Weh Island, Where Kilometer Zero of Indonesia Starts to Count
During three years my stay in Aceh, Weh Island had been my escape sanctuary every time I was fed up with the hectic of city life. Not merely its location closed to Banda Aceh, but also the beauty of its tropical beach spread its magic to make me feel too comfortable to leave the island once I stepped my feet there several times. So, in one morning, my friend from work, Farid asked me a question,
“What are you doing in the weekend?”
“Nothing. I’m waiting for someone to ask me out” I answered.
“So, let’s go out with me to Weh Island”
This invitation was too good to ignore. I immediately said “I’m in” even without giving any second thought. Apparently, Farid already asked my other friend, Royan and Bu Dewi to join us. That would be perfect since I will have girl friend to share room with since Farid will share his with Royan. Anyway, our plan was not a secret plan. We had no idea from where it came from, when suddenly our friend Damaris, asked “hey guys. You’re going to Weh Island without me? You will not. I will join you and I will get all my kids with me”
This idea was not bad tough for me, since I know well all those children. Yet, apparently Damaris did not only asked her children to join us, but also other people from other department, that made us going as a big group. We left Banda Aceh on Saturday morning and used the fast ferry to reach the island. It took 45 minutes only, where most of the time I spent for sleeping since I was not used to wake up so early on Saturday morning. We arrived at Balohan harbor and two cars were there waiting for all of us. Since public transport was not too easy to reach within the island, and the fact that we brought 4 children not more than 10 years old, renting car would be the best solution.
We started our journey by stopping by at Sumur Tiga Beach. The beach is beautiful, with white sand beach and quite too. There are some hotels available in this area, but at that time, we won’t stay there. Sumur Tiga is my favorite place in Weh Island that brought me for other visits to make this area to be always my first choice to stay. I love its solitary and hearing the sound of wave in the same time. The beach is not really good place to swim due to its location next to the Ocean. The wave could be so high, and not so many corals could be found inside the water. Anyway, swimming is not always my priority while escaping to the island. Instead, I enjoyed being lazy for the whole day, laying on the hammocks by the beach, with good books to read and delicious food that I could order many time.
After spending time for two hours in Sumur Tiga, we were heading to Japanese Fortress . This is one of historical site in the island, used by Japanese soldier as their fortress and shelter to stay during the World War II in Indonesia. The remain of the fortress is only a small building that was used as place to keep a cannon. The best thing from this place is the view enabling us to see the Ocean from the top of the hill. The next stop was Sabang city, the capital of district, to get our lunch. There were not so much I could say about the city since it looks likely typical of other city in Aceh.
Kilometer zero was our next destination. It was quite far from city center, took approximately one hour driving from the city. The road is good, but winding which made Farid felt like dying for one hour driving trip.
“I’m sorry. I don’t get used to with this kind of road since I get used to travel with my private jet” he could still make a joke while forcing himself for not throwing up in our car.
Kilometer zero is the point where Indonesian kilometer starts. There were not so many things to see, except the tower where I could see the Indian Ocean from its top. Nonetheless, the kids look so happy while we were there especially when Daniel, the youngest child who looked so excited seeing monkeys for the very first time.
After sometimes, we continued our trip to Iboih, fishermen village which is not really far from zero kilometer. If you’re looking for hotel or guest house run by the locals with cheap prices, you will find a lot of options in this area. Many travelers choose to stay in this neighborhood, especially to whom who plan to stay longer for economic reason. In addition, this area is also rich with beautiful coral and colorful fishes in its water, made it as good place to have a wonderful snorkeling time. You even could find some diving instructors around that could teach you how to dive and get the certificate for diving on your own after passing your test. We didn’t swim here, instead we just spent the time more in the coffee shop while watching the boats come and go. At 5 pm, the driver took us to Gapang, the area where we stayed in.
We rent three bungalows for all of us. One was for Farid and Royan. Bu Dewi and I got the other bungalow, and Damaris got the biggest one for her, the kids and other friends that she invited.
I was half awake when I heard Vanessa, one of the kids talked with Farid, at my veranda, tried to persuade him to take her with us to Rubiah island. Bu Dewi was awake already. She read a book when I finally found myself awake. We decided to have morning walks by the beach before breakfast.
Farid, Royan, Bu Dewi and I then went to Rubiah Island. Meanwhile, Damaris chose to stay in Gapang, and other friends looked so not excited to across the sea using the small wooden boat. So, there would be four of us only sailing to Rubiah Island.
This island was reached in 30 minutes from Gapang, but only five minutes from Iboih. It’s almost unpopulated island. The island is very small, without any road and electricity facility. No one lived there except some families opening small restaurants and offering their simple house as place to stay for visitors who intend to stay there longer. The fisherman who took us there left us immediately and he would pick us back after six hours. We won’t spent the nigh there, of course. Our most reason to come was to swim, snorkel and enjoy the beauty of under water. Not like beach in Sumur Tiga, here the water was so clear and calm with beautiful fishes surrounding. I even didn’t need to go too far since I could meet these beautiful fishes in the depth one meter only. This place is perfect and I highly recommend you to come to this island when you have chance to visit. Bu Dewi didn’t swim, instead she just sat by the beach, and help us to get some photo of us until midday when the fisherman returned to take us back to Gapang.
We had swum for almost four hours, but still we arrived at Gapang we didn’t want to miss chance to swim again. Bu Dewi refused to join us, she prefer to return to Bungalow continuing reading her book.