Keokradong Travel Unknown Facts
Conquering Keokradong was like a dream for me. It was difficult for us to manage this tour as the budget was higher than other tours. Group tours usually cost less. So we created a group of 12 people. Although 12 people of us agreed, our journey started with 9 people from Dhaka. Another groupmate joined from Chittagong. With this total of 10 traveling companions, we started our Keokradong tour.
Due to lack of budget, we have decided to travel by the mail train. Mail train fare is Tk 110 per person. It is so cheap. So I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. The next day the train arrived at 8 am. Since the mail train is a government freight train, there is no exact schedule. We reached late at Chittagong Station. Today I will share with you some unknown facts and bitter experiences of traveling to Keokradong. Get the detailed tour plan to Keokradong by clicking here.
First from Chittagong to Bandarban by bus, then from Bandarban to Ruma Bazar by Jeep, and after that our journey started to Boga Lake. It was past 3 pm on the clock. This road from Ruma Bazar to Boga Lake is amazing. This road has been made by cutting mountains. Earlier there was no paved road from Ruma to Boga Lake. People had to trek. To avoid accidents, mirrors have been set at all the road junctions. If you fall from here, there is no way out except death. We reached Boga Lake in the afternoon. The first task after arrival is to enter the name. After name entry, we went to our resort.
As it was a holiday, there were many people that day. The guide fixed the resort for us. All the resorts in Boga Lake are the loft type, made of bamboo and wood. Every room has a balcony. Our resort had two rooms and a balcony. The cottage booking system in Boga Lake is a little different. Not as a room or resort, but as they charge 150-200 taka per person to stay the night. However, the price depends on the view from the room. There are many pillows and blankets in the rooms. There is no bed. They give blankets. So, you have to spend the night lying down. Another thing we didn’t like was the washroom/toilet. There were only two washrooms for us and another resort next to us. Each cottage has groups of 12-14 people. So you understand that there is no way here without serials.
As we were tired, we went to our cottage in the evening. After some rest, we went out for tea. Calcium tea is very famous here. I didn’t think it was tea though, it tastes like Horlicks. You can try it. We were chatting with local people while having tea. It was very cold in the evening. We finished tea and went to the bank of Boga Lake. We couldn’t see anything in the darkness. There was darkness all around, and the sky was full of stars. I have never seen so many stars in the sky before. It seemed that the sky was very close. After spending some moments, I was forced to return to the cottage due to the cold. When we arrived at the cottage, we saw our guide preparing a barbecue for us. Here we spent a good time with singing and chatting. After an hour our barbecue was ready. Now it’s time to eat. We ordered Luchi (Bread) from the hotel. We haven’t eaten this kind of bread before. It looked like a cake and the taste was amazing. After dinner, we came to the room. I was very tired for the journey so it was not too late to sleep. We prepared our bed on the floor. So if you want to stay separately, tell the guide. He will manage that way.
We woke up early in the morning. Everyone freshened up and came to the cottage to pack their bags. Since the route is trekking on foot, the lighter the bag, the better. You can leave your belongings at the cottage if you wish. We left our extra clothes at the cottage as instructed by the guide. We ate khichuri (hotchpotch) and fried eggs for breakfast. After breakfast, we left Boga Lake with our bags on our shoulders.
It was 8 am on the clock. But it seemed like it was already noon. Very cold at night and sunshine at day time, these are the features of hilly areas in winter. You must buy a bamboo stick for 20 taka before trekking. I saw a pitch road and a plain road. By this pitch road, the jeep comes and goes to Keokradong. We continued to walk straight. Sometimes brick roads, sometimes mud roads, we were walking through the dark place covered with trees. After going some distance, I saw a small stream. This place may look wilder during monsoons, but the place is very slippery. Be careful to cross.
After an hour of trekking, I saw tribals selling lemon water at a place on the hill. This tired body needs this stuff the most. After some distance, you can see such shops where water, juice, biscuits, various fruits, drinks, etc. are available. Some kinds of hilly fruits are available and you can try them. During the trekking, I noticed two middle-aged men picking up polybags, chips packets, and chocolate packets from the mountain road. Then after going some distance, they burnt them. It was very nice to see that. We also joined them. According to him, we did this, so we should clean the litter also. The time was around noon, the sun had become brighter. The higher I climbed, the more beautiful the surroundings became.
We reached the Darjeeling village with a tired body. This neighborhood is called the cleanest village in Bangladesh. I saw a few houses and a food hotel here. If you want, you can take a rest here. You can also have a light breakfast or lunch. We saw a few small lofts on the left side. And also a small lake in front of the lofts. It seems that the residents of this neighborhood catch fish here. But the place is quite cold. Anyway, we didn’t stay long. Because we have to go to Keokradong before lunch. We were so hungry. It takes 20-30 minutes from Darjeeling to reach the peak of Keokradong. My body felt so lazy that I could not express it in words. I felt like why this road did not finish. The energy level is absolutely zero. After about 6 hours of trekking, I could see the top resorts of Keokradong. Even in a tired body, I felt a kind of peace in my mind. Many of us arrived long ago. The first thing to do on the summit was to freshen up. Here is the problem. There is no washroom attached to the cottage at Keokradong. All the washrooms are far away from the cottage and the same washroom for all the members of one cottage. The condition of the washroom was also very bad. Then, I was forced to go to the hotel for food and went to the washroom to freshen myself up somehow. After the previous day’s journey and 6 hours of trekking, It’s feeling bad for not being able to freshen up properly. Anyway, the lunch items were rice, hill chicken, bharta (paste), and dal. The package price was 120-150 taka.
We had to enter our names in the army camp at Keokradong. Here everything is done under the guidance of the army. At 5 pm they gave a briefing so that none of us would go to the helipad at Keokradong after the evening. After lunch, we packed up at our cottage and headed out to visit the helipad at Keokradong. In the afternoon, a red light filled the entire sky of Keokradong. The army started their warning in the evening. After a while, the helipad was deserted. If you want, you can spend the night pulling a tent. In that case, you need to take army permission and bring your tent.
After the evening, our phone was switched off. Meanwhile, there is no charger port in the cottage. The only place to charge phones or any electronic devices is the food hotel. Almost all tourists are crowded there. Everyone was charging their devices. You must take the multiplug with you. All cottages on this hill have only one food hotel. A tribal named Bom looks after the cottages and food hotels in Keokradong.
Many of us fell sick. As the night wore on, the situation became worse. There is no hospital or clinic at the top of Keokradong. We went to the army. They had no other medicine except paracetamol. There were some medical students in the resort next to us. Later, I went to them without finding a way. Then I found out that not only us, but almost half of the tourists in Keokradong got sick that day. I was very scared because there is no way to get down from Keokradong after the evening. After spending the whole night like this, we were feeling a little better the next morning. Our guide said that it might have been due to drinking open water.
Keokradong looks very beautiful in the morning but you must get up before sunrise. As soon as the sun rises, the entire peak becomes sunny. Before we left, we saw that almost the whole of the helipad was full of tourists. Back from the helipad, we started packing. We decided to have breakfast in Darjeeling. As everyone was sick, we decided to take a jeep instead of trekking. It took us about 30 minutes to reach Boga Lake. However, if you go during monsoon, you will not find these cars. As it was winter we were able to come by jeep. The road is very steep so it is difficult to get down with a jeep. Back to Boga Lake’s cottage, we got into the jeep again with backpacks. Our guide accompanied us to Ruma Bazar. We came to Bandarban from Ruma Bazar by local bus.
This was my experience at Keokradong Tour. But don’t go on these trekking tours with your family. And yes, there is nothing to fear from my experience, since you go to spend time with nature on a mountain, You need to keep these things in mind. That’s it.