Country Roads Home: 5 Most Scenic Roads in Bangladesh


#Travel

Talking about the beauty of the country is no small feat, but we still tried to start somewhere and our easiest bet was the roads that evoke a sense of beauty among those who like to call themselves travellers. There is no end to discussing the beauty of the country and that’s probably why the quote – “it (Bengal) has a hundred open doors for entry, but not one for departure”.

Here is a list of 5 essential routes for the explorer at heart.

Cox’s Bazar to Teknaf via Inani Beach – The Marine Drive

With verdant hills (Himchari) on one side and the roaring sea on the other, it is a unique 80km ride that should not be missed while alive. The experience is increased tenfold at least, a moonlit night with the breathtaking beauty of the sparkling sands of the largest uninterrupted sea beach in the world.

To get more out of the experience, one can stop anytime in between and let their hair flutter with the wind. There are quite a few restaurants on Marine Drive that can be taken as a pit stop to refuel the body with delicious seafood. The gourmet affair is a completely different take that requires a separate page in its own right. Simply put, you have to try local food to create a real connection with the environment.

A final point to conclude could be that the roads are well maintained and safe, so any type of trip, solo or with the extended family, is recommended. Although the experiences may be different, they will be fulfilling at all times.

Bandarban Sadar to Thanchi via Nilgiri

For the young at heart and those with an ardent love of the mountains, this journey (approximately 74 km long) will be both engaging and refreshing. The ride is best experienced on a slightly larger four-wheel drive, perhaps a Jeep or Land Cruiser. There are many local public vehicles available aka Chander Gari to make the journey but if privacy is required then something first is suggested. The driver must be experienced and acclimatized to the environment.

The experience is thrilling, with roads winding through the verdant magnificence. There is green on all sides of the mountains and the vastness of the dimension will make you respect nature again. On the way to the mountains there is also the added experience of seeing local villages completely untouched by the urban environment.

This mountain drive from Bandarban town can be driven to many peaks including Sairu, Nilgiri etc. But here we are discussing the Thanchi as it is the highest elevation in the whole country at almost 3500 feet above sea level. The Nilgiri peaks are equally captivating, with clouds forming underneath like cotton candy.

Travel by road is usually limited during the rainy season, but if one is lucky one can see waterfalls on the way through the lush greenery. Thanchi is accessible via the Sangu River during the monsoon season, but that’s a whole other story to decipher.

The final point to make here would be: there is one school of thought that follows the belief that grief and lost thoughts can be buried deep in the ocean and there is another that makes the same assumption with mountains. Having been an avid traveler and aficionado of both natural wonders, I have come to believe that both are true. Because once you’re tucked away in some corner of the magnificence that is the mountains, there’s not a single disturbing thought in the world that can take hold of you or the moment.

From Srimangal to Bhanugacha, the tea capital of Bangladesh

There is a reason why Sylhet, especially Srimangal, is called “the land of two leaves and a bud”. Because everywhere in this region are tea plantations and lush greenery brimming with the captivating scent of new budding tea leaves.

It is a sight worth seeing and if it means you can drive on a long stretch of road, almost 18 km long, next to a heritage park (Lawachara National Park), of a five-star resort (the Grand Sultan Resort) and discovering offers like 7-color tea by the locals, there’s no way to stop doing the road-trip and mark it as the one of the most attractive.

One of the few highlights of the trip would be taking candid photos next to the locals as they work, picking the perfect leaves to be processed later in the factories.

It is a journey that must be experienced firsthand, due to the rare knowledge it provides. The tea gardens are almost like a cool green carpet thrown over the hills – perfect, neat and captivating.

Mithamain to Austagram Road – The Magnificence of the Haors

The 48 km long road was inaugurated in the midst of the pandemic in 2020. This adversity, however, did not prevent travelers from doing the road-trip that connects three upazilas to Kishoreganj, namely Ashtagram-Mithamain-Itna on a stretch .

The newly constructed road crosses the vibrant waters of the Nikli Haor. During the monsoon season, there are waves and boats sailing on both sides of the road. And during the drier seasons (October to April), lush vegetation surrounds the roads as far as the eye can see.

Every day the sky is a brilliant blue, covered with sparse tufts of white clouds. On a clear, starry moonlit night, shooting stars command attention and demand that the lonely bard’s passionate tunes be heard. (Kishoreganj area is famous for heritage music, like folk songs, kirtan, pala gaan, etc.)

There are basically two ways to enjoy the captivating beauty of the Nikli Haor, one is to take a boat ride, the other is to pass by on the Mithamain-Itna road. Whichever route you decide to take, the scenic twilight is the same. The horizons turn red like the great hibiscus.

Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga Highway — The Manifestation of the Future

The 55 km long Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga highway is the only national highway and the first international standard highway in the country. Its six lanes have two service roads and connect to two different sides of the mighty Padma (Jatrabari intersection at Mawa-35km) and (Panchar at Bhanga-20km) after the Padma Bridge is completed.

The roads are huge, clean and barely a two-hour drive from the capital. The journey is scenic both in the scorching sun or the pouring rain. The experience is different in each, however, and travel enthusiasts are encouraged to familiarize themselves with both.

There are restaurants at the foot of the Padma Bridge, overflowing with fried and aromatic Hilsa treats. A boat trip is offered under the bridge to discover the massiveness of the construction.

A long day drive to the place is a must for those who want to experience the progress of the nation and also spend time on the crest of the mighty Padma to enjoy its unruly waves and bustle of the local community.

All in all, Bangladesh is one of the most scenic countries in the world, it caters to all types of demands of travel enthusiasts. from pristine beaches to lush green mountains, from welcoming country roads to the most modern highways.

And yes, roads are the easiest way to get closer to our “dream country” – Bangladesh.

Photo: Sazzad Ibn Sayed

Model: Abdullah Al Mahfuz

Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha

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