Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam
Aceh is a special territory (daerah istimewa) of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. Its full name is Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. It is tought to have been in Aceh where Islam was first established in Southeast Asia. In the early seventeenth century the Sultanate of Aceh was the most weathly,powerful and cultivated state in the Malacca Straits region. Aceh has a history of political independence and fiere resistances to control by outsiders, including the former Dutch colonists and the Indonesian government. Aceh has substantial natural resources,including oil and gas- some estimates put Aceh gas reserves as being the largest in the world. Relative to most of Indonesia, it is religiously conservative area.
Places of Interest
Weh Island often referred to by the name of it is situated at the mouth of the Malacca Strait a sea passage for many yachts and cruise ships only 18 miles away,one hour by ferry, from Ulee-Lheue Harbour in Banda Aceh. Diving in Weh Island is a well-established recreational activity with dives to offer a variety of dives to sites like the fabled Sea Garden in Rubiah Island.
Alas River flows into the Indian Ocea; this is river has exceptional rapids that attract whitewater rafting enthusiast for all over the world.
Hiking to the peak of Mount Leuser (3,404) takes about 10-14 days. The small village of Angasan is a suitable starting point. Angasan is located several hours walk west of Blang Kejeren. Most hikers spend the night in Angasan and start their trek in the morning. The first five days go trought virgin rain forest where rare primates can often be seen.
Baiturrahman Mosque is a masterpiece of Islamic architecture and ornamentation is the main future of Banda Aceh. It has five onion-shaped domes, two towering minarets, expansive white walls and pillars with beautiful desigs.
The people of the region can be divided into five main ethnic groups and Languages: The costal Malays, living along the Malaka Straits, the Bataks, consisting of the sub-tribes around Lake Toba and Samosir Island, are Karo,Toba,Dairi,Simalungun,the Angkola or Mandailing of the sothern Tapanuli and Nias Islnders of the western coast of the province. The groups each have their own dialects, religios belefs,arts ,custom and cultures.Several ethnic groups live in Medan and other towns of North Sumatra, the largest of these being Chinese and Indian.
Place of Interets
Crocodile Frm at Asam Kumbang is 10km from the heart pf the city, with nearly 2.000 crocodiles of different sizes and species. is is open from 09.00 am-05.00 pm
Tangkahan’s combination of vegetation and topography makes it a marvelous tourist spot rarely found elsewhere. The Batang Serangan and Buluh rivers, converging exactly in this zone, are typical of rainforest streams, with diserve varieties of vegetation and colorful rocks and Sumatran elephants on their banks. The clear, bluish green river water against the panoramic view creates a mystical atmosphere. Fly to Medan the capital of North Sumatra Province and proceed with cars or public transport from Pinang Baris Bus Terminal in Medan to Tangkahan, located three housr from the province’capital. The best seasons to visit June to October every year.
Brastagi is a lovely tourist town in the Karo highlands,70 km on the way from Medan to Lake Toba. Brastagi is famous for its flowers, vegetables and fruit, most famous is the ‘Marquisa’ passion fruit. The local markets are swarming with activity and scenes from traditional Karo life. Days are extremely pleasant and nights can be quite cool. Gundaling Hills provides a clear view of Mt. Sibayak and Mt. Sinabung volcanoes; there is a pleasant colonial-style hotel with a golf course.
Lake Toba-Parapat is the largest lake in Sotheast Asia with a surface area about 1.145sq. kilometer, and the deepst lake in the world over 450 meters deep. The town of Parapat is the main tourist resort and lies on the shortes of the lake. The Batak Toba and The Batak Simalungun peoples of Parapat are happy, easygoing people,known for their lively and sentimental love songs. In Parapat, there are facilities for swimming, water skiing, motor boating, fishing and golf. The climates is cool and dry, and ideal place for relax. There is a plethora of hotels,bungalows,villas and guesthouses. Parapat is 176km from Medan and can be reacthed in 4 hours by bus.
Jangga Village is located on the edge of Simanuk-manuk Mountain, 24km from parapet. It is famous of its weaving the beautiful ‘ulos’ cloth. There are monuments of King Tambun and King Manurung, rows of traditional houses.
Lingga Village is 15km from Brastagi, a traditional Karo village and still preserved and inhabited today.
Samosir Island stituated at the middle of Lake Toba, is accessible by regular ferries from Parapat. The original home of fierce Toba Bataks, the island has many sites of stonetombs and traditional villages. The villages of Tomok, Tuk-Tuk, Siallgan and Ambarita are noteworthy. Transportation can be a motorcycle for day’s adventure on the Island. Acommodation of varios styles and standards are ready available.
Sipisp-piso Waterfall is located on the north side of Lake Toba, 24km from Kabanjahe, the 120 m waterfall is visible from gazebo near the food and souvenir stands.
Bukit Lawang is about 3 hours by car from Medan. Its main attractions are the Oranghutan rehabilitation center; crossing the Bahorok River and climbing steep,jungle-clad hills it is located at the South of the Mount Leuser National Park.
Much of its highland formed by the Bukit Barisan Mountain range; virgin jungle inhabited by elephants, tigers, leopard and rhinos. Minang people have spicy-hot dishes and ancient matriarchal customs. The women own property and the men leave home to seek their fame and fortune. Traveling is considered a mark of succsess, Padang reataurants are found in all major towns across the nation. The people are hospitable and eloquent; primaly speak bahasa Minang, with poetic style of speech.
West Sumatra days are filled with colorful ceremonies and festivals. Legend of the Minangkabau is descendants of the youngest son of Alexander the Great, King Maharjo Dirajo. During the early 19th century, the area was between the flowers of the traditional Islam or Padris, and those adhering to the traditional law (adat) of the Minangkabau.
Place of Interest
Air Manis 4kms South of Padang, down the hill and across Batang Arau River is a fishermen village on Padang’s scenic west coast. A rock standing in the water short distance from the shore is said to be the hull of Malin Kundang’s boat, which shipwrecked in a strom after the defiant young man’s mother cursed it.
Bungus 20kms South of Padang sheltered by a bay, there are two good beaches: Carolina and Karang Tirta.
Anai Resort an Golf Course. The Anai resort is located in gregous natural setting roughly 550 meters above sea level. This resort is incorporating first class hotel facilities.
Batang Palupuah,12 km from Bukittinggi, is a refuge for the giant flower Rafllesia Arnoldi, blooming only once a year in November. A guide can be obtained from the office at the reserve.
Rambo Panti Nature Reserve Just aside the road to Medan, at the distance of 108 kms from Bukittinggi, this nature and wild life reserve where various monkey species and black panther found in here.
Bung Hatta Forest Reserve. Stituated 15kms from Padang in the direction of Solok,known nin the past as the Setya Mulya Botanic Garden. The reserve has giant flower
Batu Basurek is a stone with inscriptions in the old Palava script of India, bearing the legend of Adityawarman in the year 1347.
The Twin Lakes (Lake diatas and Lake dibawah) 65km from Padang the two lakes, one a little higher than the other are located at +1.000 meters above sea level and covered by thick mist. There are several cottages and coffe shops in Lake Diatas resort.
Pagaruyung Kingdom. Stituated at the outskirt of Batusangkar the capital city of Tanah Datar Regency. In the past, it was the seat of the ancient of Minangkabau Kingdom, Pagaruyung: which at the beginning of its history ruled by a quuen named Bundo Kanduang. Relics of that ancient past are still scattered over the area; among them are Batu Sangkar stone inscriptions.
Lake Singkarak is surrounded with green hills and mountains, the biggest lake in west 129,70 kms square and lies on the trans Sumatra between Bukittinggi and Solok Regency. It is 36km from Bukittinggi and 86km from Padang.
Tanjung Alai located at 7 kms Lake Singkarak, enjoy gliding in the fresh and coolness of its air.
Mount Talang Tea Plantation, 35 km from Pdang, one of the highest mountains 2.572 meters above sea level has a green and fresh view. From here you can overlook the beautiful Twin Lakes and Lake Singkarak.
The Mystical Rao-rao,Some 15 kilometers from Batusangkar, there is a village in which the Minangkabau building style is well preserved.
Belimbing Village. Some 20 km from Batusangkar. This traditional village has some beautiful old Minangkabau long houses. Around the village one can enjoy the beauty view and traditional social life of Minangkabau matriarchal society.
Tabek Patah. 30 kilometers from Batusangkar, is a lookout point in the foothills offering a wide- open view on the magnificent central Minangkabau countryside.
Batu Sanggkar is 41 km southeast of Bukittinggi, a centre of the Minangkabau culture. Megalithic remains found in the area support the theory of a large community living in the area some 2000 years ago. Many fascinating historical sites were found at Batu Basurek a stone with inscriptions in the Palava script of India, bearing the legend Adityawarman, the Emperor of Kanaka Mahindra ( the island of gold). Pariaman has 300 years old traditional houses. Make sure to visit the open council grounds with acient stone seats, the mosque and hot spring.