Bordering India and Burma, Bangladesh sits on the Bay of Bengal and is a beautiful nation that was once a part of what was first British India and later became Pakistan before becoming an independent country in 1971. Modern Bangladesh enjoys thriving industries in textiles, fishing, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals. All in all, Bangladesh has much to offer, not the least of which is the hospitality of its people.
Visitors to this great nation will find a subtropical climate, a beautiful natural landscape – including the longest continuous sea beach in the world – spectacular architecture as evidenced by thousands of mosques, and a diverse culture represented through its food, music, and celebrations. With so much to choose from, it can be a challenge to know where to start when planning a holiday to this beautiful country.
So, here are the top five things you can’t miss in Bangladesh:
Old Dhaka – Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is also the country’s largest city – the urban, cultural, political, and financial hub of Bangladesh and a thriving, rhythmic cacophony of sound and color. Here, in this most densely populated country in the world, the capital city is where everything seems to converge. Tall, clean modern buildings punctuate the skyline amidst the mosques and historic structures of another time.
In contrast, Old Dhaka is home to a maze of alleyways through which fast-moving merchants transport their wares. In Old Dhaka, Shankaria Bazar hosts a variety of local artisans and is a fantastic way for visitors to have the opportunity to truly explore the lifeblood of this city. Additionally, the Ahsan Manzil – or Pink Palace – is home to a modern museum and is one of the must-see landmarks of Old Dhaka.
Sundarbans – Translated as “beautiful forest,” Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world, more than half of which is located in Bangladesh and one-third of which is located in India. Visitors travel from around the world to explore this pristine natural resource and the ecosystem it supports. There are a variety of tours available – offered over one or several days – that allow visitors to enjoy the scenery at their leisure and with knowledgeable guides to lead the way.
Cox Bazar – Boasting the longest beach in the world, Cox Bazar is a beautiful seaside resort town where there is every luxury you’d expect from a beach vacation. However, as a departure from the traditional beach getaway, Buddhist temples are the backdrop for shopping, dining, and surfing in Cox Bazar – easily making the area the undisputed tourism destination in Bangladesh.
Rickshaw Trip – One of the best – and most convenient – ways to explore Bangladesh is in the back of a rickshaw. These three-wheel bicycles used to transport passengers are the most common method of transportation in Bangladesh – with over 400,000 in Dhaka alone. Aside from using rickshaws to get from point A to point B, visitors can also customize rickshaw tours to see particular parts of the country – with locals acting as both driver and tour guide. In a country where navigation can be a challenge and streets are crowded, traveling by rickshaw can be a more relaxing – and safer – choice.
The Villages – As with any country, Bangladesh is a sum of its parts; and traveling successfully here – really getting the most out of the experience – means taking the time to truly see the details. In Bangladesh, that translates to exploring the villages beyond the city center. There is so much to see throughout the country and, the truth is, any village in Bangladesh is beautiful and green; each with its own personality and each holding its own special secrets waiting to be discovered by travelers.
Most important to remember, the people of Bangladesh – throughout the villages – are simple, welcoming people who are wonderful hosts and happy to welcome visitors to their country.
As a Muslim country, Bangladesh has a very limited nightlife, but there’s plenty to do, see, buy, and experience during the day. Bangladesh offers an exceptional travel experience; one in which visitors can comfortably explore the many hidden wonders around every corner. Bangladesh opens its arms and hearts to visitors; and for those who are willing, there is a great reward in the journey.