Tuesday, January 01, 2008

October 31, 2007

After a frustrating day spent trying to get the bus to Srimangal, Heather and I finally settled into our hotel room at the Tea Resort. The resort had such potential, but unfortunately it was not very well maintained. The tennis court was stained and covered with debris, the pool was so green that we dared not go for a swim, and the rooms were old and sparse.

Srimangal itself, however, was an absolutely gorgeous place! Heather and I decided to rent bicycles to see more of the area. Unfortunately the bicycles that the hotel delivered looked like they were made before I was born. One of the seats had a metal piece that kept sticking out (Heather cleverly found a way to fix it with a piece of jute that we found next to the road, however...) and the other had some issue with the gears which made it twice as hard to pedal as it should have been.

Despite the poor quality of the bikes, Heather and I set out through the rolling hills of the tea plantations to do a bit of sight seeing. There were gorgeous tree-lined paths, small villages, and many beautiful, emerald tea plantations. I think that after I have built my resort in Jessore, Srimangal will be my second location! The area is absolutely gorgeous and it could use a good quality resort!

In the morning we biked up to the Lowacherra Forest. We spoke with some very friendly park rangers and decided to do the half hour hike to get a flavor of the forest. Unfortunately, the paths were not well marked, so we ended up getting lost in the middle of a pineapple orchard. Heather and I had never seen pineapples growing before (they go on bushes instead of on trees), so it ended up being an interesting excursion anyway.

When we finally did find our way back into the forest, we looked very hard for monkeys (the brochure was filled with monkeys so we were sure the forest was filled with them too), but mostly we just saw a bunch of very large, scary spiders.

An hour and a half later we finally found the marker for the “half hour hike” and made it back to the entrance. Just before coming back to where we started, we saw a series of park buildings. And in the trees next to the buildings, what did we see? Monkeys! We saw a couple of different kinds of monkeys hanging around the buildings. (Ironic, we know.)

When we got back to the resort late that afternoon, we were so exhausted (both of us had taken turns using the hard-to-use bicycle) that we could barely make it up the walk.

The next day we went to the five color tea stand before catching our bus back to Dhaka. This place did indeed serve tea that was five colors! (See photos below.) Heather and I both marveled at how they got the layers to separate like that. We asked if we could see them make it, but the shop keeper said that it was a secret recipe and only the store owner and his son knew how to make the tea. Heather and I wanted to unravel the mystery, however, so we took notes on the tastes of each level and resolved to try to make our own five color teas when we got home. (I would love to serve it at my resort!)

When we finished our tea, we took the rickshaw back to the bus stand. All in all, we did have a lovely time in beautiful Srimangal.

Tea Estates
This is the gorgeous view as we pulled into the Tea Resort.

More Tea...
The tea estates in Darjeeling were very similar - densely packed tea bushes with small trees planted throughout the field. I wonder if the trees are there to lightly shade the tea...

Tea Resort
This is the main building of the Tea Resort, the hotel Heather and I stayed at in Srimangal.

Our (uninspiring) room at the Tea Resort.

The (fairly gross) bathroom.

Pineapple Orchard
This is the pineapple orchard where Heather and I got lost. The small spiky plants on the ground are the pineapple bushes...

Photo of Heather next to some bamboo trees in the Lowacherra forest.

One of the very large scary spiders! This guy is as big as my hand! I wanted to put my hand next to him to take the picture, but that idea scared Heather too much!

Five Color Tea
Here is the very awesome five color tea!


At Saturday, January 05, 2008 1:44:00 PM, Blogger Bhaboghure Jhor said...

best of luck with ur resort...


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home