Lonely Planet introduced Pulau Weh as a tiny tropical rock off the tip of Sumatra. Look carefully on the map or you would probably miss it. What brought me to Pulau Weh exactly? Diving, of course. In all honesty, I’ve not heard of this island and i literally had to google it up to see where in the world is this place. It is located on the north of Banda Aceh, Sumatra and the main town where most of Weh’s population live is known as Sabang. Surprisingly, it was just a 1.5 hours flight away from Penang to Banda Aceh via Fireflyz airline.
Pulau Weh marked my first trip for the year of 2017! There were so many modes of transport involved to get to Pulau Weh. Ulee Lheu Harbour is about 40 minutes away from Banda Aceh Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport and to get there, it is recommended for you to take a taxi. At the harbour, you have a choice to either take the fast or slow ferry depending on the availability. I arrived at 940am by flight and by the time i got to the harbour, it was almost 1030am. That left me with only one option – the slow ferry departing at 11am, which took about 1.5 hours to Balohan Harbour, Pulau Weh. From Balohan Harbour to Iboih beach, it took another 45 minutes by bejak (a local three wheel transport).
Boracay, a small island in the Philippines is said to be the “Maldives of South East Asia”. Year after year, it has been listed as one of the top destinations for beaches around the world. I’ve been wanting to visit the Philippines for the longest time and without hesitation, i bought a return ticket to Boracay for six days.
Getting to Boracay Island was quite an effort from Penang, Malaysia. From Penang, I had to take a 1 hour domestic flight to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Air Asia flies directly from KLIA to Kalibo Airport and time of travel is approximately 3.5 hours. Prior to my travels, I have made bookings in advance with Islandstar Express. Their representative was waiting for me at the arrival hall and took care of everything precisely. I was pretty impressed. Kalibo Airport is about 2 hours away from Caticlan jetty and to get to the port, I hopped onto a bus. There were 3 couples and myself on the bus. I took the front seat and had a nice little chat with the local bus driver. At the port, the journey to Boracay Island is about 20 minutes via a small ferry. We were greeted by a truck-like transport and dropped off at our respective accommodation. I was the last to get off at Station 2.