Tapaktuan is a coastal town on the Province of Aceh. This city stands facing to the wide Indian Ocean. Thus, the coastal lines at the entire city are beautiful with bright white sand, sparkling waves, and massive boulders. To enrich the nature panorama, Tapaktuan city is also surrounded with mountain and hills. This combination creates a harmony of beauty. To that, city is widely known as “The Best City in Sumatra”.

The Coastal City of Tapaktuan (Source: Flickr. Credit: Axel Drainville)
The Coastal City of Tapaktuan
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Axel Drainville)

How to Get There

Tapaktuan can be accessed from Medan (the capital city of North Sumatra Province) and Banda Aceh (the capital city of Aceh Province). Therefore, you need to get to one of those cities first. Both cities have international airport. Kualanamu International Airport in Medan accommodates flights from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Penang (Malaysia), Colombo (Srinlaka), Singapore, Jakarta City, Makassar, Batam, Bandung, Surabaya, Pekanbaru, Sibolga, and many other cities in Indonesia. Meanwhile, Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport at Banda Aceh accommodates flight from George Town (Malaysia) and Jakarta.

From Medan or Banda Aceh, you can continue your journey using small flight to Tapaktuan Airport. Besides that, you can also get a minivan travel. The minivan trip will take about 4 hours from Medan and 6 hours from Banda Aceh.


Where to Stay

There are several choices of hotels and inns in Tapaktuan city. Some of those are:

  • Chaterin Hotel at Jalan T. Ben Mahmud 6. Telephone: +62 656 21314
  • Azizi Hotel at Jalan T. Ben Mahmud 202. Telephone: +62 656 323134 or 085277071093
  • Metro Hotel at Jalan T. Ben Mahmud 17A. Telephone: +62 656 21797
  • Wisma Lampit at Jalan Nyak Adam Kamil.
  • Losmen Mulia at Jalan Pelabuhan 2, Labuhan Haji
  • Losmen Jambu (Sukur) at Jalan Ahmad Yani 13. Telephone: +62 656 21365
  • Losmen Restu Selatan at Jalan Merdeka 72. Telephone: +62 656 21262
  • Losmen Yogya at Jalan Merdeka 50. Telephone: +62 656 21053
  • Losmen Gunung Tuan at Jalan Merdeka 80. Telephone: +62 656 21053
  • Losmen Panorama at Jalan Merdeka 33. Telephone: +62 656 21004
  • Losmen Canada at Jalan Merdeka 52. Telephone: +62 656 21209
Tapaktuan is Surrounded with Hills (Source: Flickr. Credit: Axel Drainville)
Tapaktuan is Surrounded with Hills
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Axel Drainville)

The Legend

There is a legendary folklore regarding the history of Tapaktuan city. It is said that long time ago, there is a pair of dragon who were living in the bay of Tapaktuan. The female dragon was red and the male dragon was black. It had been a very long time and the couple had not yet had an offspring. Due to that, they were being banished away from the bay. They moved to a cave then.

One day, the dragon couple found a human baby girl floating in the sea. The dragons then saved the baby and took them to the cave. They raised the baby as their own child and the baby recognized the dragons as their true parents. Seventeen years later, the girl had grown up to be a beautiful young lady.

Once upon a time, a king of Asralonaka visited Tapaktuan. He then saw the girl and immediately recognized her as his own daughter who lost in the sea 17 years ago. Feeling so happy to see his daughter again, he then came to the cave to see the dragons. He asked the dragons to give his daughter back as he planned to bring the girl back home.

The dragons refused that request because they felt like they had been spending all these years taking care of the girl. When the king insisted, the dragons got angry and demanded a fight. King Asralonaka took that challenge as he wanted to take his daughter back so bad.

A massive fight was happening and somehow it bothered an old wise man who lived in the village. The man then asked the dragons and the king of what happened. After knowing the case, the man politely advised the dragons to return the girl to her rightful parents. But that just made the dragons even angrier. They then asked the old wise man to fight. Little did they know that the man had a strong power more than anyone could imagine.

With a single force, the man attacked both dragons at the same time. Both dragons suddenly exploded and the remains were scattered everywhere. At Tapaktuan beach, you can see many red and black rocks scattered all over the place. Those rocks are believed to be the remains of the exploded dragons. Nearby the beach, there is also a giant footprint in the middle of the rocky cliff. This foot print is believed to be the footprint of the wise old man, Tuan Tapa.

The Footprint of Tuan Tapa (Source: travel.detik.com. Credit: Hijrah Saputra)
The Footprint of Tuan Tapa
(Source: travel.detik.com. Credit: Hijrah Saputra)

Interesting Object

The city of Tapaktuan is famous for its surfing site, beaches, and waterfalls. Some of the most interesting objects to visit are:

  • Lawang Beach

Lawang Beach is the best surfing spot in Aceh Province. It is located about 20 kilometers from the city of Tapaktuan. The water is crystal clear, allowing you to surf comfortably. The wave is stable and the barrel is quite challenging. Surfing at Lawang Beach is perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers. This feature is supported with scenic panorama to enhance your fun experience at this coastal city. If you are interested in surfing at this beach, it is highly recommended to visit around July to November. During these months, the wind is perfect, causing the barrels to be steadier than usual.

  • Tingkat Tujuh Waterfall

Literally, Tingkat Tujuh Waterfall means the seven-story waterfall. This name is taken based on the actual formation of the waterfall. What makes it more unique is that each story of water falls into a pond located on each level. Therefore, there are seven levels of waterfalls and seven ponds to accommodate the water.

One Level of Waterfall (Source: acehselatan.com. Credit: Aceh Selatan)
One Level of Waterfall
(Source: acehselatan.com. Credit: Aceh Selatan)

This waterfall is surrounded by hills filled with trees in thick formation. The air is fresh and the temperature is breezing cool. Therefore, the atmosphere at this place is very peaceful. With almost nobody around, the waterfall is such an interesting place to explore. And the best thing is, you can swim at the pond on each level.

  • Pasir Setumpuk Beach

Pasir Setumpuk Beach is a secluded beach located about 7 kilometers away from the city of Tapaktuan. This pristine beach has clear blue water with soft current. The sand is bright clean white. Surrounding the beach, a high formation of cliff with colors of black and cream is framing the sandy shore.

The cliff is topped with thick vegetation, providing cool shades and fresh air to the environment. Nearby the shore, you will see a unique formation of rock where the rock is very large at the topside but is thinly narrow at the bottom. It looks like the giant rock is hanging. At the most unique thing is that, if you are lucky enough, you will see turtles that live around the beach.


Located at the front of Indian Ocean, the city of Tapaktuan has awesome views and nature formation. The city is like a heaven with exotic beach and waterfall. Just like it is not enough, Tapaktuan also offers an amazing spot for surfing. Thus, there is no reason to say no to visiting the coastal city of Tapaktuan.