Former Eastern Pakistan
Trip Start Aug 27, 2011
99Trip End Jun 01, 2012
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I did some reading about Dhaka before I took my flight from Colombo. i had some nerves about going and the one thing I did read was the large volume of mosquitos at the baggage collection in the airport. They were not wrong. I grabbed a couple of samosa's to snack on, failed to change my Sri Lankan rupees and grabbed a random taxi to my guesthouse.
I booked the guesthouse through hostelbookers, there was some confusion when I arrived and many things stated about the guesthouse did not exist but I got a free upgrade from a shared room to a private room with TV. From my early flight I was tired and not quite ready to explore Dhaka yet.
I arranged a tour with a semi-professional cricketer for the following day. He would join me on local transport to enter the city and show me around and take me home. Perfect. My time was shortened in Dhaka, but from my experience, this was not such a bad thing.
At the guesthouse, they had a restaurant on the top floor. I forget how many nan breads and different curries I had, but they were all delicious.
I'm not going to go into too much detail about my day in Dhaka. I think the pictures speak for themselves. It is a very lively city, there was heavy congestion entering the city. Rickshaws and buses drive around a little recklessly, the streets are dirty, there are bad smells everywhere but the city is alive, the people are smiling and curious as to where I am from and what I am doing here. My guide, Imran, was great company, he is a fast bowler and has very large forearms (as expected) and funnily enough, he struggled more with the 35 degrees C heat than I did. We snacked often, dank lots of tea and enjoyed a great lunch of nan and sauce to dip. Very tasty and very authentic. We took a boat ride at one point and he had to spend a good five minutes agreeing on a price. Sadly, when they see white people, they want to see more money. It's a natural reaction as in general, we do have more money if we are spending our time in Dhaka exploring for fun! The boat ride was a good experience, to see the life on the water, one side of the river was covered in laundry, as if there was a nearby laundrette. People were also bathing in the river and Imran protected us from the sun with a black umbrella. The bus ride home was interesting. One tyre exploded and we still drove on for another twenty minutes. Till, the driver stopped (maybe with a lack of control he could feel) and we had to find some other transport for the last few miles.
A great day. I slept like a baby that night! Next day, I was heading for the Indian border via bus. I had to kill the afternoon and evening in the guesthouse which was not a problem, they had a good HBO film channel.
The ride to the border was tough. The bus was a little uncomfortable, the windows rattled, we caught a ferry to cross a river and for most of the journey, I was wishing there was a bathroom on board.
A bicycle rickshaw took me to the exit point for Bangladesh where I finally found a bathroom and everyone who stamped a form or my passport kept asking for a tip but I had nothing to give the cheeky guys!!
Indian immigration was a breeze and soon I was heading on a bus to Kolkata. The bus kindly dropped me off at the airport from where I caught a flight to Chennai to then spend the night in the airport waiting for my next flight to Port Blair in the Andaman Islands. I was unaware that the Indian government were planning a long range missile test, and because during the night I was sleeping in Channai airport, there was bad weather, they held the test back till the following morning. So my 9am flight was pushed back to 2pm, d'oh!! Unfortunately with Chennai airport, once you are in the airport, they won't let you back out again, no matter how much you plead with the security that you just want to buy a tasty samosa outside!!
It wasn't long before I boarded the flight.
Next stop, Port Blair, Andaman Island, India.