In 2000, we took a ferry to Banda Acheh from Medan City. It was full of people and we had narrow planks to sit and sleep on (under glaring white light). Hubby and I wanted so much to hug and cuddle but were told by our Malay and Indonesian neighbours not to do so. They also warned us that the police and soldiers carry guns at the port at Acheh and may not hesitate to shoot us if we carried out “unmuslim” behaviour…As gunfights were common at that time, we took the warnings seriously.
At Acheh, we took a boat to Pulau Weh. The island has a traditional Malay village at the jetty where we were not allowed to expose our shoulders etc. We walked towards the “tourist” part of the island where there was a beautiful beach, diving school, huts built on stilts, a restaurant in a wooden hut…
Hubby dived while I suntanned on the beach (yes, in my bikini). Shark meat curry was on the menu, can’t remember if we tried it. Anyway I’m fond of shark meat, it goes beautifully with curries and preserved Chinese vegetables.
On certain evenings, we put on our T-Shirts and dined in the village, simple but delicious fare e.g. grilled fish (catch of the day), stir-fry vegetables, ayam goreng. We ate better there than in the rest of Sumatra. I still remember how at 7pm, when the sun set, all the chicken that were walking around on the ground suddenly flew up all at the same moment onto a big tree next to our table (to take shelter from predators at night). It was an amazing sight. And I thought that chickens couldn’t fly.
The huts on the beach had no private facilities. We had to wash ourselves next to the well or something in the middle of the main “street” and the toilets were way back in a small building. In the middle of the night, I would usually go do my business on the beach as I was too afraid of the dark and whatever to make my way to the toilet.
It was a lovely stay. I wonder if the island survived the Tsunami.over 6 years ago