Exploring the natural beauty around Chittagong
“A sleeping beauty emerging from mists and water.”
– Huen Tsang, 7th century AD Chinese poet and traveler describing Chittagong, Bangladesh
If you’re planning a trip to Bangladesh, you may be considering visiting Dhaka, the country’s bustling capital city, or Rajshahi, otherwise known as the ‘silk city.’ You may even be thinking of visiting Mymensingh, a historic city on the Brahmaputa River. While all of these destinations are wonderful, you will really be missing out if you don’t visit Chittagong.
Chittagong happens to be the second largest city in Bangladesh. It is also the commercial capital city of the country. But, the emerging city has more to offer visitors than its description on paper. It is a city surrounded by mountains and rivers, sandy beaches, and green rolling hills and forests, making it an ideal vacation spot.
Places to visit in Chittagong
Though industrialized, Chittagong has much to offer in natural wonders, historic sites, and destinations for visitors to experience. Consider Foy’s Lake. The lake was created in 1924 when a dam was built across the stream that came down the hills in northern Chittagong. The lake was originally intended as a water source for the nearby railway colony but has since become a main attraction thanks to the gorgeous surrounding hills, cool breezes, and beautiful waters.
If you’d rather spend your days by the sea, you shouldn’t miss Patenga Beach, which is about 13 miles from Chittagong. Though extremely popular with tourists, this beach doesn’t disappoint and is a wonderful picnic spot. Large boulders have been placed along the beach to help prevent beach erosion, but that doesn’t take away from the experience. But, be sure to visit early in the morning or in the evenings, as this beach has some of the most stunning sunrises and sunsets in the region.
Chittagong is also rich in history. Visiting Sita Kund, a holy pilgrimage site, is a must-do. Famous for its many historic temples such as the Chandranath Temple and the Buddhist Temple, the place has been held sacred for many hundreds of years. The Buddhist Temple is said to have a footprint of Buddha. If you visit in February, you’ll have the chance to take part in the Siva-chaturdashi festival.
The Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Ecopark is also worth your time. It is the first ecopark in Bangladesh and offers an array of biodiversity to help preserve the country’s natural resources. Spanning over 1,000 acres, the park offers a number of native flora and fauna that you may not get a chance to see elsewhere on your vacation.
Staying in Chittagong
Because Chittagong is such a growing city attracting more and more visitors each year, there is an array of accommodation options available and easily accessible for travelers on any budget. It is usually best to stay in the city and take day trips out to the various historic sites and natural attractions nearby. If you are traveling with your family, you may consider booking apartments in Chittagong so that you have a nice home base to come back to in the evenings. Of course, there is no shortage of luxury and mid-level hotels as well!
So, if you hadn’t considered visiting Chittagong on your next trip to Bangladesh, you should! The growing city has so much to offer in the way of art, culture, and history that you won’t be sorry.