Nestled deep in the tranquil waters of the Bay of Bengal, Sonadia Island had always held a special place on my travel bucket list. Its allure only intensified when the government imposed restrictions on tourism due to unfortunate events.
My first attempt to reach this enchanting island was met with disappointment as the tourist police denied us entry, forcing us to return to Cox’s Bazar city. Undeterred, I teamed up with a group of adventurous souls who were equally determined to explore this hidden paradise. Our second attempt was a daring one, catching the coastal police off guard as we embarked on our journey.
However, as fate would have it, our adventure was far from smooth sailing. Allow me to recount the tale. I rendezvoused with my fellow explorers in Cox’s Bazar. Nearly a week prior, we had successfully persuaded a local boatman to ferry us to Sonadia Island via the mesmerizing Moheshkhali channel. We set sail after a hearty lunch to avoid crossing paths with the naval patrols. As the sun dipped below the horizon, we found ourselves stranded in a low-tide zone notorious for pirate activity. Yet, luck favored us, and we safely reached the island under the cover of night, unscathed.
Our first order of business upon arrival was to set up camp and kindle a warm fire. The welcoming locals of Sonadia Island graciously assisted us in preparing dinner. Given the island’s relative obscurity, we were among the few tourists present, which added to the sense of adventure.
Notably, Sonadia Island is a significant salt producer in Bangladesh. The following morning, we awoke early to explore the island’s captivating sights. We marveled at the salt fields where local inhabitants toiled diligently, producing this precious commodity. Additionally, we stumbled upon thriving watermelon patches and indulged in their sweet, juicy fruit right from the fields.
Wary of the tides, we decided not to take any chances and planned to return to the mainland, Cox’s Bazar, earlier than before. After preparing a delicious lunch, we boarded our boat. Our journey back was marked by a unique dining experience onboard as we savored our meal against the backdrop of the serene Bay of Bengal.
In retrospect, finally setting foot on the pristine shores of Sonadia Island was a remarkable experience. These days, the region enjoys a peaceful atmosphere, and I’ve heard that the coast guards now permit tourists to visit. If you’re planning a trip to Cox’s Bazar, home to the world’s largest sea beach, consider allocating a day or two to explore the hidden gem that is Sonadia Island — a place that promises adventure, tranquility, and the wonders of untouched beauty.