"Aceh, the neglected beautiful part of Sumatra" Top 5 Page for this destination Aceh Special Region by Bonobo2005

Aceh Special Region Travel Guide: 355 reviews and 927 photos

Note Jan.2005:
Due to the Tsunami most likely some of my Coastal tips are useless by now.

Note Jan.2003: Since the Indonesian army has intensified its actions against the independance movement GAM in 2003, foreign travellers were not allowed in many parts of Aceh nor was it considered safe due to spontaneous outbreaks of shootings. Check before you go!


Aceh is a region that is - outside Pulau Weh - hardly visited by tourists, although it's one of the unspoiled highlights of Sumatra!

I followed the central route via Kutacane and Takengon to Banda Aceh. Spent some nights along the unspoilt East Coast. Finally I made my way to the diving and snorkelling paradise Pulau Weh.

You can travel the tight roads though Central Aceh by local buses (or your own motorbike!) that crosses the jungle of Gunung Leuser NP and the very scenic Gayo Highlands.

Everywhere I came local people were happy to meet the foreigner, to help me, or even to invite me without any purpose of making business.

Aceh is an amazing and rewarding, though sometimes a little wild destination for flexible travellers !!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Honest, helpful, hospitable and friendly people, unspoiled, wild natural beauty, not touristic at all and of course: COFFEE!
  • Cons:Abundance of military presence, sometimes unrest and incidents, logging in Gunung Leuser NP
  • In a nutshell:Aceh is much more than travelwarnings only !
  • Last visit to Aceh Special Region: Aug 2002
  • Intro Updated Jan 17, 2005
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Reviews (22)

Comments (25)

  • Fleaartist's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2008 at 5:36 AM

    Great tips, great page about Aceh...I've been in Java only, I got to go back in Indonesia, I really wish to visit Sumatra... Thank you for your stories!!!

  • meiyergani's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2007 at 4:18 AM

    It was a fantastic journey, traveling safely in a conflict situation. now everything are alright, the transporation, the safety, but the checkpoint was still going on in the night Regards from Bogor

  • pPamela's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2006 at 12:41 PM

    How exciting to read this article!Stayed with Pak Mus/ family for 8 days in Nov. Trekked with him to hot springs. 8 children now. Met Joel in mid Nov. Bungalows destroyed,restaurant rebuilt now Further back from beach now. For contact no. email me here.

  • chrisvandenbroucke's Profile Photo
    Jan 6, 2005 at 1:44 PM

    Hi, Hope this place will not be totally destroyed now. Must be scary when you've been there

  • Dec 2, 2004 at 5:17 PM

    i heard nessie liked to travel!:-)

  • RoyJava's Profile Photo
    Aug 31, 2004 at 10:56 AM

    Dangerous trip well ended, and the Islamics are so nice... thanks for sharing, my dad has been born here... greetzzz RoyJava

  • marcoparco's Profile Photo
    Jun 21, 2004 at 12:44 PM

    Amazingly well constructed page! The trek sounds likie a great adventure!!!! cheers

  • herzog63's Profile Photo
    May 16, 2004 at 11:40 PM

    I'd like to see that Lake Monster with my own eyes!!

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2004 at 4:25 PM

    An absolutely fantastic page! What amazing adventures you had here. Yes, it really is a shame what corruption is doing to the rain forests - how does one stop it?

  • lichinga's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2004 at 5:21 AM

    Wonderful report: I'm wordless!

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