Budget Travel Indonesia | Banda Aceh | Kapal PLTD Apung Tsunami Site

We headed directly to Kapal (PLTD) Apung Tsunami Site from Ulee Lheue ferry port after spending 2 nights in Weh island. There were many taxi drivers who offered their service at the jetty, but I was determined to call a guy that was recommended by my brother's friend in Banda Aceh. 

This place is one of the most famous tsunami sites in Banda Aceh because of this ...

a 2600 ton generator ship stranded in between houses after tearing down every single building that stood in its way when the fierce waves pushed it  about 5km towards the city. Allahuakbar.

The site was only about 10 minutes away from the jetty as I remember, and when we entered the gate we were greeted by a tour guide who then took us around the area; he is a survivor.

The first thing that caught our eyes was this monument near the entrance;

Our tour guide (left), a tsunami survivor

Notice that tall bronze wall actually symbolizes not only the size of the fierce tsunami wave that hit Aceh's shoreline but also the color of the water that gushed into the mainland and the clock showed the exact time when the water struck.

The names of victims from various villages within the area were also engraved on this monument.

350 souls from Dusun Tuan Dikandang were lost

Moving on, we entered remnants of houses; what's left were mostly just walls.

It's all like the movies to me; even with all the remnants the it still was unimaginable

Through the window; imagine seeing that 60-feet vessel outside your house

Since the ship was stuck near a 2-story house, a staircase and bridge were built connecting it to the original stairs of the house which made the flow of the tour pretty interesting.

Accessing the ship from the house

Check out the view of Banda Aceh from on top of the ship; the city has bounced back and made it very difficult for me to imagine how it looked like on the black day.

View of the tour area from up top;

Another remnant of a house
The tsunami monument

The remnant of the house that we went in earlier

A photo at the bow of the ship
After getting down from the ship, we went to a mini gallery on a corner of the tour area; check out the photo of the ship after the water subsided;

Today, they have cemented the surrounding grounds area and made it look like the concrete waves

According to the guide, there were actually bodies underneath the ship that just had to be left to rest there because the authorities didn't want to risk splitting them if they tried to pull them out. It's also part of the reason why they cemented the grounds. 

I can't even begin to fathom what the people here went through during the tsunami, let alone all the critical decisions that they were forced to make in the cleanup process. 

The guide himself lost his family; only him and his mother-inlaw made it alive. He hung on a coconut tree when the water rose. 

Apart from all the cuts and bruises that he got from the debris in the waves, he is also still suffering from complications of swallowing high content of sulfur in the sea water. He's remarried now but his new child also suffers residual effects. 

On the contrary, this sulfur made the scattering bodies somehow 'manageable' during the cleanup; although they turned black but the bodies seemed to shrink and did not bloat.

There is no entrance fee to this place, but you can always tip the tour guide accordingly / generously ^^

After touring this site, we boarded the same taxi (yup, the driver was with us during the tour) to our accommodation in down town Banda Aceh, about 10 minutes away. We didn't make any reservation for our last night stay here but simply walked in to Hotel Lading that I've googled earlier.

The taxi driver charged us Rp100,000 but we learned later from a local that it could have been much lower, like Rp70,000. 


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