Where to Stay on Pulau WehThe main backpacker area is located in the village of Iboih (pronounced, ee-bow), around a forty minute drive from the port in Sabang. It’s pretty well represented with plenty of accommodation options with ATM’s and slow WIFI. The choice is only likely to be severely limited on Fridays and Saturdays when families and groups from Medan and northern Sumatra arrive for weekends. Iboih is a string of bungalows perched over the ocean and in the rocks above it, all linked by a small, rocky path with occasional steps – it’s not suitable for wheelie suitcases. Make sure you bring a torch to get around after dark! Treetop Guesthouse and Bungalows and Pele’s Place are good options (perhaps more-so Treetop). Another option is Gapang, where diving holidays are catered for with accommodation linked to the dive shops as well as some independent choices. For more Pulau Weh Accommodation, Click Here!
Things to do in Pulau Weh:
A tiny island called Pulau Biawak just off the coast of Pulau Weh
- Biking the island:
What to Eat & Drink:Eating in Weh is generally a little more than the mainland due to island costs and the majority of customers being foreigners. There’s plenty of choice in Iboih, several restaurants appeal to western tourists offering introductory Indonesian flavours, a few specialities and ubiquitous Indonesian nasi or mie goreng. Dee-Dees make their own bread and have good salads as well as Indonesian dishes like mie aceh and ikan semur. There’s also a great communal homestyle restaurant scene with sociable meals of curries and vegetables. Stop in at Oongs or Mamas in the afternoon to check out what’s on the family menu that night – 25-30’000 per person, including rice for a buffet-style feast. Ask around some of the long-term residents and dive shops about the doughnut lady, who sells near the mosque. At 2’000 rupiah a sugar-coated pop it’s a very tasty and economical breakfast – pre-order the night before if you want a lot. Nightlife is non-existent, it’s a staunch Muslim area and alcohol is theoretically illegal although some of the guesthouses have a few (expensive) beers in the fridge for tourists. Ask around – Oohlala is a good place to start, Oongs often have beers available, although it’s more expensive than the dinner.
Getting there:The ferry runs from Uleh-Leh port and a fast and slow option are available. Boats are supposed to leave around 8 am, 11 am 2 pm and 4 pm depending on the day of the week and whether it’s fast or slow boat but often run late and occasionally, early! Prices vary from 25,000-75,000. Both boats are comfortable and take around forty-five minutes or two hours.
- A forty minute shared taxi will drop you in Gapang or Iboih from Sabang for around 40’000 but you may need to barter.
- A taxi from the airport to Uleh- Leh should take around thirty minutes and cost around 100’000 for the whole vehicle. There is apparently a bus service that runs from the airport to the town, thought to be timed around the inbound flights, although in my experience it did not arrive. If the bus does turn up, it will be on the right-hand side, as you exit the terminal. Taxi drivers will obviously tell you it’s already left, which may be the case but if you have time, it might be worth waiting and a lot cheaper as a solo traveller.
Where to go next?Once you leave the island you’re in Banda Aceh, the state capital. From here you can head south to Medan which connects with all the well visited Sumatran highlights, Lake Toba, Berastagi, Bukittingi and Bukit Lawang. Read more about Sumatra here.
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