Cox’s Bazar, discovered in 1798 is the most popular travel destination of Bangladesh. Cox’s Bazar sea beach is the world’s longest unbroken sandy sea beach which is about 125 km long. Cox’s Bazar sea beach has variegated flora and fauna, because of that the 125 km beach is divided by different names. ‘Laboni Beach’ and ‘Sugandha Beach’ are situated within Cox’s Bazar region. 10 km south of the ‘Sugandha Beach’ is known as ‘Himchari Beach’. The next point is about 30 km from the ‘Himchari Beach’ which is called ‘Inani Beach’. The last beach is more than 70 km off known as ‘Teknaf Beach’. One motorbike go is enough to travel the entire beach.
Cox’s Bazar has been the most attractive tourist place for the people of Bangladesh. It’s a tourist town with well facilitated communication, good accommodations and beautiful architecture. People visit the town all over the year though the beach remains crowded during the tourist season (October to March). April to September is the best time to make a journey to the beach town of Cox’s Bazar.
Conch shell market, Prawn cultivation, tribal handicrafts and salt cultivation are the most attractive sites of livelihood in this area. Now-a-days, Cox’s Bazar is getting more attention of the foreigners due to a humatirian cause. World’s largest refugee camp ‘Kutupalong refugee camp’ is located in Ukhia, Cox’s Bazar. 1.1 million Rohingyas are living their life as refugees in Cox’s Bazar. They fled from neighbouring Myanmar because of ethnic and religious persecution against them.
Cox’s Bazar is also known as Panowa, which means Yellow Flower. Beauty of Cox’s Bazar cannot be described in words. It feels like God made this beautiful place to fill our thirsty eyes. Thrilling mountains and cliffs, bold blue waves, Miles of golden sands, delicious foods, pleasant breeze, different cultures and tribes, peaceful pagodas and colourful Buddhist temples make this place divine and charismatic. Each and every morning will be beautiful here. Sun will rise behind the hills, and will set down under the wave of the sea. It is indeed a natural therapy to sit on rocks, wash up by the blue salty water and to listen to the shore of the sea weaves. A person who likes to stay close to nature, can not but embrace this place. If you’re the person, it is advisable to you to try to walk on the boulders of Cox’s Bazar and to observe the different colors and shapes of seashells. Who knows you may find yourself on these?
The entire Cox’s Bazar is a combination of the blue wavy water of the bay and long stretch of low-lying hills and cliffs. Swimming in clean shark free water has always been the prime attraction of the tourists. Down south of the city is full of pretty small canals. Watching sunset, exploring the entire beach, strolling through Burmese market, watching beautiful waterfalls, enjoying sea sports, meeting local people, experiencing local foods and cultures hit differently here. One of the most thrilling ways to enjoy Cox’s Bazar is to drive through the world’s longest Marine Drive road.
The beauty of the Bay of Bengal will exceed the beauty in you. 125 k.m of golden sands, waves of the bay, islands filled with corals will make you fall in love with them. The villages of Cox’s Bazar are very colourful and sparky. You will be able to interact with the people of different tribes. The prayers happen in temples and pagodas will surely touch you. It is said that the breeze of Cox’s Bazar has the magic to soothe your soul. The people of the place are very friendly and welcoming. National parks, safari parks, jahu gardens, animal sanctuaries will give you a chance to get close to all the animals and plants. Finding yourself in the place where sky and sea embrace each other will remove all of the pain for a moment. That moment will only be yours. It will be between you and the mother earth. What can be better than enjoying the sun rises and sunsets in the sea. Your journey to Cox’s Bazar is your next fairytale that will come true. Everyperson should get a chance to visit the place and experience the vastness of the world. This major tourist destination of Bangladesh is calling you, come and embrace her for a moment. Grab the opportunity to experience a new site of the world.
Cox’s Bazar along with the greater Chittagong area was under the jurisdiction of the Arakan king from the early 9th century. In 1666 AD, The region was conquered by the Mughals. Here is a saying that, once Mughal prince Shah Shuja was passing through the area, when he was mesmerized by the beauty of this place. He ordered his army to camp in this place. One thousand planaquins of his attendees waited there for some time. After this incident, the area was named ‘Palonki’. After the Mughal period, Tsipras, Arakanese, Portuguese and the British reign the region respectively.
The name Cox’s Bazar came into being from Captain Hiram Cox, a British East India Company officer. He was the Superintendent of Palonki (Cox’s Bazar) back then. Arakanese refugees in the area were embarked and rehabilitated by Captain Cox. As he died in 1799, he couldn’t finish the work of rehabilitating each and every refugee. A market was formed in 1854 and named after him to honour his memory. After the dissolution of British East India Company on 1 January 1874 because of their monopoly of opium trade over the Indian Subcontinent, all of its properties were obtained by British royalties. After that, the sovereign body declared Cox’s Bazar a district under the Bengal Province.
In 1947, after the division of India and Pakistan, Cox’s Bazar came under the supervision of East Pakistan. Back then, the Tamarisk Forest alongside the beach was established by Captain Advocate Fazlul Karim. He was the first post-independence chairman of Cox’s Bazar Municipality. The forest was formed to arouse the interest of the tourists as well as to keep the beach safe from tsunamis. Karim was the pioneer of the development of Cox’s Bazar as a tourist place.
Cox’s Bazar couldn’t get any attention from the Government, rather in 1959 it was turned into a town committee. During the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971, Cox’s Bazar had gone through indefinite violences of the Pakistani Army like the rest of the country. Cox’s Bazar started to have some attention from the Government after Bangladesh’s independence. In 1972 Cox’s Bazar became a municipality once again and 12 years later (1984), it was promoted to a district. The Marine Fisheries and Technology Station (MFTS) was established at the town of Cox’s Bazar In 1994.
Climate and Weather
The climate of Cox’s Bazar is categorised as Am by the Köppen-Geiger system. The annual average temperature of the region is 25.6 °C along with 3770 mm annual rainfall. Because of its tropical climate, a large number of rainfall occurs in the area which is 113 days of a year. Dry season is very short in Cox’s Bazar. October to December and March to Mid-April are the best time to visit Cox’s Bazar as the temperature remains moderate between 25°C (77°F) to 29°C (84.2°F).
Cox’s Bazar Town:
Cox’s Bazar, home of the world’s longest natural sandy sea beach contains a contemporary town also known as Cox’s Bazar town. Cox’s Bazar is a small town of about 6.85 km² situated 150 k.m south of the port city of Chittagong. The weather of the city is always good for a healthy lifestyle. As the country of Bangladesh is situated in the monsoon area, Cox’s Bazar experiences seasonal altar. The Bay of Bengal causes heavy rainfall, high temperature and excessive humidity in the region. Though the main attraction of the town always has been the sea beach, it has a lot of things to explore. Cox’s Bazar can be called the city of hotels and motels. As it is the major tourist spot of Bangladesh, the town took the pressure of numerous hotels and motels. It is a district headquarter and fishing port. The city turns celestial during the dawn and the sun down. Differences of peoples, languages, interests, lights, shadows have made the city colorful and interesting.
Exploring the city of Cox’s Bazar can be a memorable experience to you. First thing you would like to explore in the city is food. It is very likely to find local foods, sea foods within your budget. You also can have international foods if you want. Some traditional foods like Achar (pickle) & Shutki (dry fish) of the area are very popular. The city is full of shops, markets and shopping malls. Home-made crafts, local handmade clothes, Barmese shoes, dresses, showpieces made of wood and shells, pearl’s jewelries are very common to find in the city.
The biggest fish aquarium of Bangladesh is situated in Cox’s Bazar. You can enjoy many water-related activities in the town. Parasailing, Beach biking, Water biking, Horse riding, Surfing are very popular sports among the tourists. You can also visit Cox Carnival circus show, Daria Nagar Ecopark, Shishu Parks etc. Bangabandhu Safari Park, the largest safari park of the country is not very far from the city. Local three wheelers are very popular within the city to visit one place to another. There are numerous beautiful places to visit in Cox’s Bazar which can be reached very easily from the city. Laboni beach is situated within the town. Other than that, Inani beach, Himchari, Sonadia Island, Maheshkhali, Teknaf, ST Martin Island etc. are very easy to visit from the town center.
Nearby Tourists Spots:
- Laboni Beach
Laboni beach is the prime beach point of the entire beach town. It is situated at the central location of the town. It is the closest beach from the Hotel Motel zone. Laboni beach is also the most crowded beach. It usually takes 5 to 8 minutes to reach from the Hotel Motel zone on foot. You will find comparatively more tourists on this beach than others. The beach is open to explore. It is the best place for swimming. You can also try surfing, jogging, cycling, sunbathing on the beach. You will find numerous big and small shops around the area. It is very easy to find necessary stuff in these shops. These shops look very colourful after the evening. Shopkeepers are mostly gentle towards the tourists. Beach accessories are also available here. It will be great to buy souvenirs from these shops. You should try to compare the prices of things as they vary from shop to shop.
Himchari is one of the most visited place in Cox’s Bazar. It is about 32 km south of the main town. You can go there by local three wheeler. You have to pay 30 BDT as ticket money to visit the waterfall and the famous ‘Broken Hills’. You can enjoy a very outstanding view of the bay from the top of the waterfall. Now-a-days, The Christmas tree here is getting many tourist attractions. The way to reach Himchari is also very attractive, as the road will provide the sea view on one side and the view of green hills on the other. The lovely road scenery will make your journey beautiful. There are some small waterfalls in the Himchari. You can also pay a visit to those. It is a great place for photo shooting. Try to explore nearby caves and hills. It will double your happiness. It’s natural to get tired and hungry after visiting the area. If this is the case then local restaurants can be in your help. You can find local foods as well as sea foods in those restaurants. The prices of foods are comparatively low.
Himchari can be reached only by the beach. So, it is necessary to be back in Cox’s Bazar town before high tide rises in the evening. It will be better to leave for the town before sunset. Himchari is a must visit place in Cox’s Bazar. This place represents the entire beauty of the area. Every year many tourists come to explore the scenic beauty of Himchari. The waterfalls, the caves, the hills and cliffs, the wildlife and last but not the least the sea are nothing that you can ignore. The place needs more and more attention as it deserves. Himchari is exceptionally blessed with the beauty of nature and experiencing it would be a blessing too.
- Himchari National Park:
Himchari national park, formed in 1980 by the Government of Bangladesh, is a tropical rainforest around South Asia. The park was created due to education, research and recreation and maintained by the government of the country. The place is open to all the foreign and local visitors. Himchari national park is ever-green and semi ever-green park with grasslands, high and low forest and a few trees. The park consists of around 58 species of trees, twenty one species of herbs, fifteen species of shrubs, four species of grasses, 19 climbers and 117 species of plants altogether. The park is famous among the bird watchers. Almost 286 species of birds can be seen in the park. This forest is also home to 56 species of reptiles, 55 species of mammals and 13 species of amphibians. Bangladeshi government is planning to introduce tigers in the area with the help of the US administration. It will cost you 500 BDT to enter the park. The park is an ideal place for picnic and bird safari. If you want to spend some time among nature and animals, Himchari National Park can be a good choice for you.
- Inani Beach:
Inani beach is one of the best destinations in Cox’s Bazar blue water, hill tracts and beautiful view of the Bay of Bengal. The beach is about 32 km south of the town of Cox’s Bazar. The beach can be reached by local three wheelers which will take about half an hour to reach the beach from the town.
The speciality of the beach is that the beach includes a small view of lash greens and wildlife alongside the sea. The Inani beach can be thrilling and beautiful at the same time. It is hard to leave the beach once you experience the amazing beauty of the beach. The beach is ideal for sight-seeing as well as sea-bathing. The wide beach of Inani can take you away to the place of peace and tranquility. You can pay a visit to the eco-cottages nearby. There are many budget-friendly hotels with modern facilities.
The golden sand of Inani is very famous for relaxation. The beach is comparatively less crowded than the laboni beach. A great number of tourists from home and abroad visit the beach every year to spend some quality time by experiencing the beauty of the bay.
- Marine-Drive road
Anyone who visits Cox’s Bazar should not miss the chance to experience a long drive on the world’s longest marine drive road. Cox’s Bazar–Teknaf Marine Drive is an 80-kilometre-long road from Cox’s Bazar to Teknaf that interests most tourists of the region. This road will give you experience of the beauty of the sea and the hill tracks simultaneously. TukTuk, a local three wheeler is very common to see on this road.
- Teknaf beach
If you want to see the beauty of mangrove alongside the sea, Teknaf should be in your bucket list. The beach of the Teknaf peninsula is about 80 k.m. The mangrove forest of Teknaf is one of oldest reserved forests of Bangladesh which contains both natural and planted stands. 161 different species of fishes belong to this peninsula. Teknaf is the home of not only beaches but also mangrove, sand dunes, mudflats, marine habitat, canals and lagoons.
It is also famous for its transitional ground for the fauna of the Indo-Himalayan and Indo-Malayan ecological sub-regions.
- Saint Martin’s Island
Your Cox’s Bazar tour is incomplete, if you don’t pay a visit to the island that forms the southernmost part of Bangladesh, known as Saint Martin’s Island. The island is locally known as “Narikel jinjira” (Coconut Island) and “Daruchini Dwip” (Cinnamon island). The area of this island is about 36 square kilometers in the and is situated about 9 km south from the Teknaf peninsula. Saint Martin’s island is visited every year by many tourists for it’s celestial beauty. The only coral island of Bangladesh can only be reached by boats and ships. Tourists mostly prefer the five shipping liners that run daily trips to the island. Booking of these trips can be confirmed both from Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar. The ticket price starts from 500 BDT. Non motorized vans are the only transport you can find on the island. The best time to visit Saint Martin’s island is between November and February. Tourists are not allowed to visit the island between March and July because of the probability of cyclone strike. Most of the tourists try to visit the island during the full moon, as the island turns divine on the moonlit night. The foods of the island are not any less than the beauty of this island. Different kinds of sea foods can be found on the island with a very low budget. You can also find Hotels to stay at very low prices. Most importantly, people of this island are very humble and tourists friendly.
- Chera Dwip:
Chera Dwip is a small contiguous island of Saint Martin’s island that is detached at high tide. It is about 8 kilometres (5 miles) long island with inherent beauty. During low tide, it can be reached on foot, which will take two and half an hour from Saint Martin’s Island. A number of local boats or tourist boats also can be found to visit the island during high tide. Chera Dwip is a small, beautiful island made of green. There is no residence in this part, so it is recommended for the tourists to go there early and come back by afternoon. You have to start your journey early in the morning from Saint Martin’s island, so that you can come back before evening. As it is a very small extension of the island, you can see the whole island in a day and enjoy the scenario. Chera Dwip is a land full of living and dead corals with a small bush of green. The beauty of the island will surely enchant you. Chera Dwip is not only great for relaxation but also for photography. You would obviously like to capture the unimaginable beauty of Chera Dwip. Walking on an island of millions of corals and enjoying your own reflection in the blue water of the Bay of Bengal could be the most memorable experience for you. The astonishing beauty of Chera Dwip can melt the heart of anyone.
- Maheshkhali Beach
Maheshkhali, formally known as Cox’s Bazar-2, is the only hilly island in Bangladesh. Maheshkhali is an attractive place with friendly people. It is famous for dried fish. The island is merged with another small island named Kutubdia. The way to go Maheshkhali can be very exciting and adventurous if you take the waterways. You can enjoy a beautiful view of the sea and also can take a ride of Sampan( a kind of traditional boat especially made for sea).
- Sonadia Island
Sonadia, a small but mesmerizing island can be your next destination. It is a crescent shaped small island of about 9 square kilometres (3.5 square miles), offshore of the Cox’s Bazar coast in Chittagong Division, Bangladesh. Sonadia is located at Kutubjom Union in Maheshkhali Upazila, 15 km north-west of Cox’s Bazar District Headquarters. Sonadia is separated from the main island by a canal. It can be reached by different water vehicles. Different kinds of shells can be seen on the western part of it. The sandy part of this island is full of windowpane oysters. The local community mostly depends on fishing. Shrimp farms are very common to see in this area. The tranquility of this island can hypnotise your mind. The wildlife of the island is the most important and most valuable thing about it. There are about 52 kinds of bird species on this island including residents and migratory. A huge number of game birds migrate to this island during the winter season. The sandy part of the island is the ideal space for turtle nesting. Moreover, the correlation between human and nature in this island is worth visiting for.
Ramu, a village about 16 km from Cox’s Bazar is famous for numerous Bhuddist temples. This village is very important for its archaeological sites like Bhuddhist temples, monasteries, pagodas and khyangs. In all these sites, there are images of Buddha in gold, bronze and other metals inlaid with precious stones. “Aggmeda Khyang” is one of the most popular temples in Ramu. It is a prodigious Buddhist monastery venerated by around 400,000 Buddhist people. The prime consecrated is placed on a series of round wooden columns. The temple consists of a prayer hall and an assembly hall. Many large and small bronze Buddha images and numerous ancient manuscripts are reserved in the temple. Ramu is also the home of the biggest bronze statue of Buddha of the country, which is about thirteen feet high, resting on about six feet high pedestal. It is rested on a temple near the bakkhali river. Ramu is well-known for home-made cigars and handicrafts. The local people of the village are mostly weavers and craftsmen. Beautiful sights of waving at open shops are very eye-soothing. Ramu consists of a unique environment, which will give you peace and serenity.
- Burmese Market
Burmese Market is a very popular market located in Cox’s Bazar town. The market is full of traditional Burmese (Mayanmar) dresses, shoes, handicrafts and fabrics. Pearl jewelries can also be found in many stores. This market is also known for local beauty products and handmade clothes. Pickles and local Dry fish have always been the main attraction of visitors.
Route and Cost
Cox’s Bazar is situated about 150 km south of the port city of Chittagong. You can reach there both by air and road. Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong – Cox’s Bazar are the two ways to visit Cox’s Bazar.
It will take about 10-12 hours to go to Cox’s Bazar from Dhaka by bus. You can find the buses from several places of the capital like Fakirapool, Sayedabad, Kolabagan etc. If you are planning to start your journey from Chittagong, it will take 4-5 hours to reach Cox’s Bazar. The buses to Cox’s Bazar can be found in different places of the Chittagong Metropolitan city like G.E.C circle, Bahaddarhat etc. ‘Soudia’, ‘Greenline’, ‘Hanif’, ‘Shamoli’, ‘TR Travels’, ‘Saint Martin’s Travel’, ‘Amader Baghdad’ etc. are available bus services from Dhaka and Chittagong. AC bus will cost BDT 1400-1800 from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar. Moreover, non-AC services are also available from Dhaka and Chittagong. From Dhaka it will cost BDT 800.00 and from Chittagong it will cost BDT 400.
The bus terminal of Cox’s Bazar is a few kilometers away from the hotel motel zone but the offices of the bus companies are situated in the hotel motel zone. So, you can easily book your return ticket. It will cost you 100-150 BDT to go to the bus terminal from the hotel motel zone. You can take an electric bike (easy bike) or C.N.G taxi to reach there. It will be better to book your return ticket as soon as you reach the town as bus tickets go rarity sometimes.
Some of the bus services are listed below for your assistance:
- Green Line
- Shyamoli Paribahan
- Hanif Enterprise
- Shohag Paribahan
- Saint Martins
- S. Alam Paribahan
Non-stop air services to Cox’s Bazar are available from both Dhaka and Chittagong. United Airways and Regent airlines are very popular in this route. It will take only 60 minutes to reach Cox’s Bazar from Dhaka by air. You will have to pay 6000 BDT for that. The aircost of Chittagong to Cox’s Bazar is 3500 BDT.
You can find any kind of hotel in the town within your budget. Facilities of hotels and motels are very good. The Government Tourism Organization operates some hotels/motels such as Hotel Probal and Sikat. The prices of hotel rooms vary according to the facility they provide like AC/ Non AC, Single room/ double room etc. Hotels that are close to the beach ask more money then the hotels that are far from the beach. The price ranges of the hotels start from 1000 BDT per day.
Price ranges and Contact numbers of some Hotel and Motels are given below:
- Neeshorgo: This is a hotel with great facilities with a beautiful view. They are very humble to their customers. It is situated in Plot- 492, Merin drive road, a bit far from the kolatoli beach. It will cost you 3500 BDT for one night.
Contact- +880 3416 4927
- Seagull Hotel: It is one of the best hotels in the Cox’s Bazar town. The hotel will provide you 100% safety assurance with a beautiful view of the sea. It is located in the Hotel Motel Zone. It will cost you 3000 BDT for one night.
- Hotel Sea Crown: It is a three star hotel situated in the Marin Drive road near Kolatoli Beach.
- Ocean Paradise Hotel: A hotel with great facilities like buffet, rooftop restaurant, beautiful swimming pool and free airport service. Price range of this hotel starts from 3500BDT. Location of this hotel is 28-29, Hotel Motel Zone, Kolatoli Road.
Contact- +88 0341 52370.
- Nilima Beach Resort: This beautiful resort is situated in the Sea inn point, Sugandha Beach. 2500 BDT is the lowest price you have to pay in this resort.
Contact- +8801710390251, +88034152443.
- Hotel Coastal Peace: This one is situated on House: 06, Block: B, Kalatoli Road. Tariff of this hotel starts from 2600 BDT.
Contact- +88 017 555 21726 (Dhaka), +88 017 555 21797 (Cox’s Bazar).
- Mermaid Resort: It is the most beautiful resort of Cox’s Bazar. It is also a very good place to hangout. It is located on Merin Drive road. It will cost you 16000 BDT for one bunglow per night.
Contact- +88 018 414 16468
Eating in Cox’s Bazar
If you’re searching for good foods with low costs then, local restaurants of Cox’s Bazar town are what you’re searching for. You can find many different kinds of restaurants in the town. Almost all of these restaurants will provide you local foods for instance, Rice, Vegetables, Barta (made of different vegetables and fish), Dal (Lentil), chicken, beef and different kinds of sea fishes. Some of these restaurants may provide you international dishes like pasta, soup etc. Among the local restaurants Poushi and Jhaubon Restaurant are very famous.
Things to do in Cox’s Bazar
Swimming is the best thing to do in Cox’s Bazar. Almost every hotel in the city has denoted places to take showers after swimming. Every year 5 to 10 people die in the sea while swimming. So, be very careful to check the ‘Green Flag’ in the watchtower. Always keep your belongings to an attendee for safety. Try to explore the whole beach. It is safe to stay at the beach after dark, so you can enjoy the night view of the sea also. Cox’s Bazar is famous for fresh bananas from mountains and green coconut. You can also experience the exciting site of catching fish from the sea. Nowadays, so many sea sports are also available in the area, which can also be a thrilling experience.
Cox’s Bazar is not only popular but also safe for tourists. Coast guards along with local cops take care of the safety issues of the tourists. Cox’s Bazar is absolutely suitable for solo travelers also. Most importantly, it is safe for girls. People of Cox’s Bazar are very familiar with tourists compared with the other places. One can take any kind of help anytime from the police by calling 999.
Written and Edited by- Shaima Akter Sethu