Getting there & away
South of the city centre you’ll find the Terminal Bus Senti (Jl Teuku Umar). There are numerous buses to Medan (economy/air-con 120, 000/150, 000Rp, nine to 13 hours). As long as the peace agreement holds, overland travel between Banda Aceh and Medan is safer now than in the past.
The west coast road from Banda Aceh to Meulaboh was destroyed by the 2004 tsunami. When land transport does resume, you’ll have the option of public buses that depart from the bus terminal or minibuses that depart from offices behind the mosque on Jl Mohammad Jam.
South of Meulaboh, the road is in working order and can be accessed via the interior road through Aceh or from Medan.
After the tsunami, the port moved to Uleh-leh, 15km northwest of Banda Aceh’s city centre. The road to the port goes straight through the tsunami’s path – once a two-car garage suburb, now an eerie, empty landscape. Bamboo barracks in places have replaced the fine homes, but otherwise there is very little evidence of the former communities: no roads, streetlights or clotheslines. See Pulau Weh for boat schedules and fare information.
There are several flights a day from Banda Aceh to Medan (250, 000Rp) on Garuda, Adam Air and Lion Air. The last flight leaves Banda Aceh at 5.30pm. BP Travel (32325; Jl Panglima Polem 75) is a helpful air ticket agent. Garuda (Garuda Indonesia; 32523; Jl Daud Beureeh 9) also has an office in Banda Aceh.