The TravelPod Bangladeshi Starter Kit Travel Blogs
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| MoreBangladesh. The most populated country per square metre on this planet but without tourists. Six months underwater, the longest beach in the world and home to the largest ship wrecking yards. According to the UN, it also ranked the most corrupt country. The people here are nothing like you will experience in the Sub-Continent. They are super friendly This starter kit isnít meant to replace a guide book. Itís a collection of top tips and frequently asked questions about the region. If you are headed to Bangladesh, make sure to have a glance.
Contribute if you can by replying to this post!Tips and Frequently Asked QuestionsDress Sense
Bangladesh is a Muslim country, but it is not like its former keeper Pakistan. Women can walk around without head scarves, but it still pays to cover those arms and legs and bums. Men can get around in shorts and t-shirts quite comfortably.Blogging
There are not many internet cafes at present in Bangladesh. It can be slow, but when I was there, it was reliable. Most three star hotels have internet access. Most computers at Internet cafťís and hotels, have USB ports which you can use to upload photos from your camera to your blog. The majority of PCís are running Windows XP, so there is no problem either uploading your photos or burning them onto a CD.
Taking a laptop is a challenge, as there was no WiFi or Ethernet ports to plug your laptop into.
Keep notes in your paper journal then write your entries when you get to a cafť.
If you would like to write your entries outside of a cafť, consider getting a small and sturdy PDA (handheld PC) or the like with a fold out keyboard.Security
Bangladesh is generally a very safe country, however, when I was there, there was a riot in Dhaka and I also saw the army bashing a group of reporters. Things can change in an instance.
Keep your passport and valuables in a hidden money belt and never take it out when outside.
Walk with assurance, donít look lost, even if you are.
When arriving in a new city from your home country, try to book your first nightís stay before you arrive.
Donít draw attention to yourself, hide all of your expensive goodies.
Remove or obscure big name labels on bags and cameras.
If your day pack has a rain cover, use it when in cramped spaces to keep quick hands from opening zips.
Travel Insurance is a good idea and is generally cheap, make sure that it covers the types of activities you plan to do. TravelPod offers Adventure Travel Insurance
You will need a visa to enter the country. You will need to apply for these before you enter the country. Most countries will have a Consulate. If in India, there is a Consulate in Kolkata, the closest point to the border. They cost approximately $75 USD. If flying into the country, sometimes, visas are issued upon arrival.Bangladeshi SightsDhakaTravel Blogs
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Dhaka, who goes there? Not many people, but there are sites to see. The British Raj never made it, but they do have a great National Assembly and there are ruins of old palaces and a Mughal Fort. Generally, the main area to hang out in is Motijheel, whilst all the Embassies and private bars are in the Gulshan area . The old city is great to walk around. The locals are awesome.ChittagongTravel Blogs
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The second largest city in Bangladesh. There are numerous Buddhist Monasteries amongst the Islamic Mosques. From Chittagong, see the largest ship breaking yards
in the world. See People living and sleeping
in the street.Coxís BazaarTravel Blogs
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The worlds longest beach. Who would believe that Bangladesh can boast this. Swim there, you will be the only tourist. Above the city is a huge Buddhist Monastery. There are various Stupas as well. The Buddhists and the images are related to the Burmese.SylhetTravel Blogs
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Grab a bike and go cycling though tea estates. If you are lucky, you might get a tour and a taste test. There are also tribal communities, but they are very hard to contact. Visit the daily pilgrims to the Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal. Take a wlak through the Lowacherra Forest. It is dense with trees and if you are lucky, you will spot the local wildlife. Dangers and Annoyances
Pollution if anything is going to kill you in Bangladesh. Also, watch out for the local traffic, it can be a little bit like India. The major problem annoyance you will encounter is the amount of spitting from both men and women. Health
Malaria can be a problem malaria facts
for more accurate info and if in doubt, take the meds.
Never drink the local water. On the treks, either buy bottled water or buy the filtered water on the track. Do take chlorine tablets if you are worried.
It is a case of when you get sick, not if you get sick.
If you have bad diarrhea, avoid Imodium at all costs unless you absolutely need to travel somewhere that day. Imodium keeps your sickness trapped inside and can make you sicker.
If you do become sick, keep your fluids up.TravelBuses
Amazingly, once you cross the border from India into Bangladesh, there is a marked improvement in the roads and the buses are more like the coaches you would see in the West. Very comfortable. They mainly run between Dhaka and Chittagong. There are older ordinary buses into the country areas. Bangladesh is also different to other Islamic countries. You can sit next to the opposite sex with no problems.Local Transport
There are local buses to get you out of the cities on short jaunts. They are always packed and generally, you will need to buy a ticket before you get on the bus. There are also local taxis, they never use their meter. There are also rickshaws, they are better than the Indian ones. Last but not least, there are the cycle rickshaws. Slow but loads of fun. Stick the driver in the back and prepare for the Rickshaw Olympics.Food
Bangladeshi food is not as varied as Indian. A typical meal will be rice and beef. The beef isnít very good quality. There are vegetarian options but they mainly consist of Dahl. Rice is served with every meal. Be it plain rice or Biryani.Drinks
Chai is everywhere, but not the masala type from India. If you do need to drink alcohol, you can either go to the Embassy bars, or in Chittagong, there are some places in the markets that will sell beer and spirits. Always drink bottled water.Money
The official currency is the Bangladeshi Takka. Changing money can be a real issue in Bangladesh. In Dhaka, there are Cashpoint machines everywhere. They are harder to find in Chittagong and at the time of writing this, they were nowhere else in the country.Language
Bengali is the official language, but English is widely spoken.Here are the basics:
Hello/ Asalam Walekum (Respond) Walekum Asalam
Goodbye / Khuda Hafiz
Yes / Ji
No / Na
Thank you / Don nobad
Where / Kotai
Do you speak English / Apni english
1 / Ek
2 / Dui
3 / Tin
4 / Char
5 / Pach
6 / Char
7 / Shat
8 / At
9 / Noy
10 / Dosh Religion
Bangladesh is a predominantly Muslim country. 83% of them actually. 16% are Hindus with Christians and Buddhists make up the remaining 1%. Of the 83%, the majority are Sunnis.If you found this useful, once you return from your trip please take the time to help by contributing to the FAQ and also by replying to posts.And Finally
If going to a country and not seeing any other tourists is for you, this is the place. If going to a country and being mobbed by locals is for you, this is the place. If you are from Australia, England, New Zealand or South Africa, be prepared to play cricket on every street corner. Bangladesh is slowly opening up for tourism, if it is good enough for me, it is good enough for you!