Tapaktuan is the name of a small town in South Aceh. This region has been known possessing a potential natural beauty which could match the beauty of the other tourist destination in Indonesia. However, hard access to the Tapaktuan Town makes this tourism object could not develop well. Tapaktuan has a beautiful beach with the same name as its town, Tapaktuan Beach. This beach is clean, has clear white sand, and has an amazing sunset which makes Tapaktuan Beach similar to Kuta Beach in Bali.
According to the local legend, Tapaktuan Beach was the place where Teuku Tapa fought a couple of Dragon who kidnapped Naga Princess. Thus, in this beach on a hill you could see a giant footprint which is said as a remnant of that fight. A lot of tourists usually take their photograph in this unique location.
In the part of the beach where the giant footprint exists, there are some prohibitions that should be obeyed by this beach’s visitors, such as: do not laugh too loud, do not swear or use bad language, and other prohibitions. If someone ignores the prohibition, it is believed that something bad could be happen, including a big wave that could hit the location.
From on top of the hill where the footprint is located, you will be able to see the amazing view of the ocean in front of you. The blue ocean is so vast that you could not see the edge of it. Below, there are also the view of the beach with its white sand and rolling waves.
To reach the location of this giant footprint, you must up the tiring steps until you reach the top of the hill. This is going to be a challenge for you. However, the tiredness that you feel will be paid off by an experience of seeing a giant footprint which is so unique. It could be imagined how big the Teuku Tapa was when he fought the dragons. Actually, in Gampong Padang region, Tapaktuan Town there is also a giant grave which is said as the place where Teuku Tapa was rested. This grave is more than three meter in length and often visited by many tourists.
Besides this beach, you could visit a place named Ie Dingin. In this place, there is a beautiful multi tiers waterfall. However, the access to this place is a little bit extreme, so to visit all the tiers and enjoy its view, you must be brave to climb rocks and hills. Many people are only able to climb until the third tiers because of the extreme access. Moreover, in the rainy season, the access would be more dangerous. However, it does not mean that you could not reach the top of this waterfall. Some of the visitors of this place could also reach the top. So, nothing is impossible especially for the people who have high enthusiasm.
There are no resorts or lodges for staying over around this area. So, if you want to stay a couple of days here, you must go to the Tapaktuan again to find a lodge. In Tapaktuan, there are various kinds of resorts and lodges starting from the cheapest until the decent one.
For dining option, you must not worry because wide selection of restaurants and shops with various menus are available in this town. Tapaktuan is the west coast route for heading to Medan and vice versa, so in this town there are a lot of restaurants which is open daily even 24 hours. Some of them is also built on top of the hill offering a spectacular view of the sea while you enjoying your meal.
If you live outside Sumatra Island, the best way to go here is to get on an airplane only until Medan City. The reason is simple because Medan is closer to Tapaktuan than Banda Aceh, the capital city of Aceh. From Medan, which is the capital of North Sumatra Province, you will only need to use a bus with fee around Rp 30,000. The trip will take around 4-5 hours. It is a lot shorter than departing from Banda Aceh, which will need up to 9-10 trip. Although this region is called Legend Town, you should not worry, because it also offers a beautiful nature to be explored.