All that remains of Aceh’s powerful sultanates today is on view at Gunongan. Built by Sultan Iskandar Muda (1607–36) as a gift for his Malay princess wife, it was intended as a private playground and bathing place. The building consists of an intriguing series of blinding white peaks with narrow stairways and a walkway leading to ridges, which represent the hills of the princess’ native land. Ask around for someone to unlock the gate for you.
Directly across from the Gunongan is a low vaulted gate, in traditional Pintu Aceh style, which provided access to the sultan’s palace – supposedly for the use of royalty only.