Cox Bazar
Bangladesh, exploring the second longest sandy beach in the world
Written by Faz Ali
On 28 May 2024

Faisal Ali shares his trip to Bangladesh.

Even though everyone displayed scepticism when hearing the news of my travel plans to Bangladesh, a country deemed controversial for its “unsafe” territory, I ignored the advice from friends and family, rooted in governmental contraindication and misconceptions, and chose to explore this fascinating Asian destination, renowned for its beautiful landscape.

I specifically chose Cox’s Bazar, famous for having the second largest sandy beech globally, stretching over an incredible 75 miles of untouched golden shores and clear water teeming with diverse marine life.

Cox Bazar beach

When I arrived, I experienced the incredible hospitality of the locals, who warmly welcomed me into their homes and shared their life stories with me without hesitation.  

Aided by a shared dialect, I observed and understood first-hand the deep bond the people have with the sea and how their lives are intertwined with the water.

Sustainability represents a key aspect to their connection, especially in relation to fishing.

Each morning, vibrant boasts set off from the sandy shores, heading towards the open sea in search of a good catch to support their way of life.

This tradition, passed down through generations, serves as the foundation of their community and a unifying link among the locals.

Upon heeding the advice of the locals, I embarked on a solo journey on foot to explore the area, making my way to its highest vantage points to behold the stunning landscape that makes this destination truly unique.

The perfect fusion of picturesque beauty and rugged, unspoiled wilderness unfolded before me as I trekked under the scorching midday sun.

Along the way, I chanced upon towering cliffs that offered panoramic views of the vast beach and the bay bellow.

Captivated by its beauty, I decided to linger and witness the sunset, awaiting a truly spectacular show. The sky transformed into a canvas of fiery colours, casting a magical light over the serene waters and pristine sands, creating a truly unforgettable moment.

Sunset Cox Bazar Beach

On my way back to my host, I found myself encouraged to visit some of the local restaurants in the area.

Whilst I was aware of the warm hospitality and welcoming nature of the locals of Cox’s Bazar, I was further impressed by the genuine smiles and open arms that greeted me at every turn.

Each local I encountered during this evening stroll extended invitations to try traditional Bangladeshi cuisine, to get an accurate account into their way of life.

Indulged with fresh seafood, coconut-infused curries and savoury pastries filled with aromatic spices, the destination proved a promising culinary journey full of flavours for those eager to delve into the local gastronomy specific to this Asian area.

Despite the breathtaking beauty and serenity I have encountered in this area, it was disheartening to see the challenges stemming from limited financial resources.

Whilst Cox’s Bazar possesses immense potential, its tourism industry remains underdeveloped, failing to leave a substantial impact on the region.

Nevertheless, I found a silver lining in the lack of commercialisation, as it has helped maintain the area’s authentic allure, offering visitors a glimpse into a simpler way of life.

Sunset Cox Bazar Beach

As I bid farewell to this promising and charming corner, I carry with me the hope that this hidden gem will have the opportunity to realise its full touristic potential and become a unique destination for those seeking a genuine connection with nature.

I also aspire for the improvement of the local’s standard of living while ensuring the preservation of their way of life.

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