Oh that SeaBeach …. 🐚🌞

Cox’s Bazar is beautiful … it’s stunning, it grips you. I guess besides the fact that it’s the “Longest SeaBeach in the World” ..120 Kms of ‘uninterrupted’* stretch of sandy beach, Cox’s unique blend of beach, people, scenes, a laid back local tourist spot, well it’s no where near as busy or pandemonium-like as Dhaka …or Chittagong for that matter… it’s building itself up as a tourist spot (you see many new hotels being built but some construction unfinished, which is quite a norm for here). Anyway, I guess that’s why I guess the charm is different… it’s changing and progressing (albeit slow) but it still very much retains it’s local feel, if that makes sense.

Our favorite thing to do is to go down to the beach (of course) during the evenings, (2 mornings in the whole 2 months we’ve been here… and probably 2 noon times too + one every badly sunburned legs episode*).

The walk to the beach is always interesting and different each day. (see prev posts)

Something about the beach… which cradles the Bay of Bengal. With it’s rickshaws and stalls selling shells and all the trinkets & treats, it’s a great getaway for local tourists, from students on weekend trips with friends, families with their kids on the beach, groups of men on work/business stops and of course, the SeaBeach (local) kids; some beg, some doing whatever little work they can manage, fishermen with their nets, and horses, cows roaming the beach, against a stunning backdrop of Sunsets. It is truly something to watch and enjoy.

The SeaBeach kids have a special place in our hearts (always will). You might ask why SeaBeach not beach or sandy beach… well that’s how the locals call it. Idk if there’s a river beach but yeah SeaBeach it is…

Long lines of lounge chairs and beach umbrellas people laughing, posing (various hilarious poses I might add *must do a blog just with pictures of them posing) – ..jumping, shrieking, watching, groups of local beach cameraman offering to capture the moments for you -at 20taka per print. 👍

The beach is clean… compared to anywhere else in Bangladesh. Quite litter free, well you get the odd bottle and scraps and droppings from the cows and horses roaming the beach. Crab holes, seashells, you get the picture.

Swimming wise, the currents are pretty strong and you’re only allowed a certain distance (lifeguards are stationed on the beach with flags on the beach to indicate the safer zones ) but nonetheless it is great place to hang out.

People will stop us and take pictures with us and we smile, pose and talk to them…. The SeaBeach (local) kids will walk or run after us and we shower them with attention , smiles 💕 and the unique conversations we have with them, a mishmash of Bengali and English words plus hand gestures and lots if pointing and trying to describe stuff etc.

Main thing with them, very few speak English so we try to teach them some words and phrases; me trying to speak in bengali and them teaching more local words to me and I explain back the words in Bengali and English both. I really really enjoy doing this. Cause for that moment, few minutes to sometimes a couple of hours of our time and during their walks with us, we could give them attention and smiles and laughter …. probably even hope and the feeling of self-worth.

No doubt these kids have very hard lives, working at very young ages, scavenging or selling trinkets for little amounts that they can get; but in our walks with them, we take them away from that hardness of life and give them smiles, appreciation and hope. Many warm up to us pretty quickly and we walk holding hands with them.

They take great joy when we take selfies with them, they feel happy when telling us their local words and phrases, comfortable that they’d are able to share what they know too with us in the few minutes they start walking with us. Someone, actually several people have commented; “you are not like the typical foreigners who tend to keep to themselves” … We don’t; we try to immerse ourselves and mix and talk to the people.

And these will forever be moments I will never forget for the rest of my life. That in this crazy mad world we live in although from different countries and backgrounds and lives, on that beach we loved and we laughed and we shared the most beautiful moments of joy and appreciation from one human being to another….

~ Liz ❤️

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People, Rickshaws & more ~ Dhaka & Cox’s Bazar Style

You would be amazed at how this place is… or shocked, depends. Cox is much better than Dhaka, at least for us that is. It’s a bit more laid back and doesn’t have the total pandemonium that Dhaka offers ( haha!) that said, Dhaka is quite ok if not for the congestion, people & vehicles, it’s unique madness where traffic lights are relatively moot, Red is GO all the time it seems. We had so many close shaves, sandwiched in between 4 buses in our Tuk-tuk ( or Tom-tom ~ auto- rickshaws), vehicles so close all you need to do is put a finger out, not even your arm. Yeah that close (eek!) And the HEAT in those things! OMG 😱😱😱😩😤😖 Sweat just pours out of you.
Also in Dhaka though, the second you stop (in traffic or something) kids, street peddlers selling flowers, fruits, books, toys, what-have-yous and beggars, will swamp the Rickshaw. Sometimes the traffic comes to a complete standstill and there’s nothing you can do but sit and bake. *sizzles*

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(Inside the Tuk-tuk) caged motor vehicle 😁✌️*Tom-tom

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😂
In Cox ( Bazar) there are more Rickshaws and Auto Rickshaws than actual car (‘ghari’ in Bengali) from what I’ve seen…

The riders/drivers are something else..
They will ride past you, alongside you or swerve and stop and cut into your path as you walk and ask (persistently) for you to hop on and offer to take you to the local attractions, places or beach. Trick or tip is to try bargain a price BEFORE you get on or else they’ll ask for an exorbitant amount at the end of the ride. We speak from experience. LOL! Yeah… A 15 minute ride and Rickshaw man asks for 200taka which was just supposed to be 30-50taka according to our pals later when we told them about it. Yikes! ….. Yeah bargain and agree on a price first.

It’s actually quite fun in the Rickshaws here (Cox) as they don’t have the cage thingy doors like the Dhaka ones and you can see the scene and scenery and take pictures etc.

We have seen epic stuff being carried in these things. Goats, motorbike, Animal skin (with blood dripping from the freshly peeled animal skin) 😖ladders, coconuts and various kind of furniture, etc. We ourselves only carried plants in the Tom-tom. A gift for the hotel we’re staying in.

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It’s a great way to get around but yeah if you’re a foreigner and not used to it, yeah brace yourself, hard, for major bumps and bone-jarring shakes from potholes and swerves and steel your nerves before you embark on trips in the Tom-tom on the Bangladesh roads (it’s like going to war, let me tell you 😂 ) and the heat in these vehicles during traffic jams. Ouff. Bring a fan.

~ Liz

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