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Chittagong

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Chittagong is the capital of Chittagong Division in south-eastern Bangladesh.

Understand

Chittagong is a fairly big, spread out town, and the largest international seaport in the country. Like Dhaka the streets are filled with masses of rickshaws, though the city puts in a little more effort to keep its streets and sidewalks clean. Foreigners will notice a distinct increase in nuisance from beggars in certain intersections, for example, New Market Circle and the central Railway Station. Majority of the beggars are from other parts of the country such as Greater Mymensingh Region and Greater Noakhali area. This is due to the fact that Chittagonian people are more prone to charity relative to other parts of the country.

The busiest part of town is the area around the train station and Station Road, while things get a little more bearable as you move further north. GEC Circle is the intersection of Zakir Hossain Rd, O. R. Nizam Rd and CDA Avenue, about 3 km north of the train station, and is the center of middle to upper class life with a variety of shady restaurants and shopping.

Chittagong is a conservative place. Local women tend to dress in modest clothing and don't like to shake hands with men. This does not apply to the upper class who are very westernised. Local people aren't offended when foreigners don't comply with the expectations of local people. Foreigners drinking alcohol or foreign women wearing skirts which show their bare legs are going to upset people. If you are going to do that there will be no end to males staring at you.

In the more affluent neighborhoods like Khulshi and Nasirabad local women are more westernised. The parties that let women have fun are mostly indoors, and Chittagong Club or Hotel Agrabad are fairly happening places at that.

The Chittagonian enthusiasm for inviting people to massive feasts is a bit of legend both locally and elsewhere in Bangladesh. Known as mezbani these feasts feature a tremendously hot curry, usually of beef. If you're not used to it, approach with caution.

Get in

By air

Shah Amanat International Airport (ICAO: CGP) is modern and clean and serves as Chittagong's international airport besides domestic services to and from Dhaka and Sylhet. It is the 2nd busiest in Bangladesh. Situated in Patenga, it has international services to destinations such as Kolkata, Sharjah, Muscat, and Kuwait. Formerly known as MA Hannan International Airport, but was renamed on April 2, 2005 by the Government of Bangladesh. Major airlines that serve the airport include Biman Bangladesh Airlines, GMG Airlines, Air Arabia, Kuwait Airways, Oman Air, United Airways (BD), Best Air, and Royal Bengal Airlines.

By train

Trains run to Dhaka, Sylhet and other cities. The main route out of Chittagong runs north to Comilla and Akhaura, from where the routes to Dhaka and Sylhet diverge. The train station is on Station Road just west of Jubilee Rd. Chittagong is a terminal station on the metre gauge eastern section of the Bangladesh Railway. The headquarters of this railway are located here. Train journeys are, in general, cheaper than bus journeys.

By bus

There are 2 spots in the city where the major private companies operate from and have offices - just to the south of GEC Circle on CDA Ave, and on Station Rd near Hotel Golden Inn. Greenline, Silkline and Shohag are the nicest and have frequent services to Dhaka (6 hours) and Cox's Bazar (3 hours). Greenline also offers the only direct bus to Sylhet (Tk 550, 6 hours).

Local buses to Cox's Bazar (Tk 140, 3 hours) run frequently throughout the day from Cinema Palace Bus Station, about 1km north of the Station Rd area.

By boat

Get around

Transport in Chittagong is similar to that of the country's capital Dhaka. There are various bus systems, taxis, and as well as smaller 'Baby' or 'CNG' taxis which are basically tricycle-structured motor vehicles. Also, there are the traditional manual rickshaws which are very common.

See

Hazrat Shah Sufi Amanat Khan (R) (capital R is used to show respect) a very famous saint of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Hazrat Shah Sufi Amanat Khan (R) came from Bihar Sharif, India. At Chittagong he lived in a cottage and accepted service as a pankha wala (hanging fan puller) in the Judge's Court. From the circumstantial evidence it appears that he was a great man of the late 18th century. The family that lives in the compound of Hazrat Shah Amanat Khan's (R) mausoleum and looks after it are Hazrat Shah Sufi Amanat Khan's descendants. They have got in their possession a Persian waqfnama (deed of endowment) of Anwar Khan, the son of Hazrat Shah Sufi Amanat Khan (R).

Hazrat Shah Sufi Amanat Khan (R) lived a very simple life. His daily routine was to attend to his duties in the Court and to engage in prayers. No one knew that he was spiritually endowed nor did he pose to be such. His spiritual greatness was revealed through a Karamat (spiritual power with magical elements recieved from The Almighty Allah) which brought him to the limelight and people came to know that he was a Wali (saint) of the highest rank. When his spiritual attainments became known, he resigned from his job and remained busy with spiritual religious act and meditation. He is ranked among the greatest saints of Chittagong. People visit his mausoleum specially to seek blessings in matters of litigation. Hazrat Shah Sufi Amanat Khan (R) lies buried in a mausoleum to the east of the Laldighi of Chittagong

Nearby

Do

There are a few amusement parks and public parks in Chittagong: Foy's Lake Amusement Park chittagong

Buy

Eat

The people of Chittagong love oily and spicy food. This can be a problem for foreigners and lead to upset stomachs. If you are a foreigner you should consider sticking with better restaurants and eating in large hotels. Never eat green salad which comes with your meal as you will not know if it has been washed in sanitized water. Just a handful of restaurants in town use sanitized water to wash salad and this is a recipe for explosive diarrhoea.

One oddity in Bangladesh is that restaurants advertise themselves as, for example, "Zaman Hotel and Restaurant" but do not operate a hotel. Where you eat at one of these establishments you can tease them by demanding a room. NB: one room stores also have signboards advertising themselves as 'Department stores'.

KFC, 5, CDA Avenue, Ispahani Moar, Dampara, Chittagong.Ph: 031-622879, 031-622892. The International fast food chain KFC has recently opened it's first outlet in Chittagong promising to serve high quality fast food in a popular array of complete meals to enrich the consumer’s everyday life.

Drink

Alcoholic beverages are available at five-star hotels in Bangladesh as well as a number of private clubs. Four hotels in Chittagong have bar license; the Agrabad hotel, the Silmoon hotel, The Saint Martin hotel and the Peninsula hotel. While all the hotels are expensive for drinks the Peninsula is the most expensive by far.

There are three private clubs in Chittagong. The premiere club is the Chittagong Club which is located at number one Empress Road. The Chittagong club has a bar license and serves foreign alcohol in addition to local gin, vodka and whisky. Chittagong Club membership is closed but foreigners can apply for "temporary membership" for up to two years.

The Chittagong Institute is a far smaller club but it does maintain a bar. It is located in Jamal Khan road.

The Catholic club opens membership to all persons for a small fee but membership applications are only accepted once a year (I think during December). It maintains a small bar serving local drinks.

It is possible to buy alcoholic beverages, ranging from local brews to smuggled beer and counterfeit brand alcohol. Local booze is available legally at government licensed shops. There is one in Agrabad on Sheik Mujib Rahman road. It is tucked into an alley way a short distance from the first floor "Siemens" showroom. Counterfeit branded alcohol is available from illegal traders in Kulshie and other area. Deaths have been reported from consumption of adulterated liquor. Headaches and illness are more common. Smuggled booze is sometimes available from the sea beach.

Readers should note that the 'Expats Inn' has closed it's doors. So no more pub nights!

Sleep

Budget

Mid range

Splurge

Contact

Internet Cafes can be found around the intersection of Station Rd and Jubilee Rd and around GEC Circle.

Get out

Related Information



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