Travel Jeopardy: What Is Bangladesh?

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Last Updated on February 17, 2018 by Audrey Scott

What comes to mind when you hear the word Bangladesh?

Bangladesh Kids
This is what came to their minds when we said “tiger”.

When we talk about our travels in Bangladesh, the mere mention often evokes a reaction that says, “Bangladesh? What is it? I'm curious.

For good reason.

People don’t know what to make of Bangladesh. They know the name, but often only because they’ve caught a short blip news cycle item like a natural disaster.

Here, we take a different tack, a cue from the game show Jeopardy to introduce another side of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Travel Jeopardy

(Hint: The answer to every question below is “What is Bangladesh?”)

Country where ordinary visitors are most likely to feel like rock stars

Feeling under-appreciated? Starved of attention? Then Bangladesh is the place for you.

Bangladesh Village School
Where's Audrey?

How to feel like a rock star? Easy. Just to go Bangladesh and walk down the street. Then stop for a more than a few seconds.

And bam! You are the main attraction. Oh, and the questions Bangladeshis ask.

During our five-week visit to Bangladesh, we ran into a grand total of five tourists. One a week by our count.

Home to the city with the world's worst traffic

Dhaka has the worst traffic in the world,” our friend told us definitively when we first arrived.

Worse than Bangkok?” we asked, memories of jams dislodged.

No comparison.

We figured he'd gone soft. Then we tried to get across Dhaka during a low traffic holiday.

Streets of Old Dhaka, Bangladesh
Old Town Dhaka on a slow day.

It’s difficult to describe traffic in Dhaka in any way that does it justice — other than to say that there are few rules and even less sense of “public good.” Bicycle rickshaws, men pulling carts, auto rickshaws, cars of every size, and wheezing buses all share the same clogged space. There is no apparent organization. But of course there is, it's just that millions are moving at once, desperate to get through, trying to push ahead. Add to that incessant honking, lurching, and brake-riding, you just might feel like your destination doesn't exist in this lifetime.

Each time we returned from a cross-Dhaka trip, hard liquor was in order. And we swore we'd never leave the house again.

Birthplace of Microfinance

Occasional darling topic of the development world, the concept of microfinance was not dreamed up by Economics and Development PhDs at Harvard or Yale. Instead (and very arguably) it was hatched in the mid-1970s in the villages outside of the town of Chittagong, Bangladesh when Muhammad Yunus began experimenting by providing small loans (originally with his own money) to rural women.

Rural Bangladesh
Ever wondered how puffed rice is made? With the help of hot sand.

Why Bangladesh for microfinance? Need. Necessity is often the mother of invention.

The country with the cheapest shave and haircut

The cost of a haircut, shave, and head and shoulder massage, facial mask/scrub in the “fancy” barber shop (not pictured below)? $1.20

Bangladesh Village Visit
This time, a street-side shave — that nearly stopped traffic in the village.

No wonder Bangladeshi men are a well-groomed lot.

Most Densely Populated Country in the World

We know, you've heard this from us before. But 150 million people tucked into a country the size of Wisconsin. The magnitude of this reality bears repeating, often.

Put it another way, given the same population density, India would have over three billion people. And the United States? Over 11 billion.

Take a few turns of the ol' wheels for this to sink in.

Bangladesh Village School
And you thought you had large class sizes…

But Bangladeshi people — warm, outgoing and genuinely excited to meet and engage with travelers — are in fact the highlight of a visit to the country.

Birthplace of Tantric Buddhism

Buddhism and Bangladesh? Bet you weren’t expecting to see this here.

Today, Bangladesh is predominantly Muslim (over 90%), but if you go back over a thousand years you will find that it was in fact the birthplace of Tantric Buddhism.

UNESCO Site of Paharpur Buddhist Monastery - Bangladesh
UNESCO Site of Paharpur Buddhist Monastery

Eventually, a wave of Hinduism washed over Bangladesh, followed later by Islam. The result is often-hidden layers of religious history, culture and sites throughout the country.

World’s cheapest breakfast

A typical Bangladeshi breakfast for around $1 for the two of us: four paratha (fried flat bread), sabzi (mixed vegetables), dal (lentils) and tea. A hearty and filling way to start the day often meant that we didn’t have to eat again until dinner. (More on Bangladeshi food here.)

Bangladeshi Food
Sabzi and Paratha Breakfast – Old Dhaka, Bangladesh

And for the hardest of the hard-core “I can be cheaper than you”, we defy you to do better and cheaper than 24 singara (samosa-like pastry filled with spiced potato mixture) for $1.

Most Harrowing Road Trip

To loosen up all that wonderful food that you've eaten, hop a local or regional bus. Bangladesh road trips make overnight bus trips on Andean cliffside mountain roads look like walks in the park.

Bangladesh Transport
Bus transport, taking a ride on top.

Imagine the traffic scene from Dhaka, opened to more space and much greater speed. Endless honking, slamming on breaks, dust swirling, full-speed passing on blind curves stacked with oncoming traffic, lurching movements to avoid bicycle rickshaws and hand-drawn carts. No wonder the average bus looks like it's been hammered back into a shape after a few rolls off a mountain.

To keep from losing it on bus and road trips, we read books and became fatalists.

Our advice? If you can, take the train.

Bangladesh Train Travel
Train, the best way to get around Bangladesh.

Driest country (in South Asia, at least)

While you might find some alcohol in the big cities in expat and diplomatic circles, it remains illegal for Bangladeshi citizens to consume it.

So if you fancy a drink in Bangladesh, good luck finding one. There are exceptions, however. No wonder the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) were full of Bangladeshis who'd come in search of a drink of rice wine and to sing and party to their hearts' content for the new year. Outside of a new year celebration, we were offered beer once — under the breath of a waiter who later returned with something warm and appalling at $5/can.

CHT Liquor Shop - Bangladesh
Foreign Liquor Shop – Rangamati, Bangladesh

No plastic bags

The first few times we received our street food in cups and bags made of stapled and folded old newspapers, we thought, “Recycling. Isn't that neat.”

But it isn't just neat; it's the law. Plastic bags are banned in Bangladesh. And while we cannot speak for the overall impact of this ban on the environment, it sure is nice not to see plastic bag bushes across the Bangladesh countryside.

Bangladesh Street Food
Notice the piles of recycled paper on the right to use instead of plastic bags.

Have questions about traveling to Bangladesh? Ask away or check out our Bangladesh Travel Beginner's Guide.

About Daniel Noll
Travel and life evangelist. Writer, speaker, storyteller and consultant. Connecting people to experiences that will change their lives. Originally from the U.S. Daniel has lived abroad since 2001 and most recently has been on the road since 2006. When he's not writing for the blog you can keep up with his adventures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And you can learn more about him on the About Page and on LinkedIn.

55 thoughts on “Travel Jeopardy: What Is Bangladesh?”

  1. @Sutapa: You are right in that there are vast income disparity issues in Bangladesh, as in many developing and developed countries. Actually, the area of Dhaka we like the least – Gulshan – is where you see these disparities the most and we found the people there (both rich and poor) are the least friendly we met in the country.

    Bangladesh is quite good, especially when you can get a home-cooked meal. We’ll be writing more about that soon!

    @Jordan: Glad you learned a few more details about Bangladesh from this piece!

  2. I think , u’d missed few more points, Bangladesh is the Shopping Paradise, u can purchase clothes, Jewellery within USD 1 or 2. there has longest sea beach in Cox’sbazar over the whole world ( 120 km)
    i would love to ad. and request to watch—

    I LOVED and LIKED YOUR FUNNY POINT, YOU CAN BECOME ROCKSTAR. This is absolute true , peoples are very curious about outside guest. as its not multi-culture country. but peoples of bangladesh are very hospitable and nice and welcome outsider.

    you would learn more about it.
    @ Sutapa Chattopadhyay : you’re right, there has difference between poor and rich people.

  3. @Shofiul: Thanks for commenting and glad you enjoyed this post on Bangladesh! Yes, it is possible to purchase textiles and jewelry in Bangladesh for inexpensive prices. We don’t do a lot of shopping when we travel, so we didn’t mention that here.

    We will be writing more about Bangladesh and what to see as a tourist. Although we didn’t visit Cox’s Bazaar we did spend over five weeks traveling around the country – from Srimongal to Paharpur to CHT – and saw quite a lot of the country. We were welcomed everywhere we went by local people.

    @Megan: Good to hear that you’re interested in hearing more about Bangladesh – we have several more posts planned 😉

    Although Bangladesh and India may look similar from the outside (i.e., two South Asian countries) they are very different from each other. As a solo female traveler I don’t think you’ll have trouble from a safety perspective, but you will get *a lot* of attention. I talked to some female volunteers who traveled around on their own often.

    On the one hand, all the interaction with and curiosity from people is great – this is what makes traveling through Bangladesh so special. On the other hand, all the attention can get intense when you just want to walk down the street without all eyes on you. As Bangladesh is primarily a muslim country, it’s best to dress conservatively and pick up some local clothes (local women loved whenever I wore this). I’d say it’s more difficult travel than in India, partly because of the intensity (people, roads, etc.) and also because accurate information can be difficult to obtain due to a lack of a independent tourism infrastructure and English skills. At the same time, that’s part of the adventure 🙂

    I was thinking of writing more on this topic of traveling as a woman through Bangladesh and other countries, if other people would be interested in it.

  4. But from what I hear (and I could be wrong), Bangladesh is also the country where differences between rich and poor are very stark. Even differences between upper middle-class and poor. We have foreign vehicles on the streets of Dacca (Mercedes, Jags) that share the streets with people walking and on bikes.

    Not that inequality doesn’t exist elsewhere including neigboring India and including the US and UK both which have a high inequality indices.

  5. Also what I hear…food is Bangladesh is to die for! Including pitha (I see that you have photographs of pitha too). Mmmmm…..coconut-filled crepes in cream sauce…mmmmmmmm.

  6. Love this. I spent about a month in Bangladesh and it is, hands down, the cheapest country I have ever spent any time in. Without question! I also received the same rock star treatment. I went to a local “circus” (such as it was) and guess who was the main attraction? Yours truly! I was terrified to cross the street in Dhaka and the food was DELICIOUS! I also met some of the most beautiful souls in this country-people I will never forget. Great post, thanks for sharing.

  7. This is really fascinating looking forward to reading more. I’d also be interested to hear how travelling in Bangladesh compares to travel in neighbouring India. Only 5 other tourists in 5 weeks!!

    I’d like to visit Bangladesh when I head back to India sometime in the not so distant future but think as a solo female I’d be a little nervous – I’ve heard mixed reports as to whether it’s easier or more difficult (than to India). Just another reason to continue the search for the perfect partner 😉

  8. I think people of my age group are very familiar with Bangladesh – after all, we supported Ravi Shankar and the Concert for Bangladesh.

    Obviously, it’s changed a lot. But in some ways, I’m betting it still remains very much the same.

  9. I have been reading your posts on Bangladesh & I think this is an article for people like me who are in dilemma whether to visit Bangladesh or not, especially if it is not very different from my own country India. But now I think it’s worth a visit. 🙂

    As for Rockstar, it might be true only for white people. I don’t think I’ll get much attention from them which in a way is good too, since I am a solo female traveller. 🙂

    @Megan: Even I get a lot of ‘stares’ & queries in my own country. 🙂 After all they don’t get to see any Indian woman in cargos with backpack & a camera hanging by her neck. 🙂

    Also, it being a multi-lingual country, I too have language problems.
    Abroad, it is okay… I know I am a tourist there. 🙂

  10. Nice posting, Audrey and Dan. A few of those Bangladeshi Gulshan denizens that you met told me afterwards that they couldn’t imagine going to some of the places that you went, and especially by bus (echoing some of the comments of others here). The country these days is up in arms over the impossible roads and driving, triggered by a crash that killed a couple beloved media personalities. My contribution: What is the country where a stone’s throw away is an eternity? Bangladesh. There are no stones to throw almost anywhere in the country (cut to picture of bricks being broken up for construction) and the traffic is, yes, the worst.

  11. Well, I have to say I’m one of those who say “What is Bangladesh?” and I think I asked you the question when I met you in Bali. I think I asked “is it worst than India?” and Dan answered something like “Bangladeshis go to India on holiday to relax” 🙂
    Ever since I met you I got really curious about this country. I read in the meanwhile a few things about it and I’m happy you guys are sharing your experience.
    Maybe one of our future trips to Asia will include Bangladesh

  12. @Mary Jo: A groundbreaking event. Bangladeshis we met sometimes lamented this fact: that Bangladesh is often known for and because of its natural disasters or humanitarian crises. It’s fair to see Bangladesh through the lens of a benefit concert. But it’s like seeing Ethiopia through the lens of LIveAid and famine. It’s not really the whole story.

    Many Bangladeshis we met want to be known for something more than that. The country and its people exist outside of the natural disasters, humanitarian crises and events to raise money for sufferers thereof. And that’s what we were hoping to get at with this — that there’s another dimension and story to the place that has nothing at all to do with disaster, but more to do with a little less dramatic everyday life.

    @Claire: Thank you for your comment.

    Yep, once you get there, Bangladesh is certainly inexpensive for most everyday things. Regarding your local circus experience, did you feel bad because you stole the attention away from what was supposed to be the main event? When we visited a new year’s day celebration in Rangamati (CHT), we sure did. We loved the attention, but it went overboard when everyone took their eyes off the stage and focused on us in the audience. I understand it, but still felt bad for interrupting and stealing the fire of some perfectly good performers.

    @Charlie: I love that, even to Bangladeshis, we are pushing the envelope of places to visit. Having said that, sometimes it’s easier to experience a place as a visitor. I have always learned a lot about the places I’ve lived from the people who’ve visited me while I’ve lived there. There’s a certain curiosity that a visitor brings to the equation.

    Stone’s throw, great addition. And when you say that, it reminds me of this guy (I think you probably have the same photo):

    @Nisha: Visit Bangladesh. You’ll never be able to confirm or deny your notions if you don’t!

    Perhaps skin tone will impact the level of rock star treatment you’ll get. But throw on a backpack — that will help.

    @Romana: LOL. I remember that. And I stand by that statement, or at least my Bangladeshi friends might help me stand by it.

    @Osama: Thank you. That’s our intent. To share our experience and for you to help share our experience. I’m really hoping that each and every person in Bangladesh visits our site. (Though that just might bring down our site 🙂

    That is a phenomenal breakfast. It is a breakfast like that that helps a Westerner understand that breakfast isn’t just for serving cereal or eggs.

    @Mushfique: Well, we are not in Bangladesh again, exactly. Just sharing some of our thoughts from our recent travels there. Maybe we can get back to Bangladesh one of these days.

    So yes, Gulshan and Dhanmondi are strange areas because of the concentration of money and locals looking to capitalize on it. My recommendation to any visitor to Dhaka is to head into old Dhaka (and places like Shakari Bazaar). Wealth concentration and beggars are not an issue. There, people are just people. And this is fabulous.

    And for such a densely populated country, Bangladesh is impressive feat. “Who said Bangladesh is a poor country.” This is a good question. And I know quite a few Bangladeshis (even “poor” Bangladeshis) that might be interested to have that discussion.

    Cox’s Bazar and St. Martin’s. Next time, next time.

  13. Lovely, lovely, lovely posts! The best I have yet read anywhere on Bangladesh. Will be sharing the links widely.

    Particularly liked your post on Frequently Asked Questions and People who Ask Them. So true!

    And that’s not just the World’s cheapest breakfast, it’s also my favourite.

  14. Glad to know you are in Bangladesh again !
    Referring to Mr. Sutapa, he is indeed correct ! I guess you have visited areas like Gulshan or Dhanmondi in the capital city where you can see the great inequality ! I sometimes ask myself, who said Bangladesh is a poor country !
    Hope you are enjoying your trip here !! Do visit Cox’s Bazar and St. Martin’s! I presume that’s already in your list 😉

  15. Can not we introduce Bangladesh as new exciting but cheapest tourist destination? I think it’s very easy!! We just need to introduce Bangladesh as new hot exciting tourist destination by the words and by the picture(Nature & Tourism related not only poor and hungry pix) !!

    Hope people will understand me and co operate me.

  16. What a great post! You have really made me want to travel to Bangladesh – a country that wasn’t really on my travel radar before… Sweet!!!

    Jade Johnston

  17. @Sami: Don’t worry, we will be writing more later about Bangladesh’s tourist destinations 🙂 But we find it’s interesting for people to learn a bit about a country than just tourist sights, so we wanted to share this information as well.

    @Jade: Glad to hear Bangladesh is now on your travel radar! It’s a fascinating place to visit. Keep checking back as we’ll be giving more itinerary and travel information.

  18. Hiiii guys,
    I am an Australian currently living in Bangladesh. I lived here for one year in 2009 and currently this is my third visit. I don’t see myself as a tourist because of my Bangladeshi husband, I see myself as part of the people, however like you said, sick out like a Rockstar.
    I love it here – and as an Australian born and bred, middle-classed young adult, I would appeal to very little people like myself.
    I absolutely hate the traffic, but with good company and on a nice night on a rickshaw – one hour for a 2-3km journey is not that bad. I love driving in Australia, it’s a hobby, but I think I would crap myself if I drove here.
    I am a writer, currently writing a book about my adventures here. I think I adapt well though, as opposed to non-muslim tourists, because I feel comfortable with the level of modest, as I myself am covered.
    I live in Rampura, Banasree and I go to Gulshan for my groceries. And now that Eid is approaching, dear God the traffic jams will only get worse.
    Last year I came during Eid-Ul-Adha (the festival of Sacrifice)and it was a few days before Eid I spent 8 hours in traffic, to and from my destination, which was of about 5-10km there and back!! Good Luck Travelers!

  19. @Amanda: Glad to hear you’re enjoying living in Bangladesh. I laughed at your comment about driving in Bangladesh – I feel the same way 🙂

    Eight hours to go 5-10 km!! I’m trying to get my head around how Dhaka’s traffic could possibly get worse during Ramadan and Eid, but I know it’s true. One friend in Dhaka told me recently that on normal days people spend 25% of their day in traffic while during Ramadan it goes up to 35%. Crazy!

  20. I can’t wait for more on Bangladesh! Many of my ancestors are from Bangladesh and I’d love to hear about what Bangladesh is like right now, about 65-70 years from when my ancestors left that country. I think people are very friendly there…I can see that from the photos and your experiences there.

  21. I was so inpired by this article that last Saturday, I visited Jackson Heights in Queens (NYC) and went to a Bangladeshi store and bought pitha and fish (imported from Bangladesh and very fresh). Mmmmmm……had a great time with both.

    Btw, I am female (someone referred to me as Mr. Sutapa earlier), of South Asian origin (India) and living in the US for a long time. Articles like this increase my desire to travel even more than before, if that is possible. Bangladesh looks very inviting. It would be easy to go there on a trip to India.

  22. I actually know very little about Bangladesh, in fact if you’ve asked me before today the only thing taht would have come to mind is that it seems very colorful–I’ve seen photos of marketplaces and such. Thanks for this jeopardy style post I have a new interest! That traffic sounds terrifying.

  23. @Henry: Yep, that’s why we offered the challenge to beat it. Once you are there, Bangladesh is hard to beat in the cheap food department.

    @Sutapa: We decided to visit Bangladesh because it was off the beaten tourist track. And we’d heard the people were a highlight. A good fit for us. Our experience reinforced these notions.

    Bangladeshi fish. It’s funny, but fish and Bangladesh didn’t make much sense to us before we went. But Bangladesh is a riverine and delta country. And once you are there amidst all that water, fish as a staple makes much more sense.

    Thanks for the clarification (for others). We knew who you were, but apparently others didn’t 🙂

    It would be easy to stop by Bangladesh on a trip to India. Although we went the more difficult route of getting a long-term visa (in Thailand), it’s possible to get a 15-day visa when you fly in. Our friends in the travel industry in Bangladesh tell us that the consul in Calcutta is also pretty traveler friendly.

    @Faith: In Bangladeshi cities, traffic is more maddening than terrifying — meaning that it often travels too slowly to be dangerous. However, once you are on the open road in the regions, that’s when it becomes terrifying.

    Glad we could help shed a little light on Bangladesh. It is indeed full of marketplaces.

  24. What an exotic place I really know nothing for Bangladesh , but it is just so interesting to see your post , pictures are nice too!

  25. How was that shave? You are a brave soul don’t know if I would have done it but you are right I hear that the men over there are always groomed well. As for the amount of people thats just crazy to even think about.

  26. I’d never thought to travel to Bangladesh before but this post has definitely sold it to me! Especially the food!

    ‘And for the hardest of the hard-core “I can be cheaper than you”, we defy you to do better and cheaper than 24 singara (samosa-like pastry filled with spiced potato mixture) for $1.’
    I would be up for that challenge! 🙂

  27. Dear Daniel and Audrey,

    First of all, Thanks for visiting our country. I hope you have had some nicer moments too that you would perhaps fondly remember. I quite enjoyed this article as I believe it is great to know about your own country from a foreigner’s point of view.

    You have successfully drawn the real picture of infamous Dhaka traffic, foreigners being treated as rock-stars etc through your words. Job well done!

    Being a humble citizen of this country, I can only expect that things would improve and tourists would only speak about the goodies and leave the country with a smile on the face. Fingers crossed!

    Again, thanks for visiting us and we hope to see you guys and many others in our beautiful Bangladesh in future.

    Remember, you would always be treated as rock-stars (well-groomed too)!

  28. @Nansy: Many people don’t know very much about Bangladesh – we hope you are a bit more familiar with the country now. Glad you enjoyed this!

    @Suzanne: We’ve talked to a lot of people about Bangladesh over the last few months and after we’re done, many have the same reaction as you: “I never thought to go there, but now I’m intrigued and want to go.”

    Let us know if you go and if we can offer any advice!

    @Thomas: The first shave Dan got was in a village (seen in the photo) and the homestay coordinator with us almost had a heart attack – he was worried the knife would slip or something would happen. But, these barbers are real professionals and the one in the village did quite well keeping his cool considering that half the village came out to watch him.

    @Shariful: Thank you for your kind comment and welcome!

    We did leave Bangladesh with a smile, don’t worry 🙂 We will be writing more traditional travel pieces later about Bangladesh, but we always try to give a snapshot about life and unusual things in countries we visit. It makes the countries more real and personal, less objective. We find that this is what makes people want to visit places most. As you see in the comments here, there are several people now thinking about traveling to Bangladesh when they never thought of the country before as a destination.

    Keep checking back for more Bangladesh articles.

  29. @Masnoon: Glad you enjoyed this piece about Bangladesh! You’ll just have to be a little more patient – we’ll be writing soon about other destinations we visited in Bangladesh (like the Sundarbans) and Bangladesh food 🙂

    We did not get to all the places you mentioned here – even with 5+ weeks it was difficult to fit everything in that we wanted. Thank you for the suggestions as they will be useful if we return or to other travelers looking to visit Bangladesh.

  30. That’s what I was looking for, Bangladesh, from a foreigner’s point of view!! Extremely glad to have read this article and a personal thank to Daniel and Audrey!!

    Loved this article, but partly disappointed that you don’t visit Cox’s Bazar which is the main tourist spot and known as the tourist capital of Bangladesh!! 🙁

    Another thing I would love to mention is the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest of the world, currently shortlisted for the natural 7 wonders!! It’s situated in the south-western part of Bangladesh!!

    Above mentioned places are the most highlighted but there are some other natural beauties of Bangladesh!! If anyone is planning for a long tour, I would like them to visit:
    * Kuakata, a beautiful beach situated in the southern Bangladesh where you can experience both sunrise and sunset!! It is about 320 Kilometres south of Dhaka, the capital, and about 70 Kilometres from the district headquarters.
    * Jaflong, one of the most attractive tourist spots in Sylhet division. It’s about 60 km far from Sylhet town and takes two hours drive to reach there. Jaflong is also a scenic spot nearby amidst tea gardens and rate beauty of rolling stones from hills. It is situated besides the river Mari in the lap of Hill Khashia.
    * Madhobkundo, a famous tourist spot situated near Sylhet having the main attraction of the Madhobkundo waterfall. There is also a resort and a botanical garden!!
    * Durgapur, Netrokona, in the northern part of Bangladesh, is a beautiful landscape with the flow of the Shomeshwari River, the ceramic mountains, the Christian missionary, the small hills near the India Bangladesh borders etc. The Garo Pahar is situated there and people observe time-honored traditions. The Birishiri lake is also a tourist attraction there.

    I’m sure you gonna love this tourist spots if you visit there!! You have displayed many traditional things of Bangladesh but didn’t see anything regarding the traditional snacks of Bangladesh, especially of Dhaka, such as “Foochka”, “Chotpoti”, “Haji Biriyani” etc. These are my favorites and I’d love to know how the foreigners like it!!! 🙂

  31. Dear Audrey,

    Glad to know that you did leave Bangladesh with a smile 🙂

    Again, thanks for writing this article about our country and making people think positively about visiting Bangladesh.

    Have you learned this word “Shagotom” in Bangla? It is “Welcome” and we wish to say “Shagotom” to all the visitors.

    Cheers! 🙂

  32. @Shariful: Thank you for commenting and giving us a warm welcome (shagotom)! We write about what we experienced in during our time in Bangladesh. We hope that others may become interested and see for themselves.

  33. Dear i don,t have any other word to explain about Bangladesh but i say Bangladesh is Shonar Bangla it is true and correct, please believe me Bangladesh is Golden country,may god safe bangali and Bangladesh.Ameen.

  34. @Humun: I don’t doubt that inflation affects everyone in Bangladesh, as it does everyone around the world. And what might be small price changes to some visitors to Bangladesh are probably significant increases to local Bangladeshis.

  35. Dear Daniel and Audrey,
    Kindly accept my heartfelt thanks for the wonderful write ups about Bangladesh. Really, you people are doing something for our country what we can’t or don’t do usually. Please visit our country repeatedly and I will be really honored if you both stay with my family next time when you come to Dhaka.
    And to all other potential tourists of Bangladesh, I am welcoming you all to visit my country. Please, come to see the beautiful Bangladesh and enjoy the love, innocence and affection of the normal people. If any of you need any kind of information for traveling in Bangladesh, please drop me a mail. I will try my best to provide the info. Thats the least I can do for my country comparing what Daniel and Audrey is doing. Thank you.

  36. @Tanvir: Thank you for your kind words and the invitation. We are doing our best to help travelers understand and visit Bangladesh. When we return, we’ll be sure to be in touch and gladly take you up on your offer!

  37. Being an East Bengali (Now known as Bangladesh), always wanted to visit this country in search of my roots.
    Would probably take a trip this year. Though as a Solo Female Traveler from India, I’m not sure it’ll be a good idea, given all the anti-India sentiments that exists there.
    Would still give it a shot though.

  38. Hi Smritilekha,
    I welcome you in advance to my country. Anti-Indian sentiment is totally missing here. We always count Indians as our brothers and sisters. Do not hesitate and please visit our country.


  39. Tanveer,

    It is my dream to visit your land one day. I really wish that there is no boundary between countries and all we can share is the love. I’ve been reading your comments here & I guess you’ll welcome me as well. 🙂

    Glad to meet another solo female traveller from India. 🙂

  40. Hi Nisha,
    You are more than welcome in our land of green. Bangladesh has changed a lot in terms of tourist sector. You will surely enjoy the beautiful beach of cox’s bazar, green tea gardens of Sylhet, Hilly areas of chittagong hill tracts and many more. Let your dream come true and visit our country soon. You will surely return with some happy moments.


  41. @Smritilekha: Unless the situation has changed dramatically in Bangladesh since we were there, I would not let the air of anti-India sentiments stop you from traveling to Bangladesh as a solo female traveler.

  42. Hi Smritilekha,

    I don’t know if it is a complex or media propaganda that has clouded your mind that Bangladesh has anti Indian sentiments.

    Yes, Bangladesh has issues with India like the dams they are creating obstructing natural rivers into Bangladesh and the BSF killing Bangladeshis but I can tell that even after that there many Indian travellers to Bangladesh who find it quite safe.

    You see like a decent person, surely the area where your roots are cant be that bad 🙂

  43. I would like to know the place you had liked the most to stay in Bangladesh i.e. Sylhet, Chittagong etc.
    I personally believe that tourists miss out some things when they visit Sylhet. Firstly, they never try or plan to stay in the guest houses of Tea Gardens. This experience will change your utlook about Bangladesh for the time being. You will get the aroma of the British Empire Era there. And I bet you will love it. Secondly, spending a night on the boat(having beds, a stove to cook, a narrow deck etc) and gazing stars in absolute silence in the Tanguar Haor(Wetlands). It’s an amazing experience for tourist couples. N. B. You must take a guide for safety. It’s better if he is a local. Contacting local NGOs can solve this. I would like to know the place you had liked the most to stay in Bangladesh i.e. Sylhet, Chittagong etc.
    I personally believe that tourists miss out some things when they visit Sylhet. Firstly, they never try or plan to stay in the guest house of a Tea Garden. This experience will change your utlook about Bangladesh for the time being. You will get the aroma of the British Empire Era there. And I bet you will love it. Secondly, spending a night on the boat(having beds, a stove to cook etc) and gazing stars in absolute silence in the Tanguar Haor(Wetlands). It’s an amazing experience for bachelors like me but it can also be something couples can look forward to.
    N. B. You must take a guide with you to remain safe when going for a night boat tour. It’s better if he is a local. If you contact local NGOs then they can arrange someone for you.

    • Hi Adnan,
      Thanks for your thoughts and advice on visiting Sylhet – your suggestions sound lovely. You can get a feel for where we spent our six weeks in Bangladesh in this article. As you’ll see, we spent time in Srinagar and really loved the time that we had going through the tea plantations and bicycling out to the lake. We did enjoy some of the amazing star gazing and quiet that you mentioned of the boat during our trip through the Sundarbans in the south. So peaceful and beautiful.

  44. Its a great place to visit , u can actually Trek in Bandorban CTG Hill tracks,A safest place to trekking…
    also have Syllhet tea Gardens with mindblowing landscape view. Coxsbazaar , Saint mertin Island , etc etc

    you can spend more then Months in this country by seeing different amazing things, if you took real info from locals it will be fun roaming this country without any harrasment.

    we are verry helpful for outsiders, If any one need any info regarding bangladesh, feel free to ask me “”[email protected]

  45. Hi,

    I am from Chittagong. I have read all the articles related with Bangladesh. Really I like the way that you have rediscovered Bangladesh. Could you please visit Chittagong and make an articles with khagrachari, bandarban and ranggamati?



    • Thank you, Murad. We really enjoyed the Chittagong Hill Tracts. We just never got around to writing a full post or story about our experiences there, including in Rangamati and Bandarban. Hopefully, one of these days.

  46. I’ve just got back from a one month solo trip in Bangladesh. It has kind of changed my life! It has been the most exciting and adventurous trip I’ve taken to date. I certainly was a rock star and handling it by myself as a woman was tough but the love and curiosity Bangladeshis have for foreigners is just immense. I was warmly welcomed wherever I went and even though I might have PTSD from taking local buses everywhere, now that I’ve left, I’m desperate to get back there.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Alice. Glad to hear that Bangladesh is still that way, even after a couple of years and what I imagine is and will be an increasing (albeit slowly) number of visitors there.

      We completely understand the Bangladesh bus PTSD. It’s a matter of closing one’s eyes and accepting one’s fate!


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