Aceh is a province in Indonesia which has a thousand cities in Banda Aceh. Aceh is one of the provinces in Indonesia that has been given special status and is also entitled to special autonomy. Aceh is located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra and is the westernmost province of Indonesia. The population of the province is around 4,500,000. It is located close to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India and is separated by the Andaman Sea.

Aceh is bordered by the Bay of Bengal to the north, the Indian Ocean to the west, the Straits of Malacca to the east, and North Sumatra to the southeast and south. Aceh considers it the place where Islam began to spread in Indonesia and played an important role in the spread of Islam in Southeast Asia.

At the beginning of the 17th century, the Sultanate of Aceh was the richest, strongest and most prosperous country in the Malacca Strait. Aceh’s history is colored by political freedom and hard freedom against foreigners, including the former Dutch colonialists and the Indonesian government. Compared to other provinces, Aceh is a very conservative region (upholding religious values). The percentage of Muslim population is the highest in Indonesia and those who live according to Islamic sharia.

Unlike most provinces in Indonesia, Aceh has special regulated autonomy for historical reasons. Aceh has abundant natural resources, including oil and natural gas. Aceh is also famous for its forests which lie along the Bukit Barisan range from Kutacane in Southeast Aceh to Ulu Masen in Aceh Jaya.

A national park called Gunung Leuser National Park (TNGL) was established in Southeast Aceh. Aceh is the land closest to the epicenter of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. After the earthquake, a tsunami wave hit most of the province’s west coast. Around 170,000 people were killed or missing as a result of the disaster. This disaster also encouraged the creation of a peace agreement between the government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM).