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Bangladesh Travel Guide

Over thirty years ago, in 1971, Bangladesh became an independent country, with Bengali East Pakistan separating itself from West Pakistan. A third of this south Asian country is very poor with frequent floods in the monsoon season not helping matters. The country borders the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India and covers around 144 square kilometres, where around 140 million people live and work. The inhabitants are friendly and are mainly of Bengali descent and Islam religion, who work hard making a living in areas such as jute, steel and cotton textile manufacturing, trading with partners including Western Europe and India.

There is much to do in Bangladesh, with football, cricket and badminton being very popular sports and visitors will find many floodlit badminton courts to play in. Those travellers fancying a boat ride should go to Sunderbans, a coastal region, where rowboats transport people around the areas’ national park. Heading off to Dhaka, the country’s capital city, on the bank of the Buriganga River, tourists will find a place filled with plenty of history. The Old City of Dhaka has two areas of interest, Sadarghat and Badam Tole, busy regions where every type of water vessel can be found. There is also a palace, painted in pink to explore and the half-built, Lalbagh Fort, which dates back to 1678. The museum in the area known as the Modern City is very fascinating, containing displays of Buddhist, Moghul and Bangladesh's Hindu past and collections of handicrafts and art.

Getting about the country is possible via its local bus service but the driving is a bit manic to say the least, so taking the train, which travels through all of Bangladesh’s main routes, would be advisable. Water travel is a slow but safe option, one being the popular ‘Rocket’ paddlewheel steamer, running between Dhaka and Khulna 4 times per week. Within the major cities, visitors can use rickshaws, large tricycles that act as a type of local taxi, which are cheap but a little bartering is needed on the price!

There are plenty of direct international flights to Bangladesh from cities in Europe, Bangkok and Kolkata, with everywhere else having to make a connection at one of the above places. Weather-wise, the best time to visit is in the cold season, from October through February, when the weather is dry but if heat and humidity is on the agenda, April is most definitely overwhelmingly hot!

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