Bangladesh has so much to offer for nature lovers, foodies, and intrepid adventurers alike. While still relatively less-known to travelers outside of Asia, those looking for a truly unforgettable trip to a place draped in both natural and human-made beauty should take some time to learn more about this vast, diverse place and what it has to offer. Among the magnificent places to visit in Bangladesh, we’ll cover five in this issue with more to follow next time:
Sundarbans, literally meaning ‘beautiful forest’ is known all over the world for the tidal halophytic mangrove forest. Several documentary films have been made on this exotic forest.
Sundarban is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The major part of it is in Bangladesh with the remaining part coming under Indian territory. Densely covered with forest, it is considered to be one of the largest reserves that protect the great Royal Bengal Tiger. Captivating flora, and fauna like avifauna, aqua-fauna, predators, and reptiles add beauty to the charm of Sundarban National Park, Sundarbans West Wildlife Sanctuary, Sundarbans South Wildlife Sanctuary, and Sajnakhali Wildlife Sanctuary.
The beautiful tourist spots in Sundarban are:
Kotka Beach: Kotka beach is located in the south east corner of the Sundarban. It’s one of the most visited places and beautiful spots of Sundarban. Katka is basically a base for safaris, bird-watching and apt site to see tigers. Travelers also enjoy the high tide of sea, bath on the sandy beach and take a walk with many more scenes there to enjoy in Kotka area of Sundarban.
Karamjol Sundarban: Koromjol is another beautiful place in Sundarban popular among the tourists from different countries. To view the most cherished species of Bangladesh’s wildlife, Karamjol Eco park is the place. A ranger station deep in the forest that also serves as a deer-breeding center is also therein Karamjol.
Dublar Char Island: The entire Dublar Char is incredible, but if you have a limited time to explore this fantastic forest you must not miss this place especially if you are in mid-November. Dublar char is where hindu devotees come to join the Rash Mela once in a year. Dublar char is basically a beautiful island in Sundarban although the island remains under water for five months every year. One can enjoy the sunset from this incredibly beautiful island. A number of deers can be seen at Dublar Char.
Hiron Point: Nilkomol or Hiron point is yet another prime tourist point from where adventurer can watch tiger, deer, monkey, crocodiles and lots of birds. This is basically a protected sanctuary for the wildlife.
Kochikhali: The beautiful wildlife sanctuary in Kochikhali lies in the unbelievable combination of beautiful intact forests and raw nature. Enjoy spotting a variety of wild animals as you take a boat cruise within the reserve. So, be ready with your camera phones and DSLRs for you never know – you might get to witness something that’s as surprising and photogenic as you would like it to be. Kochikhali Sundarban spot features dense forests facing the Bay of Bengal.
Mandarbaria: The mandarbaria sea beach is almost 8km long and the whole mandarbaria is one of the beautiful places in Sundarban area. It’s located in Satkhira district near Haribhanga River.
2. Cox’s Bazar
The world’s longest natural sandy sea beach, Cox’s Bazar is also known for its scenic beauty. The main tourist attraction of Bangladesh is perhaps Cox’s Bazar. Tourists can enjoy their time by traveling the longest marine drive, enjoying fresh seafood, sea driving, hiking hill tracks, horse riding, and Parasailing.
The beautiful tourist spots in Cox’s Bazar are:
Himchhori Waterfall & Hill Track: Himchhori is one of the most famous places for tourists to hike. There is a Buddhist Temple on top of the hill in Hamchhori. Tourists can enjoy the time by tracking the Himchhori National Park.
Inani Beach: Inani beach is a well-known place in Cox’s Bazar. The Inani beach is a coral beach with sharp stones. Pathorkhani is located in Inani Beach, a famous attraction where tourists gather around it and take snapshots by sitting on it.
Marine Drive: The longest marine drive in the world is “Cox’s Bazar–Teknaf” marine drive, which is about 80 kilometers long. You can ride the ‘Chander Gari’ from Cox’s Bazar to Teknaf. You can also go to Saint Martin’s Island from there.
Kutubdia Island: Kutubdia Island is famous for being the first built lighthouse of Bangladesh from the British era. There is a wind power plant that is the largest in the country.
Ramu: Ramu is a typical Buddhist village. This place was named after the Royal Ramu Dynasty of Arakan. A-13ft-high bronze image of Buddha was found at the time of The Mughals (1666). Ramu is famous for monasteries, 100ft Buddha, and Pagodas of Buddha. Adinath Temple is a hilltop Hindu temple of Shiva, which is another tourist attraction.
Dulahazra Safari Park: Dulahazra Safari is located in Chakaria Upazila of Cox’s Bazar. This place is about 43 kilometres away from the main city. This place mainly attracts tourists for an Eco-park conserving wild animals in a natural environment. Bengal tigers, crocodiles, bears, spotted deer, and many types of birds and monkeys offer worthy attraction.
3. Saint Martin’s Island
The only coral island of Bangladesh, Saint Martin’s Island is quite small and it embraces about 08 square kilometres of the land area. Located close to Chhera Island, it was first named as Zajira by some unknown Arabian sailors.
The present name ‘Saint Martin’s Island’ came into being during the British rule. Over the years, this tiny St. Martin’s Island has become a really popular tourist place. Currently, some (about 5 to 6 in number) shipping liners run daily trips to the island. Tourists can book their trip either Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar or Dhaka. The golden sandy sea beach and crystal clear blue water is reminiscent of the Koh Lipe island of Thailand.
The major attractions of St. Martin’s Island are sunrise & sunset, sandy beach, coral, moonlit night, engine boat or speed boat tour around the Island, walking through cycling the island, scuba diving, fishing, sea bath & sun bath, sea fish fry, coconut water and Samudra Bilash (the home of the late popular poet of Bangladesh Dr. Humayun Ahmed).
Kuakata, the daughter of the sea with its other name being the green land of unparalleled beauty, is located in Patuakhali district. Kuakata is the only beach in South Asia, where you can stand and watch the sunrise and sunset. Undoubtedly, it is a great thing to observe the rising of the sun through the belly of the sea and the disappearance of the sun in the middle of the sea.
Kuakata beach is located in the Latachapali union of Kalapara police station of the district. Sunrise and sunset can be seen at the same time from this 18-kilometre-long Kuakata Sea Beach. Fishermen can be seen fishing on the beach almost all year round.
The beautiful tourist spots in Kuakata are:
Shutki Palli: The location of Jele (Fishermen) Palli is at the western end of Kuakata beach. The dry season lasts from November to March. The fish is caught from the sea and dried on the beach. If you want, you can spend time watching this busy schedule of fishermen. And you can buy different types of dried fish at low prices.
Crab Island: Crab Island or Kakra Dwip is a famous place to go a long way east along the Kuakata beach. Thousands of red crabs roam the secluded beach. During the travel season, from October to March, speedboats are available from Kuakata Beach to Crab island.
Jungle of Gangamati: Kuakata beach has come to an end up to the Gangamati canal on the east side. And from this place, the forest of Gangamati started. In addition to different species of plants, different species of birds, forest roosters, monkeys etc. can be seen in this forest. To many, this forest is known as Gojmati forest.
Fatra Forest: The Fatra Forest starts from the other side of the river on the west side of the beach. This forest has almost all the features of Sundarban. Forest roosters, monkeys, wild pigs and various birds are found there. If you want to go from Kuakata to Fatra forest, you have to rent an engine boat.
Kuakata Well (Kua): The well that bears witness to the history behind the naming of Kuakata still exists. If you want to see this well, you have to go to Keranipara, the residence of Rakhine. As soon as you enter this place, you will see the ancient well. It is said that after being expelled from the motherland in 1784, the Rakhine came to Rangabali Island on the shores of the Bay of Bengal and took refuge. As the salt water of the sea was unsuitable for use, they dug wells for freshwater here and the place gradually became known as Kuakata.
Bandarban, literally meaning the ‘dam of monkeys’, is a district of Bangladesh in Chattogram Division belonging to the Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT). After the CHT insurgency, it emerged as one of the most fascinating tourist attractions of Bangladesh. The beautiful mountain ranges escalate the natural beauty of the surroundings. The beautiful tourist spots in Bandarban are:
Nilachal: One of the most charming place and also known as Tiger Hill, this is very near to the Holiday Inn Resort at Meghla. Rainy Season is the best time to visit this amazing place, which is about 2000 feet above the sea level. Undoubtedly, you can spend more hours here enjoying the amazing landscape, the softness of white clouds and of course the beauty of a sunset.
Nilgiri: This is another beautiful spot with the tallest peak (about 3500 feet high) at Thanchi in Bandarban. This place is maintained by Bangladesh Army. The Nilgiri Hill Resort and one restaurant are also located here. Anyone would love the amazing blue sky and clouds here.
Shoilo Propat: This lovely natural waterfall is to be spotted on the way to Thanchi. This is very near and located at Milanchhari in Bandarban. The water of this fall is purified naturally and is so scenic to enjoy its beauty in the Rainy Season.
Sangu River: Sangu river naturally flows through the hills and have increased the beauty of Bandarban. While boating, one can enjoy watching the hills, wild trees, innocent looks of the tribal kids and small local houses on both sides of the river.
Nafakhum Waterfall: Nafakhum is the longest waterfall in Bangladesh. Situated at Remakri of Thanchi Upazila, it has already become a popular tourist destination, particularly to the young ones. Besides enjoying the incredible natural beauty, tourists can get the thrill of trekking through the jig-jag of the hilly path. A special type of flying fish, whose local name is nating, is found at the bottom in a small cave as they swim against the stream but cannot jump over the height of the fall.
Debotakhum: Debotakhum is located in Roangchhari upazila of Bandarban. Debotakhum’s trail is as beautiful as it is terrifying. In the rainy season, just as the trail will catch one’s eye in the form of a ridge/ mountain, there is also a risk of slipping on the slippery rocky path. No noise, out of network. A mysterious silence prevails all around like a haunted environment. The atmosphere will feel more haunted by the sound of boiling water. The path has gone through the middle of two huge mountains, which one has to go through by raft. One can enjoy nature up close here. As if to merge with nature, the way to go will, as if, tell how beautiful the way to heaven can be.