A journey through Bangladesh

A journey through Bangladesh

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Short description

This program in Bangladesh resulted from my month-long trip around the country. I have selected some of the most exciting places that will reveal to you the authentic beauty of this country. Bangladesh has almost no landmarks or monuments of global or even local scale. However, the whole country is one significant landmark. People travel to Bangladesh for the authenticity that still exists in most parts of the country.

We begin this trip in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. In the city, we will pay a special visit to one of the largest river ports in the world - the Sadarghat. We will walk through the old city and the Hindu quarter, where the Hindu population is concentrated in otherwise Muslim Dhaka. We take a boat to the shipyard on the other side of the Buriganga River and observe traditional shipbuilding.

We will travel by private minibus to Sreemangal, the tea capital of Bangladesh. Over the next four days, we will tour the tea plantations, explore the rural areas, visit the tea museum, and drink a lot of tea. We will visit the Tripura, Garo and Khasi tribe settlements exploring the authentic culture and traditions that have not changed for centuries. Rural Bangladesh is rarely explored by travellers but has exceptional raw and natural beauty. We will learn about the cultivation and processing of betel leaves and visit pineapple and rubber plant plantations. Next, we will stop at the beautiful Madhobpur Lake and the area's numerous rural markets and settlements.

In the second part of the trip, we will go to the city and region of Barisal, which is considered the best place to feel the spirit of rural and idyllic Bangladesh. Besides the city, we will explore the surrounding villages, go by boat on the canals, visit and photograph the fishing villages and enjoy the extraordinary Bengali nature.

The trip will end in Dhaka, from where we will fly back to our home countries.

Important information: The country IS NOT dangerous, although occasional reports of unrest exist. They become more frequent during elections, mainly in Dhaka and the big cities. The itinerary includes places with suitable infrastructure (good quality hotels) and safe, frequently visited by tourists.

All photos and videos are my own.

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Basic information

Dates: February 27 - March 7, 2023; If you are a group of at least 5 or 6 people, we can arrange this trip at any time and date that suits you. Duration: 7 nights/9 days; Group: 7-9 people; Price for the program in Bangladesh + air tickets (from Sofia, Bulgaria): 2,097 EUR/person. If the price of the air tickets changes, the trip's total cost will also change. Price for the program in Bangladesh without air tickets: 1,290 EUR/person (group of 7 to 9 people); If the group is less than 7 people, the price increases slightly; The price includes: Airfares: Air tickets Sofia - Dhaka (Bangladesh) - Sofia (Dubai flight via Dubai)(1); Note → We can arrange airfare tickets from your home country to Dhaka and back. Please contact us for more details. Tour guides: The group will be accompanied by the tour leader Pavel Gospodinov and local tour guides; Transportation: a private minibus just for our group; Accommodation: 7 nights in good hotels accommodating western tourists, including breakfast; Food: breakfasts; Entrance tickets: entrance fees for the main sights are included in the price; Not included in the price: Bangladesh visa (2); lunches and dinners; small boat rental negotiated locally (rates are low); trip cancelation insurance; Travel Insurance (we can arrange if you don’t have one); personal expenses.

(1) Airfares The group will travel from Sofia (Bulgaria) to Dhaka via Dubai. We can arrange your airfares from your home country to Dhaka via Dubai (Fly Dubai), Istanbul (Turkish Airlines) or Doha (Qatar Airways). We can arrange transfers to the hotel in Dhaka if you are flying separately from the group. Please contact us for the available options.

Our group flights details:

Outbound flight: Sofia 14.25 - Dubai 21.25; Dubai 01.10 - Dhaka 07.55; Return flight: Dhaka 21.30 - Dubai 01.20; Dubai 09.40 - Sofia 13.25; Price: 807 euros/person including all taxes. At the time of booking, the price may differ.

(2) Bangladesh Visa We will get our visas upon arrival at the airport (Visa on Arrival).

Entry requirements for Bangladesh regarding Covid:

1) A valid vaccination certificate in English with a QR code is required. 2) Special declaration for entry (Passenger Health Declaration Form (HDF) completed prior to travel).

After the trip is confirmed, you will receive updated information and further explanation on all the above procedures and documents.

This program presents the main elements of the trip and is far from exhaustive. Please write to us so that we can offer concrete solutions for your case and circumstances. We can arrange flight tickets from anywhere in the world to the trip's starting point. We also can arrange hotel transfers, take care of particular documents or advise on Covid-related travel requirements. We will help at every stage of the organization. Please get in touch with us!

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The program

Day 1 Arrival in Dhaka

This morning we will arrive in the capital of Bangladesh - Dhaka. The group will fly from Istanbul airport. If the group members have different flights, the transfer to the hotel will be arranged for each participant depending on the flight time. Our first group meeting will be at the hotel in Dhaka, where we will talk about the upcoming trip, give instructions and have time for questions and answers. More information about the hotel, time and location of the meeting will also be provided.

Today we will walk through old Dhaka, where the city's most exciting and monumental buildings are located. We will stroll through Hindu Street, the Hindu heart of the city.

In the afternoon, we will go to the Sadarghat, one of the most impressive river ports in the world and the main attraction of Dhaka. We spend enough time there to enjoy the thousands of boats and ships and the hustle and bustle of people arriving and departing. We will take a boat ride to some local shipyards as well. Overnight stay in Dhaka.

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Day 2 Srimangal

After breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to Srimangal, the tea capital of Bangladesh, located about 4 hours from Dhaka. In the afternoon we will take a city tour and visit the local markets, perfect places to meet the locals. We will spend the night in Srimangal.

Day 3 The tea Plantations

We will spend the whole day on the tea plantations that make this region famous worldwide. We will visit several plantations, meet tea farmers and enjoy the authentic rural atmosphere. In the tea museum, located in a small village, we will learn more about the production cycle of tea. On the way, we will stop at the small settlements where most tea workers live.

We will pass rubber plantations where our local guide will tell us about rubber production, which is considered another essential activity in the region. Overnight stay in Srimangal.

Day 4 The local tribes Tripura, Garo and Khashi

Today we will meet the local tribes Tripura, Garo and Khashi in their villages and learn about their traditions and customs, immersing ourselves in an extraordinary authentic atmosphere. We will take a short trek between the villages through the jungle. Part of the local culture is the use and cultivation of betel, so this is the right place to learn more about it. Rural Bangladesh is rarely explored by travellers, but it offers exceptional rugged and natural beauty. The villagers here are very hospitable. In the evening, we will drive back to Srimangal.

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Day 5 More time with the tribes; Madhobpur Lake; Pineapple plantations

Today we continue our trips through the region, visiting more tribal settlements. We stop at the charming Madhobpur Lake and spend some more time at a pineapple plantation, where we learn about pineapple cultivation. Of course, tasting the sweet fruit is also part of the experience. Overnight stay in Srimangal.

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Day 6 Transfer to Barisal; Barisal city walk

In the morning, we drive to Barisal, the capital of rural Bangladesh. After checking into the hotel, we will take a walk around the city, visit the harbour, and take a boat ride on the numerous canals that crisscross the city. The rivers, the rice fields, the farms, the outdoor markets and the overall atmosphere are a unique experience.

Day 7 Rural Barisal

On this day, we dive deep into the countryside and visit small fishing villages, farms and vast rice fields. The whole area is idyllic and quiet as if time had stopped in the middle of the last century. In the fishing villages, we learn about the traditional way of fishing, try to fish with the locals and learn all about the fish in Bangladesh, which is one of the most essential foods here.

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Day 8 Back to Dhaka; Return flight back home

In the morning, we will leave for Dhaka airport. We will have all day for this 4 to 5-hour trip. We will have enough time for lunch and further sightseeing in Dhaka before reaching the airport for the evening flight. If group members have different return flights, transfers will be arranged accordingly.

A map of the tour

More about Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a fantastic travel destination, especially if you stay away from the popular areas. Tourists are still rare in the country, which makes it an ideal destination for adventure travellers and photographers.

The best part about Bangladesh is the people. I spent about a month travelling around the country. What I miss most now is the natural friendliness and curiosity of the people, the simplicity of their daily lives, and their hunger for information and contact with the world beyond their borders. I always found them happy and willing to be photographed, which is a godsend for a photographer.

What strikes you immediately as a visitor is the interest you attract everywhere you go. You feel like a movie star. People gather around you and stare at you. They are not aggressive, just curious, and you have to accept that.

Unfortunately, the poverty, slums and deprivation in third world countries are undeniable. Countries develop at different rates, and there is little one can do except be pragmatic and accept reality without bias. Regardless of the obvious deprivations, people continue to find happiness and smile - the vitality of children is incredible.

The crime rate is no higher than in comparable countries and mainly concerns household and street crime. The low level of petty and domestic crime should not deter you from visiting Bangladesh.

There are times when the country comes to a standstill due to strikes or so-called "hartals". These take place mainly during elections or other political events. All public transport, banks and offices remain closed, and the poorly organised urban infrastructure deteriorates. These strikes are easy to avoid, as they are widely announced in advance.

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How to join us

Please email us if you would like information about this trip or to sign up. We will respond as soon as possible and keep you updated on the organization and all other details of the trip. If you are a ready-made group of at least 5 or 6 people (maximum 8), we can discuss dates that work for your group. You can also sign up for future organized and planned trips. To join the list, please send us your names. That's it!

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