Will you believe when I say I walked among the clouds one day? Most of you won’t if you have never been to Sajek Valley. I guess some of you haven’t even heard of this place. Even after being an underrated country, Bangladesh has spectacular tourist attractions.
Sajek Valley is one of them. Sajek Valley is known as ‘The Kingdom of Clouds‘ and ‘The Terrace of Rangamati‘ to the Bangladeshi people. You can see the clouds beneath you no matter wherever you stand in the valley. Today, I will introduce you to one of Bangladesh’s most famous tourist destinations, the Sajek Valley.
A Brief Introduction to Sajek Valley
In the north of Chittagong Hill Tracts, Sajek Valley is located in the Sajek union. It’s under Baghaichori Upazila in Rangamati hill district.The border of Bangladesh and Mizoram of India is 8 kilometres east of Sajek.
The valley was named Sajek Valley from the Sajek River that originates from the Karnafuli River. The Sajek river works as a border between Bangladesh and India. The valley is surrounded by dense forest, mountains and grassland hill tracks. Even the road to Sajek Valley is hilly.
What is Sajek Valley famous for?
Mainly known as the Roof of Rangamati, Sajek Valley is popular for its scenic beauty. The beautiful mountains above the clouds, dense forest, nearby waterfalls, and grassland hilly tracts combinedly make it a perfect spot for an enjoyable vacation.
It was unexplored for a long time but over the last few years it gained huge popularity as a tourist spot. Due to its location in a village, there aren’t many modern tourist facilities available. However, there are a few 5-star resorts and restaurants which can increase your overall travel experience.
How To Reach Sajek Valley
After reaching Dhaka Airport, you need to take a bus to Khagrachari. Many bus services like Shanti Paribahan, Shyamoli Paribahan, Econo, Er71 are there for this. The bus fares range from Tk. 700($ 8.15) to Tk. 2000($ 23.28). You will reach Khagrachari within 7-8 hours. After reaching Khagrachari, you have to travel with Chander Gari to reach Sajek Valley.
Chander Gari, the local vehicle of Sajek, will give you a breathtaking ride to Sajek Valley. You can sit on the rooftop if you are looking for an adventurous ride. You can either join a shared ride or hire the entire vehicle yourself.
If you are too afraid to board on the Chander Gari, you can get on a jeep instead. The only difference between the Chander Gari and a Jeep is that there’s no roof on a jeep. The jeep fare will be around Taka 10,000($ 116.41). The cost of Chander gari, if you hire the entire vehicle for two days one night, will be around Taka 9000($ 104.76). And if you take a shared ride of the Chander gari, the cost will be less.
You can talk to other travellers and choose the group you will be travelling with, or you can go to the Khagrachhari Jeep Owners Association office, and they will do it for you.
Now, if you are wondering why the prices of these vehicles are so high, let me tell you that a Chander gari can accommodate 10-12 people. Also, the accommodation and food cost of the driver is included in the package. If you want to minimize the vehicle cost, you can hire a CNG, and the cost will be around Taka 4000($ 46.56) for 2 days 1-night stay. But I won’t suggest renting a CNG as it becomes risky.
Advice: Foreigners need permission from the office of the Deputy Commissioner in Rangamati to visit Sajek Valley. And if you are a local, you need to register your name in the Army Camp.
The Chander Gari or jeep that you rent will be with you throughout your trip. So, you won’t need to worry much about finding vehicles for checking out the tourist spots located at a distance.
Remember: On your way to Sajek Valley or while travelling around the area, you will see many children waiting at the side of the road for food. Generally, tourists throw food at them from running vehicles, which seems quite inhumane as the children might get hurt or the food won’t remain consumable if thrown at the road.
On the pretext of helping, these tourists hurt these children; I absolutely hate such tourists! If you want to give these children food or anything, just stop the vehicle for a while.
How to Reach Sajek Valley from Chittagong
If you are going to Sajek Valley from Chittagong, you have to go to Khagrachari or Dighinala first. You will get 4 BRTC buses that leave every day from Kadamtoli, Chittagong to Khagrachari. You will also get Shanti Paribahan buses from Oxygen Mor, Chittagong that leave for Khagrachari after every 1 hour.
You will reach Khagrachari within 4-5 hours. After reaching your desired destination, you have to follow the same procedure mentioned above to reach Sajek Valley from Khagrachari
Best Time to Visit Sajek Valley
In whichever season you visit Sajek Valley, you will get to see the beauty of the floating clouds. But to enjoy the best of the place, you should plan your trip during mid-November.
The prices and crowd are much lower during this time. During December-January, the crowd is high as most tourists visit the place during Winter. And in the rest of the months, the prices of resorts and restaurants are sky-high.
Places To Stay In Sajek Valley
Sajek is divided into three neighbourhoods- Ruilui Para, Konglak Para, and Hamari Para. All these neighbourhoods are near to each other, but Hamari Para is unknown to people. This is because almost all of the tourist attractions in Sajek Valley are located in Ruilui Para and Konglak Para. These two neighbourhoods are also home to different resorts and restaurants.
- Alo Resort | Contact: +880 18223 56303
- Megh Machang | Contact: +880 18221 68877
- Sampari Resort | Contact: +880 18498 89055, +880 18691 57666
- Jumghor | Contact: +880 18842 08060
Best Place to Eat in Sajek Valley: Montana Restaurant
Being the most famous in Sajek to tourists, Montana restaurant offers a variety of cuisines with Bamboo chicken as the highlight. In simple words, chicken cooked inside a bamboo is bamboo chicken. Making this dish is not as easy as it seems. Fresh thin bamboo is needed to make this dish.
If the bamboo is old, then it loses its water content, due to which the chicken won’t have that unique flavour, which makes this recipe hard for us living in the cities. Different spices and the water of the bamboo brings a fresh, unique and juicy flavour of chicken that you won’t find anywhere else. The price of bamboo chicken is Taka 500-700($ 5.82-8.15). And rest items range from Taka 120-250($ 1.40-2.91).
Some Other Restaurants in Sajek Valley
It is a well-decorated and a popular restaurant in Sajek Valley. They maintain hygiene and serve good quality food. Every tourist must try this restaurant at least for once during their Sajek Valley trip.
It is a perfect restaurant for everyone who wants to enjoy the beauty of Sajek Valley from the rooftop. Their food quality is also up to the mark. The staff is friendly and the place is clean.
Peda Ting Ting serves awesome bamboo chicken and bamboo biryani. The place is mostly popular for its unique name. You will also find a wide range of options for tribal and traditional cuisines.
It is a very busy restaurant in Sajek Valley. They serve food at a reasonable price. This place is considered to be the best for hosting BBQ parties. Some of their food items might be a bit spicy. They serve Bamboo chicken, Bash fol bhaji, Vegetable (jhumi), Aloo bhorta, Dal, BBQ chicken, paratha, salad, Khichuri and Egg curry.
It is a cottage consisting of 4 rooms and a restaurant. Their best food item is tinder bamboo curry.
I have already given you a small idea of the best food item to try in Sajek Valley which is the bamboo chicken. But there are many other food items that you must try while you are there. You can try local Bangladeshi food or barbeque. But most importantly, don’t forget to try the bamboo tea.
You will find stalls and shops in Konglak Pahar where it is available. You might have never tasted such tea anywhere else.
Things to Do in Sajek Valley
Konglak Pahar(Konglak mountain) is the highest peak of Sajek Valley. If you decide to climb up to the Konglak Pahar, keep a water bottle with you as it can get very tiring. When you reach the top of the mountain, the picturesque view will make you forget all your tiredness. There are a few resorts in this area as well.
Many local shops are available, and you should definitely try the bamboo tea. Most of the shops there are managed by women. The people of the Konglak area are poor, so if you see any kid buy something for them.
Advice: Be careful during the rainy season as the road to Konglak Pahar is slippery.
Risang Waterfall and Alutila Cave
Risang Waterfall, located at the bottom of the hill, will make you walk a lot. It is better not to visit Risang Waterfall during the Rainy season because of the slippery path down the hill. After a long walk from the main road and 235 steps down the hill, you will reach the waterfall.
Alutila Cave, the 100 metres long natural cave, is a place of mystery to every tourist. The cave is dark, so the tourists usually light a fire torch. But if you are environmentally conscious, you should take a battery torch or turn on your phone’s flashlight. The path is slippery, so be cautious while walking inside the cave.
- Entry fee of Alutila Cave: Taka 10($ 0.12)
- Price of a fire Torch: Taka 10($ 0.12)
Lushai Heritage Village
A few funky looking photographs wearing the Lushai dress is a significant takeaway of your Sajek trip. Upon entering the village, you will be introduced to a new culture and a different language. The Lushai people speak only in their local language, so take a tour guide with you as your translator.
- Entry Fee: Taka 30($ 0.35)
- Lushai Dress rent for 20 minutes: Taka 100($ 1.16)
Night At Ruilui Para
A walk around Ruilui Para will make you forget all your daily life concerns. It is the most famous area for tourists as most restaurants and resorts are here. Besides being the Sajek Valley’s busiest area, Ruilui Para offers the most beautiful scenic image of the floating clouds.
Walking amidst the clouds is all fun and games until you get a fever, so don’t forget to wear some heavy clothes. Ruilui Para gets into a different ambience at night with the buzzing crowds and young tourists singing famous Bangla songs in groups.
The road of Sajek Valley is 2 km long, so you can’t miss a night walk here. At the right side of the road’s starting, there’s a church which is well lit up during the night. Different traveller groups arrange campfires and BBQ parties at night. There aren’t much to shop in Sajek Valley, but you can buy the local goods and handcrafts to support the local people.
When you go to Sajek Valley, you will see most tourists wake up before sunrise. Why is that? Well, it’s because watching sunrise from up above the clouds is rare in Bangladesh. In the cities, it’s almost impossible to enjoy such a scenario. Only a few hilly districts of Bangladesh allow us to enjoy such mesmerizing sunrise from above the mountains.
And Sajek Valley is the most preferable place for that. So, when you are in Sajek Valley you shouldn’t miss this opportunity of enjoying the beautiful sunrise amidst the mountains, dense forest, and grasslands hilly tracks.
Though a lot of people are acquainted with Risang Waterfall, only a few people know about the Sikam Toisa Waterfall. It is 2-3 hours hiking distance from the Ruilui Para. It is also known as “Komlok waterfall” or “Pidam Toisa Fall”. For older people and children, it would be hard to trek this path.
Moreover, the slippery road due to rain makes hiking more toilsome in this area. So, if you don’t like adventure, you should avoid it. But hiking through this path and then seeing the Sikam Toisa Waterfall will be a memorable journey if you dare to do so.
Out of all the things to do in Sajek Valley, watching the sunset from the helipad is the favorite of all tourists. Watching the beautiful setting sun from this place is a treat to the eyes. Most tourists walk around, click pictures, and have fun for a few hours at this place before and after sunset. Most importantly, it’s more fun to watch the sunset from the helipad when less tourists are present.
Sajek Valley is home to a huge number of people belonging from diversified backgrounds and cultures. The most prominent ethnic minorities in Sajek Valley are Lushai, Chakma, Tripura, Marma and Sagma. One of the most unique things you will notice here is that women are more involved in economic activities compared to men.
Such cases are normally seen in foreign countries, but they are rare in Bangladesh. The local people in Sajek Valley are welcoming and friendly. Moreover, you will come across many unique festivals and traditions when you are there.
Stone Garden is another notable tourist spot in Sajek Valley. Upon entering Sajek through the main gate, you will find the Stone Garden right beside the Sajek Resort. It is a great place to click some beautiful Instagrammable pictures.
You can check out the beautiful scenery of Sajek Valley by sitting on the benches and swings in the garden.There’s a beautiful bridge in the garden from where you can enjoy the mesmerizing views of the surrounding. The reason behind the naming of the place is that it is entirely surrounded by stones.
- Entry fee: Taka 20($ 0.20)
As Sajek Valley is a popular tourist destination and a lot of tourists visit the place every year, you have to keep some tips in mind before heading there. So, here are the tips-
- Book your room in your preferable cottage before going to Sajek Valley. If you don’t do so you might not get any rooms available if you are going there during on-season.
- Don’t take pictures of local people and their homes without permission.
- Wear proper shoes while climbing mountains. The roads to mountains are often slippery due to rainfall.
- Respect the culture and traditions of the local people. Don’t misbehave with them.
- Mobile networks are quite slow in Sajek Valley. So, don’t expect to keep in touch with your office staff and manage your work from there.
- If you are going to Sajek Valley during Winter or Rainy Season pack some heavy clothing.
- Medical facilities are rare in Sajek Valley. So, keep necessary medicines along.
- Always stay in groups and don’t roam anywhere alone. You might get lost and as the local people don’t understand Bangla, it might be hard for you to find your way back.
- If you are going to Sajek Valley with children, don’t let them wander alone.
- Heavy clothing
- Necessary medicines
- A copy of National ID Card
- Necessary toiletries
- Hiking/Trekking/Sport Shoes
- Mosquito Repellent Cream
Transportation: The entire transportation cost from going to Sajek Valley from Dhaka and coming back from there will be as low as Taka 6000($ 58.76). The transportation cost might be as high as Taka 12000($ 117.52).
Accommodation: Depending on the type of resort you will be staying in, your accommodation cost will vary. The cost might be anything from Taka 2000($ 19.59) per night to Taka 15000($ 146.90) per night.
Food: If you try common Bangladeshi food items, the cost will be as low as Taka 150($ 1.47) and if you want to taste the Bamboo chicken and other local items the food cost will be more than Taka 500($ 4.90).
Entrance fee and additional costs: There are many tourist spots in Sajek Valley that require you to pay an entrance fee. The entrance fees range from Taka 10($ 0.098) to Taka 30($ 0.29). And if you buy any local items, souvenirs, or any other stuff the additional cost will be around Taka 100($ 0.98) to Taka 500($ 4.90).
The costs might also vary depending on your time of visit. If you visit Sajek Valley during on-season the prices will be higher than usual.
Sajek Valley is located in Baghaichori Upazila in Rangamati hill district.
Sajek Valley is located at a height of 610 metre above sea level.
The most popular food item in Sajek Valley is Bamboo Chicken.
Yes, travelling to Sajek Valley is safe. Thefts or robberies do not occur there. However, natural mishaps like fire, landslide, occur sometimes.
The best time to visit Sajek Valley is during the winter season, which runs from mid-November to January.
Hiking/trekking in Sajek Valley is safe. Most tourists who climb up the mountains of Sajek Valley are beginner climbers. But you should keep it in mind that a lot of effort is needed while climbing the mountains. Moreover, the roads are slippery. So, if you can’t put in that effort, you should avoid hiking.
Now, are you ready to visit the Kingdom of clouds? After all, who wouldn’t love to walk amidst clouds? If you are a foreigner before visiting Sajek Valley, make sure to take travel insurance.