Mangroves, indigenous people and nature in an incredible variety.
I enjoy this morning’s silence, that hazy, almost misty air, as I sit comfortably with my guide and a hot cup of tea on the thick cushions of the riverboat sitting area. Apart from the constant call of the cicadas and the beautiful songs of the birds, only the gentle sound of the waves tapping on the boat’s hull can be heard, while our boat glides further and further through the impressive mangrove forests of the Sundarbans.
It takes me to a deep calm and serenity.
It is the fourth day of our individual journey to Bangladesh, this Asian country where a stranger – a „Bideshi“ is still a peculiarity and is greeted curiously and friendly by the locals. Let’s start by saying: We feel secure at all times and have been advised and looked after so individually and comprehensively by our travel guides that it was easy to learn to love Bangladesh in all its facets. So, if you plan your trip to the new tourist destination Bangladesh with such a competent partner as Terralaya Travels, nothing stands in the way of experiencing pure Asian lifestyle, untouched nature and fascinating wildlife.
Bangladesh has a lot to offer: a unique nature with the world’s longest natural sandy beach and the world’s largest mangrove forest, the bustling metropolis of Dhaka, deep green tea plantations, the impressive architecture of the ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples and a mountainous region populated by various small tribes in the border area with Myanmar. In addition to incredible hospitality, these are good reasons to pack your bags and travel to this country, which is still unknown on the tourist map.
Let me especially highlight two aspects of this diverse and perfectly organized journey today:
Bangladesh is home to the largest mangrove forest on earth
The secluded Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forests in the world, covers a wide area of Bangladesh’s southwest. The mangrove forests are located in a lower estuary and flood area. The two rivers Ganges and Brahmaputra – together about 5700 km long – coming from the Himalayas, unite here in Bangladesh, bringing lots of water water: It is a blessing and a curse for this country. In the monsoon season in June, July and August there are always floods, which has made it difficult to build a tourist infrastructure in recent decades. The fresh water of the inland is mixed with the salt water of the Bay of Bengal and provides a spectacular, diverse ecosystem with good fish supply.
A large part of this unique ecosystem is protected in national parks and bears the title of UNESCO World Natural Heritage.
These natural conditions create a place of unreal beauty in the Sundarbans: often covered in fog, largely uninhabited, wild and swampy. Wild boars, deer, ganges dolphins, monkeys, reptiles and maybe even a Bengal tiger may be seen with some luck.
We enjoy this unique spectacle of nature and the mystical landscape of the Sundabarns on our river boat and cross the river arms in various directions, passing fishing villages and mighty mangrove roots. Unforgettable moments we experience when we drive shortly after sunrise with a dinghy deeper into the side arms and explore the area. We marvel at special bird species such as kingfishers, herons or Brahminenweiher and listen to their singing. Unfortunately, the legendary and threatened Bengal Tiger did not show up.
On the 6th day of our journey, we follow the Bhairab and Chitra rivers and finally arrive at a village of otter fishermen. This form of fishing, where trained otters are used on leashes to catch fish, crabs and crabs, is rarely practiced anywhere in the world because the method is considered ineffective. We have the opportunity to watch the fishermen and their otters in their daily work.
Folklore diversity and tradition in a confined space – the hill tribes of Bandarban
After another stopover in the bustling capital Dhaka we fly to the southeast of Bangladesh, to Chittagong. Upon approach we enjoy the fascinating panorama of the region crossed by several mountains and dense forests, on the border with Myanmar and India. These remote mountainous regions are – due to the neighboring countries – characterized by a large diversity of peoples and traditional tribal treasures. Not far from the summit of the third highest mountain in Bangladesh, Mt. Chimbuk (2,500 m), we visit one settlement of the tribe of Murong, who also live in nearby Myanmar. A Bawm settlement, the smallest minority of Bangladesh, gives us insight into foreign and interesting ways of life, as well as visiting a Tripura settlement. This tribe comes from the former kingdom of Tripura in what is now northeastern India. The small town of Bandarban invites you to take a stroll through the bazaar and visit the Buddhist „Golden Temple“.
End of the journey in Cox`s Bazaar
On the longest natural beach in the world and Bangladesh’s most popular seaside resort we reflect upon the rich experiences we have made during this journey.
Especially for a trip to Bangladesh competent planning, preparation and professional guides are immensely important; Terralaya Travels was always our point of contact, and thus the organizer of this individual journey, from the entry requirements, through information on behavior, to an individually tailored travel program with particularly experienced and competent travel guides.
Information about Bangladesh
Best travel time
In Bangladesh, during winter, from October to March, we have a well-tolerated, mild and pleasant climate. Adventurous travelers may want to try the special charm of high monsoon in June and August.
Of course you can book this trip with a similar course as a group tour. The next dates are already fixed and that from 20.01. – 01.02.2019 and from 17.02. – 01.03.2018
Source: Terralaya Travels and Wikipedia