Saint Martin’s is the only coral island in the southernmost part of mainland Bangladesh. Saint Martin is at the top of the list of popular travel destinations in Bangladesh. The island is located about 120 km from the district town of Cox’s Bazar. The endless blue sky of St. Martin, the combination of the blue water of the sea, the rows and rows of coconut trees, and the wonderful natural beauty of the journey draw the thirsty people to the irresistible attraction. It is also locally known as Narikel Jinjira because of the abundance of coconuts available.
Sitting on the beach and immersing oneself in the gentle breeze, the enchanting softness of the Keya forest and the sea is instantly absorbed in the mind. The blue of the sky and the blue of the sea blend in there, the boats tied to the shore, the rows of beautiful coconut trees, and the gentle touch of the gentle wind in the rhythm of the waves. This is a small attempt to describe the beauty of St. Martin’s Coral Island in Bangladesh. St. Martin is a unique holiday destination for those thirsty for knowledge and travel, with a combination of sand, rock, coral, or biodiversity. Turtles, Jellyfish in clear waters, assorted marine fish, corals have turned St. Martin and the surrounding area into a living school of mystery. To the people of the country, the island is known as the ‘Paradise of the South’.
Corals are at the heart of St. Martin’s ecosystem. These coral islands are home to most of the animals and plants of the sea, big and small, vertebrates and invertebrates.
Every year millions of tourists set foot in the tourist season in search of the aesthetic coral reefs at low tide, the flying gannets, the beauty of the sunset seen from the west beach, the gentle breeze, and the clear blue waters of the shallow sea.
It is the only coral island in Bangladesh. St. Martin is a small island in the sea bay, 120 kilometers from the district town of Cox’s Bazar. Just water and water all around. Area 17 square kilometers.
In addition to the main island, there are several smaller islands measuring 100 to 500 square meters, locally known as Chheradia or Siradia (Chhera Island). Which means an isolated island. Chhera Island is the southernmost point on the map of Bangladesh. To the south, Bangladesh has no more territory.
The junction of Chhera Island (locally known as Galachipa) with the main island is slightly lowered and it sinks during high tide. So you can go to Chhera Island on foot at low tide but you have to take a boat at high tide. It is best to walk the entire way from the north end to the west beach. This secluded path is impossibly beautiful.
The topography of St. Martin’s Island is mainly flat. However, some dunes can be seen. There is also a large number of plants and animals in the islands and adjacent seas.
Seaweed Probability on Coral Island ‘Seaweed’ is an important aquatic resource. A type of seaweed locally known as ‘Pejala’ is found in abundance in St. Martin.
St. Martin’s Coral Island is home to about 66 species of corals, 187 species of snails, 153 species of seaweed, 157 species of sponges, 240 species of marine fish, 4 species of amphibians, and 120 species of birds. There are also 19 species of mammals.
Invertebrates include sponges, shill crabs, monkey shill crabs, lobsters, etc. Fish include- fairy fish, butterflyfish, bowl coral, red koi, Rupachanda, needlefish, redfish, urukku fish, etc. The place is famous for laying the green sea turtles, eggs of sea turtles, and olive sea turtles.
Round-leafed Ipomoea vines can be seen in the sands of the island. Funnel-shaped white-purple flowers can be seen in this plant, which creates the first vibration of life in an adverse environment. Other plants include Keya, Shawra, Sagaralata, Bain tree, etc. One of the trees is the coconut tree. There are also – Shimul, mango, betel nut, acacia, Kadai, etc.
The traditional plant of St. Martin’s Island is the Keya tree. There is no natural forest on the island except the Keora forest. At low tide, the Keora tree responds to life in the middle of the rocky coral. However, on the south side of the island, some mangrove trees can be seen along with a lot of keora bushes. Several palm trees can also be seen along the edge of the beach.
The population of the island is about 12 thousand. Livelihoods here depend on fishing, dry processing, small-scale farming, and tourism services. The island is bustling during the tourist season every year. The people of St. Martin’s Island are very simple, their warm hospitality is a major tourist attraction.
St. Martin’s Island is a popular tourist destination. 5 launches come and go from the mainland of Bangladesh every day during the tourist season. The real fun of St. Martin cannot be enjoyed without one night. It is better to have two nights. In that case, 1 day can be set aside for the island, another day for St. Martin. Every day tourists return in the afternoon, so the fun of visiting the island in the afternoon is different. And if you can go to a full moon, it will be really different. Especially at night, visit St. Martin’s Island, then you want to increase your desire to live.
What to Do and What to See
Those who come back from St. Martin day by day may regret it later so it is best to stay in St. Martin for at least one day. This delightful trip will always fascinate you as you can see the whole island.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in St. Martin
Beneath St. Martin’s clear sea you will find a variety of living corals and multicolored aquatic plants. Every year thousands of tourists visit St. Maarten to enjoy the natural beauty, but they are unaware of the vastness of the ocean floor just a mile away. When you go deep into the water with an artificial oxygen filling tank, you can feel one of your moments separately. While swimming with fish, you will fall in love with that strangely calm and beautiful world. You may not want to go back. Scuba diving can be done in St. Martin from November to February every year.
Day Long Trip: For those who want to travel to St. Martin on a day-long trip due to lack of time, take a van and go straight to West Beach or Main Beach without wasting time. For this, you have to calculate the van rent of 3 to 4 dollars. It takes 20 to 25 minutes to walk here but it would not be right to waste time on a day-long trip. This place is good for getting into the water so if you want to come to the beach you can soak your body in clear water. Whatever you do, keep in mind that you have to be free before 2 o’clock or you won’t even get time to eat. And of course, you have to get on the ship before 3 p.m. If you have time, you can visit Humayun Ahmed’s cottage near Main Beach. This type of trip to St. Martin will limit your time so come to St. Martin with a plan of at least one day.
1-day plan: Those who come to St. Martin with a one-day plan should get off the ship and get up at the hotel. After lunch, you can come back with a light rest. Try to leave before 4 o’clock, then you can return to Chhera Island after watching the sunset. The sunset on Chhera Island is great but don’t be too late after sunset. In the evening you can return to the main island to hang out at the market jetty or sit anywhere on West Beach. You can do a bar-b-que at the resort at night. The fish stays fresh although the price of marine fish at the resort is a little higher. Or any nearby hotels you can barbecue and eat fish of your choice. Spend the next morning walking around or come back from Chhera Island in the morning if you haven’t been to Chhera Island the day before. Come back before noon, take a bath, have lunch and slowly get on the scheduled ship by 2:30.
The Appropriate Time to Travel
The best time to visit St. Martin is from October to March. Because the temperature is low at this time, travel is easy. Those who are interested in this time can travel.
Where to Eat
Almost all residential hotels have restaurants, so you can dine there if you want. In addition to these, you can order all the food from the various live fish arranged on the table outside the hotel. You can do bar-b-que at night, pick fish and tell them they will do it for you.
Where to stay
There are several hotels and resorts to stay at on St. Martin’s Island. Many of these resorts have been built with eco-tourism in mind, while many hotels have been built with modern standards.
Blue Marine Resort: Blue Marine Resort is located very close to the ferry terminal on St. Martin’s Island. The Blue Marine Resort’s AC double bedrooms are priced at $185 US and non-AC $60 US, each triple red room is priced at $40 US, a six-person bedroom is priced at US 50 and a ten-bedroom bedroom is priced at $60 US.
Prasad Paradise Resort: Pass the Blue Marine Resort through St. Martin’s Market and head a little further north to the lovely Palace Paradise. Renting any one of 16 different types of rooms will cost $25-60 US.
Neel Digante Resort: Located on the corner of South Beach on St. Martin’s Island, the resort is located a short distance from the jetty. Staying in a variety of resort cottage-type rooms on the blue horizon will cost $20-60 US dollars.
Prince Heaven Resort: Adjacent to the Palace Paradise on North Beach, Prince Heaven Resort has a total of 24 rooms and a restaurant. Room rent at Prince Haven Resort is $20-45 US.
Labiba Bilas Resort: Current name is The Atlantic Resort. Located in West Beach, the resort has 43 rooms for overnight stays. And to stay here you have to spend $45 to 150 US dollars.
Dream Night Resort: Dream Night Resort, located at the far end of West Beach, accommodates 2 to 4 people per room. If you want to stay at this resort you have to spend $20 to 45 US.
Sayari Eco Resort: Sayari Eco Resort located in Nazrul Para on South Beach is unique in its aesthetics. Saari Eco Resort offers overnight stays of $20 to 40 US in 18 different categories.
There are also Coral Blue, Mermaid, Emerald Resort, Sea Coral, Sea Inn, Hotel Sagar Par, Riyadh Guest House, Hotel Swapna Coral, Shravan Bilas, Sunset View, etc. During the tourist season, almost every house offers the facility of accommodation by talking directly, the rent here varies according to the season, but usually, a good room can be taken for $3-8 US.
Way to go to St. Martin
No matter where in the world you live. The country has an air communication system with many countries of the world. You will first land at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.
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Then you have to go to Teknaf by bus from Dhaka, Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar. Regular buses are available from Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong to Teknaf. Teknaf can also be reached by renting a microbus from Cox’s Bazar.
Teknaf by bus from Dhaka
Teknaf buses are available at Fakirapul and Sayedabad in Dhaka. Eagle, Modern Line, S Alam, Shyamoli, Green Line, etc. buses go to Teknaf. It takes 10-13 hours to arrive. If you take a bus from Dhaka at 7 pm, you can get off at Damdamiya Jahaj Ghat or Teknaf town by 7 am and go by ship or trawler. However, if there is a lot of time, the arrival of many is delayed due to heavy traffic on the Dhaka-Chittagong road. In that case, there is a possibility of missing the ship. Because all ships leave at 9:30. In that case, it can be done by a trawler.
Ship from Teknaf to St. Martin
You will need to buy a sea truck/ship/ship ticket at the Teknaf shipyard. The distance from Teknaf to St. Martin is 9 km. Here you have to cross the rough sea. The sea is calm in winter so it is safer to go here at this time. During the tourist season, a number of ships or sea trucks ply the Green Line water bus from Teknaf to St. Martin, including LC Kutubdia, Kajal, Kerry Sindbad. All ships depart from Teknaf Jetty for St. Martin between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. and depart for Teknaf from St. Martin’s Jetty at 3 p.m.
After that, the administration did not allow it to continue due to hostile weather. However, those who want to go to St. Martin as an adventure in the hostile season can go by trawler or speed boat. However, this journey is not very safe. Accidents don’t usually happen, but they can happen. So be careful. But for those who can’t cope with the temptation to see the true nature of the rough seas or to sit on a secluded island and bathe in the rain, there is no alternative but a trawler.
Travel costs to St.Martin
How much each trip costs will be entirely up to you. The cost also depends on how you go, where you stay, what you eat, and what you do. Other costs, including food during the peak season (December-January) or holidays, will be a little higher. The cost list is given to give an idea of how much it will cost to travel from Dhaka to St. Martin, including 1 night’s stay and meals in low-cost and moderately quality hotels. From which you can get an idea of the cost.
Travel tips and precautions
- Saint Martin is a global resource, so don’t do anything that harms nature.
- At present BGB patrols St. Martin regularly They often forbid tourists to stay in the beach or jetty area after 12 midnight.
- Throw the garbage in the right place. Please do not leave some plastic/polythene on the beach.
- You can go to other places on St. Martin’s without having to go on holiday to stay and eat at a low cost.
- Many hotels and cottages have sprung up in St. Maarten, but there is no shortage of accommodation.
- Bargain for anything in the tourist area.
- If there are more people, you can cut the ship ticket in advance.
- If you want, you can buy St. Martin’s packages from various agents in Cox’s Bazar.
- On your way to St. Martin, you will see the most beautiful view from the deck of the ship.
- Be careful when going out to sea.