A real tropical island
12.03.2013 - 12.03.2013 104 °F
We had never heard of Sabang, a town on Pulau Weh, the little island that marks the north west corner of Indonesia’s 300 mile width. Sabang is a 45 minute ferry ride across from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, noted for the tsunami there in 2004 and various wars of independence. Our destination lecturer said that Sabang had no hotels, no resorts, no market, no sights to see. All true, but we fell in love with this beautiful and hospitable place. We were welcomed by every resident, it seems, and the high school marching band and a welcome dance. We then drove to a Anoi Itam, a lovely knoll atop a horrid Japanese bunker built during the 1942-45 occupation (Japan does not come off well in the histories of this area; they may have been skilled at war but they did cruel and inhumane things to their enemies and the residents of the countries they invaded.) Then to a small village on Iboih Beach (a snorkeling and diving destination) that had gone all out to welcome us. We all had coconuts to drink and stuffed banana leaves and fried bananas and chairs in the shade (a good thing because it was 104 degrees) to watch a girls grade school dance troupe perform native dances. On the way back to the ship, nursing monkeys lined the road and ate bananas. Someday this place will be “discovered” like Phuket, we fear; how good it was to be here first.