PULAU WEH ACEH SUMATRA INDONESIA
Pulau Weh (Weh Island) is located 50 minutes by ferry from Banda Aceh in the very north of Sumatra Indonesia. Weh means move or go away in Achenese. Sabang is the administrative name of Pulau Weh.
Majority of tourist who visit Pulau Weh come for the amazing scuba diving and snorkeling around the coastline of the island.
There are hundreds of species of coral and different type of fish and other marine life around Pulay Weh.
Wildlife on Weh includes monkeys, wild boar, monitor lizards and wide selection of colourful butterflies. North of Iboih is protected forest. At the northern end of Weh is a monument to commemorate where Indonesia officially begins - Kilometer 0 Indonesia. Pulau Rondo is actually the real start just north of Weh. There is also good snorkeling and diving on Rondo.
Malaria has been reported on Pulau Weh so take precautions when visiting
Scuba Diving Pulau Weh
With some of the best scuba diving sites in South-East Asia, Pulau Weh is becoming a very popular destination. With direct flights from Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Jakarta to Banda Aceh and then an easy 50 minute ferry ride across to Pulau Weh, more and more divers are visiting Pualau Weh.
Just some of the marine life living around Pulau Weh include a variety of moray eels, reef octopus, Lion fish, Clown fish, Leaf Scorpion fish, Bearded Scorpion fish, reef sharks, Painted Frogfish, Thorny seahorse, Stonefish, Ornate Ghost Pipefish, Robust Pipefish, Hawksbill Turtle, Emperor AngelFish, Indonesian Sweetlip fish, Cuttlefish, Flathead Cockatoo Waspfish, Ribbon eels, Garden eels, Giant Moray Batfish, Kuhl's Stingray, Orange-Black Dragonet.
See some photos of the marine life around Pulau Weh.
Read more about Scuba diving Pulau Weh
Video of Pulau Weh Tropical Island Paradise
Kilometer 0 Indonesia
Right at the northern tip of Pulau Weh is a famous Indonesia memorial for the very start of Indonesia. Called Kilometer 0 Indonesia it is actually not the true starting point of Indonesia. A few kilometers north of Pulau Weh with a few small islands, the most notable Pulau Rondo. This the real start point of Indonesia though as it is uninhabited there is no monument there.
The best time to visit Kilometer 0 is during the weekdays. On weekends especially on Sunday there are many local tourists from the island and Banda Aceh who do day trips to the island.
From the middle of Pulau Weh it takes around 1 hour by car or bike to get here. You travel few some small villages and towns and then a lovely stretch of winding road through the hills surrounded by forest. The road opens up to an open area with the monument. There are plenty of food stores to get something to eat or drink. Just close to the monument is Rondo View which is built on stilts at the edge of the cliff looking out to Rondo Island.
There is some great scuba diving around Rondo Island. From Gapang, Iboih or Suma Tiga it is around a 1.5 hour boat ride to get there.
Waterfall on Pulau Weh
From Gapang beach is it around a 15 minute ride to a nice waterfall. From the road it is a 500m walk along a paved pathway. You then have to scamble over some large slippery rocks to be able to see the waterfall. Right in front is a great pond for swimming with cool water coming down from the mountains in the centre of Pulau Weh.
Along the path to the waterfall you walk through some forest area with some monkeys climbing through the trees. There are also some large fruit bats hanging from the trees sleeping.
Volcano on Pulau Weh
There is a small volcano on Pulau Weh right in the centre of the island. It is not your typical noticable volcano as it has not yet developed the recognisable volcano shape. On the side of a hill is when the vent from the volcano has pushed through the land. There are large holes with hot steam coming out with lots of small holes scattered around. Around the openings of the holes they are covered with a bright green mineral deposit. At the larger holes you can here boiling water bubbling and streaming through the mountain. Right at the top of the hill there is a very large opening and often you can see the bubbling hot water. Though the route to this area is not marked so can be difficult to find. You will need to climb around 300 - 400 meters up to the top.
The locals refer to the volcano as 'Gunung Api' which is the Indonesian word for volcano - 'mountain of fire'.
Right down the bottom of the hill, on the coastline are some hot spings swimming pools for bathing. They collect the boiling water coming down from the mountain rich with minerals and pipe it into 2 small swimming pools which you can sit down in and soak.
Due the large concentrations of methane it is very smelly there and there is NO SMOKING allowed in this area. If you light a cigarette up there you will probabaly light up more.
Gapang Beach Pulau Weh
Gapang Beach Pulau Weh is a small village right on a small beach. Right in front of the beach area you can swim out around 50 meters and there is some great reef diving at an area called House Reef. Many of the marine life mentioned above can be seen at House Reef.
There are around 6 restaurats located in this village and a few bungalows to rent. For divers the best place to stay is at Lumba Lumba Dive Centre. With large bangalows for 30 Euros per night or small rooms with a balcony and bathroom for 18 Euros per night.
It takes around 40 minutes by becak or 30 - 35 minutes by minivan to drive from the harbour where the ferry arrives on Pulau Weh to get to Gapang Beach.
See more about Gapang Beach Pulau Weh
Simur Tiga Beach Pulau Weh
Simur Tiga Beach is probably the best place on Pulau Weh to stay if you just want a nice relaxing beach holiday. There is a stretch of white soft sand right along Sumur Tiga beach which is around 500 meters long. The beach is located at the bottom of a hill and is around 200 meters walk from the main road where there is a small village with shops and restaurants.
The best place to stay at Simur Tiga Beach is Freddie's with Bungalows built on the hill overlooking the beach and ocean.
Iboih Pulau Weh
Iboih is a small town located around 15 minutes drive from Gapang beach which a few dive shops, guesthouses,, restaurants and ATMs which accept Visa and Mastercard.