Saint Martin’s island is the wonder of the Bay of Bengal. The most attractive tiny island is the one and only coral island of Bangladesh. This beautiful coral island is the extension of the Teknaf peninsula is separated by seawater. Silver beach fringed with coconut trees and surrounded by unfathomable sea around it makes Saint Martin’s island the most desired tourist destination among all kinds of travelers. The island is also known as Narikel Jinjira (island of coconuts) in the native language. Somebody also referred to it’s as “Daruchini Dwip” which means Cinnamon Island.
It’s also a very popular honeymoon place for newlywed Bangladeshis. If you plan to visit the best natural landmarks of Bangladesh then you are highly recommended to visit Cox’s Bazar and marine paradise Saint Martin’s Island. The island was restricted to residents of Bangladesh till 2004. But after that, it is opened for all residents or non-resident of Bangladesh.
The island is completely free from artificial activities. Even there is no electricity on the island. Some of the hotels are runs generator for few hours. No motorized vehicles. Completely natural packages feel one the best time in one’s life. There is an adjacent piece of the island called “Chera Dwip”. Serene Environment, the roar of the sea, crystal clear water, fresh seafood, green coconuts, splendid corals, beach activities, friendly inhabitants and many more make it worthy to visit Saint Martin.
Location and Map of Saint Martin’s Island:
Saint Martin’s island, a small island of 8 square kilometers is the southernmost part of Bangladesh. It is located in the Chittagong division. Once it was the portion of Teknaf peninsula. By the revolution of time, it was separated by the sea. Now it is located 9 km away from Teknaf disconnected from the mainland and 8 km west from the Myanmar coast. In simple on the river mouth of Naf River. Approximately 5000-6000 peoples living here.
Best Time to Visit Saint Martin’s Island:
Depending on the best weather conditions from November to February is the main time to visit Saint Martin’s island. During this period it is winter on the island and the sea remains calmer than at other times. As it is a peak season, crowds are high. One can also visit in the offseason from March to July. But it will be risky. It is noted that always keep the update of the weather forecast before travel to Saint Martin’s island. In monsoon cyclone frequently strikes on the island. A notable incident is the cyclone of 1991. It causes extreme damage to the island. However, now it is totally recovered.
Get in Saint Martin’s Island:
Getting to St Martin island is the only way are naval transportations. Boats, Ships, Ferries are the only transport to reach from Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf. Usually, the cruises are leaving the terminal (ghat) at 09:30 am daily and return at 3:00 pm. It takes 2 or fewer hours to reach the island. Renowned ships and boats that run the route of Teknaf are Keari Sindabad, Shahid Sher Niabat, Eagle, Keary Cruise and Din, Lct Kutubdia etc. One can purchase return tickets in advance. One can be book a ticket in advance from Dhaka, Chittagong, or Cox’s Bazar. The fare comes to around 500-2500 per person for a round trip. The spectacular view of the hills of Teknaf on one side and the scenic view of Myanmar on the other make a pleasant cruise journey.
As you know, there is no other option to reach Saint Martin except water transport. But you need help with other vehicles when you are planning to visit St Martin from Dhaka or other places in Bangladesh. At first, you need to come to Teknaf, the last extension of the mainland. From Dhaka, one can get several buses from Fakirapool, Mohakhali, or Gabtoli Bus stand. The majority of buses depart at night. It takes a journey of 10-12 hours. The fare starts at BDT 800- 1000 for non-AC service and 1500-2500 for AC services. From Teknaf take a ship or boat to get to St Martin island.
Like the bus, it also two steps journey. The nearest airport of Teknaf is in Cox’s Bazar airport. The first one needs to land at Cox’s Bazaar airport from Dhaka or Chittagong. There are several inter-country flight services by Biman Bangladesh or private airlines. Notable private services are United Airlines, Regent Airlines. The cost per person about 3000-5000 BDT. From Cox’s Bazaar, one can reach Teknaf by bus, rental cars or by mid-level vehicles. The fare of buses about 60-100 BDT whether the rental cars are 200 and above. The best way to a budget and comfortable journey make a group rental of mid-level vehicles to reach Teknaf.
Things to do at Saint Martin’s Island:
Saint Martin, the tiny marine heaven is a complete package of entertainment. Every inch and every moment is enjoyable. It is hard to separate what are the best things to do here. By the way, here we are trying to mention some notable things to do when you are on Saint Martin’s Island.
Walk around the Island’s Beach:
The small paradise is only 8 square kilometers but at the time of high tide, it compressed in only 5 square kilometers. So it is easily coverable on foot. Walking around the island’s sandy beach through green coconut trees releases one’s bore of hectic daily routine. While walking you will meet the basic restaurants, hotels, T-junction and hospitals.
Explore Chera Dwip:
‘Chera’ is a native word. Literally, it means cutoff. The adjacent tiny island of Saint Martin’s gets separated from the mainland during the high tide. That’s why it is called Chera Dwip or Chera Island. At the low tide, it is reachable on foot. But when high tide needs transport to reach Chera Dwip. Normal boats, motorized boats, speedboats are always run. To visit start at morning and back within the afternoon.
The small portion of Saint Martin’s Island is fully made of beautiful corals. This desolate area has some greenery portions. There is nothing more but for some temporary shops for seafood and coconuts .
Enjoy Sunset at Coral Beach:
On the northwest corner of the island, there is a rocky peninsula. This point is a very popular spot for sunset views. Unfortunately, it exists only low tide. Enjoy the beauty of the reddish sun fall on the clear blue water with your best mates.
Sea Turtle Conservation Project (STURCNET):
One of the best and knowledgeable things in Saint Martin’s is Sea Turtle Conservation Project. It is a project of hatching turtle eggs and conservation of Olive Ridley turtles. It is operated by Marinelife Alliance. Previously the project name was Sea Turtle Conservation Network (STURCNET). The project run at Konapara village and Shilbaniar gula. If you are in the right season take a worthful visit.
Memories with Locals:
The village life and activities are very simple here. Fishing is the most common scenario. Some women are Childs are busy drying fish and algae. Enjoy your leisure to see their activities and gossips. They are very friendly. So make your best memory with the villagers of the islands.
In Saint Martin’s Island, you also enjoy scuba diving and other beach activities. It will be cost BDT 2000/- for diving. 500/- for snorkeling. For beginners should be careful about safety when dive.
Shopping in Saint Martin’s Island:
When you are on Saint Martin’s Island you should explore the small place for shopping. Scattered stalls of ornaments, toiletries, cosmetics and seashells are attracting everyone. Fresh sea fish, algae, dried fish and other seafood. These are slightly costly but good in quality. Note that, some poor Chinese and Burmese products are available. Try to avoid this kind of product.
Where to Stay in Saint Martin’s Island:
Basically, a major part of the tourist visits daily basis. They reach early in the morning and back in the afternoon. But it is highly recommended that stay a full night to enjoy the beauty of St Martin. There are several hotels and resorts are build up. Here we mention a few of them.
Best Five Hotels in Saint Martin’s Island:
Best Restaurants in Saint Martin’s Island:
Almost every resort and hotel has restaurant services. Also one can get a kitchen for cook. Like Blue Marine Resort, Appayan at St Martin’s island many more hotels provided restaurant service. Besides this St. Martin Village Restaurant, Narikel Jinjira Restaurant is famous on St Martin’s island.
There is no motorized transport on the island. Some human pulled vehicles like rickshaws are runs. But the best way to getting around is walking on foot. Enjoy the best, roaming every corner of the island. Taste seafood, local foods and drinks coconuts water. If possible spend a full moon night with your love. It will be memorable in your whole life.