Bandarban Hill District is the remotest and least populated district in Bangladesh. The lure of the tallest peaks of Bangladesh, treks through virgin forests and chance to meet more than 15 tribes of the region up close is growing both among Bangladeshis and tourists from other countries. A nearly 52 km² hill-town housing about 32,000 people, of which the majority are Marma. There is a Tribal Cultural Institute here, which features a library and a museum. The town also features Bandarban Town Hospital (offering the best medical service in the district), the District Public Library, Bandarban Government College, the District Stadium, banashri, the solitary movie theatre, the royal cemetery, and, of course, the Royal Palace (two of them since the 11th and 13th royal lines both claim the throne). Apart from the numerous kyangs and mosques, there is a temple dedicated to Kali, the most revered goddess of Hindus is Bangladesh, as well as a centre maintained by ISKON.
There are three ways to get to Bandarban. The easiest is a direct bus ride from Dhaka which takes 6 hours. The few services available are Dolphin at Kalabagan, Unique service, Shyamoli Paribahan at Gabtali, Asad gate, Fakirerpul, Kamlapur, Saydabad and S Alam at Kamalapur. On the high tourist season it is advisable to buy tickets in advance. AC and Non AC both type of bus are available. Generally AC and non AC bus running in this road are Hino 1JAC-40/36 seat capacity so during summer season using AC bus but winter Non AC bus might not be the wrong choice to save money. Non AC unique paribahan is the best in this road. Unique paribahan Gabtali counter 02 9002710 There are a few services available that offer a bus ride from Chittagong which takes 2 hours (the most available is Purbani at Bahaddarhaat).
From Cox's Bazar, it is a 3-hour busride (the most available is Purbani at Laaldighi). Purbani Bus Srvice, Phone:01820412800 (Chittagong), 0361-62508 (Bandarban)
It is possible to get to Bandarban directly from Rangamati by way of Chandraghona, but the perilous route is not advisable at all.
Car rented from Chittagong, readily available from Bangladesh Enterprise (phone: +880 (0) 31 670512) at Chandgao, Al-Amin Enterprise (phone: +880 (0) 31 720600) or Alam Enterprise (phone: +880 (0) 31 714566) at Hazi Para in Agrabad, Bismilla Fashion (phone: +880 (0) 31 612749) at Reazuddin Bazar or Samara Fashions (phone: +880 (0) 31 615925) at Azimir Super Market at Monim Road, would take anyone to Bandarban. Though it is possible to rent a car at Dhaka to go all the way to Bandarban, it is not advisable in any way. Plainland drivers are generally lousy in the hills and they don't know the locality at all. It would be prudent to hire a driver who comes from Bandarban. Road mirror are there beside the sharp curve which driver need to look before crossing the curve.
Jeeps, Land Rovers and Land Cruisers are available in Bandarban Jeep station, under the Bandarban Jeep-Microbus Owners Association. They will say all the fares are fixed on the basis of route, but you will find lot of scope to bargain. Autos (locally called CNG) are also available, but they are not very safe.
Before renting any Jeeps, check whether they have spare wheels or not. On sunny days, tyre punctures are very common due to high road temperatures.
Some local Jeep drivers' cell numbers are: +8801860300418 (Mr. Jashim), +880184149091 (Mr. Kalam), +8801817721077 (Mr. Pintu, very clever but honest). All of these drivers are honest and caring.
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- Neelachal Parzatan Complex
- Boga lake