This seaside city, the nation's second-largest, sits astride the Karnaphuli River on the Bay of Bengal.
Among the city's sights are several tombs and religious shrines, including the Tomb of Sultan Bayazid Bostami (note the hundreds of tortoises in the tank, representing evil souls). The Shah Jame Mosque, built on a hillside, offers excellent views. The 14th-century Qadam (Kadam) Mubarak Mosque contains what's said to be a footprint of the Prophet Muhammad.
Other attractions include the ethnological museum in Agrabad, the World War II Military Cemetery (graves of British, Australian and other soldiers), the 300-year-old Portuguese Arsenal (interesting architecture) and the harbor area (called the "Sadarghat," it's the city's oldest area). There's a beach on the outskirts of town, though we recommend Cox's Bazar for beaches. A half-day trip can be taken to Sitakund (25 mi/40 km away) to see beautiful temples and hot springs, or an overnight excursion can be taken 60 mi/100 km to the northeast to the scenic lake resort of Rangamati. The drive is pretty, so allow a full day just for that excursion. We recommend reaching Chittagong by car or train one way and flying the other. Plan to stay two nights, longer if you're planning day trips.
It is possible to take a drive through the nearby Chittagong Hill Tracts to see the tribal people amid spectacular forest scenery. However, because of insurgency in the past by local tribal groups, who were fighting an influx of settlers, this area was formerly off-limits to travelers. That prohibition has been lifted, but it remains a high-risk area. Check with local authorities before heading into the Hill Tracts. 140 mi/ 225 km southeast of Dhaka.
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