Friday, 17 April 2009


Intending to get a bright and early start, we failed miserably and had our breakfast as usual at the Nabanna restaurant. We then headed to the main bus station in Cox’s Bazar by means of cycle rickshaw. As we approached the bus station there were loads of men shouting place names excitedly, hurrying people onto buses. All we had to say was “Teknaf” and we were onto our two-and-a-half hour journey immediately. The countryside was amazingly beautiful, but somebody needs to teach this bus company what legroom is! We motored through the everyday hustle and bustle of dusty market towns, alongside the Chittagong Hill Tracts, and before long, the mountains of Myanmar were clearly visible. The view of Myanmar was closer and more beautiful than we had hoped for.
When we got to Teknaf, we noticed that the bus stop was on the outskirts of the small town, but after such a long time sitting down we decided to turn down the rickshaw offers and walk it. Whilst the town nestles on the River Naf, which here forms the Myanmar/Bangladesh border, our aim was to get to the beach, although the beach was further than we thought. The beach here is the southern part of Inani beach: around 90km of sand, and the world’s longest and broadest beach. Would it be worth the trek? It took us ninety minutes to walk there but it was certainly worth it! On the way there we met countless boys carrying, balanced across their shoulders like a set of scales, two bucketfulls each of small fish, shaded from the scorching sun with small leaves.

There were scores of old, wooden gondola-shaped fishing boats lined up on the foreshore with waves brushing the ones still in the water. We didn’t have long there before turning back because we had to catch our bus.
The return journey gave a much greater insight into rural Bangladeshi poverty. There were small homes made from the most basic materials. I am convinced that many of them were solely made out of large leaves. Around the huts were strewn large heaps of rotting rubbish. But all this is to be found within a landscape which is incredibly beautiful; at each stop street children tried to sell us spicy snacks through the windows of the bus and they laughed and joked with us as if they did not have a care in the world. This truly is a country of smiley faces, and wherever you go the shout of “Brother” or “Bondu” greets you.
We stuffed ourselves again at the Nabbana restaurant before getting caught in some serious rain. The streets literally became rivers with bits of litter floating at the sides of the roads, and later, we realised that the rain had been a real wake-up call to the mozzies.
We also tried some traditional Bangladeshi sweets, most of which were quite nice except one that tasted exactly of cold soggy Weetabix! The favourite was a ball of sponge soaked in a thin syrup, a sweet that the Indians call Gulab Jamun.


  1. Love reading your blog so much. I never realised that India was so beautiful. The people seem lovely. You appear to be visiting places well off the beaten track. What a fantastic experience. Love Natalie

  2. That pic is the best yet.

    Hope u have some of that beach.