Chittagong, Bangladesh: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Chittagong is a major coastal seaport city in southerneastern Bangladesh. It is also the financial centre of Bangladesh. The population of the city is more than 2.5 million and the metropolitan area has a population of over 6.5 million. Therefore, it is the second largest city in the country. It is also the capital of Chittagong District. The city is located on the banks of the Karnaphuli River between the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the Bay of Bengal. Similar to Dhaka, the streets are full of masses of rickshaws. On the other hand, the side walksare better than they are in Dhaka. The city has a huge migration flow from other parts of the country such as Greater Mymensingh Region and Greater Noakhali Area. Chittagong used to be on the Maritime Silk Road and it was the eastern terminus of the Grand Trunk Road. Famous medieval explorers such as the Venetians Niccolo de Conti and Caeser Frederick; the Arab traveller Ibn Battuta; and the Chinese Admiral Zheng He visited there. Due to the partition of British India, Chittagong became a major financial center. The old part of the city hosts several historical mosques and Sufi shrines. It is also home to several churches such as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chittagong.
The areas around the Train station and Station Road are the busiest parts of town. The areas of Zakir Hossain Rd, O.R. Nizam Rd and CDA Avenue which are 3 km north of the station are the center of middle to upper class life. The city is mostly conservative and local women usually dress in a modest way and they don’t like shaking hands with men. The upper class is more westernized and this doesn’t apply to them. The weather in Chittagong is tropical and during the summer monsoon season, it is hot and very humid. The weather is drier and cooler in the winter time which starts from October and ends in March. What makes the city attractive are the surrounding mountains and rivers. Chittagong has green hills, forests and broad sandy beaches. The dicision is known for its rich biodiversity, therefore over 2000 of Bangladesh’s 6000 flowering plants grow there. St. Martin’s Island is the only coral island in the country, the fishing port of Cox’s Bazar is home to one of the world’s longest natural beaches. The district is also home to the highest mountains in Bangladesh. There are also numerous protected areas such as the Teknaf Game Reserve, and the Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco Park. The main seafront of the city is Patenga beach which is located 14 kilometres west of the city.