Pulau Weh - Banda Aceh, Indonesia (pulau sabang indonesia, picture sabang indonesia com)





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Published on Dec 14, 2010

A TripAdvisor™ TripWow video of a travel blog to sabang, Indonesia by TravelPod blogger Nomadic-brands.
See this TripWow and more at http://tripwow.tripadvisor.com/tripwo...

Pulau Weh

Day : 87
Temperature : 32 degrees
Weather : Overcast

Indonesia!!! It's so great to be here. This country is immensly vast and has so much to offer with thousands of different islands each with their own different cultures, landscapes and scenery, and some of the best diving in the world.

We'd read in the lonely planet and on various websites that it is necessary to have an onward ticket out of Indonesia before officials will let you through immigration. We thought long and hard about whether we ought to chance it, but in the end we decided to book a ticket on Air Asia back out of Banda Aceh to KL in a month's time, as we didn't want to be turned away at the airport or be forced to purchase a ticket in Banda Aceh which might cost a fortune. We found the cheapest ticket available and so £50 and a day later we arrived at KL airport where we met 4 other westerners that were on the same flight as us. Upon arriving in Banda Aceh we discovered that none of the other westerners else had onward tickets out of Indonesia, but still we thought we had done the right thing as we had yet to get through immigration...that was until one girl who had been in the region on and off for 5 years was told by an immigration official that she needed an onward ticket, at which point she replied, "no I don't!", to which the official said, "yes you do", to which she replied once again, "no, I don't", at which point the official said, "ok, go on through"....arggh.. so we could have chanced it and got away with it after all!! £50 down the drain!

We were just about to approach the immigration desk when both Kevin and I got plucked out of the queue and taken to a private room...great! We had to go in one at a time and were asked where we were going and what we were doing there. This was then followed by fingerprints and photographs...brilliant!! We finally received our visas, and returned to our 4 new friends who were also going to Pulau Weh, and we filled out the immigration forms which asked if you had anything over the value of $50 in your luggage, or any DVD's or magazines. We decided to tick "no" to all of these questions even though we had DVD's, and we quite clearly had more than $50 on our persons. One of the other girls (Jenna from England) ticked "yes" to these questions and was quickly pulled aside by one the female airport staff who told her quietly to fill "no" on everything, and gave her a new form. This border crossing was getting more and more dodgy with every passing minute! We then received our luggage which some airport staff brought to us, and Jenna discovered that she had a big white chalk cross marked on her bag, at which point we all started wondering whether her luggage had been "picked out" for something. Now, you have to forgive our paranoia, but Aceh is the most strongly religious state in Indonesia, where Sharia law exists and women get stoned to death for adultery, men and women are not allowed to be in close proximity to each other and as was written in big,bold, red writing everywhere...most probably for the tourists' benefit, it's the death penatly if you are found with drugs! After quickly rubbing out her big white cross on her bag, Jenna and the rest of us proceeded through customs, putting our bags through the x-ray machine, and we hoped that we wouldn't be searched because we had incorrectly filled out our customs forms and dreaded to think of the problems that this might have caused. After another grilling, "where are you going, what are you doing there" we successfully entered Indonesia and all was well. After getting some money out of the ATM's and being completely confused by the number of zeros that are on the bills..14,000 Rupiahs to the UK Pound!....we caught a taxi through Banda Aceh to the port of Uleh Leh where we bought our tickets and boarded the ferry to Pulau Weh. At this point we were totally gasping for a drink as we were all hot and sweaty and tired. But no, there would be no drinks for us for another few hours, because our arrival had coincided with the arrival of Ramadan! With all the cafes and shops shut we found our seats on the ferry and rumaged through ..."
Read and see more at: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-...

Photos from this trip:
The ferry arriving at Pulau Weh
Dom on the ferry
On the ferry
Getting ready to disembark
Motorbikes on the ferry
Dom shuffling off the ferry
Lumba Lumba Dive School
Dive School...note water mark line in window
View from our balcony
Sandy track infront of beach
Kev on the beach
Turquoise waters through the trees

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