Friday, May 24, 2013

Pulau Weh - Diving & Scootering

Everybody knows Aceh. Aceh was made famous tragically by the 2004 tsunami. Prior to that , nobody knows about Aceh nor what a tsunami really is. And after Aceh, tsunamis started happening albeit in small doses but the second major one struck in Japan two years ago. And after the tsunami in Aceh, guess what.... Aceh flourished!! She flourished into a bustling, active and lively city. According to the locals, prior to the tsunami, even stray cats avoid Aceh because it was so dull and unattractive.
I landed in Aceh's Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport. Here's my advice and please heed this advice seriously. If you are a foreigner, be the first in line at the Immigration Counter Foreigner's Lane because if you're the 8th foreigner, you'd have to wait at least half an hour until it is your turn. I was Foreigner No. 19 so I had to wait until Moses appeared with his 11th Commandment "Thou Shall Wait".
Firdaus waited for me at the Arrival Hall. With his giant welcoming smile and his warmth, I felt at ease and was whisked away to a local Acehnese restaurant for lunch.
There's the chicken, the vege, the fish, the rice.... Haaa ..same Malaysian food

I was also taken to this Tsunami Monument whereby an uncommanded trawler which was struck by the tsunami saved 56 lives who were washed away. They climbed themselves up onto the boat to save themselves. After the seawater receded, the trawler stay put ontop of a house.
25/12/2004 : Zinc Roof
26/12/2004 : World's Most Expensive Roof

Time to board the ferry. Firdaus took me to the Ulee Lheue (try pronouncing that) ferry terminal which connects Aceh and Pulau Weh. Remember, Aceh was struck by the devastating tsunami 9 years ago. Look at their jetty :
Clean and proper
Don't get me wrong. I love our country very very much but I think the Mersing Jetty can do better.
The ferry ride was a breeze. 40 minutes later and I was on Pulau Weh's Balohan harbour. I took a taxi to my dive centre located at Gapang beach. Without going into details, here are some underwater pictures
A pair of Chromodoris Geminus
Juvenile Tambja Sp - I love nudibranches like Christians love Jesus
One of the hardest marine critters to photograph!!!Very very frusrating but hey, I have steady hands !!
One of the weirdest moray eels I've seen.In Pulau Weh, the moment you backroll, you'd see morays 360 degrees. I kid you not
Some guys like red sportscars. I'm a simple man. Give me a red frogfish anytime
Rare - Fu Manchu Lionfish. Twin Spotted. This rare lionfish species can be easily found in the waters here but in Malaysia, it's rare... like a punctual Air Asia flight
Did I mention that I absolutely adore nudibranches?
Just so you readers know, diving operations cease every Thursday from 6pm onwards right up until 2pm on Friday the next day. This is to respect the holy Friday prayers. If you are restless, fear not because you can rent a scooter and that's what I did. I rode all over the Weh Island. Went to a waterfall, ate local breakfast , watched a local tennis tournament and dropped by a secluded beach.
Cool scenery
Waterfalls - My No.1 Passion !!
Pulau Weh Breakfast ..sorta like Kelantanese breakfast
Local tennis tournament
Secluded beach!!!!!
How do I feel about this island? It is definitely an island I will come back again. However, being a dive snob, I've practically seen everything before I dived Weh Island
Dive Snob


Sze Hong said...

Amazing & nice waterfall! Wish I could be there too.

Massive Headwound said...

Ugliest Nudi? U are quite the snob!

Ellen said...

haven't been to diving in Pulau Weh yet, may be i should check it out next time. i'll especially remember your kind advice on the part of being at least the first few in the line up before the immigration, will let the others wait for Moses's appearance lol~