Pulau Weh Travel Guide

Volcano Waterfall Gapang Beach Iboih Beach Sabang City Ferry Port

A few have hailed Weh Island as possibly the next big thing, especially for scuba divers. While I wouldn't argue that it doesn't have the potential, I very much doubt that it will get as out of hand as, say, Koh Tao in Thailand. Other places, like Koh Tao, as well as Bali, Phuket and so on, simply have too much invested in them for Weh to get much attention, unless something drastic changes.

Map of Pulau Weh
Pulau Weh Map
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Base map image © OpenStreetMap contributors, CC BY-SA

So, for now, Pulau Weh will remain one of those off-the-map destinations that few people know about. If you're a diver, Weh should almost certainly be high on your list of destinations. It's probably not as good as Sumbawa - Komodo, but it's close, and the diving style is much more relaxing that your typical Komodo live-aboard. For more information about the diving around Pulau Weh, see my complete guide at SEA Undersea by following the link

If you're not a diver, then there's not much to do on Weh except sit on an almost deserted beach soaking up some sun, or swimming in clear blue waters over healthy reefs. I'm sure there are some to whom that would appeal! If you're considering Pulau Weh for a sun, sea and sand holiday, there are a few things you should know before you decide:

  1. Accommodations on the island tend toward the rustic - no air conditioning, pools or much in the way of amenities. There are a couple of more posh resorts, but most of the places to stay are simple bungalows.
  2. Due to the conservative nature of Aceh province, alcohol is in very limited supply. Some of the resorts stock beer, but many of the locally run restaurants do not. Harder stuff than beer is very difficult to come by. If you like to party, Pulau Weh really isn't for you.
  3. Be prepared for a slower pace of life, especially in restaurants. If a large group of diners shows up at once, they may take hours to all get served. There are, on the whole, so few visitors to Weh that most places are run by just one or two people.

The main city on the island is Sabang, and in fact many Acehnese refer to Pulau Weh as Sabang. There isn't much to the little town, and it doesn't even have any hotels that cater to international guests. Since the main resort areas are on the other side of the island, chances are you won't have any reason to go into Sabang, unless you desperately need access to an ATM. The only ones on the island are in the city.