Banda Aceh, Sumatra

The Northern coastal city of Banda Aceh might only ring in your memory as a place that was severely impacted by a tsunami in 2004. Having the chance to visit this place 10 years on you can really see the amount of rebuilding of homes and roads have been done over the years, but the city really doesn’t want to forget its past.

On Boxing Day in 2004, just off the coast of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean an earthquake (9.1 on the Richter scale) – caused one of the biggest tsunami in to hit Banda Aceh and the surrounding area. Whole areas were wiped off the map by the ocean.With around 167,000 people in the area killed numerous memorials are in places around the city from the tsunami museum, mass graves to abandoned ships.

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The Tsunami museum should be one of your first sights in the city. The museum itself holds most of the memories of the tsunami. With free entry and open most days except Friday, you can see some images of the devastating effects and aftermath of the tsunami. In addition there is an educational area where you can learn about how a tsunami and earthquake happens, safety precautions and watch short films.

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Other tsunami landmarks include the 2600 ton ship which is abandoned in the centre of Banda Aceh, the boat ontop of the roof and the mosque which was the only remaining building after the tsunami in Banda Aceh. The former was moved by the tsunami 5km from the harbour. It has been said that people are likely to be buried underneath it! The ship today is used as a source for electrical power to he surrounding area ( as well as a tourist site!).

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IMG_7360.JPGWe stayed just outside the centre of Banda Aceh in the beach area of
Lampuk Beach ( around 16 km away). This is a surfers paradise, if the weather is on your side!

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