Gapang Beach. (Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)
Gapang Beach. (Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)

Pulau Weh

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the strange sentences and the funny mistakes that could gave been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here PetitesBullesdAilleurs.fr

  Indonesia: Pulau Weh [Sumatra] - March 2010

I dreamed, I'm there! Pulau Weh is a small Indonesian island located on the northern tip of Sumatra. The region is known as Banda Aceh, which was devastated during the tsunami of December 2004. Pulau Weh is not very touristy and famous for its underwater world.

Five years after the tsunami

The island is on the border of the Indian Ocean and the Andaman Sea, just in the extension of the islands Nicobar and Andaman (which I will surely visit one day, later ...).

There have been quite a few casualties here on Pulau Weh, during the terrifying and deadly tsunami of December 2004, unlike the rest of the Banda Aceh region on Sumatra itself.

When the water retreated in the distance, a sign of an imminent wave, the people of Pulau Weh were able to take refuge in the heights. Apparently, some knew the phenomenon and alerted others of the danger.

A little more than five years after the disaster, the city of Banda Aceh, the regional capital, is rebuilt. With a lot of ugly concrete adorned with gaudy advertising signs (as in so many other Indonesian cities), as I have seen by going to change money before taking the ferry ... Life has resumed in North Sumatra. The separatist movement is no longer relevant and visitors are starting to return.

Pulau Weh, a very quiet island

Pulau Weh has the effect of being very quiet. Only two ATMs (ATMs) in the town of Sabang.

On the road between the pier and Gapang Beach (where I chose to land), we see bands of monkeys, cows and goats on a spree, dogs, chickens and children crossing everywhere, no matter how ... Ah, the Indonesian roads! ! !

Before leaving, I gleaned a lot of information on travel forums. And this recent trip report, on the excellent Transverse notebooks, made me want ...

I contacted the diving center Lumba Lumba, held by a Dutch couple. This is where I am installed.

Their bungalows are top. And the mention "free wireless internet in the rooms" more than tickled me, I must say ... 😜

They too had to rebuild everything after the tsunami. In the photo below, the white line that we see on the windows of the floor is the level that the water has reached ...

Lumba Lumba dive center, in Gapang Beach, on Pulau Weh. (Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)
Lumba Lumba dive center, in Gapang Beach, on Pulau Weh. (Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)

I have not explored the island much this Monday. I mostly spent my day sleeping ... The jet lag and the tiredness of the trip got the better of me.

But I managed nevertheless to make some images of my immediate environment, at the end of the day. And found the simple pleasure of smiling ... in response to the smiles that people spontaneously send to you as greetings, when they cross you.

Oh, it's good to be back in South East Asia!

Fisherman on the Gapang Pier, Pulau Weh. (Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)
Fisherman on the Gapang Pier, Pulau Weh. (Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)
The Cove of Gapang Beach. (Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)
The Cove of Gapang Beach. (Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)
Peaceful atmosphere in Gapang. (Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)
Peaceful atmosphere in Gapang. (Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)
Gapang Beach. (Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)
Gapang Beach. (Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)
We are not invaded by the crowd. (Gapang Beach, Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)
We are not invaded by the crowd. (Gapang Beach, Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)
View of Gapang Beach. (Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)
View of Gapang Beach. (Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)
Gapang Beach. (Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)
Gapang Beach. (Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.)

😎

  Indonesia: Pulau Weh [Sumatra] - March 2010

  1. Thank you for this first post and first photos ... Why go elsewhere than Indonesia? Not only are there fabulous underwater worlds (we are waiting for your feedback for this corner ...) but also the people, the landscapes that transport us far away ...
    Go your blog takes us a little there, I almost forget the cold, the office and I still have to wait until May to be on vacation!

  2. Well, well, I come back from a nice getaway in Thonon, -3 ... with an icy wind ... Tomorrow, even more exotic, Saint Louis, near Mulhouse, in the bungalow IBIS !!!!
    You really have chosen your week to go ... Great wave of cold in France Fortunately your blog is here to warm us up!

  3. Hello and have a nice stay,

    I can not wait to read more of the stories of this trip and in particular the underwater discoveries. I do not know why this part of Indonesia makes me less dream, than Sulawezi, Raja Ampat or the islands of the probe but with a few more tickets, I could change my mind.

    Good bubbles

  4. From the unpublished here in the Basque country, it is still snowing, the temperatures are announced winter for the whole week, and the Japanese apple tree already flowered but snowy is splendid, it does not miss even the small red throat perched on a branch as in many Japanese prints! Well, everyone's flora and fauna!
    What happiness to read you!

    Lydie 🙂

  5. Super, it already gives desire! I'm waiting for what's next ! Before going for a walk, who knows ... it will not be the first time you give me ideas 😉

  6. You said: in March, I go back to Asia.
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ... March still nothing new, well here is finally the new destination revealed! We will be able to escape the freezing cold by consulting your site daily, in addition you have internet "at home" !! 😉
    The area looks very nice, vivid pictures of dives.
    Next year, we too will return to Asia, it's decided. ❗
    Strongly more ...

  7. Blue, green and a very detailed comment: it's fun to see and read.
    Here, it is clear and cold weather of beggars, but that, you do not care!
    Beautiful dives, see you soon

  8. @Malene: yessss, Indonesia, it's great! First dives yesterday, lots of pretty "little" things (harlequin ghost fish, leaf fish ...). Today, I practice handling the monster (my new box) on the house-reef. Small report very soon!
    🙂

    @Anthony: No, I did not sink earlier, on my first try ... It's the exact opposite, I made the mistake of removing a lead, thinking that the device was going too far ... result, I was too "light" and I was struggling to stabilize myself well with the small beach swell. I'm retelling just now, with more weight.
    😉

    @ Helen: Yes, I feel I have chosen my moment ... Go, I send you lots of positive waves from Indonesia. Courage for the tour!
    🙄

    @Myriam: In fact, in Sumatra, there is only Pulau Weh, it seems to me, who is a little run for diving. There are no other famous sites, to my knowledge ... As for Sumatra itself, I will not have time to discover on this trip, but I had only good feedback from other travelers ...
    8)

    @Lydie: Oh, there, snow? Brrr ... I hope the warmth will be there when I get back!
    🙄

    @Thib: Yes, it seems to me that Pulau Weh could make a very nice trip from Singapore ...
    🙂

    @Laurence: Voili-voilou !!! Suffice to wait a little ... Diving photos arrive in a future post. Still a little bit of patience.
    😉

    @Colette: Yes, I admit, I do not care about the weather in Rennes, for the moment. Thank you for this little word, it makes me very happy to find you here.
    😀

  9. Sumatra is a very original destination for a trip around diving in Indonesia. As I leave for a 5th dive trip in this country, I admit that I did not plan to go to Sumatra or read any CR except for the following: http://www.asiadivesite.com/indonesia-dive-sites/sumatra/index.php

    How will you feel about what is described in the link above:
    - the visibility
    - the canyon with "big visitors"
    - Drifting with bigger feeders
    - the 134 m wreck

    Excellent dives! Photos of moray eels are expected after the dives at Batee Tokong: D.

  10. @Bertran: For my part, I found a lot of links on Sumatra and Pulau Weh, but more focused on "travel" than "diving". I'll go back to my favorites and tell you that.
    I do not intend to make the wreck, too deep for my taste (more than 50 meters). I am rather in the optics "I enjoy myself without stress" in the shallow fishy waters, to make the photo. Not wanting to hit me endless steps for a few tiny minutes deep ... But many divers here at Lumba Lumba, ask to do it.
    Batee Tokong, the site of the moray eels, I speak a little here, already:
    http://petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/2010/03/11/sous-leau/
    For others, it will be very soon, in future tickets!
    🙄

  11. Wow, let me dream again! here the winter is prolonged, and this weekend, I spend it in Poitiers, it's less glamorous!
    and then, I want to see beasts with branches too, I love them. (lumibranches, nullibranches - I do not know the name!)
    Kisses, enjoy! 😀

  12. @RolK: Delighted to have managed to make you dream a little ... For the moment, I am always in the water, to dive. But I'm going to take a day off, one of these days, to walk around the island. Underwater, not yet seen spectacular nudibranch. Just some tiny specimen, which I have not managed to make good pictures. But I will try to find others! Bizzz
    🙂

  13. @David: Ah, the trip is over, for about three weeks ... But I extend it, through this blog, with my memories, my impressions, my images. Nice to have given you the desire to leave !!! And strongly the next trip!
    🙄

  14. Hi Corinne,

    I will spend nearly a month in Sumatra and Java in August. I think I'll spend a little week on your island! Apparently, the funds are top! Your dive club ditto What is the cheapest accommodation in the area?

    Good day to you!

    Fabrice

  15. @Fabrice: For the diving center, yes, the Lumba Lumba is very very good. You will find all the useful information on their site:
    http://www.lumbalumba.com

    On Gapang beach, where Lumba Lumba is, there are many other choices of accommodation (small basic bungalows, held by locals), not expensive at all. The Lumba Lumba also offers rooms a bit cheaper than its bungalows (which, themselves, are not expensive and very comfortable).

    On the Iboih beach, the same, vast choice of basic and cheap accommodation ....

    Good preparations !!!
    8)

  16. Hello Corinne,

    It's nice to see Pulau Weh again and Lumba Lumba! It is true that it is very quiet!
    I hope you enjoyed it, and thank you for the link 😉

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