"Lived through horror, but happy now to live life" Top 5 Page for this destination Banda Aceh by Daihappydai

Banda Aceh Travel Guide: 127 reviews and 312 photos

The Place

I arrived in Banda Aceh late at night and was immediately struck by the dazzling beauty of Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman - my pictures don't do it justice.
Walking and 'becaking' around Banda Aceh the next day, I found it to be a beautiful, clean city with a lot of garden areas - either by the river or within the main streets.
Following the destruction wrought by the tsunami of December 2004, the rebuilding of infrastructure is now almost complete.
There are a number of tsunami memorial sites to visit, but one shouldn't forget to pay a visit to other historical sites such as the Gunongan, the Kherkhof and the Rumah Aceh in the compound of the museum of Banda Aceh.
It seemed to me that many travellers went straight from the airport to Uleh-leh port to catch a ferry to Pulau Weh. But Banda Aceh itself is certainly worth a stay of a day or two.

The people

There are very few people living in Banda Aceh who were not touched in some way by the tsunami. Yet I found the local people to have a happy outlook on life and loved a chat. Whether it be in local coffee shops or sitting down at a night food stall, I found the people very friendly.
I was lucky enough to sit beside a young man from Banda Aceh on my flight from Jakarta. He spoke good English and taught me a few Acehnese words. I was doubly lucky to meet another young man, Alvian, at a night food stall who helped me learn a little more Acehnese and I taught him a little more English.

The beaches

There are some beautiful beaches on the northwestern tip of Aceh including Lampu'uk and Lhoknga little more than 15km from central Banda Aceh. These areas were almost completely devasted by the tsunami but have now been rebuilt.
Lampu'uk is a quiet spot during the week - a long stretch of white sand and refreshingly cool water that ends at its north with some stunning cliffs. On the weekend it is considerable more crowded as visitors from Banda Aceh gather to swim and picnic. If you are lucky though, the locals will direct you to a little secret - Pantai Momonk - little more than 500 metres through the jungle is a secluded beach that you may have all to yorself.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful people, buildings and great food
  • Cons:None
  • In a nutshell:A moving experience
  • Last visit to Banda Aceh: Jan 2012
  • Intro Written Feb 8, 2012
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