Cox's Bazar(4) -Surfing-

City with the natural longest beach, Cox's Bazar.......how about trying surfing?

I got to know the first person who started surfing in Bangladesh through a volunteer who lives in Cox's Bazar.
His name is Jafar Alam. 
(Bring photos from his facebook.......of course with permission)
How did he meet surfing?
An Australian surfer said that he would sell a surf board to Jafar for $200.
Jafar had no idea about dollar, and said that he would give him 2000tk($20).
Eventually, he got it for 2000tk.

However.....he didn't know how to use it.
He didn't know wax, leash and other things to be used together.

But anyway, he kept surfing.
After 3 years, he watched a surfer standing on the board on TV.
It made a big impact on him.
He struggled to do it, but it was difficult without wax.
It took another 3 years to know about wax.

He kept going, and one day he got chance to go abroad with support of Christian missionary from Hawaii.
He went to Bali, Hawaii, Australia.....and did surfing.

Now he is in Bangladesh, trying his best to promote surfing.
He teaches local kids, run a surfshop, work as an instructor.

The volunteer said people could stand on board quite soon when Jafar teaches.
- 1 day board rental with full day lesson(1,500tk)
- 1 day board rental(1,000tk)

You can't imagine how cheap it is compared to other countries.
Full day lesson for 1,500tk seems a good deal.
He also has package.

- 1 night 2 days for 2 persons(5,000tk)
- 2 nights 3 days for 2 persons(7,000tk)

Include: surfing lesson with board rental, accomodation, airport pickup, day trip to Moheshkhali island/safari park/uninhibited island on request..
Details → http://surfingbangladesh.com/surfing-package/

If you want to find Jafar....
1). Go to Long Beach Hotel, said "Jafar!!".
      Someone will contact him and bring him.
2). Visit his office
      Address: Dokkin Bahar Chara, Cox's Bazar
In his office, there are many surf board.
However, board is not available in Bangladesh.
(Ingredient to make board is also not available)
People donated, or left it when he left Bangladesh.
Jafar really loves loves loves surfing and has passion to promote Cox's bazar as "surf city".
If you go to Cox's Bazar, I recommend to visit him.

Jafar Alam
Tel: 01715-729777
E-mail: surfingbangladesh@yahoo.com
Webpage: http://surfingbangladesh.com/



Cox's Bazar(3) -Poushee-

There is a restaurant a volunteer who lives in Cox's bazar regularly goes.
It is like his dining and was mine too while my stay in Cox's bazar.

It is a Bengal food restaurant.
Go through curtain, quite a big space there.
Wash your hands, and take a seat.
Staff will bring plate, hot water, and lemon.
He will pour hot water to plate, then you wash it with lemon.
Feeling clean?
Bhorta (mashed vegetables/fish with spices) is famous in this restaurant.
"assorted" Bhorta.
There were tomato, okra, dried fish, potato, bitter gourd, eggplant, beans, e.t.c....
I have never seen this much of kinds.

Then, Rupchanda fry again.
(somehow cut into 3 pieces....)
What's special in Poushee is complementary dishes.
We only ordered Bhorta plate, Rupchanda fry, and beef curry.
Then, got this much.
Salad, pickle, daar, something with tomato and onion.
These could make me full!!
All these dishes cost 750tk for 2 people.
I tried my best, but I was still too far to finish all the dishes.

And.......later fried potato came.

For some reason, with beef curry.
But the potato was good.
Another day.
I went to Poushee for breakfast because I heard chicken soup in the morning was very good.

So, this is the chicken soup and parata!
Huge parata....
The soup is a bit like green curry in Thailand.
Maybe coconut makes me feel so.

I ate about 60% of parata and almost finished soup.
I thought I would leave parata because the oil could make me feel sick later.
When I was about to finish, a staff quickly took away the dish, filled soup again.

Of course, I finished the soup and parata.
I liked the soup very much.
Soup was 70tk, and parata was 10tk.....as I remember.

One another day.
I heard their Biriyani was also really good and the volunteer's friend praised it to the skies!
So, I went to Poushee again before my flight.
(My flight was 2pm. Lunch menu starts from 12pm....I went there at 11:45am, but they served soon)

I straightly went to a table without washing hands because I had heard hot water to wash hands would be given when you ordered Biriyani.
But why only when Biriyani??
This is chicken Biriyani.
Served with sauce, pickle, and again something with onion and tomato.
Yes, it was veeeery good.
You can smell the scent....and rice tasted good with nuts and fried onions.
150tk for a plate. (Unfortunately, they don't have half-size)

How about dessert??
I like Bangladeshi pudding.
Unlike other Bangladeshi sweet, pudding isn't usually so sweet.
Very smooth texture with simple taste of eggs, milk and sugar.
It doesn't look so big, but it was.
40tk per piece.

The volunteer said he would not be bored even though he ate here 3 days in a row.
I understand.

Pouchee Restaurant
Address: Muktijoddha Shoroni(Sayman road), Jhautola, Cox's bazaar
Tel: 0341-62343,01819-537370


Cox's Bazar (2) -Maheshkhali Island-

Maheshkhali Island is located 6km away from Cox's bazar.
Though it is an island, it's not so inconvenient since speed boats go and come frequently.
Many Rakhain tribe lives in the island.

Close to the port in Cox's Bazar, there is a fish market.
Before you go to Maheshkhali island, please drop by the market at first.
Make sure to visit in the morning.

Many kinds of fishes are here and there.

 Looks......a bit weird.
Then, people separate one kind of fishes to another.
Boat is filled with fish.
Impressive.......is it possible to catch this much fishes everyday???
People threw fishes into cane basket and brought to that market.
 Do you know what the guy is carrying on van?
Huge ice.
Ice is crashed into small pieces and kids spread it over fishes. 
Going through this process.....fishes go to all over the country!

So now, let's go to Maheshkhali island.
Speed boat costs 75tk for one way.
It took......about 30 minutes, I guess.(but not really remember)

As you arrive, you will find a bridge and Rikshaw waiting for passengers.
"Rikshaw? Rikshaw?"
"It's far, take Rikshaw!"

Rikshaw pullers were coming to me one after another.....the island is tourist place.
I knew it was walking distance and I wanted to walk with seeing view.

So...take a deep breath, shouted
"Amar Rikshaw lagbe na!!!(I don't need Rikshaw)"
They were a bit surprised and laughed.
Still some tried to talk to me, but other Rikshaw puller stopped him
"No, she doesn't need."
If you feel bothered, you can try this way.

Walking into city......
There are a Hindi temple and a Buddhist temple in the island.
To go to temples....I needed Rikshaw.
40tk for one way, it takes about 20 minutes.

There is long stair to go up to a temple.
Beside the stair, Rakhain people were selling their products.
Especially, this scarf is unique.
Weaved with thick wool, good for winter.
Some scarf has 2 colors in front side and back side.
A volunteer who lives in Cox's bazar said he saw this product only in this place.
It costs 200-300tk.
Very cheap.
And a vendor is very cute.(though she didn't give smile to camera!)
Going up to stair...
Scenery is good...
I realized the island is quite big.
Afternoon, it was at the ebb.
With blue sky, beautiful scenery.
Not so many things to see in the island, but it is better to leave in early time because wave could be high in the evening.


Cox's Bazar(1) -Burmise Market-

Leaving Chittagong and going through bad condition road for 5 hours....finally came to Cox's Bazar where people say one of the best resorts in Bangladesh.
A JICA volunteer who lives in Cox's Bazar showed me around and took care of me well during my stay.
Every time someone comes, he shows them around Cox's bazar and takes restaurant...e.t.c.....so he is kind of professional.

Let's start with Burmise market.
Many products from Myanmar are available in Cox's Bazar, especially at Burmise market.
There are products of hill area tribes too.
The market is quite different from Bangladshi markets.
Very unique.
Design and taste are different.
It looks nice....but people may stare at me if I wear it in Dhaka.

This is a shop which sells snacks from Myanmar.
You will find many interesting things.

Guess what it is?

Pickles of "tree".
Yes, tree.......tree, which is plant.
It was...........sour.

I bought small packages of nuts for souvenir.
It is very hard but tasty.
Why don't you get some for souvenir or for your jaw exercise?

One more thing you have to try in Cox's Bazar is Burmise noodle.
However, it is available at specific places where you won't find by yourself.
A bit difficult to explain direction, but try to give direction here.....

At first, go to Burmise market by main road.
If you come from main city, you will find a path before bus station on your left side.
(the beginning of Burmise market)

Right side is as below picture shows.
Turn left, go straight.
There is a gate at the end of the road.
Then, go through the gate.....you will find Burmise noodle place at the corner of garden.
There are 2 kinds of noodles.
One with soup and one without soup.
I and the volunteer ordered different kinds.
This is soup.
Broth is made from fish....
 This is one with soup.(20tk)
It doesn't taste "Bangladesh".
Not spicy, but very mild taste with tasty fish soup.

Another is without soup(25tk).
Noodle is mixed with sauce, served with the soup.
I liked the one without soup more.
Noodle with sauce was good, and I liked texture too.
I wish it was available in Dhaka......then I would have eaten everyday.(till I am bored, maybe)

Most of Japanese love this noodle, but him.
However every time someone comes to Cox's Bazar, he takes them to this place and eats noodle together.
So he has it quite often.
Thank you for accompanying me!

Burmise market where you can find different taste of Bangladesh...let's enjoy unique atmosphere.


Asian Tourism Fair, 2014

3rd Asian Tourism Fair is held now in Dhaka at Bangabandhu International Conference Center(BICC).
It starts from September 11th and continues till 13th.
Of course, our Bangladesh Tourism Corporation is attending the fair.
Seems too quiet?
No, it is just before opening hour.
 Stall for Bangladesh Tourism Board which is another government organization.
There are many stalls for travel agencies, hotels, and airlines.
Don't you have any plan for trip?

*For some reason....the man stopped in middle way while I was waiting. So, is in picture.

"Fantasy Kingdom"!
There is a theme park in Ashulia.....I didn't know this.
A bit curious..........
Not only domestic information, but also tourist information for other countries is available.
Malaysia has a huge stall.

They were prepring tea at a counter.
Sri Lanka, India, Bhutan.
(Stall for Bhutan wasn't ready....will be!)
Cultural program will be held along with the event.
Check details below!
11:00am: Inaugural Ceremony
12:30pm - 8:00pm: Exhibition open for visitors

11:00am - 8:00pm: Exhibition open for visitors
3:30pm-6:00pm: Tourism Skills Convention, hosted by ISC tourism
7:00pm-8:00pm: Cultural Performance by Embassy Philippines

11:00am - 8:00pm: Exhibition open for visitors
5:00pm: Closing Ceremony, followed by Cultural Program