Its auspicious position on the tip of the westernmost point of the Indonesian archipelago has made the town of Banda Aceh a recognized transit point as well as a hub for education, commerce, and government. The Aceh Darussalam Kingdom was established by Sultan Johan Syah in 1250AD following the disintegration of old Hindu-Buddha kingdoms like Indra Purba, Indra Purwa, Indra Patra, and Indra Pura.
The capital city of the Aceh Darussalam Kingdom was Banda Aceh Darussalam. Following 70 years of battles with the Sultan the Dutch changed the name into Kutaraja. The town was eventually declared Banda Aceh in 1962. As one of the oldest cities that embraces Islam, daily life in Banda Aceh today is still enormously influenced by Islamic lifestyles.
As a tourism gateway in the westernmost entrance to Indonesia, you are invited to learn the remaining magnificence of old Aceh Darussalam golden era as they are spiritually valuable to the nation. While some of the heritage buildings were swept away after the devastating tsunami in 2004, some others remain. The tourist information center in Banda Aceh has carefully identified the enduring remains and they demonstrate how this magnificent land has been spiritually resilient.
Although around sixty percent of the towns infrastructure was destroyed and some parts of the city remain permanently submerged, the city is now looking new as considerable developments took place right after the disaster. Infrastructures and activities have resumed as usual, and tourism is becoming increasingly popular as peculiarly fresh attractions spring up to the surface. Ulee Lheue is a shoreline facing Malacca Strait and the Pacific Ocean on the west, and it offers the best sunset views in the country.
Visit an inhabited house with a deserted fishing boat right upon its roof. No one would want to relocate the vessel as it has its own dramatic story. The story has it that 59 people were saved by the boat during the tsunami. Do not miss the marvelous and well documented Grand Mosque of Baiturrahman that stood still and saved hundreds of people despite its aged structures. There are hundreds of amazing stories to uncover as you cycle around the city that was recently dubbed as one of the cleanest cities in the country.