Getting There and Around, Chittagong, Bangladesh: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
There are several ways to get to Chittagong such as by air, train, bus and boat. To start with air, the Shah Amanat International Airport is located in Chittagong and it serves as Chittagong’s international airport with also domestic services to and from Dhaka. The airport is modern and clean and located in Patenga. The international services include flights to and from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kolkata, Sharjah, Muscat, Jeddah and Kuwait. The airport used to be known as MA Hannan International Airport but its name was changed in 2005. The major airlines are Biman Bangladesh Airlines, GMG Airlines, Flydubai, Air Arabia, Oman Air, Regent Airways and United Airways. Secondly, there are trains run to Sylhet, Mymensingh and other cities. The train station is located on Station Road which is west of Jubilee Rd. Train journeys are generally cheaper than bus journeys. In terms of travelling by bus, there are two spots in the city that the major private companies operate and have offices such as the south of GEC Circle on CDA Avenue and on Station Rd near Hotel Golden Inn. The major companies are Greenline, Silkline and Shohag which all have frequent services to Dhaka and Cox’s Bazar. There are also local buses that run frequently to Cox’s Bazar from Cinema Palace Bus Station which is located 1 km north of the Station Rd area. Lastly, there are ferry services from Sadarghat which is operated by BIWTC. The main destination is Barisal and it is possible to continue to Dhaka afterwards.
Getting around or public transportation in Chittagong is very similar to the country’s capital Dhaka. The public transportation is not proper and trains only operate between major regional cities. There are different bus systems, taxis, Baby or CNG taxis which are basically tri-cycle structured motor vehicles. In addition, there are traditional manual rickshaws which are very common in Chittagong. Like in Dhaka, it is possible to see masses of rickshaws on the roads. The cycle-rickshaws are the most famous form of transport and they are convenient for short distances. Negotiating the prices beforehand is highly recommended. The next option is by auto-rickshaws which are locally known as “CNGs” or baby taxis. They are the cheapest way to travel long distances. The drivers don’t use the meters much so it is recommended to negotiate the price beforehand.They are capable of accepting up to three passengers but it is not an unusual thing to see a whole local family squeezed into a baby taxi. They are more expensive than buses but they are more convenient and comfortable. For travellers, using bus as a form of transportation is recommended less than the other options. They are the most popular form of transport but they can be a real nightmare because the buses are old and the routes are written nowhere. They are also overcrowded and the drivers usually don’t speak any foreign languages. Especially for women, travelling in a bus is not recommended. The last option to get around is by walking because the city is not that confusing. On the other hand, the streets can be very busy, especially around Station Rd and Jubilee Rd.