YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

Sabang (Indonesia)

From Wikitravel
Earth : Asia : Southeast Asia : Indonesia : Sumatra : Aceh : Sabang (Indonesia)
Jump to: navigation, search

Sabang is a town name on an island north of Banda Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra. Strictly speaking, the island's name is Weh Island (Pulau Weh) and Sabang is the main town on the north coast, but the names are often used interchangeably. Among locals the place is more often referred to as "Sabang" but among tourists it is well known as "Pulau Weh". The island is best known for its snorkelling and diving.


Pulau Weh is a small island off the northern tip of Sumatra. The northern-most point of the Indonesian archipelago is known as kilometre zero,or KmZero.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Three weekly flights from Medan to Sabang Airport have been discontinued as of 2019. Banda Aceh is the nearest airport. Take a 15 minute taxi/becak ride to the ferry terminal for transfer to Pulau Weh.

By boat[edit]

  • Fast Ferry (c. 45 minutes, IDR80,000 economy, IDR100,000 business) leaves at 08:00, 10:00 and 16:00 from Banda Aceh (no 08:00 ferry on Tuesday or Wednesday); 08:00, 14:30 and 16:00 from Sabang Pulau Weh (no 16:00 ferry on Tues or Wed).

Motorcycles and cars are not allowed on the fast ferry but bicycles can be shipped for IDR50,000.

  • Slow Ferry (c. 1.5h, IDR27,000). Leaves Banda Aceh at 11:00 and 16:00 daily (with 14:00 departure on Mon/Tue/Thu), and from Pulau Weh at 08:00 and 14:00. You can take motorbikes and cars on this for a small fee.

See the diving websites of Monster Divers, Scuba WEH, Rubiah Divers, Lumba Lumba, or Bubble Addict for up to date information in regards to getting to and from KL or Medan to Banda Aceh and from Banda Aceh to Pulau Weh.

Note: You can use the free blue TransKoetaradja buses (with a/c!) to go from the center to the harbour and back. The buses stop only at the designated TransKoetaradja bus stops, you can recognize those by the elevation of +-1m above street level. You can catch the bus to the harbour beside the Big Mosque (Mesjid Raya).

Get around[edit]

Travelling from Balohan port to Sabang costs roughly IDR30,000. From Balohan port (harbour) to backpacker hangouts of Gapang and Iboih IDR50,000 (negotiable) in shared transport (~1 hr drive) and to Semur Tiga Rp25,000 in shared transport (~20 min drive). From Iboih to Semur Tiga in shared transport costs IDR100,000 (~1 hr drive). Prices for minibuses (shared transport) from and to harbour are fixed (also if there is only one passenger in the car).

A possibly cheaper option is to arrange transport in becaks or on motorbikes. For this transport you need to bargain. You can also take the whole taxi for IDR150,000. Bargain hard, since the prices are not set (although the drivers try to show you written notes with prices). A motorbike ride should cost around Rp30,000.

Alternatively you can rent motorbikes at Iboih and Gapang and Semur Tiga (IDR100,000 per day). Besides that bicycles are for rent in Iboih,Santai Sumur Tiga and several Places like Kartika and Holiday Hotel. If you want to cycle from the port to your hotel its best to rent a bicycle in Banda Aceh and take it with you on the boat.

See[edit][add listing]

jetty at Iboih (Teupin Layeu)
There's not much to see in the city of Sabang. Head straight to either Gapang or Iboih beaches (40-50 minutes from the ferry).

The main reason to go to Pulau Weh is for the beaches. Relaxing, swimming, snorkelling, diving. Don't worry about doing anything else. There is now a yoga studio so it is also becoming a great place for yoga teacher training.

Kilometer Nol (Kilometre 0), the most Western point in Indonesia, is on Pulau Weh. You can rent a motorbike from Iboih for around IDR100,000/day and head out on your own, or rent a minivan and guide to take your group.

Do[edit][add listing]


Gapang Beach
Single dive starts at €25, cheaper the more you do. Island has around 20 dive sites which are way less populated than elsewhere in Indonesia, and the life under water is simply spectacular. Note that Iboih and Gapang (and possibly other places on the island) are closed to diving on Friday mornings.

It's still considered a secret spot even amongst the diving community and Pulau Weh's reefs are genuinely untouched and offer something for every level of experience. The bottom topography ranges from large boulders on sandy slopes and deep volcanic pinnacles to craggy wall sections and coral gardens. Pulau Weh is notable for strong currents that can present dangerous conditions for unprepared divers.

The house reef at Gapang Beach boasts a wide range of macro life including rare critters like Frog Fish, Star Gazers and Gurnards. Large pelagics like Mantas, Whale Sharks and Mola Mola also come to feed when the season is right. All operators on Gapang Beach prioritize safety. Pulau Weh offers some of the finest diving in Indonesia, yet it is still very much undeveloped.

  • Monster Divers, +62 81269606857 (), [1]. Monster Divers is located on Gapang Beach and it's managed by three Spanish guys and a few of nice local people. Very respectful with the sea environment, you won't see them (or allow you) with the fins on the coral or hunting an octopus with a stick. New equipment and boat just in front of the store, they also offer free pick up at your location. Very friendly stuff, safety and fun is their main concern. All dive operators on Gapang Beach have highest safety standards.  edit
  • Rubiah Tirta Divers, [2]. Dive school based in Iboih, with a lot of restaurants and accommodation nearby. Rubiah is the original dive shop on the island and is still the cheapest (if you do a course or are a member, dives are €10 thereafter). The dive shop has a big boat and two smaller boats, nice local staff and knowledgeable instructors. A very relaxed place where you can chill out drinking tea and watch the world pass you by. It's popular with western dive masters and instructors that come here to dive on their holidays away from the day job in Thailand. They typically do only one dive in the morning and one in the afternoon unless you make arrangements as a group.  edit
  • Lumba Lumba Diving Centre, [3]. Popular western-owned dive operator in Gapang beach. Accommodation is for divers only, but the bungalows are spacious and clean. The newer budget rooms with shared bathroom are very good value for money. The dive shop is professional and staff very friendly. They offer all PADI courses and also offer Nitrox! The house reef is right in front of the diveshop, just walk into the water. Gapang beach is very quiet, a great place to relax where all dive operators have highest safety standards.  edit
  • Scuba Weh, +62 823 70521752 (), [4]. Dive center based in Iboih, turn right after you drive down to the village centre. Super friendly staff, local owner Mus is a legend, very knowledgeable instructors including German fella. Equipment is new and good quality, tank fills come from a european standard quality controlled compressor. Flexible dive schedules. All PADI Courses offered.  edit
  • Bubble Addict, +62 852 96904984 (), [5]. Bubble Addict is the newest shop on Gapang and offers fun dives and courses with SSI or PADI. Owner is French and his wife, the yoga instructor, is Japanese/Canadian and they employ many local staff so very diverse and international. They are environmentalists and plan beach/reef cleanups, avoid single-use plastic (using metal straws), and give out free fruit juice to local kids who collect trash. Very safe and well-maintained equipment.  edit
  • Steffen Sea Sports, [6]. Offers a more customized, relaxed and professional atmosphere with 31 years of experience. Owner is a great Malaysian guy that truly appreciates his customers and it shows in his attitude also. They had nice plans for future in Spring 2010, but are operating from Gapang near Leguna and Flamboyan resorts at least until 2011. Gear is new too, and maintained to strict standards. Highly recommended.  edit
  • Dive Weh, Pick up at accommodation, +62 822 732 11194 (), [7]. Tour and Dive Boat in Pulau Weh. They will pick you up from your accommodation, whether you stay in Sumur Tiga, Sabang, Gapang, Iboih etc. They are not just a dive operation, but also run snorkeling tours and boat charter services. Co-owner is one of the only Acehnese PADI Instructors on the island, with 20 years diving around Southeast Asia, so very local & experienced. They have a big 17m-long boat, with a nice sun deck, perfect for cruising, chilling out before & after dives or activities. Good for groups also. Sometimes you can see their boat in the bay when driving through Monkey Hill. They can also organize all-in packages with accommodation & meals.  edit
  • The Padé Dive Resort, +62 6523324 500 (), [8]. The Pade Dive Resort is located at Lhong Angen Beach on the very quiet westcoast of Pulau Weh. Here some of the islands' best dive sites such as Batee Meuduro, Pantee Peunateung and The Canyon can be found. Well maintained rental equipment and NITROX is available for divetrips to all of Pulau Weh's divesites on the four boats. The housereef, which is also ideal for snorkeling, is easily accessible from the beach. The rooms are equipped with A/C, hot water shower, satellite TV and WiFi is available throughout the resort. Visa and Mastercard are accepted.  edit


  • Flying Elephant Yoga, +62 85296904984 (), [9]. Flying Elephant Yoga is the only yoga studio on the island, located at the end of Gapang Beach above Bubble Addict/Tipsy Toby Cafe. Community yoga classes are held at 18:30 each weekday (Monday-Friday) on donation basis. All abilities welcome. Be on time; classes start promptly at 18:30 and usually fill up. Check with them for the latest schedule, sometimes it changes. Talk to Tomomi if you're interested in yoga teacher training program, she's an amazing instructor.  edit


  • Mountain bike and bicycle tours in Sabang, [10]. Aceh Adventure organizes cycle tours on the island.  edit

Snorkelling - Lots to see including octopus, turtles, morays.... Nothing - nice place to do nothing as well :) - Rubiah Island Sea Graden off Iboih is AMAZING even for snorkelling and you can start at the southern end and float along in the currents to the northern end. You could hire a boat (with driver) for the afternoon and should not cost more than RP300,000. Must do.

  • Snorkeling Day Tour, Pick up at accommodation, +62 822 732 11194 (). 9:00am-6:00pm. Dive Weh also offers a full-day Snorkeling Day Tour. Their boat takes you around Pulau Weh's best spots not normally accessible to snorkelers. Places like Seulako, Gapang, Arus Paleh, the Underwater Volcano... Includes lunch, often home-cooked Acehnese food prepared by village womenfolk. If you are lucky you might even spot dolphins! Super enjoyable tour. RP400,000++.  edit


Learn Indonesian. Speak to Eva in Iboih beach


Dive instructors are at the local dive centres are almost always westerners - backpackers that hang around a bit longer. If you are an instructor, and persistent, you could be lucky and find work here. Divemasters are plentiful both among the staff and guests, so I wouldn't get my hopes up.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Before 2014 ATMs were only in the city of Sabang, which is about 40 minutes from Gapang and Iboh beaches. Now, another 2 have been set up in Iboih beach. Still, they only work when the electricity is on which is not as often as you would imagine, so it's still wise to bring plenty of cash from Banda Aceh. Iboih Inn and Rubiah Tirta dive center accepts credit cards at a 3% charge.

There are a few souvenir shops around the island. We really recommend Seahorse in Iboih though, Teupin Sirkui (inner beach). The owner has got to be the nicest & most honest guy on the island.

Eat[edit][add listing]

This article or section does not match our manual of style or needs other editing. Please plunge forward, give it your attention and help it improve! Suggested fixes: Listings format

Gapang Beach Gapang Beach has a few restaurants to choose from.

- Dang Dang Na is next to Lumba Lumba and serves a range of local and western food, prepare for a long wait though. Gado Gado is a peanut and salad based Indonesian dish well worth a try, also noodles and curry available. Best to order early as everything is on island time, and try to relax if your having to wait.

- Further down the beach there are Limbo Cafe, Zero Cafe and Mama Jungle (best to order in advance), all places can do fish and sometimes chicken BBQ's, give them a little notice first though.

- Barracuda is the newest around and is between the Lumbalumba Dive center and the souvenir shop. Owners speak very good English, and serve a comprehensive menu with the tastiest food on Gapang. Their curries and Tacos are just delicious.

- Tipsy Toby Cafe is in Bubble Addict below Flying Elephant Yoga. They serve sandwiches, fresh fruit, yogurt, pizza, naan wraps and various other western cafe dishes for breakfast and lunch (closes 7pm). They have a professional espresso machine for the best coffee on Pulau Weh.

Sumur Tiga If you like it more for western taste, you should visit the east coast of pulau weh,the new tourist destination, for people who not only want to dive but also can. There are some accommodations at Sumur Tiga area.

- Freddies ([15]) who, next to his normal restaurant, daily from 7:30 p.m. serves delicious four course meals (let him know before 5p.m. that you want to join) for IDR65,000.

- Casa Nemo ([16]) has a limited menu but the people are very friendly and the food is fresh and good.

- Further about 6 KM the newest comfort accommodation on Pulau Weh on Anoi Itam Bay the Rasa Seni Hotel Resort.

Iboih In the village you find the ubiquitous, paper-wrapped take-away, Nasi Campur (IDR7,000). Basically rice with some vegetables, maybe chicken (ayam) or egg (telur) depending on your request. The restaurants in the village are generally cheaper than those belonging to the bungalows. However many of these have the added bonus of free wifi to check your e-mails during meals.

Most restaurants have somewhat the same menu like fried noodle, fried rice (IDR15,000) or curries (IDR25,000). The guacamole and avocado salads are excellent choices at most any of the bungalow restaurants.

You can expect to wait as long as an hour for your food even if the restaurant is nearly deserted. The best strategy is to arrive well before you plan to eat and place an order for a later time.

A few places that stand out are:

- Home High has you covered with a substantial menu that caters to both your local and western tastebuds. Also treat yourself to the donuts (2000 RP) in the morning. You won't be sorry.

- Olala also makes great food, try the taco or the superb pizza on pizza-night.

- Norma (at Oong's bungalows) makes homecooked communal meals (25,000 Rp). Just swing by before noon to announce your attendance and you will be treated to a feast.

- DeeDees serves delicious food and has homemade bread. Especially her curries are amazing. And try the Tempeh-burger. Wifi works better than many other places. Great setting on the beach. Meals from IDR20-40,000

- "Le Cafe Bleu" Run by a French expat. Homemade bread, pastas, crepes and sandwhiches from IDR20-35,000.

Pasir Putih

  • Sunset bar & grill at Pulau Weh Paradise, Pulau Weh Paradise, +62 812 6297 9009,, [11]. Open every day, except 2pm-4pm. They serve wide variety of food, include local food and western food. This is the best restaurant and bar to watch sunset in Weh Island  edit

Long Beach

About 4km walk from Iboih (30 minutes, if you cross through the jungle. Just follow the signs) you will find Long beach, and there the best (and only) Italian Restaurant. Prices from 40,000. Homemade pasta, gnocchi, tiramisu and also a small range of local dishes.

Drink[edit][add listing]

There are no nightclubs or bars on Pulau Weh, if you like to party this is the wrong place to go. Alcohol is generally forbidden in the entire Aceh province, however some places may have it available. Beer (IDR25,000) and banana brandy (80,000 Rp) makes up the selection of the local poison.

Popular places for a sundowner at Iboih includes Ozone Restaurant and Olala. Oong's, Iboih Inn and Yulia's all have beer in the fridge for sale, if you prefer drinking at home.

At Sumur Tiga, Freddies has a menu of drinks inside the four-course meal restaurant. You can even get wine here. Casa Nemo serves beer.

Other option is to go Sunset Bar & Grill at Pulau Weh Paradise. This place is located near Pasir putih side, between Gun Sarang and Pasir Putih beach. They offers beers and Gin and Tonic. Lovely place to watch sunset

Sleep[edit][add listing]


Backpacker style beach huts with hammocks on the balconies from RP50,000 per night (Mama Mia)(longstay) up to RP400,000 (short stay) depending on the location and features of the bungalow (and your negotiating ability). Shared bathrooms (squat toilets) are the norm, but more and more bungalows with private western toilets are being built (ca. 350,000 Rp).

Walk east along the road from the village and you'll find the newer, more expensive upmarket bungalows with air-conditioning (starting around RP300,000). Walk west past the village and up along the path into the jungle to find the budget accommodations. From the village you find the following in this order:

  • Erick's Green House. is a higher standard very close to the sandy beach. Erick speaks good English, is very together and in a fountain of information. As many of the rooms are attached to one building, there is a community feel to this place. Start at 250,000 Rp.  edit
  • Fatimah's bungalows. Fatimah is an old lady with a creeky voice who rents out some basic bungalows with a gorgeous view. Both view and price are hard to beat. 150.000/250.000 Rp.  edit
  • Mamamia. Bungalows on the river with a bathroom are 100,000 while bungalows set in the trees are 80,000. All have hammock and deck. Mama is a super friendly lady who you will like immediately. Her food is good and big, she won't let you go hungry! Free wifi. She also offers laundry and massage. (April 2016) 80,000-100,000 Rp.  edit
  • Olala. started with two bungalows right on the water, but has since built a few more. If you're lucky enough to get one of the original shacks, you can watch the fish from the hammock on the balcony. Wifi, great restaurant, friendly owner. 100,000 to 140,000 Rp.  edit
  • Oong (Norma's place). Norma is the default location for return visitors. Expect a communal atmosphere with home cooked meals. Norma is an institution! 80,000-100,000.  edit
  • Iboih Inn. . More up-market, Iboih Inn offers a range of bungalows from cheaper smaller one with no views to huge air-conditioned places, right by the sea. This is the closest you get to luxury in Iboih. They also have their own dive shop. 100,000-370,000 Rp..  edit
  • Yulia's Bungalows and Restaurant. . At the very end of the path sits Yulia's. This place seems more professionally run, i.e. less of a family atmosphere. The views from the bungalows, their spacious positioning, and immediate access to one of the better snorkeling spots more than make up for the higher price and long walk. As a bonus, the shared bathrooms have clean western toilets and showers. 90,000-150,000 Rp..  edit
  • Treetop accommodation Pulau Weh, Iboih, Pulau Weh, Indonesia (five minutes walk from Iboih village with its many shops and restaurants.), (+62) 852 1773 779 (), [12]. Its quiet location offers an alternative experience to the often busy village. With only the sounds of nature and the occasional fishing boat passing by it is very peaceful. The construction is eco friendly with very little disruption to the natural environment. Close to the sea there is footpath, stretching along the coast, where you can enjoy a leisurely walk. Air conditioning, Fridge, Hot water dispenser, Hammocks, Fire alarm, Parking area.  edit

Pasir Putih[edit]

  • Pulau Weh Paradise, Pulau Weh Paradise, Pulau Weh, +62 812 6297 9009, [13]. Pulau Weh Paradise located in secluded bay between Gun Sarang and Pasir Putih. This place have nicely located clean 6 bungalow in front of own beach. Also have very reasonable shared bathroom type room in main building from 250,000 Rp but it is worth staying at beach front bungalow. Prices varies depends on season.  edit


Although not much of a tourist destination in itself, there are a few guest houses and "resorts" if you want to be someplace closer to town life. There are a few in the residential areas of town, but the more interesting ones are on the seaward side of town.


There is less accommodation available right on Gapang beach. This means that the prices are higher, and it is somewhat more exclusive. There is a largish upscale resort close to the entrance to the beach, which offers some of the best accommodation on Gapang (glass windows, hot showers, a/c). Don't be scared away though, you can always haggle and the beach has more to do than Iboih for a non-diver.

Kincir Long Beach[edit]

Also known as Teupin Redeup. A secluded beach just before the forest reserve three km northeast from Iboih. Seulako View Cafe & Bungalows has three bungalows and 3 rooms above a friendly seafront restaurant. Divers at Steffen Sea Sports can book one of the dive centre's new, colourful rooms.

Bixio Weh Reastaurant, Cafe & Bungalows Beachfront bungalows accommodation and family rooms on a beautiful sandy beach and close to the jungle. Possibilities to arrange a lot of activities: tours North of Sumatra, trekking, snorkeling, diving, fishing, rafting, surf... Price from 150,000 Rp to 400,000 Rp. New built bungalows.

Sumur Tiga and Anoi Itam Bay[edit]

The newest accommodations with higher standard are to find on the east coast of Pulau Weh Island.

Fredies Santai Sumur Tiga with nice Bungalows (Fan)in traditional Style, hot and cold water shower (no bath), drinking water tank in the room and Restaurant with good food and drinks.

Casa Nemo also with nice Bungalows (Fan) in traditional Style, hot and cold water shower (and bath), drinking water tank in the room, good views from the hammock and seats on the veranda. Diving provided.

Rasa Seni Hotel Resort Anoi Itam, the newest and most comfortable accommodation on Pulau Weh, with air conditioning, hot and cold water shower and studios also with bathtub and mini bar. Restaurant with international food and Asian specialties. Very good dive spots in front of the Resort in Anoi Itam Bay

  • Ujung Karang, [14]. bungalows that share two rooms (separate bathrooms). They just added direct access to the ocean off of the property. The porches on the bungalows are nice. Down side is that no food is available. One can walk up the road to Casa Nemo or Freddies in 10-15 minutes.  edit

Get out[edit]

Pulau Weh is at the end (or beginning depending on your point of view) of Indonesia. From here you can only go back to Banda Aceh.

Create category

This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!