Welcome to Singkil
For most visitors Singkil is just a transit place on the way to
Pulau Banyak. The first impression one gets when entering Singkil is
not the best, partly due to the Nias Earthquake in early 2005.
buildings were destroyed and parts of Singkil just disappeared into
the ocean. First time that happened was in 1935. Singkil was then
located on the other side of the river. The people moved over to the
present side near the Alas River. The river has been very important
for Singkil. Not until later years it has lost its importance for
the people of Singkil. Singkil got connected by road to the other
Sumatra in the early 1990ies. Before one had to go there by river
boat Around the turn of the Millennium Singkil became the center for
a newly formed regency; Aceh Singkil. New government building
started to grow up, but further away near the sea where a new harbor
was built. This new part "Pulo Sarok" is the boring part of Singkil.
If you have time, visit the old part, called "Pasar". It has a nice
atmosphere, traditional wooden buildings and the life along the
river is very lively.
Much of Singkil was destroyed in March 2005 and the scars are still
there to see, especially near the harbor where the land sank. A new
harbor has been built since.
The major income of Aceh Singkil derives from the vast palm oil
plantations and a few palm oil factories. All the plantations are on
the southeastern side of the river. On the other side is the Singkil
Swamps, protected by law, but still suffering form illegal logging.
The Singkil Swamps is a good reason to stay on for a few days in
Singkil or Kuala Baru
before heading for the beaches in Pulau
The people of Singkil are a great mix of many ethnic groups: The
Pak-Pak people along the river up-stream, the Nias people from the
big island in the south, Minangkabau people from Southeast, the
Acehnese from the Northwest, and many more groups. They are a rough
and loud, but yet a very friendly and social people.
Nearby Kuala Baru
is very different, but yet has much in common, especially the
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