Having some good friends is like a blessing in your late twenties! Meeting, spending time, talking about life is like a breathing space! But if you have some mad friends who never let you feel that you are getting older, is the most precious gift that we hardly find in a lifetime.
Meeting Islam who is a military person nowadays was another history. We can talk about that later. Her existence made my life more thrilling, from those days when we were childish and emotional. We both have traveled together and created mixed memories including challenges. At one point keeping, this bonding had become harder for some unwanted reason. But we both fought against all odds and survived as a friend. So, this was the resettlement journey that we both couldn’t miss enjoy.
We planned Saint Martin Island, a small island in the northeastern part of the Bay of Bengal. Initially, we planned to stay there for one day but later considering the long journey to the island made it 3 days and 2 nights trip! Total 7 people including Bob, one of my couch surfers from the Netherlands who wanted to go with us for that trip. All of us have planned to start from Dhaka on Thursday afternoon by Bus. A long journey that takes almost 15 hours from Dhaka to Teknaf! The bus tickets are available in Kollanpur, Kolabagan or Arambagh and many other places in Dhaka city. Unfortunately, this is the only way to go there from Dhaka or other divisions as well.
I know, everybody among this group is stronger and energetic to travel 15 hours by Bus! Honestly, apart from me! Being the weakest, I have decided to get a morning train ticket from Kamplapur Railway station to Chittagong, reach there by afternoon, take a small trip to Chittagong, and hopped into the bus at 1:30 AM that reaches 6:30 AM. Those who are like me, I mean can’t travel by bus for long can take this route. Since Chittagong city doesn’t have a lot to see, you can explore in one or two days! What you have to do is, buying a bus ticket right after you reach to confirm your journey from Chittagong to Teknaf. Listening to my plan, Bob also has decided to take a train but two days earlier and explored Chittagong city. He helped to get our tickets to Teknaf, which helped us to manage a good quality AC bus.
Due to having traffic, the bus arrived around 2:15 AM to pick us from the bus stand! Sohel, the vendor helped us to get the right bus at midnight. God bless his generosity. We reached 6:45 AM. I couldn’t sleep because the driver was faster like a biker and I was worried.
I told you before, traveling with foreigners sometimes brings extra stress! Yes, Bob and I went to a shop to have Tea and breakfast in the morning and they charged 100 takas extra because of him. Oh! Guys! Keep one thing in your mind, the shops in Teknaf Keari Ghat are not reasonable at all. If possible, try to ask the amount of each product before you buy. Otherwise, they will charge you more than the usual price. If possible, walk a bit back from the ghat and find some good restaurants that offer good food at a reasonable price.
My friends who started from Dhaka arrived around 7:30 AM by bus! Though they didn’t seem tired or exhausted! I would have died after 15 hours bus journey! Anyways, I told them about the extra money we paid for the tea and breakfast at the restaurant and after the fight, we had with them! Yeah, they are my mad friends and they took quick revenge instantly. Do you know what they did? They had breakfast but didn’t pay for that! Khikzzz…..
I and Bob were happy! You know in every group there is a friend who is the organizer and Shamsher was the one! The manager friend of this trip managed everything by himself. He went to the Keari Ghat Counter, purchased a roundtrip ticket.
Oh yes, about the ticket, you must know some information before you arrive! You can order the tickets online to confirm your trip on that day, otherwise, sometimes people can’t manage to get tickets during the last hours. Guys, if you know the return date of your journey, you have to mention the dates properly for the roundtrip and check before you leave the counter.
There will be two tickets (per person) for each journey! In total one person will get 4 tickets to get into the ghat and ship for roundtrip. For tickets, they have options, but you must take the 400 taka’s (one way) since the cheapest ships get overloaded! Your ship will cross the Naf River which is an international river marking the border of southeastern Bangladesh and western Myanmar. So, you must pick the better option for your 3 hours long trip from ghat to Saint Martin Island. We paid 800 taka per person and managed to get into the ship at 9:30 AM.
Before we went to the ghat, we tried to go to the washroom and that was one of the worst ones! If you want to go to the washroom, try to go right after you reach the place! Hopefully that time the place would be less crowded and clean!
If you are a foreigner, the security at the gate will ask you about nationality. If possible, bring your passport photocopy to avoid last our hassle. But you don’t need special permission for that.
We got on the ship and the weather was amazing! The river, Sun, and us, all were happy and looking forward to enjoying our time in Saint Martin Island. Of course, far from the city, pollution, negativity, and anxiety! And if you have a friend like Sohel (not the vendor), you will never get tired of laughing. Bob started being friendly with all of us and they danced like nobody was watching them.
If you are a Coffee lover, you will get a lot to drink with cookies, chips, and light snacks. So, don’t think a lot about food while traveling by ship! It’s only 3 hours trip to the Island! Islam and I met after a long time and conversed on many pending things that we missed for the last eight months! Like the river, our friendship was getting deeper again!