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St Martin's Island/Bangladesh

Introducing St Martin's Island

Idyllic St Martin’s Island is everything that brash Cox’s Bazar is not. It’s the country’s only coral island and its beaches do actually match the hype. It also has more bungalow-style accommodation, which adds to the beach vibe. St Martin’s is home to a friendly, tomorrow-never-comes population of around 7000, the majority of whom are Muslim, and live primarily off fishing, although the small amount of land on the centre of the island is also farmed.

The island is fairly small – about 6km in length and rarely more than 1km wide – so it’s easy to navigate. Rickshaws are available, but you can also just walk around it from beach to beach. The area around the jetty, on the northeast tip of the island, is called Narikeldia; there there are a few hotels and restaurants. From here, you’ll pass through the small village of Uttarpara en route to West Beach, which is the nicest place to stay. The southern part of the island is called Dakshinpara. Even further south is Cherradhip, a thin strip of untouched land which is cut off from the rest of the island at high tide.

The boat trip over here is as interesting as it is scenic. Look out for traditional fishing boats as you sail along the Myanmar coastline. And get your camera ready for some magical sunset shots on the return trip.