Sabang is a city located on Weh Island and is the gateway to the western tip of Indonesia. Sabang has an area of 156.3 square kilometers with the highest peak of 617 meters above sea level. Because it is located on Pulau Weh many people call Pulau Weh as Sabang Island. Pulau Weh itself is the main and largest island that is separated from the mainland of Aceh by the Bengal Strait.
Besides directly bordering with 3 countries, namely Malaysia, Thailand and India, Sabang is also an area that is very unique to Indonesia. That's because here you can find the Zero Kilometer monument which is the forerunner of the term, "From Sabang to Merauke".
Currently Sabang is transformed into an Indonesian marine tourism destination that offers a paradise for divers. Here you can enjoy the underwater world by diving to find hundreds of species of fish and the wealth of natural coral reefs that are not planted or cultivated.
The waters in Sabang are a meeting place for the Indian Ocean and the Malacca Strait. At this time Sabang equipped its tourism attractions with the holding of the Sabang International Regatta.
The charm of Sabang offers beautiful coastline beauty, blue and clean sea water and green trees. However, not only marine tourism can be found in Sabang. There are mountains, lakes, beaches, sea, and forests that are still natural and awake waiting to be visited. Not to mention your interaction with the local community will provide a memorable experience.
Sabang is a beautiful small town with hilly land structure so that local residents call the city of Sabang with two names namely the lower city and upper city.
Sabang consists of five large and small islands, namely Pulau Weh as the largest island, Rubiah Island, Klah Island, Seulako Island, and Rondo Island. The population is around 26,000. Sabang is divided into two sub-districts and 72 villages. The topography includes lowland, undulating land, hilly and mountainous, and rocks along the coast.
The Sabang border in the east is the Malacca Strait, west of the Indonesian Ocean, north of the Malacca Strait, and the south by the Indonesian Ocean.
During the Kingdom of Aceh, the territory of Pulau Weh itself was a place of eviction or was transferred "geupeuweh" to someone who was subjected to severe punishment from the kingdom. The name geupeuweh is then attached to the name of this island and is accompanied by the time when the pronunciation shortens to Weh and is defined as a separate island.
The word "sabang" comes from the Acehnese language which is "saban" which means the same rights and position in everything. This is attributed to the existence of Sabang, which used to be visited by outsiders from outside to open gardens (seuneubôk) or other businesses.
The migrants come from various regions with different cultures, both attitudes, values, and customs. Gradually there is assimilation where various differences eventually fade and their position becomes the same. The term saban has long been attached to Pulau Weh which then slowly changes its name to "Sabang".
Sabang is the only area of the Kingdom of Aceh that can be fully controlled by the Dutch East Indies Government. Since 1881, Sabang has been designated a natural port called Kolen Station.
The Dutch East Indies government then built various facilities and infrastructure. Especially after 1887 when Sabang Haven obtained the authority to build port support facilities.
In 1895, Sabang became a free port area of Vrij Haven managed by Sabang Maatschaappij (Maatschaappij Zeehaven en Kolen Station). At that time the name Sabang was increasingly popular in the archipelago and internationally as a port of international trade circulation.
World War II destroyed Sabang until Japan was occupied in 1942 and made it a maritime base of the Japanese Navy. Having not finished repairs due to the war, the physical damage to the island became worse after the Allied Forces bombarded it so that Sabang was closed.
It was only after the independence period Sabang was designated as the United Republic of Indonesia Navy Defense Center (RIS) and all Sabang Maatschaappij Port assets were purchased by the Government of Indonesia.
In 1965 the Sabang Township government was formed and an effort was made to reopen the Sabang Free Port and the Free Trade Zone. This effort was only officially confirmed in 2000.
The activities of the Free and Free Trade Port of Sabang began to throb with the entry of goods from abroad to the Sabang Region. However, in 2004 Sabang was again stalled because the central government determined martial law status for Aceh.
After the peace agreement between the Government of Indonesia and GAM on August 15, 2005, Sabang was again crowded. Sabang Free Port was reopened to accelerate Aceh's economic development through economic relations with foreign countries. In addition, a variety of maritime destinations and the uniqueness of Aceh's culture were re-introduced so that tourists came to enjoy the charm of the beauty of the westernmost island in Indonesia.