Waking up to the view of Sampans gracefully floating along the shores can take anyone’s breath away
With most international borders still closed and vaccines on the way, travelling has become limited within the country. However, Bangladesh has quite a few beautiful places to offer, where one can go with friends or family. Be it in the majestic hill tracts of Chattogram, the lush greenery of the beautiful tea gardens in Sylhet or the breathtaking views that Cox’s Bazar has to offer, these are just some of the most popular tourist destinations within the country.
Naturally, Cox’s Bazar is the first thing that comes to one’s mind when you are planning a trip within the country, and quite rightly so. The longest beach in the world provides some spectacular views of the picturesque landscape, with the right balance of commercialization and raw beauty. The further you move away from central Cox’s Bazar, the less crowded it becomes, and more opportunities present themselves for you to click those ‘Instagram worthy’ pictures for your social media. The best part about going to these ‘touristy places is that you do not need much planning, and information regarding hotel prices and transport costs are available on the internet. This February saw the highest number of visitors in Cox’s Bazar, but if you plan wisely enough to places like Inani beach and Sonadia Island, you are in for a treat.
Primarily, visiting Cox’s Bazar isn’t about having a lot of activities in the traditional sense. There are countless places to explore. And there are still a lot of locations that have not yet been commercialized for tourism purposes. However, Cox’s Bazar does provide a fair number of activities from parasailing and jet skiing to kayaking in the calm waters of Rezu Khal. If, ironically, you do not want anything to do with water (since you are at a sea beach), you can go for ATV rides for Tk400-800 depending on the distance you want to cover. With an uninterrupted beach in front, the waves crashing on the shores on one side, and a never-ending line of Tamarisk (jhau) tress on the other, the ride and the view are quite astounding. Kayaking is also relatively less nerve-wracking as the waters are quite calm, and should offer a peaceful half an hour with views of the hills surrounding the lake. Renting out Tandem kayaks for half an hour will cost you Tk200, which I, personally, think is a bargain for the experience you get.
When you are in Cox’s Bazar or anywhere in Chattogram per se, it is unlikely that you would come across an unpleasant experience when it comes to food. Cox’s Bazar provides a wide range of seafood for you to try. If you somehow find yourself along the Marine Drive Road, make sure you try out the various cafes and restaurants along the beachside. Some of them offer amazing dishes; one such would be Sea Mount Café, with beautiful decor and structures made of bamboo and straw, to give you that beach feel, where the dishes vary from shrimp spaghetti to Nasi goreng. Also, what is a trip to Cox’s Bazar, if you haven’t tried the Loitta fry? Relatively difficult to find these days with the overwhelming demand, but if you ask around enough, it is not impossible to find. If you are looking for a nice place to have your meals, Mermaid Resort offers an amazing range of dishes to try from. Their seafood pizzas are highly recommended.
Since Cox’s Bazar is quite a popular destination, it is wise to book your hotels way in advance if you are looking for a nice place to stay. There are also many cheaper options you can opt for, with many service hotels available on AirBnb and other platforms. But those are located all over central Cox’s Bazar. This is the best time to explore your country while there are still restrictions on international travel, and rediscover how much more Bangladesh truly has to offer.