Day 2 (26th Jan 2012)
We had an easy breakfast that was included with the room in Medan hotel before our driver picked us up at about 8am.
The journey to the jetty took less than 30 mins. We saw a mass burial grave of the tsunami victims on the way and the new tsunami barriers beside the sea. The driver was hinting to us to take a city tour when we return from the island where he show us more of the tsunami's aftermath. I do question myself at times whether there would be other places of interest in Bandar Aceh if there was no tsunami.
We decided to try the VIP seats of the express ferry to Pulau Weh as the price difference between the economy, business and VIP wasn't big. Upon arrival at Balohan Port (actually it is their local way of pronouncing Pelabuhan) we were greeted by loads of cab drivers. Be careful over here as their quote varies. Don't pay more than 200k rupiah for a cab that can seat 4 person and your luggage.
You can enjoy the green and cool air most of the way if you wind down the windows. The roads are narrow but well tarred. You can also rent motorcycles for 100k rupiah a day.
We reached Steffan Sea Sports (SSS) which is located after Iboih village. Right beside SSS, you will see Pulau Weh dive resort which is owned by a Malaysian. This is suppose to be the one and only star rated resort on the island. They would insist on a minimum of 3 nights stay but as we planned to try a few places out during our 4 nights stay in Pulau Weh, we made a decision to stay at SSS for 2 nights and another 2 at Gapang Beach diving with Lumba Lumba.
Accomodation at SSS is really basic with fan and attached bathroom. Pretty ok if you plan to spend most of the time diving and resting beside the lovely beach in the hammock. The beach is really quiet with only a handful of people.
After our check out dive was at Rubiah Sea Garden, where different species of morays were spotted almost every 3 yards. Did not make a second dive that day but instead made the decision to dive at the beach in front of SSS as we were told there are seahorses hidden between the corals in less than a feet of water at the beach. It was indeed amazing as there were more than seahorses there. Pipehorses, morays, shrimps, squat lobster among others can be spotted while snorkelling on the beach. It was my first time taking shots of of seahorses while snorkelling. A stranger came by with her waterproof compact camera and took a shot of the seahorses while squatting down!
Just like most asian divers that I know, food is equally important to spice up the dive trip. Unfortunately, SSS do not have a restaurant but you are always welcome to cook in the kitchen. We went to the one and only restaurant and feasted for dinner. Loved the Curry Chicken and rice and a Teh Botol and Jeruk to quench our thirst.
I would normally post my trip report during the evening but the signal was really bad and we ended up calling it a day early after our dinner.
Medan Hotel to Jerry (or anywhere in town to jerry: 40-50k rupiah in a taxi for 2 person **
Express Ferry VIP: 85k per person ****
Express Ferry Business Class: 75k per person
Express Ferry Economy: 60k per person
Balohan Port to Gapang or Iboih: 150k per car for 4 person **
2 nights accommodation with 4 dives and all land transfer in Pulau Weh, airport-Hotel Medan-jetty-airport with SSS: RM499 per person ***
Simple lunch or Dinner on Pulau Weh: 30k per person
Today photos are found at Luminox, my sponsor's page. Do help me to 'Like' them as they are very serious into marine conservation projects and awareness:http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.298731630183179.67825.160820087307668&type=3&saved