When in the Sunderbarns, go to the beach and have a swim in the sea at Gulf of Bengal.
Above the shoreline you will find sand, but below high-tide line, the fine materials are sedimented, so you will walk on slippery ground consisting of clay with high organic content. Adhesion of the sediment is so strong, that you can use it to play ball games in the water. But depending on the tide level you might have to struggle to get out of the water without slipping. Great fun!
is a national holiday on Feb. 21 to celebrate the initial students' demonstrations in 1952, a movement which lead to the recognition of Bengali language in this part of former Pakistan. It was the start of nationalist movements which finally resulted in Bangladesh's separation from Pakistan.
People venture to Shaheed Minar, a national monument near Dhaka University. Join the crowds at the large street party, it is a great opportunity to watch people, try local food and get your face painted with the national flag or Shaheed Minar for free.
Expect a lot of pictures been taken with you and a Bangladeshi, you will be asked more often than the other way round.
Old Dhaka is described in every guidebook and worth a visit. It does not make sense to go on a Friday, since most of the shops are closed then.
Hidden behind small entrances (when closed the entrances look like shops closed with roller shutters) are small alleyways where goldsmiths work. It is interesting to watch them and they are very friendly.
This is a local market near the riverside off Station Road, close to Khulna Junction train station.
And that is all there is too it: Nice location, nice local market alleys, relaxed atmosphere - for all lovers of locas markets.
Bangladesh has a large brick production industrie, you see the chimneys throughout the country. The bicks are for domestic use.
Since there is water literally everywhere in the country, bricks are transported by boat whenever possible. Along the riverside near the prison you can see workers unload the bricks from the boats. It is amazing that they do not fall off the small gangway with the pile on their heads!
We had a free afternoon between workshops and so took the opportunity to travel about 30kms from Khulna to Mongla from where we picked up a small passenger boat that took us to Karamjol, a gateway to the Sunderbans National Park. Entrance permits for foreign visitors were 200Taka but for Bangladeshi residents it was free.
Our arrival in Karamjol was accompanied by hordes of other trippers all pouring off boats at the same time so we were all escorted rather noisily down the board walk into the Mangrove forest. Fortunately we could wander off along a quieter path through the trees and explore without the chattering of the youngsters who were lovely but we had wanted to experience the forest for itself rather than along with hundreds of others.
Down one little path we came across a creek from where we could see bright flashes of crimson and blues belonging to sunbirds and kingfishers. Further on I managed to glimpse the tail and legs of some Rhesus monkeys but spotting wildlife in quite dense woodland is never easy - the trees get in the way!
Making our way back to the small settlement of Karamjol ( and we really hadn't gone very far) we came across an enclosure with a saltwater crocodile and next to it was a separate paddock with a small herd of the Spotted deer. The closest we got to a tiger was the mounted skeleton reportedly of a tiger that had succumbed to a disease a few years earlier.
We hung about on the riverside for a while watching the day trippers depart until it was our turn to head back to Mongla.
Our brief journey back was magical. As the sun began to sink, watching the scenery unfold to my delight I spotted, for a fleeting moment, the arched back of something pinkish grey that broke the surface only once. I like to think it was a Shukla - the Ganges River Dolphin. I shall never know but am satisfied that it was a perfect end to an exciting afternoon experiencing a small taste of what the Sunderbans could offer. I'd love to go back and explore it properly.
Ever know which is the rickshaw capital of the world? Yes, its Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. Despite the sophistication, more than 3,00,000 rickshaws brightly-painted and decorated run in its streets adding to the traffic jam.
Cox Bazar is said to be the world's longest (120 kilometers) natural sand beach. It is the greatest tourist attraction in the country and definitely worthy of a visit. There is also good sea-food here. It is located at a distance of 152 km. from Chittagong, the leading seaport of Bangladesh. It is well connected both by air and road from Dhaka and Chittagong. There are also some very old wooden Buddhist temples a few kilometers from Cox Bazar.
The Central Shahid Minar in Dhaka is a monument in honour of the language martyrs of 1952. On February 21, 1952, many students and political activists were killed as Pakistani police force opened fire on some protesters who were demanding equal status to their mothe tongue, Bengali. The place was near Dhaka Medical College and Ramna Park in Dhaka. The minar has five pillas made of pure marble stone upon a 14 feet high stage. The bounday on both sides contains lines from poems of famous poets engaved in iron letters.
I was rather pleasantly surprised to see a world class theme park near Dhaka city. There are other, smaller parks, but fantasy kingdom is by FAR the best. The entry is about $3 US which is very reasonable, the rides are clean, safe and lots of fun, the food is great too . This is a safe haven to take your kids for fun in Bangladesh, since the historical and nature sites may not be all that interesting to them after a while... The place is easy to get to, about 30-40 mins from the city centre and it has attracted a lot of foreign visitors as well as locals with its high standard of facilities. There is a store to buy souvenirs and plenty of parking, I thoroughly recommend a visit to Fantasy Kingdom.
Just south of the town of Comilla there is an interesting Hindu temple in the Bengali style. The interior is very gaudy, kitsch-like in the modern fashion of Bengali Hindus, but the site obviously harbours tradition and the gaudily painted gods don't repel but retain an air of ancient beliefs and philosophy. The local resident Brahmin and his pupils were very forthcoming and accommodating. I had the benefit of knowing some local Hindus, but other unaccompanied visitors appeared welcome, too.
Near Comilla (8 km), and conveniently located near the Chittagong-Dhaka highway are the ruins of an ancient civilization.
This was an early Buddhist culture, and was rediscovered during 2nd world war when troops were making defence positions against a possible Japanese invasion here (they came very near).
Located near and partly on a long ridge in the otherwise pancake-flat landscape, the site must have been very prominent at its heydays in the 6th-13th century , with large religious and civilian structures. A museum shows many of the artifacts and mentally reconstructs the site for you if you just take your time here. There were many fine exhibits from a time when Norwegians had just invented living in caves... Museums can be a disappointment to me, but this one wasn't bad at all, even if obviously short of funds.
The walk around the 8th century ruins of Salban Vihara monastery (photo) was very nice and I'll be happy to come back for a more indepth study. I did not see the ruins inside the military cantonment, but thay are accessible, too.
After the visit you can walk up to the long ridge of Mainimati-Lalmai, about the only "mountain" sticking up from the Bangladeshi plains outside the eastern and northern border areas with India. There are some picnic facilities and some local-tourists-aimed souvenir stalls and cold drinks/snack shops as you enter the site.
Every one of the millions of rickshaws in Bangladesh is decorated with paintings depicting romantic scenes and versions of physical paradises.
Some is plain kitsch, other stuff may be worth a closer study and is real art.
If you turn right on your way down to Sadarghat in Dhaka, just before the harbour area you will find the rickshaw painters' areas and workshops. You can also buy a panel with real rickshaw art.
If you have a deeper interest, read the book Chasing Rickshaws from Lonely Planet.
The small rowing boats used at the Rangamati reservoir are seemingly miniatures of the larger ocean-going sailing vessles used in Bangldesh. They look very sturdy and safe. The way they are being rowed is also interesting; the rower faces forward, standing and more or less pushes with the oars, not pulls as one normally does. A sort of Bangladeshi gondola? Good for boating trips on the reservoir, too.
Raozan district stretches north-east of Chittagong and is a center of Buddhism in the country. Many non-tirbal Buddhists live here as well, and Raozan is dotted with old and a few new examples of Buddhist architecture and religious expression.
After a bad experience with the Sheraton last time this place is excellent. Great location...more
Kalatoli Beach Road, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
Good for: Couples
House-02, Road-10, Sector-01, 1230