Kuakata and Exceptional Memories
It was Friday afternoon, before COVID-19's first case in Bangladesh. Last day of the week, we were wrapping up our works for the week. Suddenly, one of my colleagues asked me "do you know Gorur Gari(a lightweight cart pulled by male cows) is the traditional vehicle of which part of our country?" I replied with frustration "no! Oh no, I don't even know about my own country. I should at least visit all the remarkable places of my own country. I was planning to visit Kuakata for years, but I still haven't managed to visit it yet". Hearing this my another colleague jumped up and said "Let's go to Kuakata today!". I thought he was joking, so I replied with positive "yes, let's go!". Then I realise that he was not joking actually, he was serious to visit Kuakata that day. So we decided to visit Kuakata on that Friday. That was the starting of the tour!
Kuakata is a beach town known for its panoramic sea beach. It is in southeastern part of Bangladesh and is the remarkable tourist spot in the country. Kuakata beach is a sandy expanse 18 kilometres long and 3 kilometres wide. From the beach one can have an unobstructed view of both sunrise and sunset over the Bay of Bengal. So this beach famous specially for seeing the sunrise and sunset. Additionally, eating fresh sea fishes with cheaper price is also an attracting of all sea beaches of Bangladesh.
Dhaka to Kuakata
We bought our bus ticket through online for the bus Sakura that go directly from Gabtoli, Dhaka to Kuakata. As far as I remember, the departure time was 11:00 PM. So, me and my tallest colleague(Md. Shahadat Hossain) reached the bus counter before 11:00 PM. Surprisingly, the bus left Gabtoli bus stop in accurate time! During the journey the bus will pass through few ferries(A special kind of boat that carry buses from one side of river to another side). This was also a new experience for me as I had not seen any such thing before. So, we reached Kuakata at nearly 10:00 AM next day.
Hotel Checking in
We did not book any hotel through online or phone. So, we started looking for a good hotel to stay a night. Hah hah, there were hotel's marketing people in the beach looking for us! We visited few(3 to be exact) options with them but none of those were good enough. We were searching for a decent hotel near to the beach. There was a good-looking hotel may be ran by our government which was a bit expensive that time. Finally, we checked in into "Hotel International Inn" that seemed decent enough to us to stay near the beach. After checking in the hotel we prepared for visiting the beach!
Though we were in the beach we had our first breakfast with a Porota and Vaji. Then we move forward to the beach. Wow! It's very long beach, the sea wave was as big as we have seen in Cox's Bazaar or Saint Martin! At a first glance, both of us said "this beach is under-rated, so big wave and soo long beach!" We started jumping with the wave! By the way, if you wear glass don't take it with you while playing with the waves. I lost mine. We hired a sea bike and then a photographer though we had our own camera. We cannot take our own photo, right? Here is another tip. Every service you hire in beach like commercial area, make sure you talk with them about everything you think important. For example, how far and how long the beach bike will ride you in the sea and what is the charge for it. For photography, how much(usually 3 to 5 BDT) for each photo etc. Another interesting thing I want to share about photography. They will tell you that they will click many photos, but you can choose only the photos you want to take. They will try to click too much photo even if you say them not to. While you choose the photos you want to take you have to discard the photo you don't want in the first go. They won't give you the second chance to discard more photo. So, if you plan that you will choose photos in multiple revision, you might end up paying more than you planned to pay. We had our ride on the sea and few good photos then we went back to hotel and had shower.
Then after taking rest we get out from Hotel to see the sunset! We hired a bike that can carry us till the end of west(Lebur bon) side of the beach. We hired the bike saying that we will stop in several places during the visit. They are actually prepared for it. The stop by themselves in remarkable places and explain about those places. So, your bike driver is your temporary guide. It's good enough for Bangladeshi people but for people out of this country, it's better to hire a professional guide here. So, through our journey seen Lal Kakra(Red Crab), Jhau Bon , Shutki Polli, Jhinuk(Oysters) and finally Tin Nodir Mohona(Bank of 3 river). Basically we cannot go west ahead from here. After spending few moments we came back at the middle point of the west side it's called Lebur bon where there were few fish frying restaurants are available. You can choose fish and negotiate price of them before frying them. We asked for Crabs and Rupchada fish. While eating, we were seeing the sun going under the see. It was a fascinating experience by the way. After sunset, we went back to hotel again to come back after recharging our devices and ourselves.
Night in the Beach
It's different. We went out to the sea beach at night. It's crowded! Live fish fry market, you choose your fish and tell them to prepare the fish BBQ or Fry. Firstly, we bought a Tuna fish and told them to make BBQ for us. The price was way cheaper than Dhaka. From my previous I knew this one fish is enough for two of us. My younger brother(My colleague is also my junior in University) was looking for more fish. So, we ended up buying another similar size Salmon fish and told them to fry it. The taste of the fishes was excellent and fresh, specially we enjoyed the Salmon fish more. As expected, we were unable to finish two fishes, almost half of the fishes was wasted(Felt guilty ). We both are know as a better eater in our office! After having those fantastic fish meal we rested for about an hour in the beach. Aah, that was a good time.
None of us is early riser. So, it was expected that we will miss the sunrise, and we missed it. We woke up at at around 8 o'clock. We hire another bike today to visit the east side the beach. This side is known for sunrise spot. Our this bike rider was a better photographer. It was morning, and the air was fresh. We enjoyed it a lot. Luckly we met guest bird in during the see, it was quite a view. We missed capturing it! We visited few nice places that are not much relevant to beach visiting, so I am not pointing them out.
Journey back by Launch
Ahh, after all those sweet experiences we need to get back to our usual life, capital city Dhaka. Wait, we still have something to do. Our that colleague who asked me about "Gorur gari", he is from Barisal. He always say, you guys have no idea about the Launch of Barisal. He used to say this even after knowing that I had already traveled by Launch. He used to claim that launches I traveled with, and the launches of Barisal are totally different. So, this an opportunity for us. We booked a launch(Surovi-8) ticket through online from Barisal to Dhaka. We reached Barisal in the evening. So, we also get a opportunity to see the Barisal city too. Finally, the Launch of Barisal. It's really exceptional. I never knew about such a thing, such multi-stored big vehicle through the river! Our launch was not the biggest one but it's still big enough. We booked a double cabin that included a TV, two beds! That was an exceptionally great experience. Thanks to the launch of Barisal and my colleague and elder brother Mizbah Ul Ahsan Baharam(Baharam bhai). We reach Dhaka early morning next day.
That was the end of our quick and perfect tour.