Banda Aceh Things to Do Tips by theo1006 Top 5 Page for this destination

Banda Aceh Things to Do: 60 reviews and 158 photos

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Lhok Mata-Ie bay - Banda Aceh

Lhok Mata-Ie bay

Lhok Mata-Ie bay

Taking our cue from a tip by VT-er Rinjani, we set out to find Lhok Mata-Ie. This is a bay on the peninsula west from Banda-Aceh, part of Peukan Bada district. As we found out the greater part of the district consists of relatively unspoiled rain-forest.
The owner of our rental car told us to go direction Ujong Pancu. Almost at the end of the road we spotted the Ujong Pancu Information Center (UPIC). This turned out to be an activity of local youth (Remaja Pecinta Alam Indra Purwa, short REPALA INPRA) to promote nature tourism in the area, under supervision of a local NGO, the Lamjabat Foundation.

We made an appointment for a day trip hiking to Lhok Mata-Ie bay. This proved to be an easy walk of less than an hour. The trail is easily found without a guide, provided someone wants to point you to where it starts - across a fenced field. On a weekday, when it is deserted, the bay should be ideal for a private picnic and some snorkeling. As we came on a Sunday, many locals made the short walk with us, both male and female. When some of the latter decided to take a dip into the sea fully dressed, the men discreetly left the water. But when Helen wanted to change into her modest western swimsuit, our guide prevented her from doing so citing local custom. So, if you are a woman and want to go swimming here, avoid the holidays or bring 'muslim' swimming apparel (i.e. long sleeves and trousers) .

Near the end of the trail there is a clean water source. And close to the beach one can climb into a small cave.

The fee for two guides was Rp 200,000 (January 2011); guide only, bring your own food and snorkeling gear.

See also our next tip: Ujong Pancu Nature Tourism.

Address: Jalan Hamzah Fansuri, Ujong Pancu, Gampung Lampageu, Peukan Bada district.

Directions: From town take Jalan Iskandar Muda to Ulee Lheue and turn left (south) at the mosque. Pass the Banda Water Boom and after one km turn right (west) into the Jembatan Lamteh road. This reconstructed road through wetlands with replanted mangroves leads to Gampung Lampageu and beyond it to Ujong Pancu. Distance from town 12 km.

Phone (mobile): 08126992692 (UPIC), 081377444983 (Nazar), 085260319930 (M. Syukri)

Website: http://www.lamjabatfoundation.or.id (Indonesian langauge)

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 26, 2012
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Ujong Pancu Information Center - Banda Aceh

Ujong Pancu Information Center

Ujong Pancu Nature Tourism

If you are nature lovers or bird spotters, you may find one of the longer hikes on offer at the Ujong Pancu Infromation Center more satisfying than the Lhok Mata-Ie trip (previous tip). These are walks of 3 to 4 hours one way to:
- Lhok Keutapang Rayeuk;
- Lhok Keutapang Cut;
- Pasie Lange (incl. visit to Japanese bunkers);
- Lambadeuk - Lampuuk (see Lampuuk tips above).
The charge for two guides varies from Rp 300,000 to Rp 500,000.

One can also make a 4 hour fishing trip by boat at the rate of Rp 850,000 or a day fishing trip to Bunta island for Rp 1,500,000.
(Prices January 2011.)

Address: Jalan Hamzah Fansuri, Ujong Pancu, Gampung Lampageu, Peukan Bada district.

Directions: From town take Jalan Iskandar Muda to Ulee Lheue and turn left (south) at the mosque. Pass the Banda Water Boom and after one km turn right (west) into the Jembatan Lamteh road. This reconstructed road through wetlands with replanted mangroves leads to Gampung Lampageu and beyond it to Ujong Pancu. Distance from town 12 km.

Phone (mobile): 08126992692 (UPIC), 081377444983 (Nazar), 085260319930 (M. Syukri)

Website: http://www.lamjabatfoundation.or.id/ (Indonesian language)

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 2, 2011
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Lampuuk mosque after the tsunami struck - Banda Aceh

Lampuuk mosque after the tsunami struck

Lampuuk mosque

The mosque was the only building of Lampuuk village left standing by the force of the tsunami. And this too did not escape undamaged as an old photograph at a display in the mosque shows.

The mosque has been rebuilt with financial aid from the Turkish Red Crescent (equivalent of Red Cross), with two new minarets thrown in for good measure. One corner inside the mosque has not been repaired. A display of debris and photographs reminds visitors and the faithful of the tsunami.

Guess what, the lady running a small warung across the street, pointed out the star and crescent on top of the main dome: they are slightly bent by the force of the tsunami. That high was the incoming wave!

Directions: Distance about 17 km from town. Can be reached with labi-labi no 04. Or with own transport leave town going south-west along Teuku Umar street and follow the signs to Meulaboh. When the road comes close to the west coast go straight on where the road bends left.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 16, 2011
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Entrance porch of new Lampuuk village - Banda Aceh

Entrance porch of new Lampuuk village

Lampuuk village and mass grave

On our car trip south we visited Lampuuk village. This is one other low-lying coastal area that was almost completely wiped out by the tsunami, as an old photograph at a display in the mosque shows. Indeed this was the hardest hit area as the lowlying area directly faces the epicentre of the earthquake that triggered the tsunami.

The village has been rebuilt with aid from the Turkish Red Crescent, but at the inland side of the mosque. The area nearer the coast has been left empty.

Some houses in the new village stand empty. The original population was decimated and evidently not enough newcomers have replaced them yet.

Directions: Distance about 17 km. Can be reached with labi-labi no 04. With own wheels leave town going south-west along Teuku Umar street and follow the signs to Meulaboh. When the road comes close to the west coast go straight on where the road bends left.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 16, 2011
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Lampuuk beach seen from the north - Banda Aceh

Lampuuk beach seen from the north

Lampuuk Beach

Lampuuk beach used to be the most popular beach before the tsunami. But as it was hard hit by the tsunami, domestic as well as foreign tourists were slow to return. Now domestic weekenders are returning and hopefully surfers from abroad will follow. A a small resort annex restaurtant has been rebuilt.

After seeing the village and mosque we had a relaxing swim. The beach is broad and white, the surf was moderate. The area has been replanted with pine trees. A few tall coconut trees survived the tsunami and may be an indication that there used to be much more of them.

Directions: Lampuuk village lies 17 km west of Banda Aceh, and can be reached with labi-labi number 04. The sandy road south of he mosque leads straight to the beach.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 16, 2011
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Chinese Friendship Village entrance porch - Banda Aceh

Chinese Friendship Village entrance porch

Chinese friendship village

We rented a small car for two days, took it one day exploring to the east and one day to the south.

When driving east we saw a neat row of houses on a hillside, and when we approached it, it turned out to be the ¨Chinese-Indonesian Friendship Village”. Whereas much housing has been reconstructed on the devastated plain, the idea of this village must have been to rebuild out of reach of any future tsunami. The hillside looked stony and infertile and must have been uninhabited before. The new village has been well implemented, complete with roads, electricity and water supply.

But one problem remains. At this location people cannot make a living. They need transport to go to work in town or at the coast. That may be the reason why several houses were still empty.

Directions: Distance about 15 km. From the city centre take Daud Beureuh street northeast through Ulee Kareng district. When facing a T-crossing at a river bank turn left direction Malahayati harbour. A few km along this road you discern the village on your right.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 16, 2011
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A ruin near Ulee Lheue's new Water Boom - Banda Aceh

A ruin near Ulee Lheue's new Water Boom

Spot remaining ruins

Scattered among the newly built housing one still encounters remnants of houses destroyed by the tsunami. Imagine the whole area like that to have an idea of the devastation.

Intriguing we found the 'bridge to nowhere' seen from the road to Malahayati harbour. We were told that there used to be a fisherman's village at the other end of the bridge.

Sometimes a new house was built next the ruins of the previous one, as in the photo taken in Darussalam. This reminded us of East-Timor where the destruction was man-made.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 11, 2011
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House donated by the Australian Red Cross - Banda Aceh

House donated by the Australian Red Cross

Explore a rebuilt town

The tsunami has been so devastating because much of Banda Aceh lies on a low coastal plain, where the tsunami waves could run as far as 5 km inland. On this flat land practically no house has been left standing. Nowadays most of the area is inhabited again. When you see a group of uniform houses, you can be certain that they have been built with aid of some foreign agency. The donor is indicated by a small sign near the front door, e.g. 'Australian Red Cross, USAid'.

The new Zainoel Abidin Hospital - the largest in Banda Aceh - has been funded by Germany and Australia, it can be seen on Tgk. Daud Beureueh street, some 2 km northeast from the city centre.
At Lampageu quarter - on the road to Ujong Pancu west of Banda Aceh - we saw a well-designed primary school building: the classrooms are all on the first floor. It too was paid for by German Federal Agency for Technical Relief.
A cemetery at Ulee Lheue was reconstructed with funds from Saudi Arabia. Elsewhere we saw water tanks donated by Saudi Arabia.
These are just some examples to show that the whole world cooperated to put Banda Aceh back on its feet.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 11, 2011
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Tsunami & Disaster Mitigation Research Centre - Banda Aceh

Tsunami & Disaster Mitigation Research Centre

Tsunami & Disaster Mitigation Research Centre

We did not see much activity at the research centre, but is was worth while to take in the view from the top of the adjoining escape building.
In the hall we saw a 'New Face of Banda Aceh' chart, a map with the most prominent landmarks.

Directions: Calang street, near the junction with Iskandar Muda street. At Ulee Lheue or “tsunami ground zero”.

Phone: 0651.7555577

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 6, 2011
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Deah Teungoh Escape Building - Banda Aceh

Deah Teungoh Escape Building

Escape Buildings

On the hard hit coastal plain near Ulee Lheue, also referred to as “tsunami ground zero”, at least four Escape Buildings have been built. These are essentially strong multi-storey buildings with easy access through ramps and stairs. In case of a tsunami threat people living in the neighbourhood can seek safety on one of the higher floors. For that purpose two of these floors contain a kitchen and sanitary facilities.

Three buildings are almost identical, and donated by Japan. Our pictures are from Deah Teungoh Escape Building.
The fourth one is combined with the so-called Tsunami & Disaster Mitigation Research Centre (next tip).

In the absence of an emergency the buildings stand empty, anyone can walk in and out. A few lazy locals seemed to be on guard, but just waved us in. We noticed that the tube lamps on the ground floor were missing, and asked whether they had been stolen. 'Oh no, we use the ground floor to play volleyball. We took the lamps out because they may be hit by a ball and broken.' So that may explain the designation of the buildings as Community Building.

We walked up to the helicopter landing floor to enjoy a grand view of Banda Aceh in all directions.

Addresses and directions:

Deah Teungoh Escape Building, Jalan Lampaseh Kota - Ulee Lheue. As the streetname says, from city centre follow Diponegoro street through Lampaseh Kota. See the building on your right.

Deah Baro Escape Building, Jalan Lampaseh Kota - Ulee Lheue. An estimated half km past Deah Teungoh EB, on your left.

Lambung Escape Building, Jalan Iskandar Muda - Ulee Lheue. A few hundred metres before the eastern end of Iskandar Muda street, on your right when coming from the city.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 6, 2011
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theo1006

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