Location & Travel
Firstly you need to get yourself a return to either Kuala Lumpur (KUL), Singapore (SIN), Penang (PEN), Jakarta (CGK) or Medan (KNO). And then using local airlines you can connect to Banda Aceh (BTJ)
Flights from the UK and Europe’s other main hub airports tend to be £450 to £700 range per person to the region. From the USA it’s across the Pacific. You can find flights from $800, from China Southern, Eva Air, China Eastern, China Airlines, Korean Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, Qatar. From Dubai it is around $400 for a return ticket. From Australia we found flights for under £400/$600 but some of those Asian budget airlines might get you there even cheaper.
We tend to browse Skyscanner.net to get the full picture for long-haul flights as they seem to offer the best range of deals from different airlines.
Then using a different, local airline, you can find cheap flights — Air Asia is our carrier of choice but depending where you fly to you should check Garuda, Lion Air or Malaysia — that
fly daily direct to Banda Aceh. This flight should cost you around £75/$110 incl. sports equipment.
Visa on Arrival
A 30 days single entry visa is granted upon arrival to more than 60 nationalities incl. Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, France, Spain, Holland and many more (see list at the link below). The cost is US$ 35. You can also pay in some other currencies (EUR or AUS$), you will get your change in IDR. There is usually no problem to obtain a visa on arrival, but your passport must be valid for at least another 6 months.
Stuff to Know
- Sumatra is still a remote place so even though there are two very good hospitals close by for any emergency, it is wise to be covered with proper travel and medical insurance with water sports included.
- It is recommended that travellers take malaria pills. Although our personal experience is that it’s not riddled with mosquitos it is better safe than sorry, eh? For more official information you can check: http://www.iamat.org/country_profile.cfm?id=51#profile_diseases
- This trip is not for beginner surfers. We are not going to offer any lessons, to hire surf equipment, or provide surf instruction. So please be aware that these waves are for mid-level and above surfers who are happy surfing over reef.