A trip to remember..

A travel enthusiast Rummana Ferdous Fagun writes about her brief journey to Sajek, a mini heaven on earth.

travel

Nowadays trips inside the country mostly end up being limited to relaxing in fancy resorts. Though that can be refreshing as well, but if you want a trip filled with adventure and adrenaline rushes, Sajek is the place to go. A two-day trip to Sajek was enough to re-energise me for a couple of months.

Though Sajek is inside Rangamati people like to get there via Khagrachari because the roads are more accessible there. It is about 70 kilometres away from Khagrachari town and the path isn’t smooth; it’s a hilly area duh!

The journey began from Gabtoli; we chose the bus ‘Shanti Paribahan’ since it goes to Dighinala Bazar in Khagrachari which is a hub for four-wheelers that go to Sajek, locally known as ‘Chander Gari’. We decided to go on a night coach and reached Dighinala by 8 am. Morning is the ideal time to start for Sajek since there is some army restriction on entering the area and they let cars in only two times daily — first at ten in the morning and then at three in the afternoon.

The most popular way of going to Sajek is by reserving a chander gari, now I know why. More on that will be discussed later. The fare for an off-roader ranges from tk 4000 to 5000 for a round trip in one day, but since we planned to stay the night it was a bit more expensive. Later we learned that we did not need to do that since there are plenty of cars which come to drop off passengers; we could have rented one of those to take us to town. Anyways, the four-wheelers are huge, accommodating about fifteen people and you can sit on its roof as well (only if you want to, nothing to get spooked about). We were a group of seven people so we shared the jeep with another group.

We started from Khagrachari town and reached Baghaihat checkpoint by ten. Army officers checked the jeep and again we started from there with 5-6 other jeeps. One army car escorted this small troop.

The journey was such a superb experience. The jeep was quite open with sufficient windows and it let me take in the beauty of the road. The cool breeze brushing against my face is one of the most beautiful experiences ever. Along with the beauty of the surroundings, the road to Sajek will give you a thrill of a lifetime. It was nothing less than a rollercoaster. As it is a hilly area the road is very steep and filled with ups and downs. At some places the roads are so steep that you cannot see what’s in front of you; it felt like you’ll be launched into the sky the next minute. After a heart-thumping 3 hours we reached our destination.

Reaching there we checked into our hotel, there was only a handful to choose from. We selected Megh Machang, the most hyped one and for good reason. The view from the balcony was breathtaking. The attraction of Sajek is that it’s at a hilltop and you will feel like you are floating on clouds. Lunch was next on our list. After some much needed rest, in the evening we decided to explore the area a little. It’s a small area and only takes a little time to get to know what is there to see. It turns out there is a helipad you can go to.

The best experience for me was lying on the ground at night, at the Helipad and just stares at the sky jewelled with stars. All other things in the world just evaporated in that moment. Looking at the night sky in an open area without buildings blocking the view can give you a different kind of serenity. If you haven’t experienced that yet, try that the next time you go to your hometown if not Sajek. The night came to an end with singing melancholic songs under the sky and a walk back to our hotel. When night passed the dawn made us awestruck by the view it presented us with. The sun peeking through the net of mountains and a float of mist looked unlike anything I have ever witnessed.

After being mesmerised by the serenity of Sajek, we decided to venture a little further into the area and went for trekking. There were a few good spots you could go to, we chose Chagolkonda waterfall, also known as Komolok waterfall. From Ruilui Para we hired a guide and started trekking. It was the scariest thing ever, but liberating at the same time. On the path we had to cross a jhiripath, it was a beautiful location too. Crossing that we had to trek some more and then we reached the waterfall. It was such a magnificent sight, completing the experience with little splashes of water here and there. The whole trek was two and a half hours long. Though it was an incomparable experience, one thing everyone should be careful about is that during the rainy season the road remains very slippery, a moment of carelessness could lead to a grave accident and the whole path is very steep so the fainthearted should avoid this.

On the way back from Sajek we decided to visit Dighinala hanging bridge which was a nice place but nothing in comparison to the trip we just had. We came back on a night coach again. I would say it’s a must to visit Sajek if you haven’t already. It might seem like a hassle with the checking, timings and hotel bookings but trust me it is worth it.

Lastly, don’t forget to take your power bank, a charge light and a Robi or Teletalk sim because these are the only ones that have network there. Also, take mosquito repellent creams or sprays with you, they might come handy.

 

Rummana Ferdous Fagun is a student of the University of Dhaka.

Comments are closed.