The scenic waves, the serene surroundings; one can’t help but wonder how nature can be so beautiful and calming at the same time. It is but a marvel and privilege to be able to stand in front of that vast expanse of water and take in the alluring view in front of the eyes. They say, “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder,” but what they don’t say is, sometimes the sight in front of you turns out to be so marvellous that even the cynic starts to believe in better things.
By now you must be wondering what I am talking about? You see, people have talked about this place, its outstanding views, its balmy winds and calming effects multiple times, but none of this does justice to what you will see and feel once you place your steps on the wet, sandy shore of one of the longest sea beaches in the world.
Yes. I am talking about Cox’s Bazar!
The moment you move to the outskirts of Chittagong Division and start progressing towards Cox’s Bazaar district, you will behold mountains clothed in green shrubbery. The bus stops at one of the most crowded spots named Kolatoli and as you disembark from the bus, you will be greeted by numerous CNG drivers inquiring about your destination. If you walk a little further and look to your right, you will start seeing an endless row of hotels. These range from fancy to extravagant and can be both expensive and inexpensive. If you are looking for a hotel with a moderate range, you can easily avail one but be prepared to bargain with the hotel manager. Otherwise you will end up paying a lot more than you expected. And if you are looking to stay in one of the lavish ones, simply go for a luxury suite with a rooftop pool and breakfast buffet.
Once you are settled in and have changed into fresh clothes, you are ready to take a tour around the beach. If the weather is cloudy, then a stroll across the sandy shore is a must. You can immerse in your own thoughts and stride across the beach while the playful weather messes with your hair. If you are enthusiastic enough, you can walk till the farthest end of the beach and find your own personal spot. I preferred roaming around the markets after my feet were sandy enough from walking and boy was I surprised! The Burmese markets were nothing short of a wonder. For a woman who loves her pearls, it was one of the best places to be! Although, the pendants and necklaces were made from cultured ones, they were strikingly beautiful. I was nonplussed by witnessing the way sea-shells were arranged in shops. It was a marvellous sight to see.
If you are on a short tour, one day in Kolatoli beach is sufficient to satisfy your eyes and you can utilize the next day and take a trip to the scenic Inani Beach, Himchori National Park and its adjacent beach.
You can avail an auto rickhshawfrom Kolatoli and get back within the afternoon after visiting all these spots. Once your ride starts, you will come across local schools and mosques and after a short while, you will step out into the marine drive. The marine drive is a boundless 80-kilometre long road from Cox’s Bazar till Teknaf along the Bay of Bengal which is accompanied by the beautiful beach on one side and towering hills on the other side. If you observe closely, you will find that the colour of the water changes into a gentle turquoise as you ride through the marine drive.
Himchori National Park is a marvel where you can have an aerial view of Himchori Beach. All you have to do is climb around a hundred or so steps and you are good to go. Although the mountains in Himchori are extensively covered with shrubbery, you will definitely be mesmerized by the view from the top.
After descending the mountain steps, you can take a stroll towards the waterfall inside the park. I was satisfied with my short tour, hence, I ran towards the beach on the opposite side of the road instead and didn’t pay much heed to taking pictures. It was a fascinating view. The turquoise waters slowly splashing along the sandy shore and the gigantic sand sacks placed along the road gave me a calm and collected feeling. After the Himchori beach, it was my turn to marvel the beautiful stone beach of Inani.
I was slightly crestfallen when I entered the beach area as there were no stones to be seen. I had even made up my mind to turn back and start for Kolatoli when a nearby photographer asked me to wait 30 minutes tops. I waited patiently and watched the sea reveal its many wonders just like it always does. Within a short while, many stones ranging from small to medium to large started appearing across the surface of the water. People sitting on the benches rushed towards the shore to sit on the wet stones and take pictures. I didn’t lag behind either and rushed to do the same.
Evening came with a splendid moon that bathed the sea shore with its magnificent light. I had already returned to Kolatoli and ended the day by taking a stroll on the beach. I realized that it doesn’t matter whether you are a beach person or a mountain person; Cox’s Bazaar is going to capture a place in your heart forever. So, if you haven’t visited it yet, it’s a must for your travel bucket list.