|Parki Beach, Chittagong|
Bangladesh, with the 120km World’s Longest Continuous Sea Beach to lay claim to, tends to ignore the fact that it almost certainly has the greatest amount of sea beach for any country of similar size in the world.
As the Deltaic plain of the Ganges/Brahmaputra, and an array of other rivers that reach the sea from Himalayan hills, most of the country comprises alluvial outflow, which, on meeting the sea, becomes, silver sand beach. Not merely the estuarine waters of such as the Karnaphuli River, that reaches the sea below Chittagong, where mile after mile of the silver sand of Parki Beach vanishes into the distance, looking out across the offshore anchorages of ocean going vessels, and facing the Patenga Beach on the other bank, but vast tracts of coast, and especially the shores of the myriad offshore islands. The great rivers, too, offer up some of the most surprisingly lovely sandy beaches imaginable.
|Boat Under Construction, Parki Beach, Chittagong|
There is little to see at Parki, reached from Chittagong across the newly constructed , spectacular Karnaphuli Bridge, and by road past the Karnaphuli Fertiliser plant, except a few shacks offering un chilled drinks, and a row of toilets that cost 5tk each for use.
By contrast with Cox Bazar, 150km by road further south, the beach is less spoilt, and offering only about a dozen, well spaced out deckchairs, evidently in far less demand by visitors.
Just before reaching the beach, a small boat building facility, with finely planked, sea going vessels under construction, offers a further attraction, revealing an ancient craft tradition that might have been thought lost elsewhere.
A worthwhile couple of hours from the crushing heart of the thriving port and commercial centre that is ancient Chittagong, where there have been port facilities for over 1,000 years. But it would probably take quite some brave heart to bathe in the waters of the Karnaphuli below Chittagong!