Imagine spending a night somewhere where the only sound is that of gently splashing waves – there is no car honking nearby and no helicopter whirring above.
As you lay your head on a soft pillow, you look out the window and see a vast body of water, glimmering under the moonlight.
You are on a houseboat and as it gently rocks you to sleep, you begin to think life is, indeed, beautiful.
It may sound like a dream but you can actually experience this through 'Promodini Boat Life', a luxurious houseboat life project at Kaptai Lake, Rangamati co-operated by Promodini Boat Life and Avijatrik Tourism Limited.
The air-conditioned houseboats have a large, built-in toilet with shower facility and double bed cabins (curtains can be drawn for privacy).
The rooftop is the boat's best feature as it serves as a spacious sitting area with sofas.
During the evening, you can enjoy a snack or two here while the wind blows, and watch one of the most gorgeous sunsets there is.
You will also get the best view of Kaptai Lake from here.
There are two houseboats: Promodini-1 (for six people) and Promodini-2 (for 10 people).
The houseboat trip includes a two nights, one day package with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. It would cost Tk6,000 per person for a group of six to ten people.
The couple package costs Tk30,000, whereas for three people it would cost Tk32,000, for four Tk33,000 and for five, Tk35,000.
Some of the most scenic resorts and cottages in Bangladesh are found around Kaptai Lake.
But the tourism potential of this lake itself was never quite tapped into until very recently due to the lack of innovative long-term planning and initiative.
However, thanks to young entrepreneurs like Dipanjan Dewan, things are taking a turn for the better.
"We wanted to follow the concept of house boats in Kerala and on Dal Lake in Kashmir and really rebrand Rangamati as a new tourist spot," said Dipanjan, owner-operator of Promodini Boat Life.
While studying in Australia, he had the opportunity to look closely into the country's service sector.
"I felt we could also develop the service sector in Bangladesh in the same way," he said, adding, "Our boat trips are very family-friendly and so far, all our guests have given us great feedback."
The tour package
For office goers, this could be a short getaway during weekends.
If you take the Thursday night bus, you will reach Rangamati city early in the morning on Friday.
After swimming, kayaking and spending the night on the boat, you will enjoy sight-seeing the next day, which ends in the evening.
You could take the night bus on Saturday and reach home Sunday morning.
After reaching Rangamati city, you will have to take a CNG auto-rickshaw to Assam Basti Bridge where a speed boat from Promodini will pick you up.
After travelling for a few minutes, you will reach Divine Lake Island where the boats are anchored.
Check-in time is 10am, so if you reach a bit early, you can wait at the Divine Lake Island restaurant area, freshen up, and eat breakfast.
For a more comfortable waiting experience, you could also book one of the cottages here, but it would not fall under your house boat package.
By 10 to 10:30am, you would be able to get on the boat. You will get 30 minutes for charging your phone, laptop etc because there is no direct electricity connection as soon as the boat is on the water.
Two staff members (including the helmsman) from the boat company will be there to accompany you.
The Promodini experience
At first you will be taken to a swimming point, which is a shallow point on Kaptai Lake and safe for guests to dive into.
There are lifebuoys and the staff are always on guard to avoid any untoward incidents.
There is a simple rule when you are on or near water and you cannot swim: Do not try to swim! You can always dip your feet and feel the water. After swimming, it is time for some kayaking on the lake.
Then you will enjoy a delicious lunch with bamboo chicken (you can also order bamboo fish), fried 'chapila' fish (if you are lucky, you will be able to see them flipping in the water during the day), stir fried vegetables and other local dishes.
Before wrapping up at 5 to 5:30pm and docking at the Divine Lake Island, you will witness a beautiful sunset. As the sun sets, the warm golden lights gradually turn red, and on water, the reflections are mesmerising.
For dinner, there is barbecued chicken with salad, soft drinks etc. But what comes after dinner is even better – a live performance by a local musician on the boat's rooftop.
On the second day of the tour, you have to check out of the house boat by 9am.
After securing your luggage on the speed boat, brace yourself for a sightseeing tour to popular spots like the Hanging Bridge, Shuvolong Waterfall, Polwel Park, and a small community market where you will find traditional Chakma and Marma goods.
Lunch will be served at the Chang Pang Restaurant where you have to try out their 'kachki macher' salad. The speed boat will drop you off at your preferred place in Rangamati city by 5pm or 6pm.
The ideal time to take this boat trip would be now or winter because summer is unusually hot and not suitable especially if you are travelling with children.
Details about Promodini are available on Avijatrik's Facebook page and their website www.avijatrik.org.