tea country a weekend getaway

After long work weeks me and my wife decided to take some day off. We are trying to make it a habit of after each 3/4 exhausting work week we go out for a short vacation, not long , max 3 days, and believe me it recharge you like no other thing. Usually our favorite place is beach but this time we decided to take a different route , its rainy season in bangladesh and at this time no other place could be as beautiful as sylhet our one and only tea county. I went to srimangal (a upazila  under sylhet division) several times, but for my wife its a new territory, so I made up my mind I will take her to sylhet first and later of the year may be srimangal.

This post is more or like informative post for new bees, let me try to put together as much as info as possible to aid new visitors.

How to reach sylhet

there is good communication from major citys to sylhet. You will get trains, buses (AC/ No AC). If you are traveling from Dhaka train leaves from Dhaka to sylhet twice a day. And there is several bus services from dhaka to sylhet all day long. I recommend to take Green line bus  , its AC bus, comfortable, good service and fair is also reasonable 900tk, you can take non a/c buses like shamoli/tr paribahan which is non a/c fair is 400tk. You will reach to Humayun Rashid Circle  (HRC) from which you can take CNG (local cabs) or rikshaw to reach your hotel.

Where to stay

Sylhet city is full of hotels ranging from 400tk 10k per night depending on your budget. Good thing is most of the hotles are inside city and easily reachable. I stayed at Hotle Supreme, good service, decent food,  reasonably comfortable rooms.  you can get a a lots of hotel name by googling.

Hotle Supreme, Mirabazar — 01711197012 (cell phone)

Hotel Valley Garden, Bishwa Rd,  —- 0821-727602 (cell phone)

Hotel Garden Inn. Garden Tower, Shahjalal Bridge Link Road — 0 1711271185, 0 821 727284 (cell phone)

Where to eat

For foreigners it could be bit tough to try local restaurants as they serve mostly native and popular local dishes, so I recommend to stick to restaurants within the hotel, for local travelers there is lots of options but i feel it hard to find a decent restaurants  with good quality food. me and my wife tried a few, even some of them get very high recommendation from diff travel sites, but few of them could coupe with reputations, we find the Exotica restaurant within hotel supreme  decent and more or less good quality local food but dont event try the thai/Chinese dishes :). You can try woondal/vojon bari for change of taste

How to roam around

You have to rent a vehicle to roam out side of town , but for roaming inside town CNG/rickshaw is more then fine. CNG and rickshaw fair is reasonable. You can get rented vehicle ambarkhana or madina market area inside town. You can ask your hotels also to arrange a ride for you, but in that case price will be higher. I managed to get a very good driver and guide. He willingly guided the whole tour and take us to places that we don’t know exist inside the city, you can pick him up if he is free, Mr Alamgir– 01712068709 (cell phone)

Places to see

All the photos are taken by my Canon 60D myself, Though I am listing out few places but the on they way to reach these places is as much beautiful as they are.

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Malinichora Tea Estate

 

Malini Chora Tea estate is one of teh most visited tea estate in sylhet, located near to sylhet city, easily reachable via CNG (local name of  CNG driventaxi) or rikshaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madhobkunda waterfall
Madhobkunda waterfall

 

Madhobkunda is one of the larges waterfalls in bangladesh and one of the most visited tourist spot in sylhet. On the way you can see the tea garden, the hills and the zigzag road through the hills. For me best time to visit there is rainy season from june to august, at that time waterfall came with her own strength and beauty……. breathtaking.

 

 

 

 

jaintapur hill resort
jaintapur hill resort

 

The resort is is nearly 1h drive from sylhet city and a good place for relaxation, main attraction is you can see 2 waterfalls from maghalaya (india) in distant , two waterfalls, which are ten times bigger than the Madhabkunda falls, will blow your mind! But alas those are in india, so what we can peek those from this resort 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lalakhal
Lalakhal

 

This is a wide canal known as Lala Khal & near zero point with india . It is the source of Sylhet Sand . The attraction of this canal is the water, which differs in colour at different point. In the same canal, you will find blue, green, clear water. No one will believe this without having watch. You cat take a boat ride here , 30min ride will cost 500tk.

 

 

 

 

Jaflong
Jaflong

 

situated at the border between Bangladesh and the Indian state of Meghalaya, overshadowed by subtropical mountains and rainforests. Jaflong is famous for its stone collections and is home of the Khasi tribe. On they way to jaflong landscape is breathless, you will often like to get out of ride to actually enjoy the view……………………………….. ohh wait thats what I did

 

 

 

 

When to plan the trip

In general people come to sylhet at pick season during winter, from october to February, when weather is not much hotter. But I prefer rainy season. During rainy season tea gardens, waterfalls , rivers flourish with beauty, I recommend not no miss that for anything. There is hand full of tour operator available who will arrange the trip for you any time of the season, but my opinion is do some homework about the place and arrange the trip yourself, that’s is much more exciting. At least that’s what I always do. Its a friendly place with friendly people,  give it a try I am sure you will love it.

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Day Out At Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park

A safari park is larger than a zoo and smaller than game reserve. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park is the second  safari park of bangladesh after dulahazra safari part situated in coxbazar.  With a vision of largest sarafi park of asia, 3690 acres are the full size of the entire park. This place is near to dhaka city and can be good candidate for one day tour. It will take 2 and half hour to reach to park from dhaka depending on traffic.

How to reach

The Park is in Gazipur district which is not far from Dhaka city. Best way to get there is to hop on any bus that goes to Mymensingh (ময়মনসিংহ ). After crossing Gazipur chourasta (গাজীপুর চৌরাস্তা ) its a max 40minitues ride till you reach bagher bazar (বাঘের বাজার ) . From here you can find rikshaw/ van to reach safari park, it will take 20/25 mins.

Foods:

No outside foods/drinks are allowed. Park has its 2 restaurant, which is tiger restaurant and lion restaurant. From this restaurant

DSC05121visitors can see lion/tigers walking around while you enjoy your foods. Food items are limited to biriyani and of good quality. But you can get different types of soft drinks/ ice cream’s/ light foods. Be careful do not throw your food wastage here and there. Though its been instructed but as usual people are doing exactly what are not asked to do.

Costing :

Bus from mohakhali bus terminal to Mymensingh: 240Tk /per person
Ride From bagher bazar to safari park: 40Tk/per person
Safari Park Entry Fee: 50Tk/per person
Safari Park Ride by Bus: 100Tk/per person
Entry fee to the Individual Section Of Park : 10Tk /per person (Till the time of this post there was about 5 parks)
Foods: 300Tk/per person (depending on items)

Visiting Time:

Everyday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Living in paradise: St. Martin the coral reef island

Like most other beautiful places in Bangladesh St. Martin’s Island is also under publicized yet one of the most beautiful tourist attraction of bangladesh. The island is  situated in a far way from mainland and surrounded by deep blue ocean with totally made of coral. The natural beauty is breath taking for travelers like me.  The time when I went there was full moon and the moon light blend with calm ocean creates memories of a life time.

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Geographical speaking St. Martin’s Island is in the northeast of the bay of bengal, about 9 km south of the Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf peninsular tip. It is at west of the northwest coast of Myanmar at the river Naf.  Couple of passenger ship available every morning from Teknaf to St. Martin’s Island and at evening from St. Martin’s Island to Teknaf.

beach

People of St. Martin’s Island was saying tourist are increasing each year which is good for tourism but but bad for the wildness of the island, as people do not pay much attention to preserve the wildness of the island.

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Best time to travel usually between November and February. It’s possible to walk around the island in a day. Do not expect electricity here. Except for the larger hotels that run on generators, there is no electricit in the island. Word of caution please do not remove coral reef and avoid too much sound and lighting as Nesting turtles are often distracted by the twinkling lights along the beach. The coral reef of the island has an extension called Chera Dwip which is blessed with greenery and enhancing the beauty of this island.

A weekend in jungle over the hill and wetland

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

I always admire this quote by heart and go back to places that I already traveled and search for something new, and trust me so far i have never disappointed.
Winter season is on in Bangladesh and as usual I am on my feat and searching for perfect gateway from busy life.

Where should I start? From the modest to the most wildest, how about a mix of breathtaking scenery and taste of wildlife. I know exactly a place like this, sreemangal.  I went there few years back, that place is truly spectacular.

Sreemangal is mostly land of tea, wherever you see there is tea state, and during sunset the view is marvelous and truly impossible to capture is frames, but you cant blame for trying 🙂


Other  spactacular places to explore in sreemangal is

Lawachara National Park

Madhabpur Lake

Nilkantha Tea stall where you can enjoy famous 7 layer tea.
The key to live awesome life is to live in the moment. So enjoy the moment.

from longest sandy sea beach in the planet

Due to lack of Govt. initiatives tourists around the world do not know, how beautiful Bangladesh is. There is many places in this country that could be a real feast for the tourists all over the planet. Yet lots of nature lovers come to visit these places every year to seek wild and surreal beauty of bangladesh.

Here is some pic from my recent visit to the longest sandy sea beach in the planet. Enjoy!!