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Follow These Etiquettes While Visiting Aceh – The Do’s and Dont’s

by Yoga Adi

When the tourists are coming to Indonesia, they may notice several things related to its people. The laws and norms that are always followed by all Indonesians since the day they were born. Each province around the country has their own moral rules. But Aceh is somewhat unique compared to the others.

Aside from being famous for local cuisines of Aceh, the area is also known for its strict Islamic law. In fact, it’s the only area in Indonesia that implemented the law.  People who live in Aceh should follow the Islamic rules. The relationship between humans and God is always believed and well-respected in this particular area.

Since there’s the absolute rule to follow, the tourists should know one or two things about what they can and can’t do around Aceh. Sure, there are many popular things to enjoy, like beaches in Aceh for example.

Even though the rules seem to not be applied to the tourists strictly, as respectful visitors, it’s a good thing to always respect the norms.

If you have a plan to visit Aceh anytime soon, here’s the things you need to know:

Dressed Accordingly

Etiquettes While Visiting Aceh

Aceh applies Islamic sharia that includes the dressing rules. You must dress to cover the aurat parts of your body. Women are required to wear loose, covered and veiled clothes. Meanwhile, the men should cover their aurat by wearing long pants. 

The dress rule  must be known by travelers who happen to visit Aceh. However, this rule does not apply to non-Muslim communities. Other Indonesian non-Muslim people are only required to dress modestly according to local customs.

Actually, strict rules on how to dress in Aceh, such as restrictions for using jeans and open-cut clothing, do not apply to the tourists. This includes foreign tourists. Usually, it’s followed by the locals who originated in Aceh.

Even so, as a respectful traveler, it’s a good idea to wear more covered clothes to respect this rule. Store your picnic outfit and start wearing a long shirt when going to Aceh. When you respect the people, especially their important belief, they’ll do the same to you as well.

The Night Time Applies

Etiquettes While Visiting Aceh

Aceh is indeed an interesting area. Number of many blessed things to do in Aceh is almost unaccountable. But you should remember, in Aceh, there’s the night time rule. The rule simply restricts the people of Aceh to go outside of their houses when the hour reaches 11 pm. The rule is important due to morality and safety reasons, especially for the women.

However, the rule itself doesn’t apply to the tourists. They can still go out at any time they want it. Even having a sip of coffee, and hanging out till 3 a.m is possible to do, as long as you don’t bother or disrespect other applied laws and regulations. Going outside to visit a friend’s apartment is also fine.

But, most entertainment venues in Aceh close at midnight because it has been limited by local government regulations. So, even though you’re literally outside, finding an opened food stall could be way harder. Plus, the authorities will do a little patrol to make sure that the people obey the applied rules.

Even though annoying to some people, the rule itself has a good cause. A very good cause. The rule applies for women safety.

Some women work through night hours, and it can be really dangerous for them because of the criminal actions or other sexual assaults. Thus, the work hours are limited some hours before midnight.

Using Propress Clothing When Visiting Religious Sites

Etiquettes While Visiting Aceh

One of the main reasons to visit Aceh is the religious destinations around Aceh. They usually consist of mosques and other religious sites. Well, as you know it, there’s a rule regarding this activity. Revealing clothing is absolutely restricted. Just like in Bali, the visitors should cover their body with more proper clothing.

Any scarf will do, or sarong to cover your head and lower part. Anyone should remember that most of these religious attractions still function as places to pray. Wearing revealing clothing, or even a bit sexy shirt is highly disrespectful.

But, if you’re not bringing any scarf or other spare clothes, you’ll be given one by the corresponding management. That’s why, preparing an additional scarf and putting it in the bag should be pinned in the mind of the tourists. 

The tourists should already respect those who are praying in those sacred places. After all, they are places with much holiness. Don’t ruin it by wearing improper clothes.

Halal Foods Are Everywhere

Etiquettes While Visiting Aceh

Well, one of the things to do in Banda Aceh that’s highly enjoyable is the culinary. Aceh has the best traditional foods to try. It’s really hard to miss them. It’s like, it has been destined for anyone who visits Aceh to meet the joyful world of culinary sooner or later. And they are indeed beautiful.

However, because the Islamic rule is highly applied in this area, all the foods that you’re gonna eat are Halala foods. No pork or other haram ingredients can be found. Even though Halal, doesn’t mean that they’re not good. Instead it’s the opposite. Aceh Noodle, Sate Matang, Ayam Tangkap, or other traditional foods are highly praised. Super delicious, and very memorable.

For the drinks, the Islamic law also applies. You won’t find any alcoholic drink in Aceh. Instead, you’ll be treated with greater things like Aceh Coffee. It’s more kicking, and the taste is famously known throughout the world.

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