See Both The Sunrise And Sunset At Kuakata Beach In Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is not necessarily known for its beaches, but we knew that there are a few nice spots in the South of the country. We could have travelled to Cox’s Bazar but we decided against it, because it would have involved a long bus ride on a road where bad accidents occur all the time. Plus it was Eid and therefore the roads were packed with holidaymakers. So we started looking into other options for our Bangladesh beach experience.
The daily newspaper was the decisive factor: The front page showed a photo with the line “Antique boat washed up on Kuakata beach”. This definitely sounded interesting but we had absolutely no idea where Kuakata was. A local friend quickly enlightened us … Kuakata was the southernmost tip of Bangladesh, where all the rivers flow into the ocean. We didn’t hesitate a second and went straight to the harbor. With our friend’s help, we managed to book ourselves into a nice cabin on one of the launches for the same evening.
River travelling is a very relaxing way of travelling because there’s no real danger like with the buses. We arrived in Barisal early in the morning and from there we had to continue with the bus to Kuakata. The trip took a couple of hours, because rivers also needed to be crossed by ferry, so there was a lot of waiting time involved. Anyway, the road to Kuakata was in a bad stage, but the government is working on it and things should get better soon. The positive side of such roads is that the bus drives can’t hit the speed pedal as much.
Arriving in Kuakata.
Every journey comes to an end after a while and when the the bus driver stopped in front of a hotel and said “Kuakata”, we got out … but there was no beach in sight. After walking around a little, some guy told us that the beach was still another kilometer away. After getting there, we checked into the “Seabreeze” hotel. It wasn’t a real flashy place, but the room on the first floor was huge, with windows into all directions and a big terrace facing the ocean. All that for just 5oo Takas (around 5 €)!
The terrace was great for lying in the sun a little bit. It’s absolutely uncommon for women in Bangladesh to wear swimsuits on the beach and since we already got enough attention by just being there, we figured that this wasn’t turning into a typical beach vacation. But there were other things for us … for example the antique boat.
Getting around Kuakata is really easy. Once simply needs to hire a motorcycle with a driver. This is exactly what we did and made our way along the beach. We first drove down to “Crab Beach” where thousands of red crabs (gecarcoidea natalis – a species only found on the Christmas island as well) ran around. After this, we finally came across the new found antique boat.
Also something you’ll see along the beach front are lots of destroyed buildings. When Cyclone Sidr hit the coast hard in 2007, half of the Sundarban nature was badly damaged and many lives were lost, but the strong Bangladeshi people made the infrastructure work again. Since then, disaster shelters have been built in case such a tragedy occurs again.
Kuakata itself is a very interesting town, but more about this in another article…