Exploring St Martin’s Island Off the Bangladesh Coast
The small coral island of St Martin’s, is located near Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, and a ferry service from Teknaf to the island, and is available daily. The island can be explored in a day, as at low tide the island measures approximately eight square kilometers and at high tide the island reduces in size, to about five square kilometers. But don’t let the size of the island deter you from exploring its beauty and hidden secrets.
The island has close to 5,500 islanders that stay on St Martin’s Island and make a living from fishing and tourism. The island has become quite popular and there are a few luxury ocean liners that include St Martin’s Island in their routes. The white beaches are popular amongst travelers, and they are beautifully lined with tall coconut trees and crystal clear waters that creep onto the sand.
The marine life around the island is unique and very diverse, and at present, the most protected inhabitants of the island, are the sea turtles that swim up onto the western coast of the island, to nest. This part of the island is not very populated and domesticated animals and human egg hunters do not pose a problem to them. In previous years, the adult turtles were also targeted, but authorities soon took note of the falling numbers and have gone to great lengths to establish safe and secure beaches for the female turtles. So far, olive ridley turtles and green turtles have successfully been recorded, but the rare nests of the leatherback and hawksbills turtles are a cause of concern.
St Martin’s Island is perfect for visitors who are truly interested in escaping the holds of a modern world. Do not expect to find taxis, tarred roads or electricity here. Lodges are dependant on generators, as the island is all about sun, sea and palm trees. During the day, the island comes alive with water and beach sports, with beach parties and bonfires lighting up the evening skies. For the use of a phone or a reminder of what a television set looks like, visitors can pop down to the Coast Guard station.