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2015 Dec by Roman Bruehwiler
There are 7 provinces and 3 Unesco World Heritage Sites I visited in Bangladesh. By rental car and driver I explored the country from east to west and south to nord within 10 days, including a three day boat trip to the Sundarbans. I expected to find millions of mosquitos in this Wild Life Sanctuary but there are none - what a surprise and how relaxing to enjoy the wind in your hair standing in front of the ship crusing trough the water channels and above you the stars of the night without any fear of malaria bringing mosquitos. The Sundarbans are worth to be visited.
Visiting the UNESCO ruins of an old Buddhist temple at Paharpur was a disappointment and nothing special. The most beautiful village I have seen within Bangladesch is Puthia, an old capital east of Rajshaj. Not only the beautiful restored buildings but the whole scenery of this place is very special.
Travelling throughout Bangladesh is mentally not easy because of the all over seen poverty and the total lack of cleanliness. |
2011 Dec by Michael Novins
December 2011 -- I stayed at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka and visited the Sadarghat boat terminal, Ahsan Manzil (Pink Palace), Shankharia Bazar (Hindu Street), the Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection (1781), Sitara Mosque (early 18th century), Lalbagh Fort, Dhakeshwari Temple (the city's main Hindu temple), Curzon Hall at Dhaka University and the National Assembly building (designed by Louis Kahn and architecturally grim). My favorite place to eat was the cake shop at Al-Razzaque in the old town. I made sightseeing arrangements with The Guide Tours Ltd. (http://www.guidetours.com/). |
2002 Nov by Gunnar Dahlberg
Hey Dude[friend from Toronto inquiring about Bangladesh],
I visited Toronto once and drove the entire 7 hours from Connecticut along the Erie Canal(nothing eerie about it!). I passed the world\'s one and only Beechnut Baby Food factory, spent the night in rusting Buffalo, and saw the fantastic Niagara Falls(they really cleaned up the place since my last visit in the 80\'s). Toronto is a world class city with lots of great architecture nicely situated along the water with a great ethnic mix... it\'s a refreshing change from the conservative suburbs of Connecticut. I summited the Toronto Tower but even at some 140 stories up there just wasn\'t much to see besides the vast tundra and piles of moose droppings.
Bangladesh is a whole nother story. I originally visited Bangladesh since Bimar Air was the cheapest round trip to Rangoon, Burma from Bangkok($200). After visiting Burma (which should be near the top of your list if you haven\'t already been) I remember being relieved to be back in civilization upon landing in Dhaka. Can you imagine happy and relieved to be in Bangladesh of all places! Just gives you an idea of what a dysfunctional country Burma is... a textbook lesson in how to run a market economy into the ground with a team of crackpot astrological/economic psychics/advisers! There\'s nothing special to see in Dhaka except really bad traffic congestion with rickshaws and ox challenging overloaded trucks and crazy taxi drivers for the right of way. It\'s a Muslim place so don\'t wear high heals or a miniskirt and you\'ll probably be the only tourist within sight. What is special about Bangladesh and Burma for that matter is that the locals haven\'t been corrupted by the tourist dollar yet and seem so innocent and genuinely sincere you wonder if money really is the root of all evil. I had a young, poor boy lead me to the ferry landing without any sort of expectation of payment whereas in India he would have harassed me for money. I thought about giving him a tip but then realized that it would corrupt the little lad and that by the time you showed up he would be asking for big bucks(now how about a little kickback for my valiant effort). I took the train to Chittagong but got homesick for Dhaka and didn\'t even bother to check out the beach. When I arrived at the Chittagong train station as the only tourist on the train, a Bangladeshi man, somewhat perplexed, asked me why I had bothered to visit Chittagong! If you do go avoid the pedestrian overpass, it\'s really a public bathroom and you\'ll have to tip toe past the piles of human dung, made me want to spell Chittagong with a capital \'S\'. Go to Bangladesh to say you were in Bangladesh or to hunt for the Bengal tiger, otherwise India\'s got everything and more! |
1989 May by Jorge Sanchez
I obtained my visa in the Bangladesh High Commissioner, in Calcutta, (today called Kolkata) in the same day. It was free of charge.|
Then the Next day I took a train to the last Indian village, called Bangaon, crossed the border and the first Bangladesh village was called Benapol. From there I continued to Khulna and the next day I boarded an old Japanese cargo boat called Rocket.
The journey would take me 48 hours, instead of 24, as scheduled, because of the bad weather and monsoon during our journey on open sea and across rivers.
Food (very humble), was included on board. Prices in Bangladesh were still cheaper than in India.
I loved Bangladesh people, they were nice, polite, and curious about foreigners, but did not ask me so many personal questions, as the Indians use to do.
Dhaka was the city of the 1001 mosques. I only managed to see about twenty mosques, but I saw thousands and thousands of rickshaws. Dhaka is the world capital of rickshaws.
After some days exploring the city I proceeded to explore the country. I boarded a bus to Chittagong, where I would spend a couple of nights.
During these days I made friendship with the Bengalis and some of them mentioned me the Rangamati Hill District, in Chitagong Hill Tracts area.
I soon got interested in visiting that area, with its exotic tribes of the hills, but I was told that there were local wars between the Muslims and Buddhist Bengalis, therefore would be dangerous, and off limits to tourists.
Today (year 2011) you can cross overland from Agartala, in Tripura, to Dhaka, crossing Rangamati Hill District. But in 1989 it was forbidden to foreigners.
Anyway, I boarded several buses and after a few hours outwitting military controls I got to the shores of the Lake Kaptai. From there I could see the border with Tripura and even Rangamati village.
But in that last control I was discovered and forced to go back to Chittagong.
In the bus to Chittagong I made friendship with a local man who was heading to the mythical town of Mrauk U, an old capital of the legendary Kingdom of Arakan, in Myanmar.
I asked if I could go with him, He was hesitant because foreigners are forbidden to enter that millenary kingdom, even from Rangoon (today called Yangon), because of the fight of the natives against the Myanmar Government.
Finally he did not object to accompany him to the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar (then called Burma).
My friend was a Buddhist monk and his name was Maung.
From Chittagong we transshipped to another bus to Cox’s Bazar, where we arrived already very late, but Maung invited me to spend the night in the Buddhist Temple and Monastery of Aggamedha, where I was accepted by the Master Sayadaw, a very wise man, aged probably over 70 years old, with whom I had a very rewarding conversation that night about the meaning of life of man in this world.
Maung had to stay in for two days in the Monastery of Aggamedha, also called the Temple of the 1001 Buddhas. During these two days I could live in the monastery, in the dormitory together with the monks, and go outside to explore the city, returning during the meals times.
Cox’s Bazar was a most interesting and exotic town. It possesses the longest white sand beach in the world.
The third day Maung and I thanked the Master Sayadaw for his hospitality and proceeded by bus to Teknaf, the border with Myanmar.
When we arrived to Teknaf we slept in a pharmacy, owned by Maung. He told me that he was a naturalist pharmaceutical.
The next day he continued his journey to Mrauk U, but I could not go with him because the rigorous military controls in the Naf River border. To those who risk crossing that river swimming, the soldiers from Bangladesh and Myanmar, shoot without pity.
I went back to Cox’s Bazar, then to Chittagong, Dhaka and Kolkata, back in India, from where I headed by trains and buses to Kashmir, then Ladakh and finally walking to the fabulous Kingdom of Zanskar.
1987 Dec by Veikko Huhtala*
After one week traveling in Bhutan we had flight to Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh. I never seen so many beggars than at Dhaka airport. Everybody was asking money. Our situation was even a little bit dangerous, but one Hotel Hilton's courtesy shuttle driver saved us from them. Usually we do not go into five star hotels, but now we wanted to leave airport as soon as possible. And in addition they gave us some discount, we paid only 80 US dollars for our room. It is not bad price when speaking about Hilton. We slept there one night before continuing our tour to Burma and Rangoon. |