The enchanted Simeulue Island on the west coast of Indonesia

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For extreme sport fans, Simeulue Island is a paradise with 5 meters of waves, clean sea water and clear skies for surfers (photo: IO/Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Simeulue in Aceh Province is classified as one of the smallest islands. In fact, this is­land is also considered dangwer­ous because it is often rocked by earthquakes. However, its natural beauty is so tempting that local and foreign travelers come to the island to enjoy the panorama. Located in the village of Nancala, Teupah Barat District, Simeulue Regency, Aceh, the island has a stretch of white sand, at the end of it that attracts all the tourists. For surfers, Simeulue Island is par­adise. The waves with a height of 5 meters, clean and clear skies, is the dream of many surfers. Moreover, Simeulue hasn’t been visited by many people, making surfers free to channel their hobbies.

That is what John May recog­nized, a traveler from New Zealand. “The nature here is still natural and clean. I prefer it here than Bali even though, in Bali it is easier to find accommodation,” he said. He addressed, if the Simeulue District Government was able to promote its natural beauty well, many trav­elers would be tempted to come.

Simeulue Regency is an archi­pelago consisting of 41 large and small islands. The archipelago is located on the Indonesian Ocean, 105 nautical miles (194.46 kilome­ters) from Meulaboh, Aceh. If mea­sured from Tapak Tuan, Simeu­lue distance is 85 nautical miles (157.42 kilometers). Simeulue Is­land is the largest of the 41 islands in the region. The island extends to 100.2 kilometers and is 8 kilo­meters to 28 kilometers wide. The area of Simeulue Island reaches 199,502 hectares. To reach Simeu­lue, you can use an airplane from Jakarta to Medan for about 2 hours with a ticket price of Rp 600,000 to Rp 1 million. Then it continued to fly from Medan to Sinabang, the capital of Simeulue, using a cessna plane or ticketed foker Rp. 500,000-Rp. 750,000.

Medan-Simeulue travel time is 1 hour and 10 minutes sunny. If you have free time and want to en­joy land and sea lanes, try using a ferry. But you have to pass Tapak Tuan with a distance of about 12 hours from Medan. Then take the ferry which takes 8 hours to Simeu­lue. The price is cheaper, which is Rp. 75,000. The ferry line is also suitable for those who rent or car­ry a car from Medan. In Simeulue there is no public transportation, other than motorbike rickshaws. To travel around the island, trav­elers can rent a car that costs Rp. 350,000 or a motorcycle Rp. 75,000-Rp. 100,000 per day.

Its natural beauty is no less in­teresting compared to Bali or Lom­bok. There are at least eight stra­tegic locations for surfing, namely Nancala b each, Matanurung Busung, Alus-alus, Salur, La’ayon, Batu Berlayar Island, Mincau Is­land, and Teupah Island. Travel­ers who are not experts at surfing can also enjoy the beauty of the sea with snorkeling. The location is almost on all beaches in Simeu­lue. The mainstay locations are Si Umat Island, West Teupah, and East Simeulue. The Simeulue Sea also tempts travelers to dive or fish.

Not a few travelers who specifi­cally come to Simeulue to get the sensation of fishing for large size fish. “There are often television stations taking pictures in Simeu­lue in fishing,” said Akil Rozha, a resident who is often a tourist guide. Throughout the year there are always foreign tourists visiting Simeulue. They came from Austra­lia, Africa, the Netherlands, Ger­many, Canada, Malaysia and Sin­gapore and lived in Simeulue for a week to two weeks.

“In addition to traveling around Simeulue, they also traveled to Si­bolga, North Sumatra,” explained Leni.

Head of the Department of Tour­ism, Youth and Sports for Simeu­lue, Ir Sukoco Erwan, said that for January-April, foreign tourists coming to Simeulue has reached about 30 tourists per month. The number increases to 70 tourists per month from May to December. According to Sukoco, Simeulue’s natural beauty is promising. For this reason, he wanted to simulta­neously promote the culture of the Simeulue community so that the more well-known business world as there is still minimal response from the central government. (Aldo)