Sajek (সাজেক) is a a remote hilly area that is located at Rangamati district (রাঙামাটি জেলা), but you have to go there through the Khagrachhori district (খাগড়াছড়ি জেলা). Once upon a time this place was a risky place for the security reason and only few adventurous people could have dared to travel this region. But now a days the situation has changed. Bangladesh army has established their camp over their along with BGB. That's why the security has improved over there and lot of tourists are going there during their vacation. It has been around a year and I didn't plan for any traveling. So I have joined with a group and they have arranged everything (from bus ticket to rest house reservation). I was totally tension free and enjoyed a perfect vacation into the clouds.
We have already hired (over the phone) a local four wheel drive vehicle that picked us from Dighinala of Khagrachhori (দিঘিনালা, খাগড়াছড়ি). It was probably around 5000 taka for the two days. We were only five person in our group. They weather was initially sunny, but later changed it's mode several times. We even had rain on our way and paused our journey beside a local tea stall. I have severe back pain problem and the driver was too rough. Most of the times I was rigid on my seat located behind the vehicle. The whole road journey was thrilling for others and they have enjoyed the beauty of rain, clouds, and the picturesque view of the hills, etc.
It took around 2.5 hours to reach at the Sajek valley (সাজেক ভ্যালী). It was around 4:00pm of the day. We were late because we have explored several places from Dighinala (দিঘিনালা) including the Hajachhora Waterfall. In fact we have had a great shower from the lovely waterfall. When we have reached at Sajek (সাজেক) it was fully covered with the clouds. It means we were inside the cloud. So we became short sighted and couldn't view most of the things from around us. It was a bit chilling but lovely weather.
We have booked the guest house from the Army Camp. I thought it would be a normal room with handy beds and other stuffs. I didn't expect too much from this hilly area. But inside the rest house it was too much luxurious. A specious neat and clean room with large attached bathroom with urban facilities. Also the guest house has a attached terrace at the western side which is a perfect place for watching the sunset and having an afternoon time passing. The guest house also has a separate dinning room and they have already severed our lunch over there (cooked by the army chef). It wasn't having too many menus but enough to satisfy the hungry mouths like ours. These type of foods are costly over there. They had to collect these from the near by market which is more than an hour of vehicle distance.
It had only 10/15 minutes left before the sunset when we have finished our late lunch. So we have grabbed few chairs from there and started enjoying the sunset at Sajek Valley (সাজেক ভ্যালী). Probably it was the first sunset that I have enjoyed while sitting on a chair! The western side was totally flat and we were at the top from our end. The sunset could have been an amazing one. But unfortunately the clouds forced the sun to set for a bit early then usual time.
While I was sitting on the terrace, I have watched two bids which I haven't seen before (or may be I have seen before but couldn't notice carefully). These two birds were Indian Roller, and Blue Rock Thrush Female. The sun was at the back side of the birds and that's why the shots were slightly darker. After the sunset I have enjoyed a squirrel that was playing on a tree far from us. My crazy zoom camera helped me to observe the squirrel closely than ever. I was there as long as the remaining daylight was available.
After the sunset I had a nap for an hour or more. In fact my other tour mates had a nap also. The breeze at Sajek after the sunset is too much heavy. From inside a room it feels that something like a storm is going on outside. Also the night was too much cold (a similar cold can be felt during the winter in Bangladesh). We had a dinner with the same menu and after the dinner we have had a gossiping at the terrace till the night 2:00am. Two from our team were having an amazing vocal and they have entertained us most of the times with their magical vocal. Also the night was full with firefly bugs lighting around. Unfortunately we haven't seen too much starts at sky for the cloudy environment.
Next day, we have waked up too early to watch the sunrise. But once again, we were inside the cloud and couldn't see too much far from us. So we have given up our hope for sunrise of Sajek Valley (সাজেক ভ্যালী). So we have randomly explored the area by lazy walking. We have passed few minutes at the Runmoy Coggate (রূনময় কটেজ) and had a photo session over there. But slowly the situation was getting worst (in terms of weather). I have sensed a heavy raining. So packed my camera inside the bag and started walking with long steps. It was a touch and go when I have reached our room. Few of us couldn't reach on time (may be for 30 seconds) and they have paid by soaking up from the early morning rain.
The rain was becoming heavier and I was inside the tin shaded room of the guest house. It has been a long time since I last passed moment inside a tin shaded room during the raining. It usually feels like 10/15 times heavier when you are inside such houses. The rain didn't show any sign to stop and I decided to have another round of nap inside the rain. Probably I have slept for an hour or two. I didn't have a sound sleep at night (usually I don't have at new place), but this time I had a sound sleep.
After the breakfast we have headed for the Kanglak Para (কাংলাক পারা) which is around 20/30 minutes of walking distance from the Army camp. Through the typical hilly path we have reached to the village without any problem. The village was a neat and clean one. It was a populous village even a years back. But now the tribal people from this village are moving to another location (don't know why, may be the water input is a problem here). That's why only few families were remaining there. In fact we didn't see too many villagers on there during our staying. From this village the view of Lusai Hill (লুসাই পাহাড়) is clear, but once again the clouds! and ...
Despite of being a remote village inside the hilly area of Bangladesh, the village was having most of the urban facilities such as electricity (from solar), cable tv, etc. They also cultivate fish inside the large pots which I didn't see before anywhere. Also, our district towns are far from this village, so they prefer to go to Mizoram (মিজোরাম) for their needs. Even lot of kids from this village use to go there for study purpose. Not sure whether they cross the border legally or illegally. There is a school available at this village, but the condition of the school wasn't that much good. Either our government, or the Army should take care of the school for improvement. Army has established a tourist spot there, now its time to repair the old school (build at 1963).
After returning from the Kanglak Para (কাংলাক পারা) we have packed our bags and said goodbye to Sajek (সাজেক). I wanted to stay there for another day and wanted to leave the valley after the sunset as my bus was at 10:00pm night. But unfortunately the tour wasn't arranged by me. It was their decision about staying or leaving. So I had to agree with them and leaved the valley unwillingly. It was an amazing time I have passed at Sajek (সাজেক) after a long time. In fact It's been a long time since I had a luxurious tour like this one.
How to Go:
First you have to come to the Khagrachhori (খাগড়াছড়ি). Shamoly (শ্যামলী) will be the best available bus service from all. From Khagrachhori (খাগড়াছড়ি) you can reach at Dighinala (দীঘিনালা) using CNG driven vehicles. It will be around 50 taka per person. From Dighinala (দীঘিনালা) you can hire motorbike or any four wheel driven vehicles locally known as Chander Gari (চান্দের গাড়ি). It will be better if you hire the vehicle for round trip. Otherwise you may not find any vehicle during your returning. Probably our group has hired the four wheel drive vehicle for 5000 taka for two days. I am not sure about the cost.
Where to stay:
There are several cottages/resorts available for night staying (a bit costly though). These are governed by the Army or BGB. If you search at internet you'll find the required information. Also you can stay at the tribal houses. But that case you have to go there first, and then convince the villagers to give you a room.
কেউ যদি এইখানে বেড়াইতে যাই, তাইলে যেন আমরা কিছু ফালাইয়া না রাইখা আসি... আমরা যে এইখানে গেছিলাম, এইটার কোনো নিশানাই ঐখানে রাইখা আসা যাবে না... মনে রাখবেন উপরের দিকে থুথু ফেললে নিজের গায়েই লাগে... জায়গাটা ময়লা আবর্জনা ফেলে নষ্ট করলে কিন্তু আমাদের দেশের একটা সুন্দর জায়গাই নষ্ট হবে, যা আমাদেরই ক্ষতি...!
Sajek Valley (সাজেক ভ্যালী),
Upazela: Baghaichhori (বাঘাইছড়ি),
District: Rangamati (রাঙামাটি),
Country: Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)
GPS Coordinate: (23°23'25.22"N, 92°17'9.56"E)
This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/