Jumat, 10 Juni 2011

Sabang, Indonesia Most Western Point


In the 12th century, Sinbad landed on this island and named it Island of Gold. The presence of Sinbad then followed by other Arab traders who later named this island Shabag, which means erupted mountain. Over time and the increasing number of local fishermen who stopped and built a residence in this island, once the island changed his name to Weh (from Acehnese), which means 'separate'. That's a bit of a story that told by Darma, a driver in Balohan Port. He said this story is told down through the generations by parents and traditional leaders there to children. Nowadays we know this island as the most western point of Indonesia. Sabang has one nautical charm that is not less amazing when compared to areas other marine tourism in the east of Indonesia, but unfortunately the conflicts that have occurred in Aceh and the tsunami in 2004 made his charm could not be explored in full withdrawal.

Heading for Sabang was not as hard as we imagine, it only take 15 minutes from the City of Banda Aceh to Ulee Lheu ferry ports by public transportation for only Rp. 6000. From Ulee Lheu to Balohan in Sabang there are two ships serving the route, i.e., fast boats (IDR 65.000/person) or a slower boat (IDR 17.000/person), if you bring a vehicle of course there are additional fees for it. If you use a fast boat, you will arrive in Sabang only within 45 minutes, whereas if you use slow one then estimated time to dock about a 1.5 to 2 hours. Make sure you know the schedule of these two boats. The fast boat served once everyday and will depart at from Ulee Lheu at 8 AM. While the slow boat depart at 10 AM. But every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday both ships served this route twice a day.

Exploring Sabang will be more efficient if we bring own vehicle, the directions clear enough and there people are very friendly when asked the location of the objects of tourism. But if you are not driving, you can go with somekind taxi that available at the Balohan. To reach the city of Sabang per person will be charged IDR 15,000 meanwhile to get to ‘Kilometer Zero’ monument you will be charged IDR 50,000, but you can also hire the car travel.

Kilometer Zero's Monument, of course the main attraction of the most targeted by the tourists who visit Sabang. This is Indonesia’s most western point, which was inaugurated in 1997 by Vice President Tri Sutrisno and Research and Technology at the time, BJ. Habibie. Unfortunately this monument does not seem well cared by the City Government of Sabang, many ignorant hands crossing out some parts of the monument. The Pancasila’s Bird symbol of Indonesia that stands majestically on top of the monument also has begun to look faded and full of rust. You will also get a certificate if successfully reach this monument, the certificate can be found at a stall near the monument that or you can take care of it in Sabang City Tourism Office.

Beside Kilometer Zero Monument, the beaches in Sabang also would have been the main object of nautical tourism in here. There are many beaches that you can go here. Here some beaches that become tourist attraction in Sabang are Iboih Beach, Gapang Beach, Paradiso Beach, Air Dingin beach, and Sumur Tiga beach. Iboih beach is frequently visited by tourists, because it located near to Rubiyah Island (one of famous diving spot in Sabang) and also just 8 kilometers from Kilometer Zero monument. The beach was clean enough and tends to be busy people because of their status which is close to zero miles. You can rent speed boat from local fishermen and pay them IDR 150.000 if you want to encircle the Rubiah Island. If you want to snorkeling or diving, you can also rent the tool in there. If you were looking for a sunrise photo, then Iboih beach is the right place.

Sumur Tiga beach maybe the cleanest beaches in the entire Sabang. Nowadays, the people no more recognize the beach as Sumur Tiga, now the beach well-known as Freddie’s beach. Feel so 'western'? No wonder because this beach accidently found by South African tourist named Freddie. Freddie then built a cottage near the beach. Originally he only built four cottages but since his beach got a publicity and more and more tourists visited there, then he built more cottages there (nearly 20 cottages).

There is other monumental monument beside the Kilometer Zero Monument that called Twin Monument which located in front of the Office of the Mayor of Sabang. Why it called twin? Because there are two monuments like this in Indonesia and it is located in Merauke as the most eastern point in Indonesia. Old Portuguese heritage cannons on display at Sabang Fair are also other Sabang’s tourist attraction.

Just the tips from me, if you want to staypend a night in Sabang, I suggest that you stay in hotels or motels the city of Sabang because it is much cheaper and the facilities much better than a cottages or rent rooms in these beaches. If you still insist to spend a night near the beach, then I suggest you to stay at Freddie’s cottage in Sumur Tiga beach. The facilities they offer here is more better than in Iboih or Gapang’s beach, beside that it also easier to find some meal in the city than in both beaches. (deha)



Read phonetically

P.S. I hope you understand what I write, because I actually don't fluent English so much

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