Aceh is known worldwide after the 2004 tsunami that killed around 170,000 of its people, thousands left homeless. International aid poured in. Global attention has helped the people of Aceh back on their feet. Now, most of its breathtaking beaches restored, tourists flock not only to see the natural wonders but also what’s left by the tsunami. Aceh is now a major tourism province in Indonesia.
I lived there for a couple of years. I witnessed the pain in the eyes of the widows. I saw tears streaming down the cheeks of mothers who lost their children. Yet, I saw also hope.
I used to be a humanitarian worker, I wrote reports on how the disaster had affected the lives of these innocents. I wrote on how the supports from all over the world had helped Aceh regaining stability, improving its economy, and empowering its people. Now, I sound like the old me with all those jargons.
But now I am more a travel blogger. So now I report on something else. Let me take you to the beautiful province of Aceh. Mind you, I lost my laptop in a robbery just a few days before my leaving Aceh for good. So, the pictures here are credited to my dear friend Cynthia Maharani, whose anomaly personality is reflected to the way she takes pictures. Yes, correct, not straight!
Virgin beaches along the west and east coasts are just stunning. The most well-known beaches – which of course lost their virginity long ago – are in Banda Aceh and Aceh Besar areas. Lhok Nga and Lampuuk are among the most popular.
My favorite coastline view is along the road from Lamno to Calang. It used to take 7 hours drive to Calang from Banda Aceh in a very bad tsunami-affected road. Now I believe it’s better (thanks to USAID?). The view is just mindboggling. Blue water surrounded by lush forest is just unbelievably pretty.
If you don’t have too much time, try to take a drive from Banda Aceh to Lamno (approx 2 hours). You’ll see beautiful sights of the ocean. Have a quick coffee break in a traditional stall on Mt Geureute (did I spell it right?).
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