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Trip Report Pulau Weh and Banda Aceh

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I thought I'd get started on this trip report for ya. I've been on Pulau Weh for two full days now and just finished the second great day of diving.

For those that don't know it, Pulau Weh is just off the northern tip of Sumatra. At the northernmost tip of the island is a monument to "kilometer zero" - the northern and western most point in Indonesia. Getting here is actually rather easy, although owing to connections I had to spend a night in KL to get here from Bangkok. The other option from Bangkok would have been Penang, but KL was cheaper. We flew in to Banda Aceh airport, had a car and driver meet us to take us to the ferry for a 30 minute high speed transfer to Pulau Weh, and then another 30 minute drive to the Lumba Lumba resort on Gopeng Beach.

Lumba Lumba is one of a half dozen or so resorts on the island, most of which cater to divers. The diving - four dives so far - has been amazing. I'd say it was better than Similans is now, and almost as good as Komodo. The diving has been a little easier, on the whole, than Komodo. Haven't seen anything too big, except moray eels. They have some of the biggest I've ever seen, and there have been both green and honeycomb morays on every dive. I've never seen so many of them, and on the last dive one about six foot long was swimming free, and I swam along with it for about five minutes.

The resort is very nice, although there's no AC in the room, which is an adjustment for me. There are other resorts more luxe than this though. The place is very laid back. It seems almost deserted at times, even though there are about 20 people staying at this resort, and others around the island. We've been sampling the food, which is mostly local style. It's generally very good, although the service is very slow, so when ten of us show up it can take two hours to get all the food served. Last night we went to a special dinner at a new Italian place two beaches up. It was very good, and the tiramisu was really excellent (but no alcohol in it).

I've got three more full days of diving, and then I'm staying in Banda Aceh a couple days before going home. We saw a few things on the drive through town, so it looks interesting. I'll report more about Pulau Weh again before then, I hope.

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