Put simply there is no better place in which to experience the magic of the Hill Tracts than in the bolshy small town of Bandarban, which lies on the Sangu River, 92km from Chittagong. The river is the centre of local life: bamboo rafts up to 500m long, steered by a single solitary boatman, drift leisurely downstream, while country boats make slow trips to neighbouring villages.
Most inhabitants belong to the Buddhist Marma tribe. The town itself, which has a couple of interesting sights, isn't overly attractive, but the surrounding countryside is some of the finest in Bangladesh and offers one of the few opportunities to really escape the masses. Instead of the honking of horns and awe-struck stares of the masses you'll have nothing much to listen to but birdsong and the only things likely to be fluttering about you will be bright, floppy winged butterflies. All up this is not a town to rush through in a hurry.
At the checkpoint before coming into town, officials may request that you call upon the district commissioner. His office is just around the corner from the Hotel Purabi. There is an Internet café (per hr Tk 30) under Hotel Greenhill.