Coxsbazaar - The longest Sandy Beach in the World
The beautiful beach
Our usual surprise planning!
I guess both me and my friend have got itchy feet. My friend has already traveled a lot and I have started to join very recently. Well, Dhaka, the city where we live, is a city of ''All work and no play'', so if you plan to relax a bit, you have to think about a place where work will not follow you. Cox's bazaar is one such place. Many people probably don't know that this is the longest sandy beach in the world. And being the helpless cocoon dweller most of my life, I had never been there although it is just a few hours journey from my city. In fact, due to financial issues and other family problems, I have not been to anywhere so far, just other than two places I have already talked about in my previous hubs. Anyways, life has started for me once I have gained a little control of my finance and other decisions and I do not want to drag that in here.
Where is Cox's bazaar and a brief history of the place.
This beach is in fact in Cox's bazaar, one of the north most districts in Bangladesh and the beach is named after this district. The famous beach of 125 km of length actually is the borderline of this district with the Bay of Bengal, a part of Indian Ocean. And if you don't know where Bangladesh is, just a few phrases to remember. First of all we are not part of India anymore, but yes, if you look at the world map you will find this tiny land just beside India. And obviously there is a thing called Google map where you can find us by writing this name on the search box, you will also find Cox's bazaar there. :).
I in fact did a brief research on the name of Cox's bazaar as I was once curious about the name of this place. The name COX does not seem any familiar to me and it's definitely not an Eastern name. So my little research let me know that while our country was just taken over by the British company 'The East India Company', there was a guy called Captain Hiram Cox who was appointed by the authority to bring in peace between the Arakan (another name of Burma) refugees and the local rakhains (tribal people) in Palongkee ( current Cox's bazaar). He was a kind person and tried hard to make it easy for all. People grew fond of him and they set up a local market or 'bazaar' after his name as he had an an early death. This is how Palongkee got its new name Cox's bazaar.
Night at the Beach
So, how do you go there?
Well, I started this hub with a plan to write my own travel log. But then I thought why don't I try to come up with some tips and tricks if anyone wants to see this place. So this section is solely for you. How you should come to Bangladesh, if you are not from the country... that is a different story. And at least this much can be done by everyone, now that the air travel has become so readily available. However, just for your information. There are three international airport in Bangladesh. One is in Dhaka, the capital. The other two are in Sylhet and Chittagong, two divisional heads. Cox'sbazar is very close to Chittagong, just takes about 2-3 hours by bus or rented car. There are also flights to Cox'sbazaar from Chittagong and Dhaka as Cox's bazaar has its own airport for domestic flights. However, if someone wants to travel cheap once inside the country, a direct bus journey from Dhaka is the best that one can expect. There are a number of bus services that are quite good and amazingly enough, these are probably the only buses that run more or less on time, unless they are tangled in a traffic jam at some point. So, here is a list of the links that can help you to find the details about how to get to Cox'sbazaar.
Where to Stay at Cox'sbazar
This was my first time at Cox'sbazar and I had not the least idea about where to stay. We needed a place that is close tot hes ea and did not cost much. My friend suggested that Hotel Sea Crown would be the right one for us. Although the hotel was a little shabby, the view from the hotel was simply awesome. We could st in the balcony and enjoy the sea and listen to the roaring song of the sea. There are lots of other hotels in Cox'sbazaar if you are looking for luxuries, like Hotel Seagull, There is a website Tripbd or you can even visit Tripadvisor to see what other people had to say about the hotels/motels.
Sea view from hotel room (Sea Crown)
The huge bells at the old temple at ramu
Where to go when you are at Cox'sbazaar
Well... for me that was the first time ever getting close to the sea. And the sandy beach in Cox'sbazaar is so comfortable to walk that I could probably spend the whole day just walking on the beach. And I guess, if you don't stand on a sandy beach, you will not feel the extreme ecstasy that the moving sand under your feet will give you. In fact, this is what my friend says. The first time I felt that moving sand, I was kind of Paradise wit fear thinking that I am falling down and then slowly I realized that you will not really fall down. In fact, on the long beach of Cox'sbazaar, you can sped your time in walking, playing beach games, swimming, speedboat riding or just sitting on one of those beach chair with umbrellas for just half a dollar for an hour. However, if you want to explore the town, you can go to the old town. The old town is so green once you leave the hotel jungles behind you. There is a lighthouse, a beautiful bungalow on a hill, Buddhist temples in and around the city. There are also other beaches like the Himchhori beach that is just at the feet of a hill and you can climb up to see the sunset scene from there. There is also a rocky beach named the Inani beach, which has huge rocks lying on the shore. I had a very short trip to Cox'sbazaar/ But I tried to see the maximum places that I could. My personal favorite was an quiet, beautiful and 200 years old Buddhhist temple in Ramu ( a town nearby Cox's bazar) that had a very friendly Monk who showed us the temple with devotion and passion. But the temple in the main Cox'sbazar town was a little commercial and the temple guides will ask for lots of money, especially if you are a foreigner, which is really irritating.
Sunset from Himchhori hilltop
The rocks at Inani beach
Eateries at Cox'sbazaar
Other than Mermaid Cafe, Hotel Ocean Paradise's roof top restaurants,'Parjatan' restaurant and a few other hotel based restaurants like Sea Palace, Seagull , you will not really find too many eateries with a lot of varieties. However, if you don't mind spicy food and want to enjoy the typical Bangladeshi cuisine then there are numerous places to try. However, most of the Bengali eateries are just like roadside eateries, but their food is awesome. And you will find all the Bengali specialties there, and very importantly a great variety of fish dishes which are really cheap. In fact eating a complete lunch or dinner at any such place should not cost you more than 500 tk which is about 7 dollars only. There are a few items that you definitely should try, like the crab masalas, Fried prawns/Shrips, Fish barbecue, Cooked fish items, mashed Fish items and one of my favourite one is 'Loitta fry'' (loitta is a kind of a sea fish) which my friend said is very close to eating calamari. Besides, these, during summertime you will get a number of tropical summer fruits available everywhere like the tasty mangoes, juicy lichies, sweet papayas, coconuts and many more.