Takengon is one of the places in Indonesia that you can consider visiting for its natural beauty. Having found on a 1,200 meters highland, this capital of Central Aceh Regency has been well-known for its coffee and traditional Didong dance which is typically presented in welcoming ceremonies for visitors and tourists alike. The city's name is said to be derived from a local Acehnese word “tikungan” that means to bend. It is because the journey to the city will usually need to be done by foot with some hiking and trekking through the hilly forests, thus “bending” the feet.
Takengon is mainly served by Rembele Airport, which is the main airport in Central Aceh Regency, that implies that it also services other places like Simpang Tiga Redelong and other surrounding areas. Located 20 kilometres away from the city centre, this airport is owned by the Government of Indonesia and operated by the Ministry of Transportation. Typically, it is designated as a domestic airport with destinations only within Indonesia, notably to and from Medan via Wings Air airlines. At an elevation of 1,310 meters, the airport has an asphalt runway that is 2,250 meters long. It also has a terminal that is 1,000 square meters in size, which was the result of upgrading works from an earlier terminal that is only 400 square meters in size. There are no direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Takengon in general. Therefore one needs to take a flight heading to either Jakarta or Medan first and take a local flight heading to Takengon.
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Ideally, Takengon is suitable for an all-year-round visit, yet the off-peak season is in February which is the least humid month in Takengon. However, this could be a blessing in disguise, since one can expect the travel costs to be more reasonable if you are travelling around this month. On the other hand, the peak time to visit Takengon is usually around November to January, therefore expect prices to rise around this time. Considering these factors, you can undoubtedly save your money If you plan your trip well because the price for hotels and flights during the peak season will cost you a lot of money.
Just like the nearby cities and regions around Indonesia and surrounding countries, Takengon is said to have a tropical rainforest climate which implies a shorter dry season and throughout the year, rainfall is expected to be heavy. The average maximum temperature in Takengon is around 32 and 35 degree Celsius, while the average minimum is about 23.4 and 24.4 degree Celsius. The hottest months are usually around April, May and June.
When in Takengon, you can certainly participate in certain events and festivals, just like the locals would. Takengon as part of Aceh, has always been predominantly inhabited by residents practising the Islamic faith for generations. Therefore, major Muslim celebrations such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri will be observed, with celebrations done after fasting for one month during Ramadan. Besides that, they will also observe other Islamic religious activities such as Aidiladha, Muharram and Prophet Muhammad's Birthday.
This capital of Central Aceh Regency certainly does not disappoint when it comes to its own tourist attractions, albeit most of them are natural.
Gayo Highlands – A highlands extending to the cities of Takengon, Blang Kejeren and Simpang Tiga Redelong, this highland area covers about 100,000 hectares. It is the biggest site in Indonesia to have Arabica coffee plantations and is said to be one of the best in the world. Its view is also amazing too! Definitely worth a visit when you are in town.
Pantan Terong – Pantan Terong is a hill found 1,350 meters above the sea level on the peak of the Gayo Highlands, it is about 1,350 meters above the sea level. While Gayo Highlands already offers a good view from the top, the hill summit allows one to observe the entirety of the Takengon city as well as the Lake Lut Tawar better.
Putri Pukes Cave – One of the more well-known attractions in Takengon, the Putri Pukes Cave can be accessed 10 minutes away from the city. Within this cave, there are various unique sculptures and rock formations which are interesting to have a look at, some of them is said to come off the legend of a princess with the name Pukes.