Aceh Day One

Half Day Journey.

So I'm in Aceh for work. Wednesday, the 15th I left my house at 5 o'clock to catch my early flight to Banda Aceh. I arrived in Jakarta at 7 (8 Bali time) and had a 2-hour transit before the plane left for Banda Aceh. Wait a minute, I mean I thought it was a direct flight to Aceh from Jakarta. But I was wrong. We had to drop off most of the passengers in Medan, picked up new passengers, then finally flew to Aceh.

Aerial views of Aceh
Aerial views of AcehAerial views of AcehAerial view of Aceh - dry

We arrived at 13:30, my face so greasy, my eyes red and my whole body hurt. I longed for a comfortable bed so I could lie down for 10 minutes. But hey, it so happened that we didn't have enough time to rest before our first interview. So we went directly to the World Bank Aceh office.

Single Night Out

My boss decided that he was not hardworking enough, so he opted to stay at the hotel and work some more.
The hotel I'm staying at the moment

Me? I was freaking tired and the only thing I wished for was to sleep and rest my body, but realising that my time was very limited in Aceh, I thought I'd forced myself to go out after a quick lovely shower.

First Acehnese food I ate was in a warung in front of the Hermes Palace hotel, where I stayed. I had the usual nasi campur (Aceh), which tasted surprisingly similar with East Javanese nasi campur. But it was good.

Then I took a stroll while swearing when my Rp500,000 high heels got stuck in the mud and started to get my feet swollen. Immediately I tried to find the closest convenience store and bough a pair of red flip-flops. Felt much better.


ceh's becak (pedicap) is quite peculiar compared to the Javanese one. The idea is the same: passengers sit on a sort of bench on two wheels with the driver. However, while the driver in Java normally sits and paddles his becak from behind, here they sit next to the passengers on a motorbike attached to the becak. Less energy out, more passengers in (compared to ojek). Clever.

Grand Mosque Baiturrahman

I decided to go to the nearest, biggest attraction of the city. Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman. It is big, though I imagined it would be much bigger. But it's got a spacious garden. I paid Pak Fuadi, the becak driver, Rp 20,000 to get me there and back. I wasn't sure what the good price was. A becak driver right in front of Hermes Palace asked me for Rp 50,000 with the hope that I would bargain. But as usual, I never bargain when the starting point is already too high. Also because he knew that I was staying in the fancy hotel. Sorry, Pak. I am not paying for the hotel. The second one asked for Rp 30,000, which sounded more reasonable, and I haggled it to Rp 20,000.

Anyway, I wasn't too impressed with the mosque, especially at night when my shots tended to be blurry since I didn't have my tripod with me. But at least I saw one part of the city, which in December 2004 suffered from the most devastating tsunami ever recorded in the world history.


Guess what picture it is below. If you are correct, you'll get a clap!


  1. why would I wanna guess only for a clap?

    But I'd give it a shot anyway: a roof or a door frame?

  2. somewhere from the mosque??

    btw, di kab. pangkep, sulawesi selatan, becaknya juga pake sepeda motor ;). aku lihat waktu naik mobil dari makassar ke sorowako last time

  3. deng dong!!! belum ada yang benar. guess again.

  4. framenya lukisan/hiasan dinding
    kusen jendela

  5. nope. no clap for you jumbulita.

  6. gambarnya...cetakan kue yang baru setengah jadi...
    btw, salam kenal mbak carla, aku pendatang baru.

  7. hi becce, thanks for joining. but no clap either for you. :)

    okay semuanya, the answer of the quiz is.... it's a lamp!!! wall lamp attached along the hotel corridor(s). I just took it two-dimensionally so that it tricked us. :D