The Chittagong Hill Tracts are places you need to visit at least once, whether for a quiet getaway with your family or an adventurous trip with your friends.
I recently went to Rangamati, and while my experience was marred by cricket, national holiday and an idiotic driver, Rangamati itself was a trip worth making. Here are a few you things you MUST do when you’re there:
Hire a boat from Parjatan Motel the day before, cross the hanging bridge by the motel and take a 3-hour tour around the lake, stop at Shuvolong waterfall (which was mostly dry when I was there, but had beautiful views nonetheless) and come back in time for lunch. The morning breeze and the quiet beauty on this trip is refreshing and allows you to get lost in your thoughts, but not get bored.
You’ll be back in time for lunch, which you can either have at the Parjatan Motel or drive up to a local place. We went to Cafe Link, which came highly recommended and was worth the wait; both their Bengali and Chinese menus are excellent!
If you’re with a loud crowd, avoid this since it’s a temple and people do go there to pray. If you’re interested in having a look at the Buddhist temple, which is internationally well known, drop by.
3. Learn about the history of Rangamati
My friend and I disagree on the nature of Rangamati’s history; she finds it depressing, which it is, and I find it fascinating. A big part of travelling is understanding how the community came to be, and for Rangamati, it’s a story worth knowing. It might seem silly, but my sister and I spent almost the entire boat ride around Kaptai Lake looking for buildings or cityscape under water!
If you’re staying at a relatively safe area, go for a walk early in the morning. In Rangamati, the hilly area makes you work harder, you get sneak peeks of the natural order of things and meet interesting people. Have breakfast at a local restaurant – chances are, it’ll be pretty – and relax.