Chittagong

Chittagong is one of the largest ports on the Bay of Bengal

Chittagong is the main international seaport and second largest city in Bangladesh. Located on the Bay of Bengal, the city is the headquarters of many Bangladeshi companies, including the Chittagong Stock Exchange. According to the British Telegraph, Chittagong is one of the ten fastest growing cities in the world.

Understand

Central Railway Building
Zia Memorial Museum

Chittagong is one of the great port cities of Asia. It flourished on the Maritime Silk Road and was the eastern terminus of the Grand Trunk Road. It was visited by famous medieval explorers like the Venetians Niccolo de Conti and Caeser Frederick; the Arab traveler Ibn Battuta; and the Chinese admiral Zheng He. The Portuguese, Mughals and British controlled the port in successive periods until the 20th century. It became a major financial center and the largest port in modern-day Bangladesh after the Partition of British India.

Today, Chittagong is a fairly large metropolitan area with a population of about 6.5 million. As in Dhaka, its streets are filled with masses of rickshaws. Rolling hills and greenery dot the landscape. The Karnaphuli River is a burgeoning hub of shipping. Chittagong puts in a little more effort than other Bangladeshi cities to keep its streets and sidewalks clean. The city's residents are called Chittagonians. Foreigners will notice a distinct increase in nuisance from beggars in certain intersections, like the Central Railway Station. Beggars come from different parts of Bangladesh. This is due to the fact that Chittagonians are more prone to charity than other parts of the country.

The old quarter of the city is home to several historic mosques and Sufi shrines. The Anderkilla Imperial Jame Mosque was built by the Mughals after they conquered Chittagong in 1666. It once formed part of a large hilltop fort. The Sufi Shrine of Bayazid Bostami has a pond full of turtles. The former Portuguese settlement is located in Patherghatta. It is home to the descendants of Portuguese traders, who are known locally as Firingis. The area has several churches, including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chittagong. Chittagong is also the seat of the Bengali Buddhist priesthood.

The busiest parts of the city are Station Road, Strand Road, GEC Circle and O. R. Nizam Road. The affluent neighborhoods of Khulshi and Nasirabad are home to the city's middle and upper classes. Chittagong has many influential business families.

The city is home to prominent gentlemen's clubs, restaurants and golf courses.

The Chittagonian enthusiasm for inviting people to massive feasts is a bit of legend both locally and elsewhere. Known as mezbani these feasts feature a tremendously hot curry, usually of beef. If you're not used to it, approach with caution. You might also be able to find some of the world's best lobsters here, as Chittagong is the center of the Bangladeshi seafood industry.

Climate

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 27 29 32 33 33 32 31 31 32 32 30 27
Nightly lows (°C) 15 17 21 25 26 27 27 26 26 25 20 16
Precipitation (mm) 5 28 64 150 264 611 774 564 320 218 66 15

The weather is tropical - hot and very humid during the summer monsoon season (April-September) and drier and cooler in the winter (October-March).

Get in

By air

Chittagong International Airport

Shah Amanat International Airport is Bangladesh's second busiest airport. It has flights from Kolkata, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Bangkok, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Kuwait. Domestic services include several daily flights with Dhaka.

By train

Trains run to Dhaka, Sylhet, Mymensingh 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.

Chittagong is the eastern terminus of the Grand Trunk Road, a historic highway that runs through parts of four countries Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan all the way to Kabul at the western end.

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

Commonwealth War Cemetery
The Mughal era Chandanpura Mosque
Foy's Lake
Holy Rosary Church, also known as the Portuguese Church

Nearby

Do

Patenga Beach

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 diarrhea.

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'.

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 (more than Tk550 for a large can of Heineken).

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 (during December?). It maintains a small bar serving local drinks.

Here you can buy Bangladeshi local branded (KARREW AND CO, Darshona) alcohol(Vodka,Ram,Malted,Whiskey,Gen) from licensed ware houses situated in Shadar ghat (Kazi & co.), BRTC, near railway station (Foreign Liqueur)and from Dewan Hat.

If you want to go Bar, then you can go Hotel Shahjahan at Shadarghat, it is well furnished bar and here also a BAR at BRTC bus stand adjacent to foreign liqueur shop.

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

Connect

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

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, December 22, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.