The A To Z Of Southeast Asia – W

W – Weh Island

Weh Island, also known as Pulau Weh or Sabang, is a small island to the northwest of Sumatra in Indonesia.

Main picture credit Ben Bland on flickr

The island is known for some beautiful beaches but mostly for its ecosystem, especially underwater and its stunning diving opportunities.

The island is dominated by the volcanic mountain standing 617 metres / 2,024 feet high. It has not erupted for many hundreds of years.

Lying in the Andaman Sea, the island was damaged during the Indian Ocean tsunami on 26th December 2004. A large area of mangrove was destroyed and coral reef were damaged.


Iboih Beach is the most popular beach on the island and, although not the largest beach, has beautiful white sand

Gapang Beach is popular with backpackers and divers. Forty five minutes from the island capital, Sabang, the beach has white sand and has a number of accommodation alternatives

Anoi Itam Beach is a black, volcanic, sand beach around 30 minutes from Balohan Port


You can snorkel direct from any of the main beaches of the island or take a boat trip with one of the dive schools.

A short swim from shore should reward you with scorpion fish, lionfish, trumpetfish, clownfish, batfish, needlefish and other reef fish.

Scuba Diving

Probably the biggest draw to the island is for the scuba diving.

There are around 20 dive sites in the Marine Protection Area including:

  • Sabang harbour has a shallow water wreck dibe perfect for an introduction to wreck diving or as the last dive of the day
  • Sophie Rickmers – much deeper and only for advanced, experienced divers. This steam ship, built in 1920, sunk in Pria Lot bay.
  • Batee Meuduro – an excellent site for spotting shark
  • Pantee Peunateung – has a 70 metre drop off which attracts many large pelagic fish including school of barracuda
  • Pulau Rubia – wonderful coral garden featuring an excellent array of marine life
  • Gapang House reef – another reef with plenty of marine life
  • Batee Tokong – 40 metre wall that is teeming with life

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Published by flyingdogtravel

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