Last December I went travel to Cox’s Bazar and St. Martin’s with my family. Went to Cox’s Bazar a long time ago but didn’t go to St. Martins. Now I remember, the reason for not going.
Going there was very risky then. I heard you had to go by trawler or small launch. Or they are dancing in the waves of the Bay of Bengal towards St. Martin’s. Many passengers vomit and float.
Many became physically ill. As a result, the joy and taste of travel is gone. I did not go to St. Martin’s for fear of this. With this came the question of ability.
This time the responsibility of travel was on my nephew Mishu and my son Antur. Knowing that I was returning from New York, Mishu-Antu planned to visit.
Glad to know that I will return to my hometown of New York and go to an eye-catching island like St. Martin’s. Joy sparkled at the thought.
I landed on the morning of December 2. I slept for a few days. On the night of the 12th I left for Cox’s Bazar.
Mishu-Antu has managed everything. Arrangements for the travel of fourteen people [including me, my sister and cousin’s family and younger brother Babu’s eldest son and his wife] were not easy.
We went travel to Cox’s Bazar by plane, bus and our own car. Then sailed to St. Martin’s by big ship.
The look of Cox’s Bazar has changed so drastically, I didn’t realize. I felt a kind of joy, but I also felt pain because I didn’t understand.
There used to be five star, three star hotels, now there are bigger star hotels. The beach of Cox’s Bazar is full of starless but big hotels, motels and restaurants.
I can’t say how much the quality has increased, but like all the tourist spots in the world, the food prices of the hotels and restaurants in Cox’s Bazar are of international standard.
I did not know that surfing is done on the beach in Cox’s Bazar. We grew up in a surfing club. That was in front of the beach. We sat on the second floor and listened to the waves of the Bay of Bengal for several days.
We went to St. Martins by a huge ship called the Atlantic Cruise. Yet the journey was not so pleasant. Because, the waves of the sea.
Mishu’s daughter Safwana vomited while coming and going, I was really upset to see my niece Mitra’s lameness. Adri’s wife Mian’s condition was also tired and miserable.
Yet where happiness is the main goal, we are ignoring them and surviving against the waves.
But as soon as I got off the ship, I was disappointed. Apparently, this is not a tourist obvious, a crowded settlement area. Two rickshaws or vans can run on the roads that have been built.
The whole of St. Martin’s is unplanned for tourism. No one will give it the status of a tourist area. The hotels, motels and resorts built for the stay of tourists also seem to have been built at random.
Wherever he could, he opened the business by building. It seems that at some point in time, he has built a hotel or resort by buying a place where he can.
Little did we know that the coral island of St. Martins was so neglected. Earlier, the combination of white corals that I saw travel on the TV screen, there is no sign of it on the island.
Black corals are found in the Chheradwip-famous area. It is not isolated from St. Martins. The locals have named it ‘Chhera Dwip’ as the way to and from the road is submerged during high tide.
Earlier it was called Jinjira Coconut Island. Coconut trees were scattered all over the island. Palm also caught my eye. There are many other classes and species of plants, but the Department of Forests and Environment knows it well.
Lately I have been seeing an advertisement on different TVs. The audio-video depicts what steps should be taken to protect and preserve the biodiversity of St. Martin’s. There is also a description of how tourists should behave.
They also talk about the development of sea-beach. From this, it is understood that the Department of Environment and Forests is very alert and active about this tourist-friendly island.
If I had not come to visit, I might have believed that the activities of that government office were not based on advertisements, but reflected the realities and expectations of the government.
But in fact it is nonsense. Their activities were spotted on the signboards at the corners of the narrow roads. I saw the signboards of the tourist police, but I did not see them. Only on the sea-beach, the activity of a few beach-workers was noticed at low tide.
Do we know how big this coral island is? According to Wikipedia, it is a small atoll in the northeastern part of the Bay of Bengal in the far south of Bangladesh.
St. Martin’s is located at the mouth of the Naf River, about 9 km south of Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar district and 8 km west of the coast of Myanmar. The size of this coral island is only 3 kilometers.
The coral island is so close to Teknaf, I didn’t realize it when I left. Because maybe it took us seven hours to get there by ship from Cox’s Bazar.
I heard it takes two or three hours to go from Teknaf. The island is five-and-a-half miles away. Its natural environment and beauty is like seeing, enjoying.
The small coral island can be made a major attraction for tourists. If that is done, the island could become one of the hubs of the tourism industry.
Although three kilometers long, St. Martins is surrounded by sand or beaches. Those involved in this sector will understand how to do and will do beach management.
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