Travel Guide to Weh Island: Location, Transportation, Unique Features, Service Fees, and Tips

Weh Island, also known as Pulau Weh, is a small volcanic island located in the westernmost part of Indonesia, in the Aceh Province. It is situated in the Andaman Sea, just north of Sumatra Island, and is part of the Sabang city area.

Weh Island is known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, coral reefs, and marine life. It is a popular destination for scuba diving, snorkeling, and other water activities. One of the main attractions on the island is the Rubiah Island Marine Park, which is home to diverse marine species such as manta rays, sea turtles, and various types of colorful fish.

Weh Island

Weh Island also has a rich history, having been a strategic location for trading and military operations during the colonial era. The island was also heavily impacted by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, which caused significant damage and loss of life in the surrounding area.

Location and Transportation Details

Weh Island is located in the westernmost part of Indonesia, in the Andaman Sea. It is part of the Sabang city area in the Aceh Province, which is located on the northern tip of Sumatra Island.

To get to Weh Island, travelers can take a flight from Jakarta or other major Indonesian cities to the Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport in Banda Aceh. From there, they can take a taxi or private car to the Ulee Lheue port, which is about 30 minutes away. At Ulee Lheue port, travelers can catch a ferry to Balohan port on Weh Island, which takes about 45 minutes.

Alternatively, travelers can take a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to the Bandar Udara Internasional Maimun Saleh (Maimun Saleh International Airport) in Sabang city, which is located on Weh Island.

Once on Weh Island, visitors can get around by renting a scooter or motorcycle, hiring a private car, or taking a local taxi. Some of the popular destinations on the island, such as Iboih Beach and the Rubiah Island Marine Park, can also be reached by foot or by taking a short boat ride from the shore.

Special and Unique in Weh Island

Weh Island has several unique features and attractions that make it a special destination for travelers. Here are some of the things that make Weh Island unique:

  1. Clear waters and marine life: Weh Island is known for its crystal-clear waters and diverse marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and manta rays. The Rubiah Island Marine Park is a popular destination for snorkeling and scuba diving, and visitors can see a wide variety of coral reefs and underwater creatures.
  2. Volcanic landscape: Weh Island is a volcanic island, and visitors can see evidence of volcanic activity throughout the landscape. The island has several hiking trails, including one that leads to the summit of the island's highest volcano, Gunung Batu, which offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
  3. Sabang City: Weh Island is part of the Sabang city area, which has a rich history and cultural heritage. Visitors can explore historic buildings, monuments, and museums, including the Sabang Historical Museum and the Zero Kilometer Monument, which marks the westernmost point of Indonesia.
  4. Unique cuisine: Weh Island has a unique cuisine that blends Indonesian, Indian, and Malay influences. Some of the island's specialties include mie aceh (spicy noodle soup), nasi goreng kare (fried rice with curry), and sate matang (grilled beef skewers).
  5. Tsunami Museum: The Tsunami Museum in Banda Aceh, which is located on the mainland near Weh Island, is a unique attraction that commemorates the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. The museum offers an interactive experience that educates visitors about the natural disaster and its impact on the region.

Average Service Fees

The average service fees for various activities and services in Weh Island can vary depending on the provider and the level of service. Here are some estimated average service fees for popular activities and services on Weh Island:

  • Scuba diving: Scuba diving prices in Weh Island typically range from around IDR 600,000 to IDR 1,200,000 per dive, depending on the dive site, equipment rental, and level of experience required.
  • Snorkeling: Snorkeling trips in Weh Island usually cost between IDR 150,000 and IDR 300,000 per person, including snorkeling gear rental and boat transportation.
  • Accommodation: Accommodation prices in Weh Island vary depending on the level of comfort and the location. Budget guesthouses and homestays typically start at around IDR 150,000 per night, while mid-range hotels and resorts can range from IDR 300,000 to IDR 1,000,000 per night.
  • Transportation: Taxis and private cars on Weh Island typically charge around IDR 300,000 to IDR 500,000 for a full-day rental, while scooter and motorcycle rentals can range from IDR 50,000 to IDR 100,000 per day.
  • Food and drinks: Meals and drinks in Weh Island are generally quite affordable, with prices starting at around IDR 30,000 for a simple meal at a local warung or street vendor. More upscale restaurants and cafes may charge up to IDR 150,000 per meal.

Tips for Travel in Weh Island

If you're planning to travel to Weh Island, here are some tips to help make your trip more enjoyable:

  1. Plan your itinerary in advance: Weh Island has many activities and attractions to offer, so it's a good idea to plan your itinerary in advance to make sure you don't miss anything. Consider booking tours or activities ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
  2. Pack appropriate clothing and gear: Weh Island is a tropical destination, so be sure to pack lightweight, breathable clothing, sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable shoes. If you plan to go scuba diving or snorkeling, bring a wetsuit and water-resistant camera.
  3. Be respectful of local customs and culture: Weh Island is a predominantly Muslim community, so it's important to dress modestly and be respectful of local customs and traditions. Avoid public displays of affection and dress appropriately when visiting mosques or other religious sites.
  4. Bring cash: While some establishments in Weh Island may accept credit cards, it's a good idea to bring cash in case you encounter a business that only accepts cash. ATMs are available in Sabang city, but they may not always be reliable, so it's best to bring enough cash for your entire trip.
  5. Stay safe: Weh Island is generally a safe destination, but it's still important to take precautions to protect your personal safety. Avoid walking alone at night, and keep your valuables secure when traveling. Be aware of the local weather conditions and any potential natural hazards, such as strong currents or high waves when swimming or snorkeling.
  6. Learn some basic Indonesian phrases: While English is spoken by some locals in Weh Island, it's always helpful to know some basic Indonesian phrases to communicate with locals and show respect for the local culture. Some useful phrases include "terima kasih" (thank you), "maaf" (excuse me), and "apa kabar?" (how are you?).

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