Aceh Tourism

Sep 6th, 2007, in News, Travel, by

Islamic law helps tourism in Aceh.

The head of the Aceh Tourism department, Cipta Hunai, said on 30th August that the application of Islamic law in the province would not have a negative effect on tourist numbers and tourism development generally, but instead the opposite.

Islamic law certainly won't [negatively] influence the tourist sector, rather it might give Aceh a special appeal.

Both domestic and foreign tourists would be drawn to Aceh because of Islamic law, he said, because sharia would create a peaceful, safe, and clean environment which tourists would love.

Islam was a religion which put much importance on friendliness and good behaviour towards guests, and this would be another tourism draw-card, making Aceh unique.

What people want is a friendly and safe place [for a holiday] and it's all set down in the sharia that is being applied in Aceh.

So far tourist numbers had not declined since sharia began to be introduced. antara

This shows that sharia will never bother other people.


65 Comments on “Aceh Tourism”

  1. avatar Putu Alberto Lee says:

    I don’t know, maybe “lashing other people with cane” is a friendly gesture in aceh (and in other shariah countries) or maybe that’s considered a tourist attraction, something cultural. I don’t know.

  2. avatar Tom Muller says:

    Definitely the sharia is good for tourism. Henceforth tour operators can include some public caning in their itineraries or – in the future – maybe even an amputation. Adventure tourists could probably join the religious mob searching for an unmarried couple on the beach or a warm bottle of Bintang in the hotel bar. Clearly, the sharia is a toursim magnet and Cipta Hunai from the Aceh tourism department is a genious.

  3. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Hey guys as I said many times before, it’s not just for the fanatics, some S&M people will definitely spend their bux to get their kicks, literally. They love to be caned!

  4. avatar Falcon says:

    At least, there is still a joker left in Aceh.

  5. avatar Bas says:

    Indeed, Aceh may become a fun destination for Talibans, Saoudians and Sudanese.

  6. avatar Enigmatic says:

    Putu Alberto Lee Says:

    September 6th, 2007 at 7:14 am
    I don’t know, maybe “lashing other people with cane” is a friendly gesture in aceh (and in other shariah countries) or maybe that’s considered a tourist attraction, something cultural. I don’t know

    Tom Muller Says:

    September 6th, 2007 at 7:17 am
    Definitely the sharia is good for tourism. Henceforth tour operators can include some public caning in their itineraries or – in the future – maybe even an amputation. Adventure tourists could probably join the religious mob searching for an unmarried couple on the beach or a warm bottle of Bintang in the hotel bar. Clearly, the sharia is a toursim magnet and Cipta Hunai from the Aceh tourism department is a genious.

    You forgot stoning. To display the gentlemanly qualities of Acehnese, the females get special privileges to experience stoning first hand for adultery.

    To add on to the 2 points, for souvenirs, a cane should be good. It instils discipline, and helps the disabled and the victims of caning walk too.

    Add sugar to your cane, and you get sugar cane. Squeeze it with a mill, add ice cubes and a lemon and you get a refreshing, sweet drink. On top of that, you can also use it for fermenting ethanol!!!

    How uniquely Aceh!

  7. avatar Bas says:

    I have my choice. Next year I visit Aceh!

  8. avatar Arema says:

    Bas, if you do come back alive, share us your happy vacation photos there, hopefully not too bloody… LOL.

  9. avatar iamisaid says:

    Stone the Crows ! Intrinsically what has Islamic laws got to do with promoting Tourism?

    I mean it was the Achenese cuisine, culture, idyllic countryside and nightlife entertainment, those reasons would render more credibility.

    But he says it is Islamic laws like as though tourists who are out for fun are enticed by the written laws of Islam.

  10. avatar iamisaid says:

    Stone the Crows ! Intrinsically what has Islamic laws got to do with promoting Tourism?

    I mean if was the Achenese cuisine, culture, idyllic countryside and nightlife entertainment, those reasons would render more credibility.

    But he says it is Islamic laws like as though tourists who are out for fun are enticed by the written laws of Islam.

  11. avatar Peter Gregory says:

    I’m living in Malaysia, and have for 4 years. I have NEVER been ripped off by a Malay. NEVER.

    I paid the crazy/ ridiculous visa fee of 170 ringgit (USD45) in Kuala Lumpur for my 6 day visit, arrived with my Malay friend at Banda Aceh Airport and there was only one guy offering a taxi- a battered old unofficial one and after much bargaining, he offered rp90,000 to the port to get the ferry to Pulau Weh. I asked where I could change my Malaysian money and he took me to a bank which refused to change my Ringgit. The next 4 banks were the same. I’d had no problem in Bali before. Instead of the then internet rate of rm1= rp4,680, I was offered just rp 4200 in a privaqte deal behind the bank by the bank staff, which I had to take, as the ferry departure time was getting close.

    The driver took us round town about 3 times, and on arrival at the ferry demanded rp200,000, not the agreed rp90,000 and about 20 times the rate we’d have paid for the same distance in Malaysia. He got nasty then, saying he had given us a (unwanted) scenic tour. We had to pay, and then the ferry was departing, so I had to jump one and a half meters onto it, landing on the top of the lorries on the car deck.

    Once we had climbed to the passenger deck, someone robbed rp200,000 which I had put into my top pocket to pay the fare and for food.

    At the port, we were quoted rp130,000 to go to the beach at Iboih. The rustbucket “taxi” broke down FIVE times, and we were completely knackered when we arrived. Once there, the accommodation was cheap and the food excellent, but I found out we were paying THREE times the locals’ price for beer.

    In Banda Aceh on the way back, I paid twice London prices for a meal in a restoran, and the hotel cost was FIVE times the price of the equivalent of Malysian hotel prices.

    My question about all the rip offs is: what happened to Sharia law? I repeat that the Malays here in Kuala Lumpur are the best and most honest in the world. NOT ONE M<uslim has ever even TRIED to rip me off in Malaysia. What’s gone wrong in Aceh?

  12. avatar raden says:

    Most of us being as Indonesian never dream or keen to visit Aceh, Indonesia is huge country with many diversity in nature. Bad example in Aceh doesn’t means we are all bad people. Beside being as bule foreigner but you visited Aceh means it should not be for holiday but it maybe you are scouting or asked to visit for business opportunity outthere.

    Aceh is not meant for tourism anyway. For us who are non muslim believers, we simply ignore one of unwanted syariah law based province like Aceh. Not a big deal without Aceh indeed, the gas reserve is depleting sharply & the Acehnese people are stinky muslims anyway.

    Don’t comeback to Aceh is the best approach. Look at the Singaporean red-cross who had donated S$ 83 million in the past 3 years since tsunami and set up semi permanent task forces to help Acehnese rebuild infrastructure. At the end, what do they get ? instead of Indonesia gov’t rejection on selling the sands to Singapore ? and rejection of the defence pacts.

    It not easy dealing with Aceh & Indonesia, it is something that all the foreigners should bear in mind before setting up wrong expectation

  13. avatar james Iha says:

    Wow, I guess Aceh tourism is getting a bashing. I guess the things written is true, which I won’t deny. Yes, the syaria law does apply and many stupid law enforcement does take place.

    Before you enter Aceh, keep in mind your purpose of coming to Aceh. If your planning on partying like you’re in Kuta, bali, then don’t bother coming. But if your coming to Aceh for its’ culture, scenary, people, and the outdoor activity without boozing up, then I highly recommend on going to aceh.

    I’m very sorry to hear about your experience during you stay in aceh, Peter Gregory. If you made plans with someone who has stayed in Aceh, like me, maybe these things will not happen. Doing anything in Aceh needs planning, or an expert guide who knows the terrain.

    I came from Malaysia to Aceh a month. When I arrived in the imigration, there was this group of Malay Chinese carrying alcohol (liquor), which they bought in the Duty Free shop in the Malaysian Airport (the Air Asia Airport). The bottle were still in the duty free bags and they didn’t have any problems in getting through imigration. They got out out of the air port carrying the duty free bags filled with alochol, stepped into a taxi, and had no problems. I would suggest taking a picture with immigration officers for evidence, in case the WH (syaria police) tries to give you trouble. Email them to friends, just for additional proctection.

    Please take a look at blogs from travel forum (lonely planet, indahnesia.com) for additional infomation. Here are some links:

    http://acehtrek.googlepages.com/home.htm

    If Anyone wants to visit Aceh, please contact me. Here are some facilities that are available:
    a. Taxi from the Banda Aceh Airport to Banda Aceh: Rp. 80.000 for maximum of 4 people (5/6 people possible)
    b. I’ll take you to a clean hotel :
    – Rp. 225.000 – for 2 people
    – Rp. 300.000 – for 5 people
    c. Taxi fare to go to the port heading to Sabang (Pulau Weh): Rp. 25.000 (2-5 people)
    d. one day Banda Aceh tour (2-5 people, 5 hours): Rp. 175.000
    e. Transportation/Sabang to Sabang, please contact: Georg A. Wiesner http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=15117915509&topic=3735

    ^He’s a foreigner who run a resort in Pulau Weh. He’ll take care of you.

    If you want addtional, please do not hesitate to email me: acehtours@yahoo.com

    please give aceh a second chance.

  14. avatar Peter Gregory says:

    I’ve had feedback about my comments, so I guess I aught to enlarge on them:

    – Pulau Weh is spectacularly beautiful; the sea is crystal clear and there’s plenty of coral. There are dive schools and loads of cheap accommodation- I mean REALLY cheap- right by the sea.

    – As I mentioned in my original comment, the food at Iboih is really fabulous (and cheap). The curries are actually much better than Malaysian, (if you want European food, they do an amazing pizza cooked over charcoal) and everything I ate was FRESH. All the staff in Pulau Weh are friendly and once there. you won’t get ripped off, except that beer is expensive.

    – The problem is GETTING THERE without being ripped off. I don’t know if it’s the rich NGOs presence or what, but I found taxi fares, meals and hotel prices around Banda Aceh to be about 5 to 14 times Malaysian prices for comparable accommodation and meals.

    – The visa policy is CRAZY (ridiculously expensive), plus anyone who wants to do 2 to 6 month travelling is screwed; in fact anything over a month is a MAJOR problem, and one has to ask: do they really WANT tourists???

  15. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    The visa policy is CRAZY (ridiculously expensive), plus anyone who wants to do 2 to 6 month travelling is screwed; in fact anything over a month is a MAJOR problem, and one has to ask: do they really WANT tourists???

    No, we WANT money. Better stay home and SEND us your money. 🙂

  16. avatar Hitam Tapi Cina says:

    To all of you who like to travel to Indonesia, don’t bother to go to Aceh.

    It’s not worth it to risk your money and life in a crazy place like Aceh.
    There are many places which are safer and more beautiful than Aceh.

    Try Komodo island and it’s surrounding island, including Flores island. It’s cheaper and more beautiful and people are more friendly than the much comercialized Acehnese.

    Try Bunaken island in North Sulawesi. One of the top ten diving sites in the world. I went there 3 years ago it cost me 5 US$ a night for bed and 3 meals. It’s the best tropical paradise you could ever imagine.

    As a rule the farther away you go from Bali, the better, the cheaper and the safer it is.
    Except for Maluku and Southeastern Sulawesi of course.

  17. avatar concerned says:

    it’s an S&M tour :p

  18. avatar Sahari says:

    Hi U all,

    You can’t judge a book not worthy when you just finish reading less than half pages!

  19. avatar inong says:

    well, guys , i’m acehnese, n i need to say that our government is still learning to improve the tourism, u can try to come if u want to know it. btw,maybe the beer is expensive because u guys as the tourists get special right to drink it (locals can’t do it legally). btw again, i’ve got some friends, from australia ‘n england. they’re still alive until today n they enjoy living here. so, don’t talk if u don’t know a thing about this province.

  20. avatar Oigal says:

    inong,

    When you stop beating women and poor people for Friday entertainment get back to me will you..

  21. avatar deta says:

    Inong is the name for a girl in Aceh. I don’t think she ever beats another woman…

  22. avatar ET says:

    Inong is the name for a girl in Aceh. I don’t think she ever beats another woman…

    Will she try to stop it?

  23. avatar deta says:

    Will she try to stop it?

    Eagerly waiting for her answer. I hope another Cut Nyak Dien or Laksamana Malahayati will be born there.

  24. avatar Oigal says:

    a collective “you” if you please :-)… Its a collective responsibility…its a crap defence to claim ..”oh its not me, beating women in the town square, or hacking people to bits in villages” Even person who did not raise the voice in disgust and who spent more time here trying to justify the indefensible instead of harassing their elected parasites bears a degree of culpability.

  25. avatar deta says:

    Even raising the voice in disgust is not enough if you still hide behind a pseudo name… That’s right. It’s a collective responsibility. All of us bear the guilt for letting that happen, with various different degrees.

  26. avatar Oigal says:

    A valid point. However, the brutal reality is not my country and when it gets too bad me and mine shall move on to more civilised climes. I am not a voter nor are the parasites beholden to me in any manner. Tis not my future at risk but yours.

    Replace the bread and circuses with glitzy malls and cheap fuel….

  27. avatar deta says:

    However, the brutal reality is not my country and when it gets too bad me and mine shall move on to more civilised climes.

    Geez.. a typical mentality of…. nah, I contain myself not to say some harsh words today.

  28. avatar Oigal says:

    Sorry it offends you Deta honestly and really not sure why? You are correct it is a typical attitude of a foreigner (or whatever word you were thinking) because that is the reality. The only people in the vast majority of cases who have real long term vested interest in the country is Indonesians. All the huffing and puffing by me or anyone else here adds up to squat if the average Indonesian does not care enough to demand change then it becomes just another tacky headline to sell a few papers overseas.

    Curious though, what else were you expecting from a expatriate? Citizenship is virtually never offered, not matter how long you have been here or what you contributed (although to be fair, hardly adds any benefits anyway). Expatriates and international companies are seen as virtual cash-cow at all levels of government. Are we going to pretend that “Skin” tax is not a factor in very interaction? Loyalty is a two way street.

    Put it another way, I obviously offended you enough at least get you to write a short post and think harsh words. Did the actions of the FPI, or the inaction of police to stop the beating to death of other Indonesian citizens or condoned whipping of women in Aceh. Did any of those offend you enough to post on the FPI website or a government website or perhaps call your local elected representative and say enough of this madness?

    I and other posters here have zero influence on your life the others however???

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