Saint Martin Island, the one and only coral island of Bangladesh, has become one of the topmost tourist attractions only because of its splendid view and amazing environment. This island is also known as Narikel Jinjira (an island of coconut) or Daruchini Dwip (an island of cinnamon). Saint Martin is situated on the northeastern part of the Bay of Bengal and on the 9 km south of the Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf peninsula. If you truly want to escape from a busy city life then this isolated island is always ready to calm down your soul with its clear blue water, white beaches, numerous coconut trees, extremely fresh and delicious sea foods and so forth.
Saint Martin Island is famous for its crystal clear sea water. From the amazing crystal clear water, you will able to see the 20 feet deep into the sea. You will find amazing crystal stones, sea crabs, turtle shells and so on. Apparently if you are lucky enough then you can find pearls from the sea beach. This island is so tiny so that you can visit the entire island within a day.
But remember one thing; Saint Martin has a charming beauty at night. So if you want to enjoy the night beauty of this island you must have to stay here overnight. If you want to enjoy crisp sonic sounds of sea wave along with viewing the night sky where millions of stars are twinkling then you must have to lounge on a beach chair at night. This will definitely be a memorable part of your journey. If you can enjoy a moonlit night here, then you must want to stay on this island forever.
What to See at Saint Martin Island
Sunrise and Sunset
You can enjoy both sunrise and sunset view from this island. Seeing the sun rises from the sea and setting in the sea will definitely make your journey memorable.
Sea Turtle Conservation Program Site
On the west side of this island, the research and conservation organization of Marine-life Alliance runs a sea turtle conservation program site. On the breeding season of turtles, this organization makes netted or bamboo surroundings on the upper side of the beach in order to bury to hatch the eggs of turtles safely. This organization actively monitors turtles nestling along the coastline, protecting nestling beaches and female turtles from harmful animals like dogs.
One of the topmost tourist attractions is the rock beach of Saint Martin Island. The southern point of the island has become a little bit rocky due to presence of million years old coral. You can visit this rock beach on foot. You will find migratory birds and some other wildlife like lizards, turtles, and specially, unique sweet water for turtles’ habitat.
You will find an adjoining island with Saint Martin, which is called Chera Dwip. This island is on the downright to the Naf River of Myanmar. The length and width of this tiny island are 6km and 0.5km. If you don’t go to Chera Dwip, you will miss the most enchanting part of Saint Martin. Yes! It’s true. As these two adjoining islands are divided by a low tide, you can go there by boat easily. If you want to breathe in fresh air and enjoy a close connection with nature, you must have to visit Chera Dwip at least once in your lifetime.
What to Do
There are lots of beach activities you can enjoy, such as, scuba diving, walking on the white sandy beach, roaming by boat around the island, exploring coral, experience calm and quite moonlit night and so forth. You can also try out local street food here.
How to Go
There are several ways to get Saint Martin Island. You have to reach at Teknaf to get small ship for continuing to Saint Martin. Both AC and Non-AC bus service are available at Sayedabaad and Fakirapul of Dhaka, which basically go to Teknaf directly. You have to travel overnight and let the bus stuff know that you want to get down at Teknaf Port Jetty from where the ships leave for Saint Martin.
However, if you have less time or you want a relax journey then there is another way to go Teknaf. You can get a flight from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar. You need near about 65 minutes to reach Cox’s Bazar. After reaching there, you can hire a car or micro bus to get to Teknaf port Jetty.
The only way to get Saint Martin is by sea. You have to travel by ships and it will take around 3 hours to reach Saint Martin Island. But you can get speedboat also, which is very speedy. Still it is very unsafe to cross 31km of the deep sea.
Best Time to Visit
Winter is the best time to visit Saint Martin. You can explore the beautiful island between October to February. This time weather remains dry and cool, sea become calm as well. This island is closed between May to August due to frequent storms and rain.
Where to Stay
You will find several resorts here in this island. You will get high quality services in these resorts like good washrooms, calm environment, delicious foods and so forth. Hence, there resorts are a little bit expensive. So if you are in a budget friendly tour, then you can find some modest guest houses near the main road.
You will find countless food items in the restaurants here. Along with Bangladeshi foods, Indian and Chinese foods are also available. Almost every restaurant will provide you good quality foods. You can also enjoy sea foods and local dishes such as, crabs, lobsters, numerous kinds of fishes and many more. If you want to buy your own fish from market, you can! Just provide the fish to restaurant’s chef and he will prepare it for you. It’s amazing to have your dine in front of the endless sea. Yes! This can be possible for you here in Saint Martin. As there are plenty of coconut trees, you will find fresh green coconuts available at cheap price.
There is a small market in which you can find some local products at an affordable price. This market is basically popular for dry fish as these dry fishes are cheaper than that of in Cox’s Bazar.
Some Important Information
- In order to keep the ecosystem sound, avoid yourself from littering the island.
- Keep a reasonable distance from sea turtles and their eggs.
- Try to avoid taking bath in a bathing suit at public places.
- Be careful of sharp rocks while walking on the sandy beach. For safety, you can wear shoes/slippers.
- Carry sun screen lotions and water.
- As there is no electricity, carry torch light, power bank and other necessary items with you.
- Try to take plenty of cash for emergency because you will not get any booth here. Local shops are simply unaware about card payment system here.