It is already familiar that Banda Aceh was named as the city of a thousand coffee for its abundance of coffee shops. But, no one knows who started it, or perhaps it is simply a joke, now the capital city of Aceh Province, Banda Aceh, entitled to a new nickname, the so-called Fifteen Minutes City.
The close distance of various tourism objects scattered in Banda Aceh has made this sea surround city with many nicknames from tourists who came. Despite not every distance to tourism destination takes 15 minutes, the nickname remains to represent the considerable short time to anywhere in the city, since the people and traffic are not as dense as any other big cities in Indonesia.
Of course, it does’t hurt to test. So, Aceh Tourism crews on Monday, November 11, 2013, walked through several tourism destinations in Banda Aceh by foot. It started from Peunayong area to Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, the icon of religious tourism in Banda Aceh and the pride of Acehnese. We walked around 2 kilometers on 10.00 am.
We went across Rex (the culinary center) heading TP Polem street, Simpang Lima, Pante Pirak Bridge, Sekber (formerly known as Antara news agency office), Telkom, Seramoe Aceh (Infokom), then crossing the street we arrived in Baiturrahman Grand Mosque on 10.15 am.
At 11.00 am we continued the journey from Baiturrahman towards Tsunami Museum and Blang Padang. We walked through Taman Sari park, passed the City Mayor Office until we arrived in the T-junction and crossed the street near the former of Sharia Office building. There next to it is the Museum Tsunami or Blang Padang. We got there at 11.15 am.
In Blang Padang you can choose various activities. Short excercise by walking or jogging around this place is comfortable because they provide the round track among the field of green grass, park, and basket ball field. If you are desired to eat and drink, there are many choices of street culinary with affordable price. You can also pose and take pictures infront the statue of RI-001 airplane (the early form of the current national airplane Garuda Indonesia).
In Tsunami Museum, you can explore the minimalist art style of high profile architecture while commemorating the devastating disaster that had claimed thousands of lives on December 26, 2004. This cruiseship formed of building displays the miniature of tsunami severe impact.
At 12.00 pm we continued by foot from Tsunami Museum to Apung Boat. We arrived exactly at 12.15 pm. It also takes 15 minutes walk from Apung Boat to Tsunami Mass Grave or Baiturrahim Mosque in Ulee Lheue (it survived from tsunami despite it is located in the affected coastal line).
There are many other tourism destinations that you can visit by foot from Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, and it takes around 15 minutes as well. For example, from Tsunami Museum to Aceh Museum. The following day, Tuesday, November 12, on 12.00 pm, Aceh Tourism crews tried to walk down the street crossed the intersection, through Sultan Selim Community Centre II, Governor’s hall, and arrived at Aceh Museum at 12.15 pm.
Afterward, we returned to Baiturrahman Grand Mosque and continued on 2 pm after the afternoon prayer. We headed to the historical Mosque Teungku Dianjong. This destroyed mosque due to tsunami was rebuild during post disaster reconstruction period and is located in Peulangkahan Village, Kutaraja Sub-district.
It took 15 minutes indeed through Cut Mutia street, Keudah bus terminal, Keudah intersection, and 100 meters left to finally arrived in Teungku Dianjong Mosque at 2.15 pm.
In this place travelers can experience the religious and historical tourism. Many travelers from Malaysia visit the mosque because there lies the historical evidence of the close ties between Malaysia and Aceh during Iskandar Muda sultanate on the 18th century.
From Teungku Dianjong Mosque, we continued walking at 2.30 toward Banda Aceh Zero Kilometer Monument. The monument was a historical path built by Sultan Johansyah on the first day of Ramadhan (Muslim holy month in Islamic calendar), year 601 Hijriah (around 12th century BC) in Gampong Jawa.
Passing through Gampong Pande and a market formerly sold second hand motorcycle spareparts, we arrived in Bintara FM Radio tower. Around 300 meter from the tower, we can see the Banda Aceh Zero Kilometer Monument less than a meter high, written in Acehnese, Indonesian, and English language.
It is said, “Disinöi asai muasai mula jadi Kuta BANDA ACEH teumpat geupeudong keurajeuen Aceh Darussalam lé Sôleuthan Johansyah bak uroe phôn puasa Ramadhan thon 601 Hijriah.”, explaining the origin of Aceh Darussalam Sultanate and Banda Aceh city.
After walking around Banda Aceh by foot from Peunayong to Banda aaceh Zero Kilometer Monument in Gampong Jawa, either from Baiturrahman Grand Mosque or Tsunami Museum, Aceh Tourism had proven the 15 minutes time spent. Thus, no wonder if Banda Aceh entitled the Fifteen Minutes City from both local and international tourists. (