Don't let it dampen your spirit if the weather app forecasts 'a heavy rain tomorrow' or 'mostly cloudy'. The traveller in you must not start unpacking while cursing the rain. Welcome it instead. Shrug off the lethargy and plan a trip this monsoon. And hence we present you, monsoon travel destinations in Bangladesh you must visit during monsoon.
A FOREST LIKE NO OTHER
Ratargul in Sylhet is the only swamp forest in Bangladesh. With trees submerged in water, one needs to go 'hiking' through Ratargul by a boat. During monsoon, when the water level is much higher than the rest of the year, the place reaches new heights of beauty. Ratargul is an alien world you just waiting for you to fall in love with.
From the city of Sylhet, you have to go to Motorghat, from where you have to hire a boat to visit Ratargul.
FOR THE LOVE OF THE GREENS
It is not just Ratargul. There is a plethora of options in and around Sylhet to visit during the season. From fresh tea gardens to roaring waterfalls to mesmerising boat trips — we reckon Sylhet is the place to be. Be it a boat ride at the scenic Lalakhal or a lazy stroll in the tea gardens, Sylhet should be the number one spot in your bucket list of monsoon travel. To go to Lalakhal, one has to reach Sharighat, from where the boat ride can be taken.
AWAY, BUT NOT FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
Jhalakathi and Pirojpur have a number of floating markets. Traders come with their boats to sell guavas, among other fruits, and vegetables. If you want to catch the buzz, you must go there at dawn. The floating market has become a tourist spot these days. Besides the bazaar, you can also take a boat to see the guava orchards.
You can go to Jhalakathi from Dhaka by bus. From there, an approximately 20-minute journey by auto-rickshaw will take you to Bhimruli, from where you should hire a boat or trawler.
Cox's Bazar is not cliché; it's a classic! And although a large number of tourists flock there in winter, monsoon too offers an extraordinary tour—that is when the waves roar in all their rage. As this is off-season, there are chances for you to get discounts and great deals off the hotels. But do make keep tuned for weather forecasts or any warning signals.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
We are not talking about your house in the city where you sleep through the rain. Go to your ancestral home or your farmhouse. Any random village in Bangladesh brightens up during the rainy season. Ponds and canals get overflowed. Trees are off the dust, revealing the true green in all their might. The tin rooftops make shattering noises if there's something a tiny bit more than a drizzle. You can take a boat and explore your village through the canals, get drenched in the rain while swimming in the pond, and relish 'khichuri' cooked on clay stove.
Being a riverine country that is also filled with lush greenery, Bangladesh is where rains ought to inspire travel, not cancel it!
By M H Haider
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed