Bangladesh is a country that most people skip on their Asian backpacking trip, and it’s a real shame. Sandwiched between 2 backpacking hotspots, India and Thailand, I’m surprised that more people don’t take the plunge and visit a country where the warmth of people can’t fail to impress you.
Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world, but not a day will pass without an invite to someone’s house for some tea. Walking around anywhere in this fascinating country and you’ll feel like a celebrity, groups of people will follow you around daily and should you stop and try to ask someone a question, you’ll literally be surrounded within 60 seconds – it’s a crazy feeling!
If your wandering soul takes you off the beaten track to the shores of Bangladesh, make sure you squeeze in these five gems during your time there:
1) Dhaka: The capital and probably your starting point for the adventure ahead. If you’ve never visited the subcontinent you’re in for a treat. If you’re feeling like jumping in at the deep-end, head over to Old Dhaka and sort out your accommodation – just don’t expect much luxury! Then you can spend a day or two checking out Lalbagh Fort, Ahsan Manzil and Para Bibi’s Tomb, or make your way down to Buriganga river and rent a small boat to see the hustle and bustle of Dhaka from the water front. One trip to Dhaka, and you’ll never forget it – I assure you of that!
2) The Sundarbans: Located near Khulna, the Sundarbans mean it’s safari time! This mangrove forest is home to over 400 Royal Bengal tigers – you can sort out your safari from either Khulna or Dhaka. Expect to pay around $30 for everything, which is a great bargain considering what you may see. No guarantees on the tigers I’m afraid folks, but always worth the gamble!
3) Cox’s Bazar: The longest sea beach in the world! Over 120km long, what more could you ask for!? This place offers great respite from the madness of Bangladesh, and it’s dotted with religious sites too. The beaches get quite crowded and there’s plenty of accommodation to be found upon arrival.
4) Bagerhat: Accessible from Khulna or Mongla, Bagerhat offers a couple of impressive Mosques and the famous tomb of Khan Jahan Ali. Lots of locals make pilgrimages here daily so expect some organized chaos!
5) Nafa-Khum: This one is a bit of a wild card. You’re already off the beaten track by simply being in Bangladesh but if you want to really get away from it all, then this is the place for you. Nafa-Khum is a beautiful waterfall found a 3hours walk from Remakri, which is found 3 hours by boat from Tindu, which is a 3 hours drive from Thanchi! It may not be the biggest waterfall but it’s awesome none-the-less and you can swim in the pool, the trek is beautiful too and you’ll really feel like you’re traveling if you make it out here!
There you go folks, five of Bangladesh’s most awesome sites. This country is not easy to travel in, not by a long shot, but it’s well worth the effort. This is real backpacking! Happy Travels!