Cover photo by Md. Moazzem Mostakim
To start off, the 200-year-old market is absolutely fascinating! You are surrounded by water and hundreds of boats filled with guavas. If you look above, you can see the blue sky with grey hues. The place is so serene that it feels calm, no matter how much noise you make. But, don’t make noises though.
For obvious reasons, the place has become quite a tourist spot lately. Here is all you need to know about the floating guava market.
When to go there
Every year, the market starts getting lively from the first week of July. The season stays till the first week of September. The locals start picking guavas and the activities of the market happen between the hours of early morning and noon.
How you will go there
The floating guava market is mainly located in a village called Bhimruli. The village is a part of Swarupkathi Upazila in Pirojpur District. You can easily go there by road from Barisal City, passing through Jhalakathi and directly stopping at Atghar Kuriana (at Swarupkathi, Pirojpur). You will find many wooden boats and various types of trawlers waiting there to take you into the villages.
The journey is about 21 kilometres from Barisal City to Swarupkathi. It will take approximately one and a half hours to reach your destination if you go by road.
What you will see
Besides seeing boats and trawlers full of guavas, hog plums, bananas and other local fruits and vegetables around you, you will get to enjoy a view of the beautiful village landscape! There are shades of blue all around in the greenery.
There are about 30 villages in Swarupkathi containing more than 7,000 guava orchards! You can get a quick glance of them via taking the water transport. The one-hour boat trip gives you a taste of the local village lifestyle in this way as well.
How much it will cost you
The cost of renting per small boat is around 300 BDT to 500 BDT.
Per medium to big boat costs around 500 BDT to 700 BDT.
The trawlers are clean and safe. They cost 1000 BDT to 1200 BDT.
The cost given here is including the fare of the skilled boatmen and helping hands of the boat/trawler you rent there. If you choose Atghar Kuriana as your starting spot, your one-way trip will be a little more than 2 kilometres, so safe to say your round trip will end up being more than 4 kilometres.
The price of guavas
Quick question. How much do you think per kilogram of fresh guavas can cost at least? In Dhaka, it costs around 60-80 BDT depending on the place you are getting them from.
So how low can the price actually get? 30 BDT per kilogram or maybe 20 BDT per kilogram?
Here, the guavas cost only 5 BDT per kilogram!
(We bought 20 kilograms of guavas with 100 BDT only! Distributed most of them in the neighbourhood and we still have a fridge loaded with guavas.)
A couple of heads up
It is safer to take a trawler than a boat if you cannot swim. Keep your belongings by your side and tightly grip your phone when you take the pictures. Remember, you are surrounded by water.
Most importantly, do NOT throw water bottles, packets of chips, or any kind of plastics into the water. The place is still quite neat, we do not want to ruin it, do we?
Lastly, there are some low bridges throughout the boat trip. Watch your head!
Pro tip: Take a pack of salt to make the garden-fresh guavas taste their best when you eat them during your trip!
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