For this week, I swapped my running shoes with flip flops, packed my bags, and flew to Acheh. My main destination is Weh Island, a hidden Indonesian gem not known to many yet. This island is about 1 hour ferry ride away from the main city of Banda Acheh.
Upon mentioning Acheh, the first image that comes to almost everyone’s mind is the 2004 tsunami tragedy. Banda Acheh has made tremendous progress since then. However, the road to full recovery is still long for the locals. This boat was carried by the waves about 1km away from its dock and landed on a villager’s house.
Pristine, raw, and untouched, Weh Island is not for the faint-hearted or those expecting luxury. Instead, this place is suitable for those seeking an adventure of a lifetime. The amenities and infrastructure here might not be up-to-date, but the view is definitely 5-star worthy. Upon arriving, not wanting to waste another minute, we quickly changed into our swimsuits and head to Iboih Beach to snorkel. There are many spots on the island to go snorkelling, however Rubiah Island which is accessible from Iboih Beach, is recommended by the locals to have the best view of the coral reef.
It is adviseable to respect the local customs such as dressing conservetively, even while swimming. The Nashata skirt allowed me to move freely while snorkelling, while keeping it modest.
The next day, we explored the village and Sumurtiga Beach that was near to our hotel. Since we did not hire any guide, we just went swimming and did not do any snorkelling. Despite being close to the village and the hotel, the water was surprisingly unpolluted and clear but there were not many coral reefs since the waves are pretty choppy.
Our hotel might be basic, but the view is award-winning for sure!
The sea beckons for a swim. How can we say no to that!
Going to a country where life is tough makes you appreciate what you have at home. Despite all the hardship, there are hardly any beggers on this island, and only a handful at the harbour on the mainland. We were glad that we decided to travel here because we are indirectly helping the local economy and promote the tourism industry.
Despite all the hardship that they have been through, the locals here are friendly, hardworking, and pious.
For accommodation and arrangements, contact Freddie Santai Sumurtiga
P/S: Shout out to all full, half marathon, and 12K runners who have successfully completed the Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon! I spotted so many ladies who ran in a Nashata top/ hijab/ skirt-pants yesterday, thank you for your continuous support. Give me a high 5, sisters!
Until next week,
The Weekend Runner