Thinking of getting away for a while?
Dreaming of traveling to a tropical island somewhere in the middle of nowhere and sipping from a coconut on the beach watching the sunset?
Wondering where such a place might be where you can still have a cheap vacation? I may have just the answer.
Pulau Weh, also called Sabang, is a great vacation spot to travel offering many adventures. I’ve lived here for two months and there are still spots I haven’t checked out. Here are some of my favorite activities and some must-do’s for anyone traveling to this beautiful island.
1. Stay at Casa Nemo
You will be glad you did. The first thing that is made clear at Casa Nemo is that you are home. The staff is beyond friendly and accommodating. The manager, FJ, is extremely fun and approachable and can help you with everything from booking a scuba dive to recommending a good local spot to eat. The owners, Balqis and Gianluca, are two high energy people who show their genuine happiness to have you as a guest right on their faces. The bungalows are super clean and well maintained, hot showers, hammocks and relatively inexpensive, especially considering the quality! All-in-all, even if you’re diving on the other side of the island, Casa Nemo Resort should be the place you rest your head at night.
2. Saturday night at Casa Nemo
Okay so you decided to stay somewhere else on the island, for what reason I can’t imagine. At least you can get over to Casa Nemo for the Saturday Night Fever party. This event get’s it’s own number because it’s that epic. The night always starts with a dinner special and homemade pizza (Gianluca is Swiss-Italian so you can imagine the pizza is amazing) accompanied by live music from local artists. When the band finishes, the party kicks into high gear as everyone moves down to the Speakeasy for dancing and DJ Balqis rockin’ the beats. A good party lasts until at least 1 AM so be prepared! Another reason to stay at Casa Nemo, after the party you can just fumble up to your bungalow and fall asleep with tired legs and a smile on your face.
3. Scuba Dive at Iboih
As one of the cheapest and most beautiful places in the world to go diving, many people travel to Pulau Weh, and specifically Iboih, for that reason alone. So of course, having not come here because of it, I had to try it to see what all the commotion was about. WOW! I went to Monster Dive, and I highly recommend it, especially to newcomers to scuba diving. The staff is extremely patient and understanding, goes over everything you need to know as many times as you need, and they ease you into the water with breathing exercises and ample time to get comfortable with breathing underwater. I went for an introductory discovery class. It was truly amazing being underwater for so long, and seeing all the colorful fish and coral. It is quite literally a whole new world under the ocean and is worth checking out. I don’t think I would do it again, at least not soon, but I am so glad I tried it at Monster Dive.
Sometimes a dive just isn’t in the budget, or maybe you just can’t get over the fear of trying it. That’s okay, there’s always snorkeling! There are many beautiful places to go snorkeling on the island, including the beach at Iboih. With amazingly vibrant coral, fish, and starfish, snorkeling can be almost as exhilarating as a dive. There’s so much to see. I even saw a stingray! Make sure to bring an underwater camera because you’re not going to want to miss the opportunity to save these moments forever. Pulau Weh is a truly amazing place to go snorkeling.
5. The Waterfall
On the road to Iboih there’s a small wooden sign with an arrow saying ‘waterfall.’ The way the sign has settled into the ground, you can’t really tell where the arrow is supposed to be pointing. But if you guess right and head down the road behind the sign, you will end up eventually hiking to a beautiful waterfall. It’s a very special place, with a small yet quite deep pool at the bottom perfect for jumping into from the surrounding rocks. When we went with another young couple from the UK there were no other people there, we had the whole scene to ourselves. It’s always an amazing feeling to be underneath a waterfall. I jump at any opportunity, as I personally use it as a cleansing exercise. I muster all my energy and fears and bring them to the surface of my body, and then jump under the waterfall and let its majestic, ancient power wash it all away, leaving me feeling whole and open for new experiences. This waterfall has a particullary magical presence, and is a definite must-experience while on the island.