Saint Martin is the only coral island in Bangladesh which is an union under Cox’s Bazar’s Teknaf sub-district. This is located across 17 square Kilometres all south in estuary of Naf river. Another name of Saint Martin is also being called ‘Narikel Jinjira’ (Coconut’s island) as you will find plentious coconuts here. Besides being a popular spot to Bangladeshi tourists this small island is also a center of attraction to foreign tourists.With blueish sky and sea together with thousands of coconut trees in the island have created an immense beauty.
According to the researchers, it was included in the main land of Teknaf. But with time, the island has drowned under the water of sea level and later rose as island.
Basically the size of the island is- eight square kilometres and there are strong foundation in three sides which dorwns in tide and rises during ebb tide. With this foundation the total size of the island would be around 10-15 kilometres.
Saint Martin is 5.63 kilometres long and width is somewhere 200 miters and 700 miters wide somewhere. From sea level it’s 3.6 miters high. Geographically we can divide it in three part. The north side’s part is “Uttor para” or known as “Narikel Jinjira”
The south side’s part is “Golachipa” or “Dokkhin Para”
There is another small island of 100-500 miters in size to the south side of the Saint Martin, which is popularly known as “Chheradwip” or Chhera diya. There is no locality here, you can go there during ebb tide but in tide you need to go by boat.
It’s a flat land in nature, and the main ingredient of the island is limestone. In research they see 66 thousands of coral species, 153 spcies of sea algae, 187 species of snail, 240 spcies of sea fish, 157 species of hidden plants, 120 species of birds are here in the island.Sea weeds or Algae is in plenty of numbers here, commonly known as “Pejala” to locals. These are in different species but the red algae is mostly worldwide popular algae. Olive colour sea tortoise finds the island perfect to lay eggs and the island is famous for that as well.
You will find caraway or Keora forest here only. Besides that in south side there are some mangrove trees. Besides that there are coconut trees, Sagorlota, Keya, Bain and trees similar to Sagorlota.
Only around 100 years ago, locality started in the island. The population of the island is around seven thousands. Fishing and surviving by the sea fish, it has become only profession here. Rather than this, selling and collecting coconut and algae also become business for locals. You will find refugee Rohingyas came from Arakan in the island too.
To travel Saint Martin and enjoy to the fullest, you need to have 2-3 days at least. By doing so, you can roam around and experience it with full satisfaction. If you have 2-3 days, you don’t have to rush either.After reaching by ship there, you need to ride van which takes you inside the island.
Then deciding a good hotel, you can have lunch and rest. After that, you can walk to Chheradwip if there is ebb tide that time. Sunset is an amazing view to see from the Chheradwip. Don’t be late after that because it will take few hours to come back. Kust before dusk, you can come to the main beach to have an amazing gathering and sing songs which can bring back memories of old days in such amazing time by beach side. After dinner, camping would be great there because the sea is completely safe. But don’t forget to walk by the sea side at night, it’s the most amusing feeling to have specially at night. During a walk you will notice some bluish stuffs floating on the water, seems like stars are coming from the sky to float there. Some misunderstand it as insects but It’s one kind of microscopic plants. The scientific name of the plant is – Bioluminescent. Luciferase is the chemical ingredient which is responsible for the blue light of this plant which adds an amazing beauty to the nature. Morning is also really beautiful as night. You need to rise early to see the whole island. By cycle you can cover 15 kilometres of the island in 2-3 hours. Don’t miss the both night and day time’s view, otheriwse you will regret it.
How to go
From any corner of the country, if you want to go Saint Martin, just take a bus and come to the sub-district Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar. From Dhaka and Chittagong, there are many bus service which will provide you direct ride to Teknaf. If you don’t want to go direct, then go to Cox’s Bazar and then take a ride to Teknaf. From Cox’s Bazar to Teknaf, situation wise it will take 2-3 hours. After reaching Teknaf, you need to ride on the Saint Martin going ship. Keyari Sindabad, Sundarban, Kutubdia and Eagle ships are available in this route. But speedboat and trawlers are available as well yet the ship is the safest one.
At day time the ships only take one ride once to the island. Every morning at 9-9.30 am they start for Saint Martin. And again come back from the island at 3-3.30 pm. Two to three hours of ride will take you to the island from Teknaf. But these ships don’t operate the whole twelve season of the year. Only November to Marche is the time when they move. This is the perfect timeline to visit Saint Martin which is also winter as sea is much calm during winter time in comparison to other seasons.
As the name is “Narikel Jinjira” the island’s one of the tasty food is coconut of course. Also there are variety of sea fishes to enjoy. These fishes are freshly cooked and really enjoyable. You would find good hotels here, Cumilla restaurant, Beach point, Saint Martin tourists park, Asia Bangla hotel, Sea beach and Euro Bangla hotel are some of them.
Where to stay
As many tourists plan to stay for few days, there are different cottgaes and resorts available to serve them. Besides that you can stay at some local people’s home who welcome tourists cordially.
- Blue Marine Resort: There are double room and room for 5-6 people together to stay
- Shimana Periye: There are tent available to stay besides the room service
- Shomudro Bilash: this is late writer Humayun Ahmed’s house, they have four rooms available only, so you need to book earlier.
- Dream Night Resort : this resort has food with rooms, and the most amazing view of Saint Martin can be seen from this resort.
Contact : 01812-155050
- Don’t throw indigestible stuffs around.
- Don’t make noise so loud that it disturbs others, and don’t turn light at beach
- Be generous and friendly to locals, if you want to take a picture of them please take permission.
- ● Don’t harm any sea-animal while walking beside the beach side.
- ● Before you go swim on the beach, please be aware of both- tide and ebb tide.