St. Martin's Island is a small island (area only 8 sq. km) in the northeastern part of the Bay of Bengal, about 9 km south of the tip of the Cox's Bazar-Teknaf peninsula, and forming the southernmost part of Bangladesh. There is a small adjoining island that is separated at high tide, called Chhera island. It is about 8 km west of the northwest coast of Myanmar, at the mouth of the Naf River. The first settlement started just 250 years ago by some Arabian Sailors who named the island 'Zajira'. During British occupation the island was named St. Martin Island. The local names of the island are ''Narical Gingira'', also spelled ''Narikel Jinjira/Jinjera'', which means 'Coconut Island' in Bengali, and ''Daruchini Dip''. It is the only coral island in Bangladesh.
From 1989 - 2004 Non residential Bangladeshis and foreigners were the only people permitted on the island, however this has changed and now residential Bangladeshi's are allowed. St. Martin's Island has become a popular tourist spot. Currently, five shipping liners run daily trips to the island, including Shahid Sher Niabat, L C T Kutubdia, Eagle, Keari Cruise & Dine and Keari-Sindbad. Tourists can book their trip either from Chittagong or from Cox's Bazar. The surrounding coral reef of the island has an extension named Chera Dwip. A small bush is there, which is the only green part of Chera Dwip, enhancing the beauty of this island. People do not live on this part of the island, so it is advisable for the tourists to go there early and come back by afternoon.
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