"Yes, our Zero Kilometer Monument area has won the first prize as the most unique tourist destination in Indonesia. We will maintain this," Sabang Mayor Nazaruddin stated on Friday evening after receiving the award in Jakarta.
In addition to Sabang, Mabala Cave in Sabu Raijua District, East Nusa Tenggara Province, was named the second most unique destination, while Lake Kaolin in Central Bangka District, Bangka Belitung Province, came third.
Try Sutrisno, the then vice president, inaugurated the Monument of Zero Kilometer on September 9, 1997, as a symbol of Indonesia's unity from Sabang, the country's westernmost town, until Merauke located in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua.
The monument, renovated on several occasions, has four pillars epitomizing four towns and islands located in the outermost regions of Indonesia: Sabang in Aceh, Merauke in Papua, Miangas Island in North Sulawesi, and Rote Island in East Nusa Tenggara.
Miangas Island, located in Sanger Talaud District, North Sulawesi Province, is Indonesia's northernmost island, sharing its maritime border with the Philippines. Rote Island, Indonesia's southernmost island, shares maritime borders with Australia and Timor Leste.
Sabang is located on Weh Island and a popular marine tourism destination, as its beaches have crystal-clear waters, white sands, dense trees, and various species of animals.
It has become a favored place for marine tourism lovers for performing various activities, such as diving, snorkeling, fishing, and sunbathing as well as for visiting interesting spots.
Sabang has been viewed as a tourism icon of Aceh Province. Weh Island, situated between the Indian Ocean and Malacca Strait, is scenic and exotic, as it is encircled by several small islands. (INE)