Dhaka to Saint Martin Island: How to Get There
Clear blue water, coral reef and all its exquisiteness and beauty awaits you at The Saint Martin’s Island – located at the very south of Bangladesh. This island is also known as “Narikel Jinjira” – narikel means coconut in Bangla – as this island has countless coconut trees. You can plan a day trip to dip in the water and taste some local delicacies and sea food; but to truly enjoy this island and to observe the countless hidden gems; you will have to spend at least couple of nights here. Oh! And did I mention how glowy the whole island gets on a moonlit night?
- Hotels in Saint Martin Island
- 8 Things to do in Saint Martin Island
When to Go to Saint Martin’s
The best time to go to Saint Martin is in winter, October-February. At that time the sea is calm and the sun feels nice. During summer the sun will be too hot and there may be storms too. The island is closed to visitors in May-August.
How to Get to Dhaka to Saint Martin’s Island
In order to go from Dhaka to Saint Martin you need to make this trip in 2 steps – first you will have to reach Teknaf (very south of Bangladesh) by road and then you will need to get on a “sea truck” or small ship to go to Saint Martin from Teknaf. You can reach Teknaf directly from Dhaka or you can have a pit stop at Cox’s Bazar and resume your journey towards Teknaf the next morning. Transportation from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar is very good. You can go there by bus, train or air. If you want to go directly to Teknaf from Dhaka there are a few bus services who offer this service – Hanif Enterprise and Soudia Paribahan are among these. These buses will take you to Teknaf just in time for your connecting Ship to St Martin’s Island.
Travel Tip: If you have time, spend one night at Cox’s Bazar. The road from Cox’s Bazar to Teknaf takes around 100+ minutes and is pretty rough. If you want comfort you should get on an AC bus from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar, spend the night at Cox’s Bazar and make the journey toward Teknaf the next morning (early morning, around 6-7am).
Cox’s Bazar to Teknaf: on the way to St Martin’s Island
You can hire a microbus (around 1500Tk) to take you from your hotel to Teknaf, or you can take one of the buses that leave every morning. These buses start from Cox’s Bazar/Teknaf Bus Terminal from 6am onwards. If you want to catch the 9am ship from Teknaf you will have to get on the bus within 7am at Cox’s Bazar. The fare for these buses is 80Tk per person and they will drop you off exactly at the Teknaf port.
The next one and half hour might be a little uncomfortable as the road is a little bumpy. But you will get a breathtaking view of the sea beach, country side, small hills and the river Naff (Teknaf draws its name from this river), which is actually the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Travel Tip: There are two bus terminals in Cox’s Bazar. Ask around to make sure which one will take you to Teknaf.
Teknaf to Saint Martin’s Island
The only way is by sea (unless you want to hire a private helicopter). You can get a speedboat – which is certainly faster but unsafe or you can pick one of three available “Sea Trucks” or small ships. Sea Trucks leave for St Martin’s Island each day at 9am and return at 3pm. It takes around 2-4 hours. Keari Sinbad is one of the best and fastest Sea Trucks on that route. The fare is 550Tk for economy class and it covers return ticket as well.
Saint Martin’s Island through Other Routes
If you want to avoid the long bus journey from Dhaka, you can catch a train to Chittagong or a flight to Cox’s Bazar. There are regular buses from Chittagong who will charge 220Tk per person.
Travel Tip: Don’t just sit it out! Enjoy the journey. I have been to St Martin’s Island 3 times in last 4 years and I enjoyed it very much every time.