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About Weh Island

Weh Island is a volcanic island in the northwest of Sumatra, Indonesia. The largest city is Sabang. Tourist accomodations are in Gapang, Iboih and Sumur Tiga.
Situated at the convergence of the Indian and Pacific oceans, Pulau Weh is a beautiful untouched island, well known for its ecosystem, the coral reefs around Weh are home to a great diversity of fish species, like sea turtles, sharks, rays, dolphins and pelagic staff.
With more than 20 diving spots, is one of the best diving site in all Indonesia.

The northwest part of the island had been declared as wildlife protection by the Indonesian government because it is the home to many rare species on land wild the coral reefs are bursting with large and diverse variety of Indo-Pacific marine life.


Macaque monkeys, wild boar, monitor lizards, Bufo valhallae toads (frogs), differnt kinds of lizards and wide selection of colourful butterflies and birds.


REEF FISHES: Moray eels, reef octopus, rays, Lionfishes, Clown fishes, Scorpionfishes, Frogfishes, Stonefishes, Pipefishes, sea turtles, Angelfishes, Butterflyfishes, Sweetlips fishes, Cuttlefishes, Waspfishes, Flathead fishes, Ribbon eels, Garden eels, Giant Moray Batfish, Kuhl’s Stingray, Orange-Black Dragonet, Coral breams, Snappers, Parrotfishes, snake eels, Puffers, Catfishes, Triggerfishes, Boxfishes, Goatfishes, Catfishes, Gobies, Flounders, Flathead, Burrow Dwellers, Pearlfishes, Sandperches, Dartfishes, Dottybacks, Cardinalfishes, Squirrelfishes, Reddish, Groupers, Anthias, Fusiliers, Tunas, Barracuda, Jacks fishes, Emperors, Coral Breams, Damselfishes, Moorish Idol, Surgeon fishes, Spadefishes, Wrasses, Cuttlefishes, squids, dolphins and sharks.

SPONGES: Tube sponge, Vase sponge, Giant barrel sponge, Antho sponge, Yellow sponge, Red Tree sponge, Clathrina sponge, Hemimycale columella, Raspailia agnata, Suberites carnosus, Common Sea squirt, Painted Tunicate.

CORALS & ANEMONES: Pineapple coral, Brain coral, Star coral, Sun coral, Bubble coral, Tube coral, Clubbed Finger coral, Flowerpot coral, Bent sea rod, Blade fire coral, Blushing star coral, Boulder brain coral, Boulder star coral, Boulder star coral, Colorful sea whip, Eight-ray finger coral, Grooved brain coral, Sea-pens, Sea Whip, Sea Fan, Sea Mat, Club-tipped anemone, Carpet anemone, Purple Base anemone, Banded tube-dwelling anemone, Beadlet anemone.

STARFISH & OTHER ECHINODERMS: Banded-arm brittle star, Black Brittle star, Granulated sea star, Crown-of-thorns starfish, Necklace Starfish, Pacific starfish, Short Spined starfish, Reticulate Brittle star, Blue sea star, Feather starfish, Orange starfish, Common Brittle star, Common Sea urchin, Donkey dung sea cucumber, Furry sea cucumber, Key hole urchin, Northern Sea Urchin, Long-spined urchin, Green rock-boring urchin, Northern Henricia, Spiny ophiocoma, Suenson’s brittle star, Red heart urchin, Shore Sea Urchin, Sea egg, Three-rowed sea cucumber, Slipper sea cucumber, Amphiura filiformis, Holothuria axiologa, Synaptula recta.

CRUSTACEANS: Red Hermit crab, Anemone crab, Cleaner shrimp, Banded Coral shrimp, Anemone shrimp, Blood shrimp, Harlequin shrimp, Slipper lobster, Mantis shrimp.

SEA SLUGS: Dorid nudibranches, Aplysia juliana, Chromodoris dianae, Chromodoris annae, Chromodoris willani, Chromodoris kuniei, Chromodoris tinctoria, Hypselodoris iacula, Hypselodoris apolegma, Glossodoris atromarginata, Doriopsilla spaldingi, Fryeria picta, Phyllidiopsis pipeki, Reticulindia fungia, Reticulindia suzanneae, Hexabranchus sanguineus, Janolus sp, Cuthona sibogae, Cerberilla sp.

Best time to go

The best time to visit Weh Island is in the dry season, during April to November. This is the time with good weather where you can enjoy more of the sun and sea. Anyway, in Pulau Weh there isn’t  “monsoon” season, raining season has random raining days alternated with beautiful sunny days.

Travel tips

The majority of the population is Muslims, so modest clothing is preferred. You can dress casually while still respecting the locals. Are some beaches where swimsuit or bikini is not allowed. On Friday morning is not recommended go to swim, dive or fishing to respect the Ocean, all the dive shops on Friday morning are closed. 

Download Pulau Weh map in black & white to print   

What to do

Scuba diving

With some of the best scuba diving sites in South-East Asia, Pulau Weh is one on the most preferred destination for divers.
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There are hundreds of species of coral and different type of fish, turtles, octopus, and other marine life. This is one of the finest underwater hikes you’ll find with clear and turquoise water.


Almost everywhere you find nice snorkeling and you don’t need to compete with other snorkelers about the space. 
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If you snorkel in Gapang, Iboih, and Sumur Tiga you will very likely see hawksbill turtles. Snorkels and fins are available for rent almost everywhere.

Pria Laot Waterfall

From Gapang beach it’s around 15 minutes ride to arrive. There is a great pond for swimming with cool water coming down from the mountains.
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Along the path to the waterfall you walk through some forest area with some monkeys climbing through the trees.
The Waterfall flowing between the cliffs and rocks, and the water falls into the clear water pool in depth of 1.5 meters with 10 square meters width. In this pool you can swim while enjoying the cool air and natural beauty


There is a small volcano on Pulau Weh right in the centre of the island. On the side of a hill is when the vent from the volcano has pushed through the land.
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There are large holes with hot steam coming out with lots of small holes scattered around. Around the openings of the holes they are covered with a bright green mineral deposit. At the larger holes you can here boiling water bubbling and streaming through the mountain. Right at the top of the hill there is a very large opening and often you can see the bubbling hot water. The locals refer to the volcano as Gunung Api which is the Indonesian word for volcano, mountain of fire. Right down the bottom of the hill, on the coastline are some hot spings swimming pools for bathing. They collect the boiling water coming down from the mountain rich with minerals and pipe it into 2 small swimming pools which you can sit down in and soak. Due the large concentrations of methane it is very smelly there and there is NO SMOKING allowed in this area. If you light a cigarette up there you will probabaly light up more.

Anoi Itam Japanese bunkers

A booklet of the Sabang Tourist Authority states: ‘A huge number of Japanese bunkers are scattered across the entire island.
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This is why Weh Island is known as the “Island of a Thousand Fortresses”. The bunkers were all built between 1943 and 1945. They used to be connected by tunnels that are now closed due to security reasons. There is also a big bunker with many tunnel entrances on Gunung Batu. It is also a popular place for Japanese Ghosts. We did not see huge numbers of bunkers, presumably most of them lie in less accessible places. A small one we saw near the beach of Sabang town (Pantai Kasih).  But the finest specimen is located on the east coast at Anoi Itam, just a few steps from the main road. It is a good place to visit also for the view over Malacca Strait. On the hill top is a bunker for the gunner, at the back of the hill what may have been living quarters.

Kilometre 0

It’s the north-western limit of the Indonesian archipelago. Zero Kilometre monument mark the starting point of Indonesia
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The best time to go there is on sunset, to enjoy the spectacular view of the Sun just going down in the Ocean. Here you can also try the famous Kopi Aceh, the local coffee.

What to taste

Nasi Goreng

Nasi goreng · How to taste in Weh Island · Aceh · Sumatra · Indonesia
Nasi goreng is fried rice, typically spiced with kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), shallot, garlic, and chilli and accompanied by other ingredients, particularly egg, chicken, prawns or with ikan asin (salted dried fish).

Acehnese Curry

Curry · How to taste in Weh Island · Aceh · Sumatra · Indonesia
Acehnese curry is a such spicy and tasty dish with different main ingredients: mutton, beef, duck & chicken. The coconut milk and other variety of spicy ingredients like jackfruit, red chili and dried red, etc are main ingredients that make Aceh curry specific and tasty.


Bakso · How to taste in Weh Island · Aceh · Sumatra · Indonesia
Bakso is meatball commonly made from beef with a small quantity of tapioca flour, usually served in a bowl of beef broth, with yellow noodles, bihun (rice vermicelli), salted vegetables, tofu and egg (wrapped within bakso).

Mie kocok

Mie kocok · How to taste in Weh Island · Aceh · Sumatra · Indonesia
Noodle served in rich beef broth soup, kikil (beef tendon), bean sprouts and bakso (beef meatball), kaffir lime juice, and sprinkled with sliced fresh celery, scallion and fried shallot. Some recipes might add beef tripe.

Fresh fuit juices

Fresh fruit juices · How to taste in Weh Island · Aceh · Sumatra · Indonesia
Almost everywhere you can find fresh juices from different kind of fruits: mango, papaya, pineapple, banana, avocado and chocolate, coconut, soursop.

Young coconut

Young coconut · How to taste in Weh Island · Aceh · Sumatra · Indonesia
The juice from young coconuts is a refreshing and hydrating beverage, while the young meat can be eaten as is or shredded and mixed with the juice for extra texture.

Kue kacang AG

Kue kacang · How to taste in Weh Island · Aceh · Sumatra · Indonesia
Traditional dessert prepared by hand with natural ingredients, with no artificial preservatives, according to tradition. Perfect to taste with a kopi Aceh (black coffee).

Kopi Aceh

Kopi Aceh · How to taste in Weh Island · Aceh · Sumatra · Indonesia
Traditional coffee from Aceh, filtered through a cloth lifted up high over the cup. Try the traditional kopi Aceh, black coffee, or kopi susu, with condensed milk.


Rambutan · How to taste in Weh Island · Aceh · Sumatra · Indonesia
Rambutan has a juicy-sweet texture, and an enjoyable flavor similar to a lychee, but less acidic. Peel off the hairy skin to extract to fruit, and remove the seed. The rosy flavor of the rambutan resembles the strawberry and muscat grape. Its fragrant perfume characterizes this unique fruit. The rambutan can be eaten by itself or in salads, with vegetables, and in sauces.


Durian · How to taste in Weh Island · Aceh · Sumatra · Indonesia
Durian season lasts typically from June until August. With his unique odor, durian it’s named the “King of fruit”. You’ll love ir or hate it. To durian lovers, the taste is mildly sweet, almondy and very creamy, not unlike a rich cheesecake. It is widely believed that the combination of durian and alcohol leads to sever indigestion, heartburn or even death.