Banda Aceh Travel Blog› entry 30 of 32 › view all entries
This morning I took the ferry from Sabang to the mainland and checked into a hotel for the night.The Tsunami of 26 December 2004
I chose to take in some of the reminders of the tsunami which killed 170000 people in Aceh but, not the mass graves which are available for visits.
The tsunami did kill some people back on Pulau Weh as well. The waves reached 3/4 height of the ground floor of the dive reception area but fortunately in Weh, there are hills for people to run to.
Some travellers have been told that divers were safe during the tsunami. They felt strong currents and when they surfaced and returned to land, found that their friends had been swept away and the dive resort in ruins.
It is quite unreal that the city which looks perfectly normal had thousands lying dead only several years ago.
Together with Sabine (my German dive buddy), we also visited Kherkhof, a cemetery for 2500 Dutch and Indonesian soldiers who died fighting the Acehnese.
Opposite that was Gunongan, a playground and bathing place for a Malay princess who married the local Sultan.
Today is my last day in Aceh ... it has been a short and sweet visit. It was either going to be short or not at all and I am pleased that I made the brief stopover.
The Acehnese are wonderful people ... they are kind, happy, chatty and helpful people ... perhaps a little more so than the Indonesians I've met in the other areas I have visited. Perhaps this has ben facilitated bythe closeness of their language and accent to what I am familiar with.
I hope to come back but there is so much more of the country and the world to see.