Hello there! It seems you have an interest in visiting Bangladesh (we don’t blame you – it’s wonderful). At the moment, we don’t have any organised group trips to Bangladesh due to safety concerns.
Bangladesh belongs to the water. There are almost as many miles of river here as there are roads, and the little green country is crisscrossed by over 700 waterways. Each year the floods come, leaving behind the rich alluvial soils from which crops of rice and jute grow tall. Tourism is still in its infancy here, which means you find a slower pace of life than most of southern Asia. Outside Dhaka the land unrolls in a patchwork of farmland and forest. There’s the world’s largest mangroves, the Sundabarns, over 50 wildlife sanctuaries and the jungle-clad mountains of Chittagong to explore, plus a pumping Bollywood-style movie scene.
|Capital city:||Dhaka (population 3.8 million)|
|Electricity:||Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type C (European 2-pin) Type D (Old British 3-pin) Type G (Irish/British 3-pin) Type K (Danish 3-pin)|
Bangladesh holiday information
Bangladesh is sort of divided into three broad regions. There’s the huge Ganges-Brahmaputra delta, the Madhupur plateau and the Barind plateau. Most of Bangladesh is criss-crossed by rivers and flood plains, with rice and tea paddies rising on the evergreen hills in the northeast and southeast of the country.
The perfect time to visit Bangladesh is in the ‘cool’ season, usually November through to February. Bangladesh runs to a pretty strict monsoonal timetable, and that’s the real part of year you need to avoid. After that the rains cease, the humidity cools off and festivals kick off around the country. It is peak tourist season, but with the tourism industry still in its infancy you shouldn’t get the crowds of India or South East Asia.
1. Fewer crowds
Tourism is beginning to boom in Bangladesh. This means that, although infrastructure can be limited in some of the rural areas, you’ll get a much more authentic experience – one without the hordes of photo-snapping tourists that crowd the neighbouring countries of India, Burma and Nepal.
2. Delicious food
Bangladeshi food has already conquered its own small section of London (Brick Lane) and for good reason. It shares a flavour palette with India, but with a bigger focus on fish and fiery curry pastes. Make sure to feast on plenty of Vuna Khichuri (rice, dal and beef) in Ghoroa and the succulent beefsteaks in Mukta Biriani.
3. Nature at its finest
Not many people realise that Bangladesh is home to the world’s biggest mangrove forest and the world’s largest river delta. There are over 50 nature reserves across the country, filled with Bengal Tigers (the national animal of Bangladesh), crocodiles, water elephants, leopards and black panthers. The country has gone to great lengths to preserve its natural heritage, and travellers are now reaping the benefit.
4. Friendly locals
Because Bangladesh hasn’t yet boomed like many countries in southern Asia, the site of a traveller is still a bit of a rarity for many of the country’s rural population. Don’t be surprised if you’re stopped on the street and asked about your life story or invited inside for a quick snack. Bangladeshis take their hospitality seriously.
5. Water world
With over 700 waterways crisscrossing the country, Bangladesh is a water-lover’s paradise. If you’ve always dreamed of sculling along jungle backwaters or sailing out on a tranquil Asian lake, this is where you come. You could spend a happy few months cruising the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta alone.
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
From New Zealand?
Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
|Brick Lane||Monica Ali|
|Songs at the River’s Edge||Katy Gardner|
|A Golden Age||Tahmima Anam|
Bangladesh travel FAQs
Most countries require a visa to enter Bangladesh. These are obtained on arrival. Click here for more info.
Australia: Yes – obtained on arrival
Belgium: Yes – obtained on arrival
Canada: Yes – obtained on arrival
Germany: Yes – obtained on arrival
Ireland: Yes – obtained on arrival
Netherlands: Yes – obtained on arrival
New Zealand: Yes – obtained on arrival
South Africa: Yes - required in advance
Switzerland: Yes – obtained on arrival
United Kingdom: Yes – obtained on arrival
USA: Yes – obtained on arrival
Tipping isn’t a big part of Bangladeshi culture, but as a country that often struggles with poverty, it is always appreciated. At more upscale restaurants a tip of around 7% is appropriate. In more casual dining, tipping is the exception, not the rule. Also consider tipping drivers and hotel staff where appropriate. Every bit helps.
Internet access is available in most of the major cities, with prices at cafes ranging from around TK 15-20 an hour. Expect the speed to be a bit slower than it is at home, and connection may be patchy at best in the more rural areas. A lot of the more remote hotels may not have Wi-Fi connection.
Mobile phone coverage is generally good in Bangladesh. Most locals don’t have a landline, so mobile phone use is quite common. Services may be patchy in the more remote areas.
Most larger western-style hotels will have flush toilets, but drop toilets are common in the more rural areas. Be prepared for a mixture of both.
Beer = 4 USD
Coffee = 1.5 USD
Simple lunch at a cafe = 2-5 USD
Dinner for two in a restaurant = 10-15 USD
Train ticket = 0.2 USD
Bottle of water = 0.2 USD
Generally speaking it’s better to stick with bottled water in Bangladesh, or bring a pack of purifying tablets. Local tap water is usually pretty unfriendly on traveller stomachs.
Most hotels and ATMs accept Visa and HSBC GlobalAccess cards. Mastercards are a little harder to use. There are plenty of ATMs in big cities like Dhakar, and they’re generally well lit and safe, with security guards stationed nearby.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Bangladesh
- Be considerate of Bangladesh’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
- For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.
- Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
- Make an effort to learn some Bengali before you go. Locals will appreciate the effort
- Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
- Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
- Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, especially children.