The country of Bangladesh boasts of a rich cultural heritage. The national anthem of the country describes it as the golden Bengal and most certainly it’s not in any way an exaggeration. Bangladesh holidays can be ideal for those looking for a taste of real Bengal. You can explore various beautiful spots including a number of archeological sites, wildlife sanctuaries and many more. Boat riding at Padma river bed can be an experience of a lifetime for those who travel to this place.

Bangladesh holiday packages could be ideal for those looking to explore cultural diversity. Your  tour is bound to be even more memorable if you come in close proximity with the people of Bangladesh. Visit to the historical Sonargaon, which was previously the oldest capital of Bengal, can be yet another highlight of your trip to this place  Bangladesh – the land with a myth that people spoke the language of birds! Where the rivers and hundreds of estuaries crisscross the landscape giving birth to a unique riverine culture! A relatively unexplored area of the Indian subcontinent, Bangladesh is immensely rich in its geographical and cultural diversity. The lesser-treaded neighbouring nation on the northeast of India, holds a resilient promise of wonders that one wouldn’t expect. Its prime draw lies in the Sunderbans, a haven for the Royal Bengal tiger. Apart from that, a vivid history and a rich repository of nature’s bounty make Bangladesh an undiscovered place that one must discover. Bangladesh Tourism Board’s catch line accurately says – “Life Happens Here”!


Major Cities / Tourist Places

With Dhaka taking the centre stage for all political and administrative activities, other cities in the small country of Bangladesh take the onus of travel oriented exposure to the visitor. For this, Chittagong, Khulna and even Barisal offer their wonderful scapes to explore. Use these as base camps to get around, as the infrastructure is better in major towns rather than small villages. There are eight such division towns in Bangladesh that make for perfect springboards.  



Bangladesh travel guide, including map of Bangladesh, vital stats, advice on holidays in Bangladesh and when to travel to Bangladesh

Bangladesh's claims to fame are not, perhaps, the most immediately enticing.

Lying between India and Burma in the low-lying Ganges Delta, half the country is under flood during the annual monsoon, placing it precariously on the front line of global warming. This is also the most densely-populated country on earth, for its size, and one of the world's poorest.

And yet this is a destination that rewards travellers richly. Here you'll find images of the subcontinent that are fast disappearing from India itself: legions of colourful cycle rickshaws throng the streets of Dhaka, and the Sundarban mangroves are one of the last redoubts of the Royal Bengal Tiger. Bangladesh may be ecologically fragile (hence the global warming tours), but its watery world is also fascinating to explore by boat.

Above all, you'll meet people as friendly as they are resilient, with a life-affirming faith in the future.

Travelution recommends

  1. Drift down the river on a long and leisurely boat trip. Try the Sundarban to Chittagong route by paddle boat, taking in Barisal, Bhola Island, Hatiya Island and Sandwip Island.
  2. Watch the sun dip into the sea at Cox's Bazaar - Stretching 120 km, this is the world's longest natural beach.
  3. Hop on a bike - Pedal through the scenic Srimongol tea estates.
  4. Venture into tiger territory - If you're lucky you will catch a glimpse of a Royal Bengal tiger prowling the Sundarbans mangrove forest.
  5. Visit the communities inhabiting Jamuna River's remote and precarious chars (shifting silt islands).

Travelution tips

If you are a female traveller don a salwar kameez to deflect male attention.

Pack a head torch for the power cuts or buy a storm light once you have arrived.

Be weather savvy; pack sunscreen for the sunny months or, if visiting in monsoon season, take appropriate clothes and waterproof bags to protect your belongings.

Hand sanitiser can help protect against stomach upsets. Always get local advice about safety.

Further Reading

Travel in Bangladesh: vital stats

  • Capital of Bangladesh: Dhaka
  • Population of Bangladesh: 156 million
  • Languages in Bangladesh: Bengali, English
  • Time in Bangladesh: GMT+6*
  • International dialling code in Bangladesh: +880
  • Voltage in Bangladesh: 220 AC, 50 Hz
  • Money in Bangladesh: Taka. It is unwise to carry large amounts of cash but a supply of US dollars is useful. Almost every major city has ATMs. Credit cards are accepted by most large restaurants and hotels in Dhaka and Chittagong and you can also change travellers cheques in these two cities. Tips are appreciated.

* GMT+6. Daylight Saving Time is GMT+7 (came into force in 2009 but was reportedly cancelled in 2010)

When to go to Bangladesh

Time your visit wisely as the weather in Bangladesh can be extreme and during monsoon season more than 50% of the country is under water.

Summers (March-June) are hot and humid.

Monsoon season (June-October) is also hot with torrential downpours.

Winters (October-March) have pleasant temperatures. Cyclones, tornadoes, tidal bores and floods occur almost annually.

International airport

Shahjalal (DAC) 20 km from Dhaka.

Getting around in Bangladesh

When in Bangladesh do as the Bangladeshis do, and jump on a boat. The rivers are the lifeblood of the country and water travel offers the double benefit of being a convenient way to get around and an absorbing cultural experience.

Buses are without doubt the most panic-inducing of all the public transport options. It is about time the decrepit trains went to that great railway in the sky but alas, they are still in operation. Despite being old and slow, they are preferable to the buses.

In larger towns there is an abundance of taxis, baby taxis and rickshaws. Self drive car rental is not available but you can rent cars with drivers.

Motorbikes can be bought or hired and while they are a good way to dodge inner city traffic, biking elsewhere is not for the faint of heart. Be warned: the roads are poor, the local driving habits will make your hair stand on end and accidents are common, often resulting in vigilante justice.

Some roads, namely the perilous Dhaka-Chittagong and Dhaka-Bogra roads are best avoided altogether.

International airport

Shahjalal (DAC) 20 km from Dhaka.

Bangladesh accommodation

Don't expect any posh pads here: accommodation in Bangladesh is as down to earth as it gets. Dhaka offers some decent hotel chains and good guesthouses, but outside the major cities standards are low. In out-of-the-way places NGO guesthouses provide clean, cheap rooms. You will be hard pressed to find non smoking rooms. If mixed-sex couples want to share a room it would be a good idea to say they are husband and wife. Houseboats are a great way to experience river life.

Bangladesh food & drink

Unsurprisingly for such a waterlogged country, fish is always on the menu. Rice and lentils are staples too. The so-called honey months of June, July and August spawn some seriously tasty fruit (mainly mangoes, jackfruit, lychees and green coconuts).

Dhaka has upmarket eateries but throughout the rest of Bangladesh hygiene standards leave a lot to be desired. Try and accept invitations to dine at local houses as the best food you will come across is home-cooked Bangladeshi fare prepared with lashings of TLC.

Health & safety in Bangladesh

The Chittagong Hill Tracts are a fascinating but dangerous area where ethnic violence is common. Theft is a problem be wary of groups of thieves using CNGs (three wheeled motor rickshaws) and try and avoid travelling alone on public transport at night. You could encounter corrupt officials during your stay.

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