Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

“Our trip to Bangladesh wasn’t really about seeing ‘cultural sights’ in the traditional sense. In fact, during the whole trip, we didn’t visit a single museum. The real spectacle for us, which we gazed at wide-eyed and slack-jawed, were the Bangladeshi people themselves, and the street scenes. The highlights of the trip were the spontaneous conversations, even if the topics we discussed were nothing special, and the questions they asked were mostly all the same. Many times people we’d just met invited us into their homes for tea, as a courtesy to us.

We saw the old marketplace in Dhaka, as well as the old town and the new marketplace. The streets of the capital are indescribable, and I don’t think photos can really capture the atmosphere: hundreds of colorful rickshaws, deafening noise, and spectacular chaos everywhere. There are markets and bazaars everywhere.

For the sake of our lungs, we left Dhaka for a time and visited the Bhawal National Park, which isn’t far away. It was great to see families picnicking there, and the classes of schoolkids out enjoying an excursion. We took a river cruise, which was interesting mostly because we passed through two villages, but the riverbanks and the river itself were polluted and clogged with litter. Still, it was safer to be on a boat than on a bus traveling the roads of Bangladesh: Apparently, thirteen thousand Bangladeshis die every year in traffic accidents, and during our trip, we frequently saw accidents, though fortunately nothing fatal.

We liked the city of Sylhet, because it’s a more livable size than Dhaka, and it’s easier to chat with the locals there. We found that everywhere outside of Dhaka people were much friendlier.” (Babe, 2016)

Bangladesh - prayer - v.g. photo

Bangladesh - Mongla - village life - v.g. photo

Practicals

Transport

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Bangladesh - classy train travel - v.g. photo

Bangladesh - ordinary train travel - v.g. photo

Bangaldesh - trikshaw - v.g. photo

Bangaladesh - wating for long distance bus -x

Bangladesh - rickshaws - v.g. photo

Bangladesh - Dhaka - traffic - Alexander S. photo

Food

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Bangladesh - lunch - Alexander S. photo

Shopping

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Bangladesh - Nator - market crowd - n.g. photo

Public safety

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Bangladesh - Sariakandi - preparation - v.g. photo

Bangladesh - police force

Bangladesh - soldier with a musketoon - y.m. photo

Health

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Bangladesh - getting clean in the river next to a dump - Alexander S. photo

Others

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Bangladesh - tea plantation - v.g. photo

Bangladesh - traffic - y.m. photo

Background

Destination in brief

Bangladesh in brief

Bangladesh is a South Asian, Muslim country that is surrounded on three sides by India. The Bay of Bengal borders it to the south and Myanmar (Burma) to the south-east.

Bangladesh is the world's most densely populated country! About 164 million people live on only 144,000 km² (89,477 mi²) of land.

Capital city: Dhaka (population: about 20 million)

Bangladesh is a parliamentary republic (with a non-executive President). 98% of the population is Muslim. 

Official language: Bengali (due to the British colonial past, English is widely spoken)

Official currency: Bangladeshi taka (BDT)

Average net monthly salary: 315 USD (2019)

Most frequent surname: Akter

Citizens of most countries can get a tourist visa on arrival (for a maximum duration of 30 days).  

Bangladesh is not a comfortable tourist destination. There is no proper infrastructure to receive tourists and there is enormous poverty and huge crowds practically everywhere so travelers need to be prepared to adapt to the many local inconveniences and stressful conditions. To put it short, fussy travelers who are nervous about totally different cultures from theirs should not go to Bangladesh. We recommend Bangladesh to travelers who enjoy challenges. It is not an easy ride, but it could turn into a really valuable experience.

About safety concerns: Bangladesh has some (politically) tense areas (better get informed before the trip). Still, in spite of widespread destitution (at least 40% of the population live in deep poverty), tourists are seldom victims of theft or violent attacks. Pickpockets in Rome or Barcelona pose more of a threat to tourists then Bangladeshi locals. Luckily the shadier types in Bangladesh are not yet specialized in tourists, as such targets are hard to come by. 

There is a more significant risk for tourists: hygiene and health issues. You need not worry about any dangerous epidemic: indigestion is the real problem. Our bodies, or more precisely our intestinal flora, are not well prepared for their food and the way they prepare meals. 

Bangladesh’s climate is humid, subtropical. It rains all year long, but most of all during monsoon (from April to October). The summers are extremely sweaty, hot, and rainy, with temperatures sometimes rising to 40-41°C and possible cyclones towards the end of the season. Winters are more moderate, with temperatures sometimes rising to close to 30°C during the day, but nights can be cold (dropping under under 10°C now and then).

In Bangladesh, driving is on the left. 

Optimal travel timing: from November to February 

Essential tourist sights: Cox's Bazaar (probably the longest unbroken sea beach of the world), historic mosques of Bagerhat, St. Martin's Island (a coral island), The Sundarbans (the largest mangrove forest on earth), Old Dhaka, Chittagong Hill-Tracts with Kaptai Lake, Srimangal (“the tea capital”), Somari Mahabhihara (archeological sites), floating markets of Barisal, beautiful Hindu temples of Puthia   

 

Bangladesh - national flag

Bangladesh - stockpile - y.m. photo

Climate

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Bangladesh - after rain - Alexander S. photo

Nowadays

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Bangladesh - non-coin laundry - v.g. photo

Bangladesh - village scene- v.g. photo

Bangladesh - Dhaka - street scene - Alexander S. photo

People

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Bangladesh - girls

Bangladesh -couple -y.m. photo

Bangladesh - women in niqabs - m. photo

Bangladesh - man - y.m. photo

Bangladesh - women in sarees - y.m. photo

Bangladesh - cutting glance - y.m. photo

Tourist etiquette

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Bangladesh - The crowd is staring at the blonde tourist woman - y.m. photo

Attractions

Dhaka

Bangladesh - Dhaka - Ahsan Manzil (Pink Palace) - f.z. photo

Bangladesh - Dhaka - traffic - Alexander S. photo

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