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LHOKNGA and LAMPUUK > WHAT TO SEE AND DO


Surfing

Click to enlargeAccording to surfers Lhoknga has world class waves during the main surf season (December-March). Click to enlargeThere are range of surfing options from beach breaks, left and right hand point breaks and an A-frame peak, catering for both beginners and experts.

The reefs are approximately 200m out form the beach at either Pantai Cemara south of the river or Pantai Lapangan Golf in front of the accommodations in Lhoknga.

There is also plenty of secret surf spots as you drive down the west coast. Best to take a local guide to help find these uncharted waves.

Beaches

Click to enlargeThe Tsunami remodeled the beaches a bit. The long beach can be divided in three parts. The Lampuuk beach or “Pantai Lampuuk” in the north is extremely beautiful. Click to enlargeIt is also the best for swimming and has recently started to offer wakeboarding. Beware of currents especially near the mountain wall.

The golf beach or “Pantai Lapangan Golf” is where most surfers hang out. The area where the river enters the sea is very scenic.

Pantai Cemara is south of the river. Cemara is the name of the Casuarinas tree, which is very common here. There are many coffee shops in this area, popular amongst picnickers from Banda Aceh.

Caves, mountains, and waterfalls

Gunung Mommong in Lampuuk means in English “Talking Mountain”. It has gotten its name of the sound created by wind blowing through holes and caves. The caves can be of interest for the adventurous. The mountains behind Lampuuk and Lhoknga are nice for treks.

Click to enlargeThe big bird’s nest cave called Goa Sarang is just 3 km north of Lampuuk, on the rocky coastline. The path goes though the forest and over a hill. Ask at Joel’s Bungalows. They can help with a guide or arrange a boat trip, which depends on the waves.

There are many caves, waterfalls, and other interesting objects in the forests that can be reached by trekking. You need to ask around a bit. You can also reach a number of stunning, ‘secret’ beaches by walking through the forest. One attractive way of doing a trek is with Aceh Explorer who arranges several different treks where former Acehnese guerilla fighters as guides.

The river Krueng Raba is not long, but it is a nice canoe trip. There is a cave at the upper end of the river. Try to find a canoe and someone to take you at the fish market in Lhoknga. With some luck you find one.

There is an amazing Cave Lake to visit. It is excellent for swimming and really refreshing. You can swim into the cave at the left. After a one meter dark tunnel it ends up in another cave where you see the day light again. Very exiting! The lake is very deep and they claim it is connected via an underground river all the way to the cement factory. If you drive or bike yourself, go south over the main bridge in Lhoknga and after the military compound, turn left on a dirt road. You soon reach a wide road used by the cement factory trucks. A bit to the left on the other side the first dirt road continues. It leads to the cave lake. You can also follow the wide road from the cement factory for app. 1 km. Sometimes the locals ask for a parking fee of Rp. 5-10.000.

Fishing and Island Exploring

It is possible to charter a local boat to take you fishing for the day or out to the island group called Pulau Aceh. You can arrange this directly at the fish market or ask at your guest house for assistance if you cannot speak Indonesian.

Golf

Lhoknga has a nine hole golf course called Padang Golf Seulawah, just along the beach. The prices are very affordable.

Biking and Diving Around

Click to enlargeSeveral of the guest houses in Lhoknga rent both motorbikes and bicycles. Besides visiting Banda Aceh and all its attractions and lively coffee shops at night, there are plenty of scenic roads around. Try the small roads through villages and over mountains. Going to Banda Aceh, take a look at rottan handicrafts app. 3-4 km from Lhohknga. Half way to Banda Aceh is museum of one of Aceh’s many female heroes; Cut Nyak Dhien. Well worth a visit.

The road along the coast to the south is new and wide, built by USAID. There are beaches and scenic areas all along the road to Lamno. Explore the beaches and discover fantastic places. Approximately 25 km from Lhoknga is the village Kuluh. After it is a road to the left that leads to the water fall “Air Terjun Seuhom”. It is an interesting area and has several traditional houses. Before Lamno the road goes around the peninsula Ujung Geurutee, which offers a splendid view over a couple of islands. Before the Tsunami it was only one island. In the Lamno area, on the coast, is a village called Kuala Daya. It is famous for its blond and blue-eyed people. One possible explanation for this is that a Portuguese ship wrecked here and the crew settled down and mixed with the local population.

Aceh Adventure is an other operator who arranges different kinds of bicycle tours and other adventures in and around Banda Aceh. See their web site www.aceh-adventure.org

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