Nilgiri: the land of clouds
It was a chilly Thursday night in Dhaka. We, my mom and I, were waiting to board our bus, and I was panicking. My uncle, aunt, grandma, grandpa, and a younger cousin were running late for the 11:15 pm bus. And it was already 11:05 pm.
I was relieved when I noticed them on the other side of the street. I frantically waved my hands at them, hoping they would see me.
Luckily, they did.
At last, we all boarded the bus to Bandarban, where we would stay two nights at the Nilgiri Hill Resort.
I slept for most of the 6 hours journey. When I woke up, it was morning.
After arriving in Bandarban, we went to a restaurant for breakfast. I would be honest here; I didn't enjoy it. The parathas were too cold. After that, we took a car ride to reach the resort.
The three-hour journey was spectacular. As our car moved along the scenic road, the different shapes of mountains and clouds were a treat to my eyes.
We reached the resort around 11:00 am and went to our respective rooms. After unpacking my bag, I went to my uncle's room and was astonished by the view from his verandah.
The surrounding green hills, the meandering Sangu River at the bottom and the moving clouds were a spectacle to behold.
Soon after, we had lunch. The menu was chicken salad, bamboo chicken, lentil soup and rice. I went for bamboo chicken and rice. My tongue got blistered eating that tasty but excessively spicy food.
We all spent the evening sitting on the verandah enjoying the views. My mom and aunt served us snacks and tea. We ate freshly collected bananas too.
However, at dinner, I hardly could eat. The welcoming aroma of the local cuisine was mouth-watering, but my blisters prevented me from tasting the delicacies.
Wasi Ibrahim Raiid is a student of class 8 in the Summerfield International School
After dinner, we had a memorable walk around the resort. The soft moonlight lit everything around us, including the clouds surrounding us. It was, as if, we were walking inside the clouds!
It was cold outside, but the touch of the wet clouds was soothing.
And the clouds were moving fast. In one moment, they were encircling us; the next moment, they were far gone to another mountain.
The rest of the night went pretty well despite my encounter with a giant spider. But that's a different story.
On the second day, we went to the helipad. The greenery, the white clouds over the valley, the crisp air – all made that sunny day magical.
From the Nilgiri hilltop, I could even see lighthouses and ships in the far Bay of Bengal using my uncle's monocular.
We spent the rest of the day exploring the resort and taking pictures. It was so windy that the thought of wind turbines came to my mind. Surely, the turbines, if installed there, would produce enough electricity to power the resort or, at least, part of it.
The wind was stronger during the night. I had to wear a blanket to even go to the verandah. There, I saw two gigantic lizards just outside my room. I confess I was not a fan of the bugs in this place. Every insect there was ginormous!
Apart from a few incidents with the bugs and insects, I enjoyed the rest of the trip. The views there would stay with me for a long time. It was one of the best experiences I ever had. And this could be your next family vacation place too.
How to go there: You can go to Bandarban by your own car or by bus. From there to Nilgiri, you can hire a jeep. You can also go to Chattogram by air then take a bus or hire a car to Bandarban.
About Nilgiri Hill Resort: If you want to touch the clouds, Nilgiri is the place to visit. The resort, on the Nilgiri Hills, is maintained by the Bangladesh Army. It is about 45 kilometres away from Bandarban district headquarters. My uncle and aunt had access to it as they served in the army. You must book at least a month before to get a room in this coveted resort.