A gem of the mighty Bay of Bengal, the pristine island of Saint Martin’s has reaffirmed Bangladesh’s position as a nation blessed with beauty. There is just something irresistible about fresh blue water and an island away from civilization; it promises both a relaxing vacation and an adventure for those hearts which sing in tune with nature.
Saint Martin’s gives Bangladeshis the lucrative opportunity to experience something sophisticatedly foreign in their home turf. The small island provides the perfect weekend getaway, and with jovago to help plan, it all falls perfectly into place.
Saint Martin’s is located a cruise ride away from Teknaf – which can be reached directly from Dhaka, Chittagong and Cox’s Bazaar. Dhaka to Teknaf by an AC bus will cost about BDT 1200, and from there via sea truck will be another BDT 800 at most. Many can decide to go to Teknaf from Chittagong, or through passing Cox’s Bazaar. Chittagong being a major port can be reached by both rail and air, which would cost travelers approximately BDT 900 and BDT 8000 respectively.
Once in the island, the tourists can choose from among budget guesthouses to much better facilitated hotels, though the popularity of the island means paying prices quite above the deserving rates of accommodation. The most basic of lodgings will depend on your bargaining skills, but safe to assume BDT 600/day. Moderate rooms at the good hotels often have multiple beds (3-5 can share) at BDT 3000/day, while the best hospitality will be available at BDT 4500/day. Cheap meals are available throughout the island; food budget can be anywhere between BDT 150 to BDT 1200 for local cuisine, depending on whether you choose to dine in the hotels or outside.
At the island, the number of possible recreational activities is rather limited, owing to the small size of the location. However, being a coral island, scuba diving is offered during peak seasons. That costs around BDT 4500 including rental gear and boat fee. Boat rides to other nearby islands are also common and there are a few mementos to choose from, so an additional BDT 1500 is recommended. Lastly, the island is famous for shutting down electricity after a certain hour, allowing visitors a chance to truly marvel at the night sky while fresh sea breeze keeps them company.
Room for tactful bargaining, shared accommodation facilities and cheap transport alternatives makes this island a big hit with tourists on a budget, who could easily manage a memorable weekend away under BDT 10,000.
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