Republic of Indonesia
Jalan Jend. A. Yani 19
Hotel Wisata +6265121834
Spacious and clean double room (no. 328) with private bathroom and river view for IDR 120,000.- or US$ 13.- per night. Homoeopathic wifi on each floor, but not inside the room.
Beer-free landscape due to the strict enforcement of Sharia law.
Exploring the manicured parks and gardens of Banda Aceh, (i) the Gunongan, a 17th-century CE playground and bathing place for Sultan Iskandar Muda’s wife Putroe Phang from Pahang/Malaysia, (ii) the Taman Putroe Phang, quite obviously pepped up to "western standards" with post-tsunami excess money from international donors, and (iii) the ubiquitous green Padang, and having lovely and invigorating encounters with all sorts of gracious and friendly Acehnese people, such as (a) a young and wild boys’ soccer team (...who trained for their new avocation as photo models), (b) a diversity of sedulous market men (...who wanted to marry Konni’s passport), (c) a jolly one-eyed beggar (...who loved to pose with his new peci nasional), (d) a sexy cross-dressing coiffeur (...who was ready for anything) and (e) a frilly local beauty (...who was head over heels in love with pink).
“In a well-functioning democracy, the state constitution is considered more important than God's holy book, whichever holy book that may be, and God matters only in your private life.”
Hiring a rickety, convertible side-car becak (IDR 15,000.- or US$ 1.65 for the ride) to Banda Aceh’s new and useless Bus Terminal and thereafter taking the black Cv. Tenaga Desa +626557030825 minibus from Banda Aceh to Meulaboh (245 km, 5 ½ hours, IDR 80,000.- or US$ 8.70 per person) on the excellent new coastal highway (between Bandar Aceh and Calang, built by USAID), thus passing through the somewhat eerie combination of new settlements of post-tsunami low-cost prefabs and palm-fringed picture-postcard beaches - the next tsunami could hit this fateful west coast of Sumatra at any moment since Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes this vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.
Click below for a summary of this year's travels
2012 Map Konni & Matt
2012 Map Konni & Matt
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