Aceh is a special territory (daerah istimewa) of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. Its full name is Naggroe Aceh Darussalam. It is thought to have been in Aceh where Islam was first established in Southeast Asia.
In the early sevententh century the Sultanate of Aceh was the most wealthy, powerful and cultivated state in the Malacca Straits region. Aceh has a history of political independence and fierce resistance to control by outsiders, including the former Dutch colonists and the Indonesian goverment.
Aceh has substantial natural resources, including oil and gas – some estimates put Aceh gas reserves as being the largest in the world. Relatively, to most Indonesia, it is a religiously conservative area.
Aceh, at the northwestern end of Sumatra, came into contact with the outside world as early as the sixth century AD. Chinese chronicles of that time speak of a kingdom on the northern tip of Sumatra named Po-Li. Several Arabic writings of the early ninth century, and later inscriptions found in India mention the area. In 1292, Marco Polo, on his voyage from China to Persia visited Sumatra and reported that on the northern part of Sumatra there were as many as six trading ports including Ferlec, Samudera and Lambri. It is ironic that this area is presently one of the least known of Indonesia.
Islam is reported to have reached Aceh between the seventh and eighth centuries AD and the first Islamic kingdom, Perlak was established in 804 AD. Then followed Samudera Pasai in 1042, Tamiah in 1184, Aceh in 1205 and Darussalam in 1511. In this year the Portuguese captured Malacca and many Asian and Arabic traders sought to avoid the Malacca Strait and called instead on Aceh’s port, bringing wealth and prosperity. Aceh’s dominance in trade and politics in northern parts of Sumatra began, reaching a climax between 1610 and 1640.
With the death of Sultan Iskandar Thani in 1641, Aceh’s decline began. The British and Dutch both started to vie for influence. In 1824 the London Treaty was signed, giving the Dutch control over all British possessions in Sumatra in return for a Dutch surrender of their establishments in India and an abrogation of all claims on Singapore. The Dutch fought a long drawn out struggle in their attempt to subdue the Acehnese. The Aceh War, which lasted intermittently from 1873 to 1942, was the longest ever fought by Holland and cost the Dutch more than 10,000 lives. This struggle has stamped a deep imprint on the Acehnese outlook and mentality.
The era of industrialization arrived, and with it has come a more open attitude towards things alien. Visitors should keep in mind, though, that the Acehnese take their religion, their manners and their morals seriously.
People & Culture
The city of Banda Aceh, capital of province of Aceh, is 18,5 Km from the site dand takes about 20 minutes by car. The local International airport is about 30 minutes away by car. Many surfers around the world are frequent the nearby of Lhok Nga village during the winter moths. Climate after 10.00 am it gets quite hot but seldom-above 30º C in the shade.
Banda Aceh city was named Kutaraja. On 26 December 2004, this city had damaged by tsunami that damaged about 60% of this city buildings. The city, which is also called Rencong Land, has 9 district, namely :
- Kuta Alam
- Syiah Kuala
- Lueng Bata
- Ulee Kareng
- Banda Raya
- Jaya Baru
Banda Aceh, which was established on April 22, 1205 by Sultan Alaidin Johansyah, is one of the oldest Islamic cities in the South-East Asia. It has been known since the seventeenth century as following.
- Metropolitan City
- Trading City (economic)
- Center of Science
- Center of Political Activities
- Center of Islamic Education
- Center of Islamic Culture in Southeast of Asia
Banda Aceh is only a forty-five minute flight from Medan. If you depart from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, it’s best if you use a connecting flight to Medan and then to Banda Aceh. If you need to depart from Jakarta, the flight will take about two and half hours from its airport, Soekarno Hatta (CGK).
Jl. Tengku Cik Kuota Karang No. 3, Banda Aceh. Phone. (62-651) 23691, 26206, 21108 Fax. 33723 http://www.aceh.net