Tourist Attraction: PLTD Apung

The prosaically named PLTD Apung 1 was an electricity-generating vessel, basically one giant floating diesel generator. It weighs a whopping 2600 tonnes! Yet when the tsunami of 26 December 2004 came, it not only ripped the vessel from its mooring but carried it some 2 miles (3 km) inland right into the city. 
When it was finally deposited by the receding waters in a poor residential district of Banda Aceh it landed right on top of two houses. There are still believed to be victims under the boat that crushed them together with their homes. So the site is also a very surreal graveyard of sorts. 
After the tsunami the huge hulk of this vessel became one of the symbols of the disaster and an early visitor attraction. People came to see this unlikely sight to get a feeling for the enormous powers at work during the tsunami. It would probably have been pretty much impossible to move it again, short of laboriously dismantling it and taking it away piece by piece. So it was decided to leave it in its stranded location, even though it also blocked a road. 
In 2012/13 the site was even developed into something you could only call a “tsunami theme park” – i.e. it was heavily commodified, with the addition of a monument, a landscaped park (incorporating ruins of houses), an observation tower, elevated walkways around the vessel and access stairs so that visitors can clamber aboard. Even souvenir stalls have sprung up by the entrance to the park. So it is clearly a visitor attraction of the highest order (at least by local standards). 


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