CHITTAGONG

Chittagong is the capital of Chittagong Division in south-eastern Bangladesh. 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. The Chittagonian enthusiasm for inviting people to massive feasts is a bit of a 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.

SITES TO SEE

Patenga beach

Patenga Beach

Sandy beach at the meeting place of the roaring sea and the river Karnaphuli. It looks more beautiful from Naval Academy Road which is just beside the Shah Amanat International Airport.

Hazrat Shah Sufi Amanat Khan (R)

Hazrat Shah Sufi Amanat Khan (R) (capital R is used to show respect) a very famous saint of Chittagong, Bangladesh. From the circumstantial evidence it appears that he was a great man of the late 18th century. 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

 

Foy’s Lake

Set amidst panoramic surroundings, this ideal spot for outings and picnics is thronged by thousands of visitors. This Lake has been created in the natural environment in 1924 by the initiative of the then Assam-Bengal Railway. This lake has been created by building a dam based on a plan by an English engineer Mr. Foy. Now an amusement park is established there. The zoo is next door.

 

Shrine of Bayazid Bostami

This holy shrine attracts a large number of visitors and pilgrims. At its base there is a large pond with several hundred tortoises floating in the water. According to tradition, these turtles are descendants of evil spirits (djinns) who were cast into this shape because they incurred the wrath of the great saint who visited the place about 1100 years ago.

 

World War II Cemetery

 In this well-preserved cemetery at quiet and picturesque place lie buried over 700 soldiers from Commonwealth countries and Japan. The War Cemetery is located in a hillside sloping place, in the south-western corner of Chittagong Medical College Hospital, beside the Badshah Mia Road of the city. The total area of this cemetery is eight acres, which is protected and supervised by the Commonwealth Graves Commission.

 

Ethnological Museum

Shows a mix of tribal artifacts. The Ethnological Museum of Chittagong was established in the first half of 1960s. The museum contains four galleries and a small hall. Some sections contain mock ups of ‘village life’ for the different tribal areas with life size dolls. These are reminiscent of the museum in the film ‘Planet of the Apes’.

 

Chandanpura Mosque

Situated in the old city, the multi-domed mosque is an architectural sight to behold.

 

Court Building

Situated on the Fairy Hill, this building commands a magnificent bird’s eye view of Chittagong city, particularly at night. The Court building was built immediately after the East India Company conquered and declared Chittagong as a separate administrative area in 1773. The building is huge, over 250 thousand square feet and has hundreds of rooms.

 

Kattali Beach

Natural beach with mangrove forest west of Halishahar and south of Kattali.

 

PLACES TO EAT

The people of Chittagong love oily and spicy food. This can be a problem for foreigners and lead to upset stomachs.

Some of the restaurants are listed here:

Ambrosia Restaurant Limited

(Jiban Bima Bhaban (Ground Floor), 1053, Sheikh Mujib Road, Chittagong): The largest and the latest international standard restaurant in town with a Karaoke corner, seats up to 500 people across 2 floors. It has a huge menu of Continental, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Indonesian and Bangladeshi dishes.

 

Bonanza

 (692, Cda Avenue | Nasirabad, Gec Area, Chittagong,  Above Aarong and opposite to the Meridian GEC circle). The best restaurant in town which is of international standard. Bonanza has a huge menu.

 

Meridian Hotel & Restaurant

(1367 CDA Avenue, Chittagong, opposite to Bonanza, GEC circle): The Meridian has an excellent lunch buffet with a variety of food items.The rest of the menu used to be pretty good but as of late it is better to stick to the buffet.

 

Shaad Snacks

Station Road, across the street from New Market: A friendly place serving the usual fast food snacks – rolls and buns filled with chicken, beef or vegetables, microwaved to a spongy perfection as you order. They’ve got a good range of sweets as well.

 

Shangri-La Chinese Restaurant,

(39, Agrabad, Phone: 810210): This is a smart air-conditioned Chinese restaurant. But the place has nose dived recently and other restaurants have opened.

 

Baskin Robbins

 just east of GEC Circle: One of the city’s greatest redeeming qualities.

 

Sugarbun

(Well food), (GEC circle): It is a fast food place from the international chain of the same name, selling pizza, burgers, fries plus a variety of dishes to Asian tastes in a fast food format. Sugarbun also sells coffee, cakes, bread and other snacks.

 

Pizza Hut

GEC circle up the hill towards Welmart: Pizza hut only arrived in Chittagong in 2006. Before that people had to go all the way to Dhaka for pizza.

 

Zaman Hotel

(there are 13 Zaman hotels in Chittagong), (just north of GEC Circle, on west side of street): The menu contains no foreign dishes and this is not a place where foreigners typically eat, though it falls at the top end of middle class Bangladeshi restaurants. The place is clean, the food is OK, the service is good. There are two restaurants of the same name on the same block – this one is the most southerly, with the huge neon sign on the roof.

 

Zaman Hotel

(Agrabad, On the Agrabad circle): The Zaman hotel at the Agrabad circle has the best food of the Zaman hotels. The Chicken Biriyani is particularly good coming with a large piece of chicken, an egg, rice, and a delicious sauce. The environment is more worn than hotel Zaman at the GEC circle. But the food is better. Since there are virtually no good places to eat on a budget in Agrabad it is worth checking this place out.

 

Basmati Restaurant

(GEC Circle, Chittagong):  Basmati Restaurant is the only restaurant of its kind in Chittagong. It provides delicious Bangladeshi and Indian food in a classy environment.

 

Karahi

(69, Agrabad, Opposite Ethnological Museum): Designed a single space inspired by Mughal Architecture, several occasions could be arranged simultaneously in this place. This place provides Indian, Chinese & Thai Cuisine.

 

Haatkhola Cafe and Art Gallery

(6, Surson Road, Chittagong): This cafe serves a range of Mexican, Bangladeshi, and Local tribal dishes along with seasonal juice, foods and pitha. The place also arranges food festivals on a regular interval.