The city has survived one of the worst natural disasters known to man, and now it thrives as a melting pot of natural attractions, ancient architectures and delectable cuisines. Spots like Gunongan, Pinto Khop, Putroe Phang Garden, Pendopo, Baiturrahman Mosque, Kherkoff and the Tsunami Museum silently tell you their stories. Traders from far places enrich the Acehnese cuisine with provisions of gulee pliek u, eungkot keumamah, meuseukat, timphan and Acehnese coffee which clearly shows influences from Arab, Persia, China and India. Expect a friendly encounter with the Sumatran orangutan, tiger or elephant if you decide to hike Leuser National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). While this “Veranda of Mecca” adheres to the Sharia (Islamic) law, you will find the locals open-minded and hospitable to visitors. Feel free to ride the surfs at A-Frame, Lhok Nga, Lamno and Lampuuk, laze by the beach at Ulee Lheue, Indra Patra and Lhok Me, and dive into the magical underwater kingdoms at Sabang (Pulau Weh) to witness Aceh’s unyielding natural beauties.