Nestled in the southeastern corner of Bangladesh lies a hidden gem, a region of unparalleled beauty and cultural richness: the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). “Unveiling the Charm of Chittagong Hill Tracts” is an invitation to explore this enchanting area, often overshadowed by more conventional tourist destinations, but beckoning to those with a spirit of adventure and a desire to explore the road less traveled.
Hidden in the southeastern part of Bangladesh, there’s a magical place called the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). It’s like a secret treasure that not many people know about because big cities like Dhaka and Chittagong usually get all the attention. But let me tell you, the CHT is a special spot for people who love nature, hiking, and exploring new cultures. So, in this tour blog, we’re going to talk about the wonderful beauty and amazing culture of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. We’ll also cover things like where to go, what you need for a visit, and how much it might cost.
Bandarban: Known for its lush greenery, Bandarban is the perfect place for trekking. The trek to Boga Lake is a must-do, and don’t miss the breathtaking views from Nilgiri Hills.
Khagrachari: Explore the diverse indigenous culture in Khagrachari and visit Alutila Cave and Sangu River. Trek to Dighinala for an adventure-filled experience.
Hill Tracts: Indigenous Villages: Engage with indigenous communities, such as the Chakma, Marma, and Tripura, and learn about their unique customs and traditions.
Cost & Fees:
Before embarking on your journey, check the most up-to-date visa requirements for Bangladesh. Many nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival, but it’s always advisable to verify the latest information with the Bangladeshi embassy or consulate in your home country.
Air Ticket Fees:
The cost of air tickets to Bangladesh varies based on your departure location and the time of year. On average, a round-trip ticket from major cities like New York, London, or Delhi to Dhaka can range from $400 to $800. Be sure to book your tickets well in advance to secure the best deals.
Travel within Bangladesh, especially to the hill tracts, can be relatively inexpensive. Local buses and shared jeeps are common modes of transportation and are quite affordable, with fares typically ranging from $5 to $20. However, if you prefer a more comfortable experience, you can hire a private car, which might cost around $50 per day.
Accommodation options in the Chittagong Hill Tracts can vary, with a range of guesthouses and resorts to choose from. Prices typically start at $20 per night for budget options and go up to $100 or more for luxury resorts. Some recommended places to stay include Parjatan Motel in Rangamati and Hill View Resort in Bandarban.
Apart from accommodation and transportation, keep some extra cash for trekking permits, guided tours, and miscellaneous expenses. Budget around $50 per day for additional costs.
Food & Lifestyle
Bamboo Chicken: This is a distinctive dish in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Chicken is cooked inside bamboo tubes, often with a blend of spices and herbs, which imparts a unique and earthy flavor to the meat. It’s typically roasted or steamed in the bamboo, making it a must-try for those visiting the region.
Bamboo Shoot Curry: Bamboo shoots are a common ingredient in this hilly region and are often used to make flavorful curries. These tender bamboo shoots are cooked with various spices, coconut milk, and sometimes fish or meat to create a delightful curry.
Freshwater Fish Dishes: Bangladesh is known for its love of fish, and the Chittagong Hill Tracts are no exception. You’ll find a variety of freshwater fish dishes prepared in different styles, such as fish curry, fish roast, or fish stew. The use of local spices and ingredients adds to the distinct flavor.
Rice-Based Dishes: Like the rest of Bangladesh, rice is a staple in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. You can enjoy various rice-based dishes, including biryani, khichuri, and pilaf, which are often served with an array of side dishes and condiments.
Desserts like Roshogolla and Sandesh: Roshogolla and Sandesh are popular Bengali sweets that are widely enjoyed throughout Bangladesh. Roshogolla is a soft and spongy cheese ball soaked in sugar syrup, while Sandesh is a sweet made from fresh paneer or chhena. They provide a sweet ending to a traditional Bangladeshi meal.
Life in the Chittagong Hill Tracts is a fascinating blend of ancient traditions and modern influences. The indigenous communities maintain their distinct customs and dress, and you’ll often see colorful tribal garments. The people are warm and hospitable, making it an excellent opportunity to learn about their way of life.
Light Clothing: Given the tropical climate, pack lightweight, breathable clothing. Don’t forget comfortable hiking shoes and a rain jacket.
Insect Repellent: Chittagong Hill Tracts are known for their abundant natural beauty, including lush forests and rivers. Be prepared for insects, especially during treks.
Water Purification: Carry a water purification system or bottled water to stay hydrated during your adventures.
Local Currency: Ensure you have enough Bangladeshi Taka (BDT) as ATMs are not widely available in remote areas.
Respectful Attitude: Respect local customs and traditions. Ask for permission before taking photos of indigenous people.
- Trek to Nafakhum: Nafakhum is the largest waterfall in Bangladesh, and it’s a stunning natural wonder located in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. To fully appreciate its beauty, you can embark on a trek through the lush jungle. The trek offers a chance to connect with the pristine wilderness and enjoy the sounds of nature. Nafakhum is a truly magnificent sight and a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
- Kaptai Lake Cruise: Kaptai Lake, located in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, is a picturesque and tranquil location. Taking a boat ride on the lake allows you to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding hills and the serene waters. It’s a perfect way to relax and enjoy the natural scenery while experiencing the tranquility of the area.
- Explore Indigenous Crafts: The Chittagong Hill Tracts are home to several indigenous communities, each with its own distinct culture and crafts. You can explore local markets to find handwoven textiles, traditional crafts, and artisanal products. By purchasing these items, you are not only acquiring unique souvenirs but also supporting the livelihoods of indigenous artisans. It’s a wonderful way to learn about their heritage and contribute to the local economy.
Exploring the Chittagong Hill Tracts is like going on a super cool adventure! It’s a special place where you can escape from the busy city and see amazing nature and different cultures. You’ll find beautiful landscapes, meet unique indigenous people, and eat yummy food. It’s a place you should visit, and you’ll have a lot of fun and make great memories to remember forever! So, pack your bags and get ready for a fantastic trip to this awesome part of Bangladesh!