Aceh Nanggroe Darussalam
Aceh, or Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam in full, is a special territory (Daerah Istimewa) of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. It is thought to have been in Aceh where Islam was first established in Southeast Asia. In the early seventeenth century the Sultanate of Aceh was the most wealthy, powerful and cultivated state in the Malacca Straits region. Aceh has a history of political independence and fierce resistance to control by outsiders, including the former Dutch colonists and the Indonesian government. Aceh has substantial natural resources, including oil and gas - some estimates put Aceh gas reserves as being the largest in the world. Relative to most of lndonesia, it is a religiously conservative region.
In December 2004, Aceh bore the brunt of a huge earthquake and devastating tsunami which left the region’s coastline in ruins and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives across Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Today, Aceh continues to rebuild itself with help from the international community.
Diving in Weh Island
Weh Island, often referred to by the name of its capital, Sabang, is the western most island of the lndonesian archipelago. The island lies at the mouth of the Malacca Strait, only 18 miles away or a one-hour’s ferry ride, from Ulee-Lheue Harbor in Banda Aceh. Diving in Weh lstand is a well-established recreational activity, with dive masters and dive instructors ready to offer a variety of dives to sites such as the renowned Sea Garden in Rubiah lsland. For divers read more Diving in Sumatra
Elephant ride in Leuser National Park
The Alas River
The Alas River flows into the lndian Ocean, providing exceptional rapids that attract whitewater rafting enthusiasts from all over the world. Hiking to the peak of Mount Leuser (3,404 meters) takes about 10 to 14 days. The smatl village of Angasan is a suitable starting point. Angasan is located several hours walk west of Blang Kejeren. Most hikers spend the night in Angasan and start their trek in the morning. The first five days go through virgin rain forest where rare primates can often be seen.
Baiturrahman Grand Mosque
Baiturrahman Grand Mosque or Masjid Raya Baiturrahman is a masterpiece of lslamic architecture and a symbol of Acehnese fortitude. The mosque boasts seven domes, one main minaret and four lesser minarets. Its 4,760 squaremeters halls are adorned Italian marble floors. The building’s architectural style is a harmonious and blend of elaborate Moorish, Persian, Arabesque, classical Dutch and Indian elements. This historical monument is still in use today and can accommodate up to 9,000 worshippers at a single time.
Aceh province remains a famous place for its uncrowded and white sandy beaches. You will swim fn crystal clear water, discover local fishermen tradition and enjoy sunset all along the coast.
At only 45 minutes from Banda Aceh with speed boat you will be impressed by ocean biodiversity. The sea garden is the shelter of sea gigantic clams, angel fish, lion fish, sea fans and much more which will offer to the visitor an unforgettable experience.
Ulee Lheue-Banda Aceh (Tsunami Ground Zero)
Ulee Lheue is a shore line facing the Malacca straits; when the tsunami hit Banda Aceh on 26 December, 2004, the beach line and the village nearby were severely damaged and submerged by a 10 m high wave. Now the local government has built a new seaport at Ulee Lheue, and if you have plans to visit Sabang and Weh island, you can take a Ro-Ro ferry or speed boat from Ulee Lheue. Ulee Lheue beach has still kept its enchanting beauty, and almost every day people come to this place to enjoy the blue horizon of sky and sea, to see a beautiful sunset in the evening, or to enjoy the beach at night on the weekend.
Cut Nyak Dien Museum
Located in Lam Pisang, 6km from Banda Aceh, you can visit a replica of the Cut Nyak Dhien's house, an Indonesian heroine. The original house was destroyed by the Dutch and was rebuilt after the Indonesian's independence to become a museum.
Around Lhokseumawe and The Former Kingdom of Samudera Pasai
The Samudra Pasai was the first great Islamic Kingdom of Indonesia. The Maliku Sleh grave, the first ruler of the kingdom, and other royal graves such as the queen, Nahrisyah provide the visitors with historical indication about this age. The historical and cultural heritage value of this area is still visible. The kingdom produced its own gold coins which could still be found today.
Around Takengon Lake
The Laut Tawar Lake area offers a cool weather with natural feature such as warm water pool and caves. The lake is surrounding by mountains which will offer amazing scenery for those who like trekking and climbing.
Indonesian Airline Monument (Seulawah-Indonesian First Airplane)
The Monument was erected to commemorate the heroic contribution of the Acehenese to the emergence of the Republic of Indonesia. When Indonesia became independent in 1945 the Dutch intended to reoccupy the country. In the ensuing struggle in 1949 much area had fallen to the Dutch, the Republic of Indonesia was badly in need of an airplane to avoid the blockade of the enemy. Soekarno, Indonesian president at that time, urgently asked the Acehenese to donate money for an airplane. A Douglas DC-3 was purchased shortly afterwards, and paid for with the donation. This very early plane was the precursor of Garuda Indonesia fleet.
Gunongan and Taman Putroe Phang
Gunongan had erected by Sultan Iskandar Muda (1607 - 1636) as a private playground and bathing place for this wife Putro Phang (From Malaysia). This whimsical architectural fantasy had access to the sultan's palace through the traditional 'Pintu Aceh', used by royalty only. This building likely functioned as an important recreational peace located in the Taman Sari Park for the Queen and other royal family members to climb. It is quite enjoyable to visit this place during the late afternoon or sunset.
The Syah Kuala Graveyard
Teungku Syiah Kuala was one of Aceh's great Moslem Ulamas and his graveyard represents a pilgrim for Indonesian people.
Kerkhoof and Churchyard
This church is famous and well known among Dutch visitors. Indeed it is a testimony of colonialism heritage where you can see the 2000 Dutch soldiers' graveyards.
Indra Patra Fortress
You can visit this old fort and jump into the history at Iskandar Muda period. The fort was used as defense against invader's assault.