February 28, 2012

Saint Martin Island :a personal experience

Saint Martins' Island.

The southern most soil of Bangladesh. It has been a dream for a very long time to be there. Finally I was able to manage to set for the island last week. Here goes my experience.

I visited the island as part of a 15 member team. We went to Chittagong for some official purpose, then went to Teknaf and finally reached saint Martin Island.

From Dhaka you can go to Teknaf by bus (Saint Martin Service is a good AC bus, other buses are silver line, soudia, yellow line etc). Bus tickets are available in fakirapool and kalabagan. Non AC ticket price is about 800 taka. Book return ticket in advance for safety.

You will reach Teknaf in morning, bus will drop you in jetty. you can have breakfast there, do not think about taking breakfast on ship. Once aboard, you will be charged 230 taka for two pieces of bread, jam and egg as breakfast. They take 52 taka for one cup of tea ! (This is the scenario of keari sindabad and keari cruise & dine). Also, stuffs in keari behaves very rudely. You have to have a large group and corporate (or political) if you want to protest.

Ship will take you to saint martin island within two and half hours. The journey will provide you a pleasant sight seeing experience. Once you reach there, you will be surround by a bunch of children who will be asking to carry your luggage. If you want to take them, remember they will charge a comparatively large amount at the end.

Step down from the jetty and start for your pre-booked hotel. Nearest hotel to the jetty is Blue marine, the only hotel in which you will get continuous supply of water and relatively larger time span of electricity. Usually all hotels stop their generator, which is the only source of electricity in island, at 10 pm. However, blue marine hotel will generally be providing electricity up to 11pm.

Sea beach will be at most 10 minutes walking distance from the farthest hotel. There will be a lot of dogs in the beach, but do not be afraid. They dogs just bark, they do not bite. Do not take any rickshaw or van to go to sea beach, you will just miss the local environment.

One important point that you must remember in saint martin is food, and the restaurants of course. Generally all the out of hotel restaurants are providing bad quality foods and they charge too high. They usually cheat if they can manage. For example, a restaurant called "Allahr Dan" gave us 7 scrambled eggs but told they gave 15 eggs. Just stand in front of the pan while they scramble the egg, if you take breakfast in that restaurant. Another hotel gave rotten rice in night but claimed that as fine. One better, though costly, resaturant is Narikel Jinira. You can find it just after you step down from the jetty, its the nearest.

You can have baked and fried sea fishes at sea beach. There are many small stalls who will give you a fried fish instantly after you choose them. They usually charge reasonable amount.

However, it is  a very very beautiful island with green and blue water. It looks awesome form the sea and at moonlit night. You may get moonstruck in this island :-)

Crystal clear sea water at saint martin island

Map of saint martin island, Bangladesh

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