Getting Around Bangladesh

  • Ferry port activity
    Ferry port activity
    by MikeBird
  • Standing room only on this ferry
    Standing room only on this ferry
    by MikeBird
  • The rest area on the bridge
    The rest area on the bridge
    by MikeBird

Most Viewed Transportation in Bangladesh

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    Airlines' domestic routes in B'desh

    by Saagar Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Some times it helps to catch a plane to "get it over with" if you are tired and don't want to negotiate crowded trains and buses, not to say streets.
    Bangladesh Biman, the national flag carrier flies to three destinations within Bangladesh: Cox' Bazaar, Chittagong and Sylhet.
    GMGairlines flies to Chittagong, Cox' Bazaar and Jessore.
    Some fly-by-night airlines come and go.

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    Transit breaks by plane in Bangladesh

    by Saagar Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Bangladesh may not be your final destination, but to get a nearly-free visit to the country, you may organise a few days' transit stop here on the way out of your home country.
    Good transit routes would be via Dhaka to Kathmandu, Rangoon, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Colombo, various places in India and the Middle East and London.
    It is less convenient on your way home, as your suitcase is probably already full and heavy and you may be tired of travelling. That's definitely not the time and occasion to visit Bangladesh...
    Thai Airways probably has an Orchid package in B'desh, too, but for the most part you will have to carve out your transit days by yourself.
    Last I checked, Biman as well as GMG, the upstart private airlines also have vacation packages. In fact, the GMG packages out of Bangladesh seemd to be good value as they include flights.

    Gulf Air just landed at Zia Int'l
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    Crossing the Padma River

    by MikeBird Written Mar 15, 2010

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    The Padma, known upstream in India as the Brahmaputra, is a vast river bisecting Bangladesh from north to south.

    When we turned up at the busy ferry port of Mawa en route from Dhaka to Khulna we could not see the other side of the river such was the width of this major waterway.

    At Mawa there were several points at which vehicles could embark on to the low lying ferries but eventually we took the same route as most of the other buses. Waiting for our vehicle to find a space on board was a perfect opportunity for people watching. It was great to just absorb the hustle and bustle of folk on bikes, rickshaws and tuc tucs; buses loaded on board and on top, huge lorries with logs struggling to get up the slope of the river bank and aided by young men slamming wedges underneath the back wheels to prevent back sliding as the lorries inched their way forwards. There were traders and market stalls where you could buy sustenance or top ups for your cell phone.

    Once on board we made our way to the rest area up near the bridge. This gave us a good view of the loading process including the man who fell in. He made it safely to the bank despite being ineptly aided by men who threw him a rope only to chuck the other end in as well when he reached the side!

    For me the ferry boat ride was a wonderful experience in getting nearer to everyday life in this fascinating country. If you get the chance on your visit to Bangladesh do try to cross the river by boat. Further north the impressive Jamuna bridge provides fast links between east and west but I bet it's nowhere near as exciting as the ferry.

    View from the Ferry's rest room Ferry port activity lorries struggling up the river bank Standing room only on this ferry The rest area on the bridge

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    Flights to Bangladesh

    by Saagar Updated Jan 30, 2010

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    Bangladesh is a huge country in terms of population, but less so in terms of business and industry. There is almost no tourism. Many of the flights thus reflect migrant workers travel patterns and links to neighbouring countries. Cheap flights often include many stops and a long travel in terms of time, or not-so-good airlines. Some reknown airlines also feature tickets to Dhaka, and often these involve a plane and airlines change in Delhi or Calutta, just giving you loads of trouble in transit. Avoid them. I have flown Biman, Gulf and Indian Airlines into Bangladesh. Good ones that fly there include Thai (expensive), Jet (from India), Emirates and Qatar. I have good experiences with Qatar and would probably consider them next time. BA used to fly there but no more.

    Here you find some very useful links:
    http://www.ticketstobangladesh.co.uk/
    http://www.qatarairways.com/global/en/homepage.html

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    Getting to India at Agartala border

    by Saagar Updated Jan 30, 2010

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    It seems very tempting to cross into Tripura and the other eastern areas of India across the Agartala border crossing point.
    For locals this crossing can be undertaken, but for most tourists of other nationalities it is apparently not possible. What a pity, because this must be some of the most interesting points in India. When the Indian border is thus closed, it generally indicates unrest, riots, violence and guerilla activities. Good guess in this case, I believe.
    To get into India and of a nationality that needs a visa you will probably still need a specialparmit applicable for in Delhi og at the Indian embassy in your home country.

    When you travel by rail you travel right along the border between Akhaura and Comilla, the check post facilities and border markings and Indian guard posts are clearly visible. So near yet so distant!

    India on the ridge top...
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    Good buses in Bangladesh

    by Saagar Updated Sep 22, 2009

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    On the main routes between cities in Bangladesh there are good private buses running. There is space for your luggage and legs aboard, there is climate control and some companies even supply snacks and bottled drinking water. If you are prepared to pay a little more, you can travel in style in Bangladesh.

    Cheaper bus, but still air-con!!!
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    Train Dhaka-Chittagong

    by Saagar Written Sep 22, 2009

    I found travelling by train in Bangladesh delightful. But you have to look at is as entertainment, not purely transportation from a to b. And you have to be well prepared. Get somebody to organize tickets, seat reservation etc, bring some food for the journey unless you travel in a train with a restaurant car, a good book, a map. lean back and enjoy!
    The travel between Dhaka and Chittagong is especially good: scenic, variations, good trains (choose 1st class) and the travel is suitably long to call it a journey.
    On Seat 61 I found the train table, see web site.

    Train Comilla-Chittagong
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    City transportation

    by Stentorian Written Feb 20, 2007

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    Dhaka is one of the most busy cities in the world. It's very difficult to move with out a car. For travellers, in my opinion, best way to move in the city is the BUS. There are plenty of companies running city bus. Be carefull when u choose one. Make sure u get into a sitting service. I use BRTC Volvo, CITY BUS, RAJDHANI EXPRESS, PREMIUM (A/C), FALGUN etc. There are agents sitting beside the footpath. Buy tickets from them. It's the safest and cheapest way to travel around the city.

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    The Bangladesh postal system

    by Saagar Updated Sep 16, 2004

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    May be not travel-related, but certainly communications-related: The Bangladeshi postal system works very well and you can send postcards and letters around and in and out of Bangladesh with great confidence and good success rate.
    It is probably one of the key government structures and services of the country that keeps the place together more than anything else. The remittance economy (workers sending money home from overseas) is crucial for Bangladesh, and the post is essential for this system.
    What is a bit hopeless at times is to manage to reach to the counter - and the correct one! -and order and actually get what you want of stamps and other things. Try patience and persistance as medicines.

    Letter drop
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    Boats from Cox's Bazaar

    by Saagar Updated Jun 12, 2004

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    From Cox's Bazaar harbour you can catch a boat up toward Chittagong along the inner channel, or out to Maheskhali or the other islands north of there.
    A great way to travel and a good, but slow alternative to road travel. But if you want to see the delta islands, this is the way to do it.

    The Maheskhali express
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    Travel uncertainties

    by Saagar Written May 6, 2004

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    Travel uncertainties reach high levels here. Bring a book, postcards and bank on a schedule that helps you to accommodate changes and delays and cancellations.
    If your bus got cancelled from Chittagong to Comilla, you can have another evening meal of lobster curry!
    But all this said, I have had very few troubles with getting around Bangladesh or getting what I wanted, and my experience has been very positive.
    Trains are sometimes delayed due to troubles near the Chittagong Hill Tracts/Agartala area near India, and the occasional bomb on the railway track (you can see the remnants of derailed trains as you pass this area). Buses get held up by traffic accidents that cause monstrous traffic jams, especially in towards Dhaka. I once travelled on a bus from Chittagong to Dhaka that caught fire mid-way and had to be abandoned.
    Cars may get held up by countryside dacoits (robbers) at night. Planes may be cancelled because the prime minister decided to travel today and wants your plane. And so on. But in Bangladesh, in the form of a friendly soul, help is always near.

    Dhaka jam, time for a tempo wash!
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    Rickshaws and Death Buses

    by Zisch Written Feb 11, 2004

    The best way to get around Dhaka is by rickshaw. Though this mode of transport might appear cruel and almost slave-like to the modern tourist, it is also the daily bread of thousands of families in the city. Rickshaws have the uncanny ability to get through the worst traffic jams - that they cause a lot of them is besides the point - and the drivers usually have a better knowledge of the city than taxis drivers do. On the otherhand, a lot of rickshaw drivers always seemed to specialise in a particular district of the city, so we always used to change drivers when we travelled between the different areas of the city.
    Avoid Dhaka buses. These are veritable death traps on wheels, with little regard for anything on the road, including rickshaws. There are plenty of them and they charge around the city at break neck speed, usually so overcrowded to the point of tipping. I am sure buses provide a unique insight into travelling around Dhaka, but I wouldn't really advise it.

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    Rickshaws

    by thelittlevoice Written Dec 30, 2003

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    This is a cheap way to get around for a short distance. You should be able to get to where you want(not too far) for less than 10 Teka but the one that I went with was really nice. He could speak a bit of English and he tried to explain me what each area is all about so I gave him 100 Teka. I guess that kinda made his day :)

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    Fly

    by thelittlevoice Written Dec 21, 2003

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    I flew with Biman Bangladesh Airlines this time...well I'm not gonna lie to you, it sucked. I wanted to take my beloved Thai Airways but it was full. The flight from Bangkok to Dhaka takes around 2 hours but it stopped in Yangon for one hour and that was torturing. I was sitting in the middle of 2 Bangla guys and I think they decided it was a good idea not to take a shower for the past few days! During the stop, lots of people were going to the toilet and I think it must have smelt stink to the whole plane. The leg space is also very little. I'm not tall(167cm) but still it was very uncomfortable. The only good thing is probably the cost, it was around 200 bucks. But seriously I'd recommend you all to pay some more bucks and get on Thai Airways instead! I think it's around 300 bucks for returned tickets.

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    Moscow international

    by Maline Written Jun 12, 2003

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    A transportation tip bordering on a warning tip:
    Going to Bangladesh from Europe often includes changing flights in Moscow. This includes waiting at Moscow international (12 hours is not uncommon).
    So far the ugliest airport I have encountered. Bring books because there is nothing to do here exept have that meal that is included in you ticket...
    ...not a delicious experience!
    At least we only waited 10 hours, not 14 like the family on the floor next to us, with two VERY bored kids...!!!

    Its a treat!!

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