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Chitagong & Coxbazar

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It was a sunny and warm late December afternoon when I landed Chitagong international airport. The plan was to stay 4 days here before flying off to Dhaka. My hotel was near Chawk Bazar which was quite far from Airport.

Chitagong itself is a very overcrowded and dusty (during dry season) city , but it is a great base to cover some of Chitagong hill tract districts, specially Rangamati and Bandarban. Unfortunately foreigners require special permit to visit tribal areas and I did not have time for this bureaucratic process (which would take at least 2 days and this process keeps on changing) . I used public transport to visit most of the places. Also in some cities (like Chitagong ) , Uber is present and you can ask for “Auto” (3 wheeler) . The central point for all buses is Market which is also very close to Sadarghat . I visited war memorial , Tiger Pass road, Sadarghat , crossed the Karnaphuli river from Sadarghat to fish market and finally Patenga sea beach.

War Memorial
Baizid Bostami Mazar


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Patenga Sea beach

Next morning I left for Cox Bazar by bus. Cox Bazar is about 4 hr journey by bus. The nerve centre of the town is Kolatoli which is about 20 mins from bus drop off point. My hotel was about 5 min walk from Sugandha beach. Cox Bazar is worlds longest unbroken sea beach about 130 KM. It also housing worlds largest refugee settlement of recent times of Rohingya’s from Myanmar.

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Sugandha sea beach

There are endless number of beaches to visit including Inani beach which is quite remote and the only one with coral rocks. It is also possible to go for various day trips like St. Martin Island, Maheshkhali island etc. I visited Maheshkhali on a day trip. It’s a nice island surrounded by Mangrove forest and there are many Buddhist pagoda and Hindu temples. The Adinath temple is the largest one . The island also has significant Shutki (dried fish) industry.

Dried Fish Market
Maheshkhali Buddhist Pagoda

Useful info

*Fairly cheap to get a local SIM , however SIM can only be purchased from the mobile operator offices against passport and they will also collect bio-metrics. Grameen is the biggest operator with most coverage however I used Robi which is also good

*Breakfast is pretty standard , Dal and Partha . Make sure you try seafood and various street side foods.

*Hotels are pretty basic. “International” in the hotel name only guarantees a western style toilet. To get running hot water most of the places you have to pay extra.