon pair happened upon a baby girl floating in the sea. They took her in and raised her as their own, with the child returning the affection and recognizing them as her parents.

One day, upon the arrival of a royal ship from Asralanoka, His Majesty the King,caught sight of the girl, whom he immediately recognized as his daughter that had been lost at sea 17 years ago. He approached the dragon pair and telling his story asked for the return of his daughter. However, the dragons rejected the request and a fight ensued, which led to disturbing a highly respected hermit residing in a nearby cave. This man was known asTuan Tapa.

Tuan Tapa was bothered by the commotion and immediately attempted to break up the fight between the dragons and the King of Asralanoka. He proceeded to ask the dragons to please return the girl to her rightful parents, which only further angered the dragons who then challenged Tuan Tapa to a fight. Eventually Tuan Tapa defeated the dragon pair and the girl was returned to her parents. She retained the nickname “Dragon Lady”, but the girl and her parents did not return to their homeland, and instead settled down in the coastal zone. Their presence is believed to be the forerunner of Tapaktuan.

You can find, scattered along the Tapaktuan beach, many black, heart-shaped rocks (known as Batu Itam), which are believed to be remnants of the dragons’ body, and red stones (Batu Merah) which are said to be the dragons blood. This is the legend of Tapaktuan, The Dragon City.

There’s a reason why there is the monument in South Aceh in the shape of a nutmeg (Myristica fragrans Houtt). That’s because the nutmeg tree grows naturally in South Aceh. Nutmeg is one of the most popular spices used to flavor local food, and is used for medicinal purposes as well. Obtained from the distillation of nutmeg, the oil is used for ointments, herbs, and seasonings. Explore the many gift shops in Tapaktuan to find nutmeg in all forms, to bring home as a wonderful (and very tasty!) gift.

Tapaktuan airport is the main gateway to Tapaktuan other than driving along the trans-Sumatran highway. It receives somewhat limited flights from Medan (North Sumatra) and Banda Aceh, in the north of Aceh Province, with connecting flights from Jakarta. Minivans also run from Medan (4 hours) and Banda Aceh (6 hours).