Weh island ('Pulau Weh' in Bahasa Indonesia) is a small island just off the northern tip of Sumatra, and is located directly north of Aceh city ('Banda Aceh'). Since Sumatra is the northernmost of Indonesia's large islands, Weh island has been bestowed the honour of having the (so-called) most northern point of Indonesia, a point that is called 'Kilometer Nol' (Kilometre 0). There are however, a few other rocky outcrops and small islands further north (such as Rondo Island), so I suppose that Kilometer Nol should more accurately be known as the most northern point of Indonesia that is connected by road!Before we go any further though, let me tantalise your taste buds with this terrific teaser of Weh island, filmed and edited by a close friend of mine, Andy Saiden:Weh island is most often referred to as 'Pulau Weh' but you will on occasion find locals who refer to the island as 'Sabang', the name of Weh island's largest town. The island is famous for the magnificent scuba diving sites that are scattered around the north-western tip, but the island remains relatively uncongested despite this. This is most likely because of two reasons: the area has had to be rebuilt from scratch after the devastating tsunami of 2004 (triggered by the magnitude of 9.3 Sumatra–Andaman earthquake, the epicentre just off the west coast of Sumatra); as well as the relative difficulty in getting to Aceh province from Malaysia prior to AirAsia opening up routes to Banda Acheh from Kuala Lumpur (despite being right next door).
Iboih is home to Rubiah Tirta Divers, the first dive centre to be established on the island. The dive centre was founded by the late Mr. Dodent way back in the 70s, and is now run by his tree sons: Iskander, Yudi, and Isfan. Mr. Dodent was one of the first to advocate for the protection of Weh's marine environment, and helped Iboih to achieve Recreational Park status and Weh island to achieve Marine Park status, ensuring the protection of the area. Mr. Dodent was even given awards in recognition of these efforts. Rubiah Tirta has a very relaxed and jovial atmosphere and is pretty affordable, offering very reasonable prices for both fun dives as well as PADI courses. Bear in mind that there is no diving permitted on Thursday nights and Friday mornings! There are plenty of eateries around Iboih to choose from, my all-time favourite being Deedee's Kitchen, a small restaurant that is run by Nurdiana and her family. The restaurant itself is set right on the beach, and the ambient sounds of the lapping of the waves against the shore just below leave a very relaxed atmosphere. The food from there takes a bit of time to arrive but it is well worth the wait as the food is fantastic! While waiting for your food, be sure to give their free WiFi a shot as it seems to be much faster than most other places around Iboih.