Treasures outside Dhaka
There are numerous splendid places to visit outside Dhaka that promise soothing, as well as adventurous holidays. Although much work on infrastructure and facilities still lie ahead, the tourism industry in Bangladesh nevertheless has reached a position to offer many luring spots that tease the heart and soul of innumerable vacationers. Sylhet, on the northeast side of the nation and Cox's Bazaar, a district close to Chittagong in the south, the port city of Bangladesh, are two such locations.
Sun, sea and sand…and more
Regarded by many as the tourist capital of Bangladesh, Cox's Bazaar boasts the longest natural beach in the world, an unbroken sandy beach of a staggering one hundred and twenty five kilometres in length. A large number of tourists, both from within the country as well as from abroad, flock to the district every year to savour the magnificent charm of the beach. And businesses have mushroomed to cater to them. No matter what your budget size is, you'll find a wide range of accommodation facilities and restaurants to choose from. Relish yourself in the refreshing sea, or take long walks on the sandy beaches. The awe-inspiring beach will always make you long to visit it again and again.
But the district has more in stock for you than just the beach. For example, if you go eighteen kilometres south of Cox's Bazaar along the beach, you'll be on Himchari, a popular picnic spot. Journeying to the tourist destination is by itself a pleasurable experience: the paved road has the strange beauty of being flanked by the beach and ocean on one side, and hills on the other. Himchari is home to a beautiful waterfall, a national park abundant with various kinds of plants, birds and animals. It is indeed a wonderful treat for your eyes and soul.
Saint Martin's Island is another major attraction of Cox's Bazaar. This tiny island is the only coral island in Bangladesh. Owing to the abundant coconut tress found there, the place is locally known as “Narikel Gingira”, meaning “Coconut Island” in Bengali. Apart from the coconut trees, the dead coral and certain endangered species of turtle make the island extremely special. The island has gained popularity and one can go there by commercial shipping liners. There are a very few number of hotels and restaurants there however. The breathtaking beauty of the island, and its peacefulness, make it a very alluring spot for a vacation.
But Cox's Bazaar has a lot of other attractions as well; Buddhist monasteries, temples, ethnic tribal cultures and mountains are some of them. Therefore, the town offers a very attractive deal and is a must-visit place.
A city of saints, tea and tribes
Sylhet is another city that is filled with a lot of tourist attractions. Jaflong is one of them. After a scenic journey through the lush tea gardens, you arrive at the border between Bangladesh and India. Jaflong is a place where beauty meets surrealism. One of its main attractions is the boat ride on Piayin River. The water is extremely clear and transparent, and at some places you can see it through to the very bottom. However, pollution is gradually deteriorating the river's state. But the peaceful spot on the foot of the hills still succeeds in stealing anyone's fancy.
Jaflong is home to the people belonging to the Khasia tribe. If you visit this place, take a walk through the villages to get a first hand, exclusive experience of their lifestyle and see firsthand their bamboo houses that seem from another time and place. The exploration will also take you to the palace of the Khasia king. It is important to remember though, that they are a proud people, so you have to tread carefully between exploration and intrusion.
Another very famous tourist location in Sylhet is Madhabkunda waterfall. Located in Moulvi Bazaar, the splendid two hundred feet cascade prides itself in being the largest waterfall in Bangladesh, complete with large boulders, black stones and lush green trees. Thus, the place is a hot spot for picnics and outings. The soothing yet thrilling splashing sound and a bath in the pond that was naturally created by the waterfall is an experience a tourist visiting Sylhet must not miss.
Lawachara National Park, also located in Moulvi Bazaar, is yet another tourist attraction in Sylhet. The national park gives sanctuary to many reptiles, amphibians and many other different varieties of species - many of them endangered. The park is a haven for nature lovers. For the ease of the visitors, man-made trails are paved for them to walk on whilst exploring the beauty. There are chiefly three trails you can walk on, with each of them differing in length (and thus the duration of the walk), the variety of wildlife, vegetation, etc.
Other tourist destinations in Sylhet include Sripur, Habiganj, Golapganj Botanical Gardens, etc. Considering the potential of the tourism industry in the city, some good hotels have been built, such as Hotel Rose View and Hotel Garden's Inn. A few of them are quite impressive, but you might still feel the number and variety of accommodation places are still narrow.
Sylhet was the land of many saints, including Hazrat Shah Jalal and Hazrat Shah Paran. The city, therefore, treasures several shrines and a large number of people flock to this part of the country to pay their respects.
Another reason to visit Sylhet is the numerous tea gardens; you will inevitably come across some of them. Sylhet is one of the largest tea producers in the world, and the tea gardens surely make the place exotic and extraordinary.
Bangladesh is a small country, but a beautiful one indeed. There are many tourist operators and guides these days. So get in touch with one and book a tour. The lush greenery, strong waves and awe-inspiring scenes are calling.
By M H Haider
Every second counts. If you are not prepared and don't know what to do in a medical emergency, you might regret it for the rest of your life. So make sure you and your family members know what to do when a sudden health disaster strikes.
Check your approach
It is normal for you to feel despair and restlessness if one of your loved ones falls into a life-threatening medical condition. But this attitude will not help him or her at all. Be unruffled and cool, because you will need strong nerves to make some quick, important decisions.
If an accident occurs in a public place, make sure the patient is not surrounded by a crowd, as it will result in suffocation for the patient and heave up panic and stupefaction for the helpers. Also, never move the patient, unless absolutely necessary.
Calling an ambulance is the most obvious thing to do. But do you have an ambulance helpline right now? After reading this write-up, get up and note down an emergency service number. If you don't do it now and keep postponing it, you'll end up never doing it at all. To be on the safer side, it is better to have more than one helpline, of more than one medical service provider. Make sure you save the contact information on your mobile and also have it written somewhere at home.
There are several drugstores open 24/7. Of course, names will vary depending on your locality, but make sure you know of a drugstore near your house that you are sure remains open day and night, just in case you need any vital medicine. If you stay alone, ask for the phone number of the manager or the salesperson of the store, so that if you need a medicine urgently but cannot go outdoors, they might come in handy.
Emergency numbers: Square Hospital: 8144466, 8144477, 8144488; Apollo Hospital: 01714090000; United Hospital: 8836000-10(8066)
By M H Haider
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Valentine Spa Retreat @ Westin
From 10th February to 17th February 2011, the Westin signature Spa will offer a delectable menu of spa treatments with a special discount. They offer a warm, romantic couple's massage with a duration of sixty minutes at the special discounted price of Tk.10120 for a couple (where the regular price is Tk. 17710). Decadent manicures and pedicures of sixty minute sessions are offered at the special discounted price of Tk.2400 for a couple (where the regular price is Tk.4800).
For your Valentine, Westin offers an Instant Gift Certificate on Valentine's Day. They put together a selection of their popular treatments designed to create a personalised spa experience to meet customers' specific needs.
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Nogordola Model Hunt 2011: Result of 1st part of 1st round
To discover the talented faces of Bangladesh, Nogordola has launched Model Hunt 2011 recently. “You can also be a Boisakhi model of Nogordola”, states the slogan of the event which started on 18th January 2011. The last date of submission of portfolios is 18th February 2011. The committee has divided the first round into two parts. On 3rd February the first of the two parts was held with 40 contenders amongst the applicants who applied till 5th February. The seven jury board members of Dhaka Ahsania Mission Auditorium; Shiekh Saifur Rahman (Executive Editor, Canvas), Mehrin (Singer), Saheen Ahmed (Proprietor, Anjans), Kamol Sarkar (Senior Producer, RTV), Irine (Model), Onni (Model), Md. Ali Afzal (COO, Nogordola) selected fifteen probable contenders. These 15 candidates will go through Grooming Sessions and professional photo shoots and be prepared for the 2nd round. Among the 847 applicants, the flourishing 15 candidates are Munia, Tarin, Riba, Abanti, Keya, Saba, Swad, Rabita, Tina, Ishrat Payel, Ishrat, Sumaiya, Avelia, Nowrin and Snigdha. RTV is associated with Nogordola as the media partner of the event.
- LS Desk
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