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Aceh and Sabang after Tsunami Part II

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  • Barry
    Aceh and Sabang after Tsunami Part II to see Aceh and Sabang Complete photo and article click
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2008
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      Aceh and Sabang after Tsunami Part II

      to see Aceh and Sabang  Complete photo and article click

      http://cometoindonesia.blogspot.com/2008/01/aceh-and-sabang-sumatera-indonesia.html


      The beach where visited that day was the Lhok Ngaa beach. It ‘s located in west side of Aceh. It took 40 minutes using a vehicle and the distance was 17 kilometers from the city. This beach was well known as a favourite place for Acehneese people to go. Unfortunately there were many buildings destroyed by the Tsunami. But it didn’t lessen my passion to admire the beauty of this beach. It’s so natural, untouched and smoth. The sandy beach and the thick trees as the background, covered by high hills.


      In the beach, we can do a lot of activities such as fishing, sailing, diving, or even sunbathing. Not far from there, lies a cement factory, Andalas. By the time I was there, the factory was no longer in operation and currently being rebuilt. It was badly damaged due to the Tsunami. Lhook Ngaa beach was a gulf with small lake on the sides. Local villagers took advantage of them as their source of living. Those lakes completed the beauty of the beach. It was truly a whole package of beauty. The beach also had an international driving range, the Seulawah Internasional. It’s a shame that the driving range were an abandoned place. Possibly due to the conflict between the government and GAM (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka) has made this place a dangerous place. The surrounding area was also damaged by the Tsunami. Many hotels, restaurants, and houses were leveled to the ground.

      In the area, I noticed several unusual event happened. Many houses was broke in to pieces, but many masjid and other religious places stand sturdy like nothing ever happened. At the Lampuuk beach I saw a masjid stood while other buildings beside it were torn apart. I thought that this must be the sign of God’s grace.


      Now, many houses and buildings were reestablished. Many NGO’s (Non Governmental Organization) offered help for public facilities reestablishment. After we finished our touring, we planned to go to Weh Island. But before that, we must take a brake. We were headed for the house we rented and prepared ourself for the next day’s long journey.



      It was still 07.00 AM and we were ready to go for Ulee Lhue dock. A boat was needed to reach the island. To beable to get to the island, we can do it from two docks. If we want to use a car, we should go from Malahayati dock, where there will be a ferry boat.  The fee was 300.000 rupiahs and it took more than 4 hours of trip.On the other hand, at Ulee Lhuee, we could use a speed boat, the Pulo Rondo. But it was meant for passengers only. The ticket costed 50.000 rupiahs each and it took no more than an hour to reach Weh Island. And so we decided to take the Pulo Rondo because they were scheduled to leave at 09.00 AM. We’ve booked a car at Weh Island for 400.000 rupiahs a day.


      Along side to the Ulee Lhuee dock, we also saw the remains of Tsunami. This territory was one of the most badly damaged area among other places closest to uptown. There were quite a lot of buildings which were rebuilt by foreign NGO’s, but there weren’t many people yet in the area. They were still felt certain trauma caused by the Tsunami attack. After we reached Ulee Lhuee dock, we paid the tickets for four people. As they were scheduled to leave in half an hour, we decided to look around a little bit. When the water becomes droughted, you can see bedrocks in several places of the dock. Beautiful scenery of greenish hills can be seen from a far along with a lighthouse leaving only it’s main construction soaring to the sky reaching 100 meters in height. There was also a mesjid stood out undamaged, unlike other buildings surrounding it which was shattered to pieces. The views never stop to astound me.


      Soon, we were told to enter the boat because we were finally leaving the dock. I was chatting with the boat keeper, Mr. Dato. He told me that one of his neighbours who was lucky enough to survived the Tsunami attack told him about when it happened. During the Tsunami, there was a tidal wave with twice the height of the light house which I saw previously. The wave literally smashed the land and wiped it out clean. My spine trembles when I try to imagined how was it to be in that kind of situation.


      The weather that day was clear, unlike the day before. It’s time for us to step our foot in Weh Island, one place which was the zero point kilometer of Indonesia. A monument was established as a mark for measuring Indonesia from Sabang to Merauke in Irian, by the government. We were eager to place our feet at the zero point kilometer and so we rushed there first. It took us one and a half hour to reach it. The road was a bit steep and wide, so the trip was convenient enough for us. During the trip, we can enjoy a beautiful panorama of hills and blue sea as well as groups of islands. We finally reached the monument which they were a guarding post next to it.


      There were only one way up, and it’s only adequate for one car. It’s a different road to come back down. We paid 2000 rupiahs per person for the ticket and continue to the top. The road was very narrow with bushes on the sides. The car couldn’t go any faster. It was lucky for us there were no fallen trees blocking the way. Suddenly we were “hijacked” by a group of monkeys. Apparantely they were used to humans. They were asking for food, fortunately we didn’t have anything.


      At the peak where the mark stood out, I can see the Sabang Island along with the blueish sea. We took some pictures before leaving for the most beautiful beach in all Sabang, the Iboih and Gapang beach. When we got there, we were blinded by the beauty of the white sandy beach. These sands were so smooth, the water were filled with beautiful and colorful searocks. There were also pretty fishes swimming around. A lot of foreign tourists come to visit this place particularly to dive and surf. I felt like touring around the island. There were boats for rent. We can even enjoy underwater view! We rented a boat with a clear glass at the center so we can see to through the water. We were charged 80.000 rupiahs per hour. Along the way, we watched so many fishes and searocks. The colorful searocks covered almost all of seabed accompanied by other sea creatures. The water were very clear. You can sea the greenery of seaweeds under the shallow water. Sabang Island was the main destination for many foreign tourists. They came just to enjoy the natural scenery and underwater view. It was said to be one of the most beautiful underwater view out of all Indonesia. Unfortunately, many tourists no longer interested to come due to military emergency status.


      The facility offered in Iboih beach was very comprehensive. You can find expensive Hotels as well as economical ones, clean and hygene restaurants, praying facilities, and many more. This has made tourism potential of the beach grew. We rested and ate for a while before continuing our trip. We don’t have much time on this island because we didn’t plan to spend the night.


      The Pulo Rondo would returned to Banda Aceh by 05.00 PM. It was already 02.00 PM and the trip back at the dock would take an hour. Next, we went to Sabang City. We saw many luxurious cars on our way to used cars trading place. Luxurious cars were sold at cheap price due to the fact that this area was free of tax. Cars like BMW, Mercedes Benz, and other European cars were sold at half price compared to Jakarta. But, don’t even think about leaving the island using this car, because you would be charged 100% out of the car’s price as tax.


      Eventhough Sabang Island didn’t get to escaped the Tsunami, this is the only place with less damage. It was caused by two steep ocean floors near Weh Island which hold most of the Tsunami’s pressure. Only 11 lives were swiped and some buildings were leveled.


      We finally back at Balohan harbour. We wished we could stay here longer to enjoy the view. Someday we’ll definitely come back to this beautiful and exotic place. We hoped peace and secure would cover Aceh soon so that we could enjoyed the beauty of this island together.


      to see Aceh and Sabang  Complete photo and article click

      http://cometoindonesia.blogspot.com/2008/01/aceh-and-sabang-sumatera-indonesia.html



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