|Brick Road Bandarban|
‘If you go down to the woods today..’ some iconographies a trifle mixed, perhaps, the yellow and red brick roads that lead off the Lama road in East Bandarban, just 40 minutes drive from Cox’s Bazar, will certainly lead you into rubber tree plantations that, with the ground in dappled shadows, looks a perfect setting for a picnic, even a teddy bear’s picnic!
|Rubber Garden Bandarban|
Then throw in thatched cottages of wattle and daub, as it used to be known in England, and wide rivers, small streams and great green patches of vivid green rice, and there could, surely, be few better places for a country walk, or cycle ride.
|Rubber Tree Bandarban|
Then, just to complete the story, some BIG surprises. A choice between herds of wild elephants, and a nearby crocodile farm. What more could you need for the perfect day out. Well, I’m pretty sure I have at least one grandson who’d jump at it!
|Wattle Daub Bandarban|
The Bandarban is still a little problematic as a place for tourists. It’s never quite reassuring to find military check points, and hill top encampments, nor really getting to the bottom of the many social conflicts that regularly erupt between settlers, indigenous people and army. Indeed, driving through areas closer to lovely Rangamati I sometimes think this is yet another piece of living history for any student wondering just what it was like to live in England after the Norman Conquest, where the invaders built castles, and imported settlers build villages around them seeking their protection as they settled the lands of the earlier, Anglo Saxon inhabitants.
|Yellow and Red Brick Road Bandarban|
This east end of the Bandarban, however, seems more settled, more tranquil, more a place to relax and enjoy the shade and hill country.