Village Life
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Village Life

The small village of Balai Lutu (Ketambe) is on the border to Gunung Leuser National Park and thus a good starting point for making trips in to the rainforest. Balai Lutu is on the only inland road through Aceh, connecting Kutacane and Medan in the south with Takengon and Banda Aceh in the north. The road is very scenic and less trafficked than the two coastal roads. The big river Alas is floating from north to south just some hundred meters west of the village. The houses are placed mainly along the road. There is one mosque, a primary school, a small shop and a health clinic and few guesthouses’ (see map). Most locals are farmers growing vegetables, rice, corn, cacao, coconuts, candle nuts and fruits like durian, rambutan, bananas, and much more. Young people often move to the big fast growing towns in other parts of the provinces of Aceh or the nearby North Sumatra to find jobs and education. Most of the inhabitants of Balai Lutu are of the ethnic groups Alas and Gayo. Both with their own languages and expressions of culture.