Selasa, 13 Maret 2012

Cruising Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam

Banda Aceh Port of Malahayati

Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam or just "Aceh" is the westernmost province of Indonesia.This province is considered a special territory and is granted special autonomy where Islamic law is implemented in addition to government regulation. Its long coastline has been the gateway to Southeast Asia's most important sea lane, the Mallaca straits. On his return from China in 1292, Marco Polo visited Aceh. It was time where foreign traders from all over the world came to search for spices. Aceh was one of Asia's greatest trading market, under the reign of Sultan Iskandar Muda in the early 17th century. Formely, Aceh's the main income came from rice,pepper,rubber and palm plantation but the discovery of large reserves of natural gas in the 1960s changed Aceh into one of the richest province in Indonesia.

The capital city of Aceh is Banda Aceh, it was known as Kutaraja (King's Town) before it was renamed Banda Aceh after Indonesia independence.

Most of the major tourist attractions are situated in Banda Aceh and for many years this city has been famous by its gold jewellery and dagger hilts. Gold ornaments are commonly seen during traditional festivities, brides wear songket cloth with gold woven into cloth and simplaih,belt of gold. Rice paddies,palms,coconut groves and traditional houses which are built on stilts and covered with nipa palms dominate Aceh's countryside. Western Aceh contains some of Indonesia's most spectacular and beautiful stretches of white sandy beaches.

On the 26th of December, 2004 the area was swept by a giant tsunami that killed over 100,000 people and left a myriad of shaterred buildings and a battered landscape. Today, Aceh is in the process of recovery. Local and foreign non profit organizations have been working together under the supervision of Indonesia government to redevelop Aceh.

Places of Interest
Negeri Aceh Museum
An ideal place for those interested in the history and culture of Aceh. This museum was built in the style of a traditional house by the Dutch Governor Van Swart in 1914. Among its priceless collection of antiques is the big clock "Cakra Donya" This gift to the Sultan of Aceh from the Emperor of China was presented to him by the great Admiral Cheng Ho in 1414.

Masjid Raya
The Baiturrahman Grand Mosque is one of the architectural landmarks of Indonesia. The original building was built in the 12th century and is now the main feature of Banda Aceh. This mosque is located in the heart of the city and is renowned for its magnificent architecture and ornamentation.

Kher Khoff Peucut (War Memorial & Dutch Cemetery)
A graveyard for over 2,000 Dutch soldiers who died during the war against local Acehnese around the 19th century. This cemetery gives visitors detailed information of the names places where they died.

This building is a man made miniature mountain, built by Sultan Iskandar Muda between 1608 to 1636, for his Malaysian wife, Putro Phang. Visitors normally come here in the late afternoon to watch sunset.

The Golden Mountain
Seulawah or Golden Mountain (RI-001) is a Dakota DC3. This plane was Garuda Indonesian Airways first aircraft and was donated by people of Aceh in 1948 to fight the Dutch. This aircraft is on public display at a park close to Jalan Sultan Iskandar Muda.

Banda Aceh City Sightseeing
Duration : 4 Hours

08:30               Malahayati, Departure
09:00 - 09:30  Mesjid Raya - The Baiturrahman Grand Mosque
09:35 - 10:00  Gunongan built by Sultan Iskandar Muda (1607-1636)
10:15 - 10:30  War Memorial and Dutch cemetery - Kher Khoff Peucut
10:40 - 11:20  Museum Negeri Aceh
12:00               Malahayati, Arrival

Port of Sabang, Weh Island
This western most island of the Indonesian archipelago was an important seaport for its strategic location. Visitors come to Weh Island also known as Sabang, which is the name of its capital, for snorkeling, swimming, diving or just relaxing by the palm-lined beaches. The fabled sea garden in Rubiah is well known as a diving paradise. In Sabang visitors can see how villagers produce oil in the traditional way and how rattan furniture is made.

Sabang City Sightseeing
Duration : 4 Hours

09:00               Sabang Port, Departure
09:45 - 10:15  Traditional village
11:00 - 11:30  Photo stop of Malaka Strait
12:15 - 12.45  Rattan Factory
13:00              Sabang Port, Arrival

Source: Cruising Indonesia by Ministry of Culture and Tourism Republic OF Indonesia

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