The Shipbreakers

Asia, Bangladesh, Places, Sightsee with Sophie

If you google, “Shipbreakers” you’ll stumble upon Paul Goodman’s film, Shipbreakers, that highlights the profession of ship breaking. Ship breaking is a big business — it’s also one of the most dangerous professions. It’s the process of dismantling big ships and selling their parts for scrap. It is extremely labor-intensive and extremely dangerous. With the cheaper labor costs and fewer health and safety guidelines in countries like Bangladesh, the ship breaking jobs often end up here.

The four largest ship breaking nations are India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and China — in total, they handle an estimated 85% of the world’s ship recycling (National Geographic).

Ship breaking continues to be on the rise with growing international trade and global shipping. It provides employment to thousands of people each year in developing countries and also builds the steel industry.

Workers constantly face the dangers of falling material, fires, and electric shocks.

Naturally, Nihab and I decided to visit the ship breaking yard in Dhaka. We hopped on a boat and headed towards the area, where we were exposed to the dangers of the ship breaking industry. It was incredible to see the work done in this area. We jumped right into filming and grabbed shots of the workers in their environment.

The ship breaking industry will continue to be on the rise as the global trade increases. More exposure needs to be provided to show the poor working environment, lack of safety equipment, and long hours spent by the workers in this area. There’s always a risk of something going wrong.

What a surreal experience to walk through the ship breaking yard of Dhaka.

The Salt Flats

Asia, Bangladesh, Places, Sightsee with Sophie, Videos

One of the best photography spots around — the salt flats in Cox’s Bazar. Located outside of the city, you have to navigate through some local villages to find your way there. The best mode of transportation to get there is a tomtom. You can find a tomtom driver in Cox’s Bazar to take you around the salt flats area. Just be ready to bargain. You probably will want to go with a local who can show you around the area — it’s a little bit off the beaten path.

As you pass through the local fishing villages, you can stop by and grab some tea at any of the tea shops around.

The pictures speak for themselves. The salt flats are such a beautiful part of Cox’s Bazar. Prime photography opportunities right here! Also a great chance to find some local villagers and hang out with them over a cup of tea.

Perfect to watch the sunset as well. My top advice when in Cox’s Bazar: never miss a sunset. You’ll regret it.

The World’s Longest Beach

Asia, Bangladesh, Places, Sightsee with Sophie

One would think that after you’ve seen one beach, you’ve seen them all. Some beaches are obviously more beautiful than others. But they’re fairly straightforward. They have sand, water, and the occasional waves and rays of sunshine. The essentials. So when you say, “Let’s go to the beach!” that’s generally what you would expect.

For Cox’s Bazar, it might be a different story. Known as the World’s Longest Beach, there’s far more than meets the eye. Not only is it a beach, but it’s also:

A highway.

When there’s road construction in town, this is the only solution. I say highway so you know it’s not a road with a crosswalk. The CNG drivers won’t stop, especially if you’re trying to enjoy a nice sunset walk. 10 points for whoever can take out the white girl walking along the beach.

A Place to Gallop on Horseback

Cox’s Bazar |Nihab Rahman|

Yeah, that’s pretty cool. You might be able to race those CNG drivers.

A Place for Cheap, Good Coconuts

Less than $1 for an incredibly refreshing coconut. After you finish the juice, be sure to ask the Coconut Man to crack it open for you so you can eat the flesh. Get the best bang for your buck!

Breeding Ground for Dogs

Beware of the dogs. One of the biggest mistakes that tourists make is they assume that dogs in other countries are same as the ones in their country. They’re not. They will bite. But the good news: The dogs don’t like water. So if you do end up getting attacked, just run into the waves. They’ll leave you in no time, especially if you have a tripod to hit them. And the local fishermen will help you escape. Tried and tested by Sophie herself.

The Sunset

Hands down, Cox’s Bazar has some killer sunsets. This beach is a photographer’s dream. You won’t want to miss it. The best time to catch the sunset is around 5:15pm.

Have you visited the World’s Longest Beach? Got any recommendations to share? Reach out to me — I’d love to hear more!