Sonadia Island (সোনাদিয়া দ্বীপ) of Maheshkhali (মহেশখালি) Upazila of Cox’s Bazar (কক্সবাজার) with an area of 9 square kilometers is an ideal place for camping. A canal separates the Island from Maheshkhali. There are beaches on 3 sides of this island, wetlands full of biodiversity, parabons (প্যারাবন) with small and big canals, sandbars covered with sea creepers, and various species of waterfowl. This small island was inhabited only 100 to 125 years ago. Thousands of tourists flock to Sonadia Island every year to see the wonderful combination of biodiversity.
How to get to Sonadia Island
To go to Sonadia Island, you have to come to Cox’s Bazar by choice of vehicle from anywhere in the country. From Cox’s Bazar Kasturi Ghat (কস্তুরী ঘাট) or No. 6 Jetty Ghat, you can get a speedboat to go to Maheshkhali by speedboat. It will take 20-25 minutes to reach Maheshkhali. From there you have to go to Gorakghata (গোরকঘাটা) Bazaar by rickshaw, and from there you have to go to Ghatibhanga (ঘটিভাঙ্গা). From Gorakghata to Ghatibhanga, a distance of 24 km on CNG.
To reach Sonadia Island, you have to take an engine-powered boat from Ghativhanga. Sonadia Island is only after crossing the Sonadia Channel by boat from Ghatibhanga. Only one trawler leaves from West Sonadia to Ghatibhanga every day during high tide. And this trawler picks up the passengers and returns again after a while.
Please note that there is only one boat per day from Ghatibhanga to Sonadia Paschim Para (পশ্চিম পাড়া) and it operates depending on the time of tide. But this time is around 10 am or so.
From Ghativhanga, you can walk to the eastern part of the island. But it is a bit difficult, and the Eastern part does not yet have accommodation for tourists, so it is better to travel through the western area. You can go to Sonadia Island by reserving a speedboat directly from Cox’s Bazar. But for that, you have to pay extra money than the actual rent.
Stay and eat
Sonadia Island has no accommodation facilities for tourists. Tourists rely on the locals for food while staying on this island. In exchange for money, residents provide food on the island. Also, you can spend the night in the forest department office. But for this, you will need permission from the authorities.
If you think you will leave the island in one day or don’t spend the night, you will miss some of the beautiful moments in the morning. Nature here decorates the sunrise and sunset with genuine love that you will not find anywhere else in Bangladesh. So it is best to take at least two days to explore the sights of Sonadia Island and Maheshkhali Island.
It is good to remember that the western part of Sonadia Island is safe for sightseeing and camping. And avoid the eastern side of the island to avoid unwanted trouble. Take the help of local people if necessary.
For Google Map Location of Sonadia Island, click here.
Read about the architectural beauty of Bangladesh, Shashi Lodge, click here.