The Chittagong Shipbreaking Yards, part I

Last night I had met Aaron, Canadian backpacker, in the hotel. Today we went to get permits for the Chittagong Hill Tracts, a tribal area at the border with Myanmar/Burma. The permits were easy to get and cost us a baksheesh and 10 minutes of our time.

We then left for Bathian, a village north of Chittagong near the highway, to see if we would manage to have a glimpse at the shipbreaking yards. My attempt from yesterday at the other end, near Kumira, hadn’t been too successful, but that didn’t put us off.

We didn’t have any luck, though, and were not allowed in. We just managed to walk along a river bed which was kind of no-man’s land, towards the beach. We didn’t get very close to the ship corpses, but at least we had an unobstructed view at them along the beach.

We then had the smart idea to rent a boat to have a look from the sea side, but with no port or wharf near-by (that we were consciously aware of), we retreated to Chittagong’s Sadarghat ferry terminal. With the help of some students we started negotiating and the price would have been about 200 Taka (approx. 2 Euros) per hour. It was too late to set out today, so we decided to come back first thing tomorrow morning.

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