2015 trip around Bangladesh – 1/4 Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar

I’ve written about the preparation for my trip to Bangladesh, and the transport alternatives are or soon will be also published, and the blogs can all be found here.  Now I will relate my trip.

My initial plan was:

*Day 1:  Fly from Malaysia to Dhaka, arriving before lunch, and then either fly to Sylhet or catch the train overnight to Srimangal.
* Day 2 – Sylhet – Srimangel / or Srimangel if arrived from Dhaka by train
* Day 3 – Srimangel
* Day 4 – Srimangel
* Day 5 – Srimangel – Dhaka THEN go to Sadarghat & book day tour for next day or to tour office or ring
* Day 6 – day boat tour
* Day 7 – day looking at old Dhaka. Out to airport in evening and catch evening flight back to Malaysia

Generally I am not so interested in being a tourist and seeing the sights, but rather talking to people, seeing how people live, eating the local food and seeing the landscapes. And note, spelling of locations, restaurants, hotels etc. is flexible as it’s often  a transliteration from Bengali.

DAY 1 – TUESDAY

I had wanted to go to Cox’s Bazar, but the guidebook suggested the weather was not suitable in April or May. However, a couple of different people on the flight from Kuala Lumpur thought otherwise.  So my new, spontaneously revised plan was – at Dhaka airport see what flight if any I can catch that afternoon, either to Cox’s Bazar or to Sylhet.  If no flight was possible, try to catch a train to Srimangal that evening, and if that was not possible reluctantly stay in a hotel and try again the next morning.

my actual route

my actual route

As it turned out I could get a ticket on a flight on United to Cox’s Bazar, departing at 4PM.  Unfortunately I had to wait in the hot domestic airport surrounded by mosquitos until half an hour before the flight when  I could enter the departure area – which was a bit cooler, had few mosquitoes, and where they had a shop that sold drinks.

United flight from DAC to CXB

United flight from DAC to CXB

The plane departed a bit late, and we arrived about 5PM.

Cox's Bazar terminal

Cox’s Bazar terminal

With the help of a kind resident, Mr. S, of Cox’s Bazar I got a rickshaw from the station to Kolatoli Road area, at the beach, and got a room at the Fung-Wah Resort. The hotel has an individual login for wi-fi for the room – so only one device is usable, and I  can’t logon with the camera. There is sort of market near the beach, which is where I ate that night.

Fung Wah Resort

Fung-Wah Resort

Some details:
  • Flight on United Airways cost TK 5,000 on route DAC – CXB, and actual flight time was around 40 minutes.
  • Fung-Wah Resort charged TK2,500 which was a 50% out of season discount.  http://fuwang.byethost7.com/ Labonee Point, Sea Beach Road, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Phone: +88 0341 52202-5 | Fax: +88 0341 51998 Check the hot water shower actually works before you accept the room.  And get them to spray the room for mosquitoes. Close the bathroom door aas I suspect mosquitoes enter through the ventilation.
DAY 2 – WEDNESDAY
I walked on the beach, which was only a couple of minutes from the hotel. It was calm early in the morning.
early morning beach

early morning beach

The hotel breakfast, included, was uninteresting – toast, butter, jam, egg, juice, orange, and tea.

hotel breakfast

hotel breakfast

I had to bargain and in the end pay TK30 for a rickshaw to town.  Cox’s Bazar is really too spread out to walk everywhere.  If you had a bicycle you could easily get around, though.

town centre of Cox's Bazar

town centre of Cox’s Bazar

There I bought a bus ticket for next day to Chittagong. The rickshaw driver back didn’t understand where my hotel was, and asked a policeman. Then the policeman hopped in a 4WD with about 10 other policemen and escorted us to the hotel. He drank tea in the hotel. After one day I had a better idea of the street layout than the rickshaw driver?

at the beach

at the beach

I went to beach again.  By now it was busy with holiday makers. The beach sand was grey in parts, golden in others.  The sea was only for paddling, or surfing if you wish.  And it was quite windy later in the day. I met some (Bangladeshi) surf lifesavers there who work in England in the summer, and Bangladesh otherwise. I was at first surprised by their excellent English, until I knew they also worked in England.

Later I visited the office of Mr S and drank some tea with him and his colleagues.  Google Maps (on my phone) enabled me to quickly understand the town as no paper based maps seemed to be available. Nearby is the Poushee Restaurant, just off the main street,  where I had a late lunch.

Poushee Restaurant

Poushee Restaurant

Poushee Restaurant

Poushee Restaurant

Later I met up with Mr S. again, and he took me down the road next to the beach for miles. We passed this strange roundabout.

a traffic roundabout

a traffic roundabout

 Some details:
  • Ticket on Green Line coach company to Chittagong TK650 – they have two offices, one on the main road in town, and one on the road out of town going south.
  • Poushee Restaurant – Hotel Saymon Road, Cox’s Bazar.

 

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