We have partnered with homegrown Firefly airline to bring you the first ever You Go, We Go: Traveloka Travel Vlog series, where we hope to inspire people to explore the world. In this travel vlog series, we’ll be bringing you around the enchanting Southeast Asia and for each episode, we’ll zoom in on little-known and interesting attractions. You definitely don’t want to miss this!
In this third episode, travelers Nashua, Lola and Amirul flew to Banda Aceh for a fun beach vacation that’s also educational. While the capital city of Aceh is known for the deadly 2004 tsunami, that’s not all there is to this northwestern city of Indonesia. In fact, there are plenty of interesting activities you can do here. From visiting the ruins of the tsunami tragedy to dolphin watching, let’s follow the trio’s adventure! We’ve put together their activities itinerary-style so it’ll be useful if you’re planning a trip to Banda Aceh.
Day 1: Get to know Banda Aceh
Morning: Visit the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque
A trip to Banda Aceh is not complete without visiting the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque. A symbol of religion, culture, spirit, strength, and struggle of the Acehnese, the mosque is a landmark of the city. It has also survived the deadly 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, making it one of the buildings that still exist in Banda Aceh after the tragedy.
Time for a fun fact! The mosque was built by the Dutch and most of the materials used were imported. The stained glass windows are from Belgium and the building stones are brought from the Netherlands. Quite fancy, eh? The mosque has a Mughal revival style, characterized by the grand domes and minarets. The unique black domes set the mosque apart from the other mosques in Banda Aceh. It’s truly majestic and a must-visit while you’re here!
Lunch: Have a cuppa at Dedy Coffee
Take a break from sightseeing and enjoy a cuppa at Dedy Coffee. Aceh is known for its coffee and drinking coffee is the local’s favorite pastime! Stop by at Dedy Coffee and try the caffè latte with a variety of kueh (local snacks).
Day 2: Remembering the 2004 tsunami
Morning: Check out the Lampulo Boat
famous 2004 tsunami site is the Lampulo Boat or Kapal Atas Rumah, which translates into Boat on a House in the local language. You can see the extent of the tsunami with this 20-tonne boat that was swept away one kilometer from where it was docked. It’s said that 59 villagers of Lampulo village survived the tsunami by climbing into the stuck boat.
Lunch: Try mie Aceh at Mie Razali
Aceh is a spicy noodle dish of thick yellow noodles drenched in thick curry and topped with beef, chicken or prawns. The noodles are soft and the sauce has a spicy kick with a robust flavor. You can have either the mie aceh goreng (fried and dry) or the mie aceh kuah (soupy), but whichever you order, you’ll certainly want more!
Afternoon: Visit the Aceh Tsunami Museum
Aceh Tsunami Museum is designed as a symbolic reminder of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami disaster. The museum can also be a disaster shelter for Acehnese if there is another tsunami. Here, you can learn more about the devastations caused and even experience the scary rumbling sounds of the tsunami. Take your time as you stroll through the museum and be sure to browse the photographs and read the stories of the survivors. It’s truly an eye-opening experience.
Evening: Take the ferry to Pulau Weh
Bali. If you want to experience island life, and do water sports such as snorkeling and diving, Pulau Weh is your best bet. Most importantly, it’s cheaper than other Indonesian destinations! The fast ferry to Pulau Weh runs three times a day from the Ulee Lheue ferry terminal. The journey takes about 45 minutes.
Day 3: Fun in the sun
Morning: Watch dolphins in the wild
You need to wake up early for this activity! But trust us, it’s definitely going to be worth it. Take a boat trip out to the ocean to see wild dolphins swim close to the shore to look for food. Be entertained by their antics and if you’re lucky, they might even give you a show! However, do refrain from feeding the animals. Just sit back and enjoy yourself!
Afternoon: Explore Pulau Weh’s underwater world
Usually, the dolphin tour will come with a snorkeling package, so make sure you pack your swimming suits too! The underwater world at Pulau Weh is certainly every diver’s wet dream with its colorful corals and fishes. It’s an experience you shouldn’t miss out!
Wanna know what else Nashua, Lola and Amirul were up to in Banda Aceh? Watch the full video on our YouTube channel now! You too can experience this amazing trip by booking your flight to Banda Aceh with Traveloka!
Couldn’t get enough of Banda Aceh? Read our other articles to get you going:
Follow the Traveloka team as we embark on a fun-filled adventure across Southeast Asia to explore little-known and interesting attractions. In every episode, we’ll be zooming into the best activities as well as give you some tried-and-true tips!