Contributor: Fazlay Rabby
Island Name: St. Martin’s Island
Lattitude: N 20° 37′ 57.04″
Longitude: E 92° 19′ 11.80″
Data measured by/ or source:
GPS Data by: Fazlay Rabby
St. Martin’s Island (Local name Narikeldia or Narikel Zinzira) is the only coral island’s of Bangladesh. The island is only 8Sq. Km measured. It has nice sandy beaches, coral reef and adjoining small island Cheradia or CheraDwip. Though Cheradia is separetd by water during high tide the small island is part of the main island St. Martin. To dive or Snorkel one should go to Cheradia where the basins are full of colored fish and live coral.
How to go:
St. Martin’s Island is accessible from Teknaf. One should reach Teknaf before 9AM to catch the small ships (Keari Sinbad, Kutubdia, Eagle) or boat (locally known as service trawler). The ships has their own jetty which is few km before Teknaf on the road. The trawler starts from Teknaf ghat.
From Dhaka one can go to Teknaf by night coach bus, There are both AC [Taka 750- 1100/-]and Non-AC buses [Taka 550/-] ply on this route. Please avoid the AC St. Martin service bus as there service and condition of the coach are not in good shape. Recommended bus is non-AC “Shamoli poribahan”. There are some other non-AC service which are ok also. Most of the bus starts around 2200 hour from Dhaka and reach around 0800 next morning at Teknaf.
From Cox’sBazar one can avail the local bus [Taka 50/-] (coxs-teknaf) or Micro bus service [Taka 70/-] early in the morning around 0600 clock to reach Teknaf around 0900. It’s a two hours drive to teknaf.
Where to stay:
Compared to the size of the islands there are plenty of Hotels and Resorts recently started business there. Most of the Hotels are near the jetty and Bazar. Few resorts are running their business at the back side of the islands in the calm and quite environment.
Some Hotels at the front side: Blue marine, Prashad paradise,
Some Hotel/Resort at the far end: Motel Abokash, Shimana Periye, Sailors moon etc.
Room tarif at peak season (October-February): Taka 600/- to 1200/- , in off-peak season you have to make a deal, normally you will get all those rooms at Taka 200/- to 400/-
What to eat (food):
Rice is the main staple food. Fresh catches of fish is a pleasure to have. Green coconut is like a gift, only Taka 20 /- each with enough water inside to quench your thirst. There are many local restaurants in the Bazar (near the jetty) who sells Rice, chapati roti, parata etc with curry and fried fish. Each small size (150-200gm) fish will cost you Taka 70/- to 100/-. For lobster and crab you have to haggle with the shop to get a decent price. Sometime the price is bit exaggerated and crosses the price asked in a upscale restaurants in the capital.
Tips/advise for traveler:
Usually, most of the visitors go to St. Martin’s Island during November to February, as the season is the best and most convenient to travel to the Island.Overnight stay in St. Martin’s Island is really a great experience, feeling and listening to the sounds of the sea. If you are lucky enough, you can have a moonlit night on St. Martin’s. The beauty of the full moon on St. Martin’s Island cannot be described in words; you have to be there feel it and enjoy it.