Aceh Province in the north of Sumatra is now known, sadly, mostly as a result of the devastating tsunami of 2004. Things have moved on in Aceh since and much although not all rebuilt, and a long 30 year war where the province fought for independence has ended. Aceh also practices Sharia law, the only place in Indonesia to do so, so make sure that you are respectful of the culture and you will get a fascinating glimpse into a very different way of life to much of Indonesia.
The Tsunami Museum in particular is a moving experience, and you can check out the Islamic architecture at the Grand Mosque, one of the most majestic buildings in town. Aceh is also famous for its food and coffee, and Warung Kopi Solong has been serving up fresh brew and snacks since the 1970s, so make sure you swing by and sample the best of Aceh’s beans.
Aceh is unique in Indonesia, and so if you don’t mind somewhere with more conservative values than you are used to, then this is a fascinating opportunity to see the complete opposite to free-for-all party places like Bali or the Gili Islands.