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Sabang (Indonesia)

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'''Sabang''' [http://www.pulauwehsabang.com] is a town name on a 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. Amongs local Among locals the place is more well knowned often referred to as "Sabang" but amongs tourist among tourists it is well known as "Pulau Weh". The island is best known for its snorkeling and diving.
==Understand==
*'''Fast Ferry''' (~1 hour, Rp 60,000-economy 70,000-business 80,000-VIP) leave at 9.30am and 4pm from Banda Aceh and 8.30am and 4pm from Sabang Pulau Weh. For the moment the fast ferry called "Pulo Rondo" only run once a day depart from Ulee Lheue pier (Banda Aceh) at 9.30 am to Balohan (Pulau Weh)and from Balohan (Pulau Weh) at 4.00 pm. Until further notice. Motorcycles and cars are not allowed on the fast ferry but bicycles can be shipped for 50,000 idr.
*'''Slow Ferry''' (~2.5 hrs,Rp about 1518,000 -economy 26,000-business 32.000-executive) Leaves Banda Aceh at 2pm and from Pulau Weh at 8.30am00am. Sometimes there are two trips/daywith an extra trip at 11am.See the diving websites of Scuba WEH, Rubiah Divers and/or Lumba Lumba for up to date information in regards to getting to and from Medan to Banda Aceh and from Banda Aceh to Pulau Weh.
==Get around==
Travelling from Balohan port to Sabang costs roughly Rp30,000 and . From Balohan port (harbour) to backpacker hangouts of Gapang and Iboih Rp50,000 (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 Rp100,000 (~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 Rp150,000. 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 Gapangand Semur Tiga (Rp100,000 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==
The main reason to go to Pulau Weh is for the beaches. Relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, diving. Don't worry about doing anything else.
Kilometer Nol (Kilometer 0), the farthest most Western point in Indonesia , is on Pulau Weh. You can rent a motorbike from Iboih for around 70100,000 Rp/day and head out on your own, or rent a minivan and guide to take your group. ==Do== ===Dive===[[Image:P1080234.JPG|thumb|right|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 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.
The house reef at Gapang Beach boasts a wide range of macro life including rare critters like Frog Fish, Star Gazers and GunardsGurnards. Large pelagics like Mantas, Whale Sharks and Mola Mola also come to feed when the seasons season is right. All in all Pulau Weh offers some of the finest diving in Indonesia, yet it is still very much undeveloped and untouched.
* <do name="Scuba Weh" alt=Do"" address="" directions="" phone=" +62 823 70521752" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="http://www.scubaweh.com/" hours="" price="">Dive school based in Iboih, turn right after you drive down to the village centre. New dive centre run by experienced manager with competent dive guides. Equipment is new and good quality, tank fills come from a european standard quality controlled compressor. Flexible dive schedules and individual attention make them good for photographers, videographers and experienced divers wanting deeper decompression diving. All PADI Courses offered. </do>
===Dive===[[Image:P1080234.JPG|thumb|right|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. * <do name="Rubiah Tirta Divers" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://rubiahdivers.com/" hours="" price="">Dive school based in Iboih, with alot of resturaunts and accomodations nearby. Has a big boat and two smaller boats, nice staff and knowledgeable instructors. Local coconut artist Andy Coco works here as an instructor. They typically do only one dive in the morning and one in the afternoon unless you make arrangements as a group.</do>
* <do name="Lumba Lumba Diving Centre" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.lumbalumba.com/" hours="" price="">Popular western-owned dive operator in Gapang beach. Offers accommodation for divers only. If you want something else than diving and hanging around with them 24/7, or tend to be more price-conscious, consider the other options too.</do>
* <do name="Steffen Sea Sports" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.steffen-sea-sports.com/" hours="" price="">Newest diveshop around. 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.</do>
===Other===
==Work==
Dive instructors are at the local dive centres are almost always westerners - backpackers that hang around abit longer. If you are an instructor, and persistant, 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==
You can only find ATMs in the city of Sabang, which is about 40 minutes from Gapang and Iboh beaches. Two of three ATMs in Sabang should accept mastercard and have a maximum withdraw facility of 500,000 so consider bringing lots of cash with you. Recent experiences show, that mastercard usage is dependent on the bank issuing the card. Get the necessary cash in Banda Aceh if you don't want to rely on Western Union money transfer with banks in Sabang.
Hand carved necklaces made ==Eat=='''Gapang Beach''' Gapang Beach has a few restaurants to choose from coconut shells. You  - ''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 get do fish and sometimes chicken BBQ's, give them near Lumba Lumba a little notice first though.  - ''Barracuda'' is the newest around and is between the Lumbalumba Dive Centre or if 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.  '''Sumur Tiga'''If you like it more for western taste, you bump into Andy 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 Rubiah Tirta Divers Sumur Tiga area. - ''Freddies'' ([http://www.santai-sabang.com]) 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 Rp65.000.  - ''Casa Nemo'' ([http://casanemo.com/]) 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 (7,000 Rp). Basically rice with some vegetables, maybe chicken (ayam) or egg (telur) depending on your request. The restaurants in Iboihthe 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 (15,000 Rp) or curries (25, who makes them000 Rp.). The guacamole and avocado salads are excellent choices at most any of the bungalow restaurants.
==Eat==Gapang Beach has a few restaurants You can expect to choose from. Dang Dang Na is next to Lumba Lumba and serves a range of local and western wait as long as an hour for your food, prepare for a long wait though. Gado Gado even if the restaurant is a peanut and salad based Indonesian dish well worth a try, also noodles and curry availablenearly deserted. Best to order early as everything The best strategy is on island time, and try to relax if your having arrive well before you plan to wait. Further down the beach there are Limbo Cafe, Zero Cafe eat and Mama Jungle (best to place an order in advance), all places can do fish and sometimes chicken BBQ's, give them for a little notice first though. Barracuda is the newest around and also the last on the beach. Owners speak very good English, and serve a comprehensive menu with the tastiest food on Gapang.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 Sumor Tiga area like Freddies or Casa Nemo and further about 6 KM the newest comfort accommodation on Pulau Weh on Anoi Itam Bay the Rasa Seni Hotel Resortlater time.
A few places that stand out are:
===Budget===Mamamia- ''Mama's on Iboih beach serves the cheapest and best food'' that makes a superb chicken kebab. 15Also you can join in a 'family dinner' (Rp25.000,000rp for noodle soup with eggstart at 7:30 p. She also has 1 cheap bungalowm. Cheapest coffees on the beach (5000rp; Acehnese 'rubber time'). Free WIFI alsoLet her know in time that you want to join in.
===Mid-range===''Olala'' also makes great food, try the taco or the superb pizza on pizza-night.
===Splurge===- ''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. Try the Tempeh-burger.
==Drink==
There are no nightclubs or bars on Pulau Weh, if you like to party best to not this is the wrong place to visitgo. Alcohol is generally forbiddenin the entire Aceh province, however some places may have it available. Beer (25,000 Rp) 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.
==Sleep==
'''===Iboih''' - === Backpacker style beach huts with hammocks on the balconies from RP30RP50,000 per night (longstay) up to RP70RP150,000 (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. 150,000 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). Just walk Walk west past the village and up along the pathinto the jungle to find the budget accommodations. All bungalows are basically concrete based huts with woven matting walls. those huts around From the centra of village you find the village generally don´t have bathroomsfollowing in this order: <sleep name="Erick's Green House" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="60,000-100, so people wash at 000 Rp">is a higher standard very close to the communal well sandy beach. Erick speaks good English, is very together and in the centre a fountain of the greeninformation. Other huts further up into As many of the forest and further along have communal or private cold water mandi bathrooms. Think hammocksrooms are attached to one building, balconies and and sea viewsthere is a community feel to this place.</sleep>
* Nora´s place is great. You can snorkel from right there. 30<sleep name="Fatimah's bungalows" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="50,000 per night or more, you could bargain. Nora is an institution!Rp"></sleep>
* Julias and Oongs are a bit of a walk from the beach but are the cheapest options. Beware for the bungalows at Oongs<sleep name="Mamamia" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="50, though. This traveller woke up in the middle of the night by being pissed on by a bat that had flown into the bungalow. The staff wasn't very understanding and just adviced me to find another place.000 Rp"></sleep>
* Ericks is a higher standard and costs from 60,000-<sleep name="Olala" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="100,000Rp">started with two bungalows right on the water, it is also very close but has since built a few more. If you're lucky enough to Iboih beach itself. Erick speaks good English, is very together and in a fountain get one of information. As the rooms are (unusually) all in one buildingoriginal shacks, therefore there is a community feel at his placeyou can watch the fish from the hammock on the balcony. </sleep>
<sleep name="Oong (Norma's place)" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="50,000-100,000">Norma is the default location for return visitors. Expect a communal atmosphere with home cooked meals. Norma is an institution!</sleep>
'''Gapang''' There is less accomodation available right on Gapang beach<sleep name="Iboih Inn" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="100,000-370,000 Rp.">. This means that the prices are higherMore up-market, and it is somewhat more exclusive. There is Iboih Inn offers a largish upscale resort close range of bungalows from cheaper smaller one with no views to the entrance to the beachhuge air-conditioned places, which offers some of right by the best accomodation on Gapang (glass windows, hot showers, a/c)sea. Don't be scared away though, This is the closest you can always bargain and the beach has more get to do than luxury in Iboih for a non-diver.They also have their own dive shop.</sleep>
<sleep name="Yulia's Bungalows and Restaurant" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="90,000-150,000 Rp.">. At the very end of the path sits Yulia''Kincir Long Beach''' Also known as Teupin Redeups. This place seems more professionally run, i.e. less of a family atmosphere. A truly secluded beach just before The views from the forest reserve three km northeast from Iboih. '''Seulako View Cafe & Bungalows''' has three affordable bungalows , their spacious positioning, and 3 budget rooms above a friendly seafront restaurant. Divers at '''Steffen Sea Sports''' can book immediate access to one of the dive centre's newbetter snorkeling spots more than make up for the higher price long walk. As a bonus, colourful roomsthe shared bathrooms have clean western toilets and showers.</sleep>
===Sabang===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.  ===Gapang===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===Also known as Teupin Redeup. A secluded beach just before the forest reserve three km northeast from Iboih. [http://www.seulakoview.com/ '''Seulako View Cafe & Bungalows'''] has three bungalows and 3 rooms above a friendly seafront restaurant. Divers at '''East coast Steffen Sea Sports''' can book one of the dive centre's new, colourful rooms. ===Sumur Tiga and Anoi Itam Bay'''===
The newest accommodations with higher standard are to find on the east coast of Pulau Weh Island.
'''Fredies Santai Sumor Tiga''' with nice Bungalows (Fan)in traditional Style and Restaurant with good food and drinks.
'''Casa Nemo''' also with Bungalows (Fan)in traditional Style. Diving providet.
'''Rasa Seni Hotel Resort''' Anoi Itam, the newest and most comfortable accommodation on Pulau Weh, with aircondition, hot and cold water shower and Studios also with bathtub, mini bar and much more.Restaurant with international food and asian specialties.Very good dive spots in front of the Resort in Anoi Itam Bay
==Contact=='''Fredies Santai Sumur Tiga''' with nice Bungalows (Fan)in traditional Style and Restaurant with good food and drinks.
==Stay safe=='''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.
==Cope=='''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
==Get out==
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.
 
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