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Bangladesh planning

RooFlyer

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Every year I think during Easter that I should have gone some-where and then think that everyone else has the same idea, so flights would be bad and places within reach of Oz, crowded and expensive.

So then Bangladesh come into view; CX via HKG using Alaskan miles (hopefully).

I've reviewed @fifo 's TR https://www.australianfrequentflyer.com.au/community/threads/status-run-bangladesh.91705/#post-1869356 :) and see a number of AFFer's have been there. So I'm hoping @fifo , @dajop @pagingjoan and @93Revisited might chip in with any comments about my skeletal itinerary, hotel recommendations (best available!) etc.

But first, security. I tend to take DFAT's 'smarttraveller' advice with a grain of salt, but there is undoubtedly above-average risk for Bangladesh. What are people's views on this? I'd be a an individual traveller, in a car with driver & guide so trying hard not to be 'obvious'. I'll be paying attention to Bangladesh over the next few months to see how its going.

Air travel: I wouldn't like to go on a local domestic airline in countries like this; am I being too careful?

Trains: To avoid some long drives, am thinking about one or two trips - comments on these (comfort, cleanliness, reliability)?

My skeletal itinerary. I'm most interested in history.

A day or 2 in Dhakar, mainly interested in the old city.

2 or 3 nights in Bogra, visit Mahasthangarh and Paharpur via day trips

2 or 3 nights in Khulna, visit Bagerhat and a day on the water in Sundarbans National Park. I am interested in wildlife, but since the chance of seeing a Bengal Tiger seems about zero, the park doesn't hold much interest to me.

Beaches etc hold no interest to me.

All ideas, comments etc welcome.
 

fifo

Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
293
Hi... i'll do my best! Great to hear my report was useful.

Sure, you may be a target, minimize by having a car and driver everywhere and dressing down, dont carry valuables, the usual. I can't say too much, my trip was totally fine, other than above avg beggar attention (to be expected).

I took a plane, it was fine and CHEAP. ATR72. YMMV. I did have similar thoughts to you though. and ATR72s record isnt great.

I took one train trip, overall it sucked. seats are basically always sold out, so its you plus all your friends. Dirty as well. seemed like an un necessary life experience tbh.

you dont need much time in dhaka - half a day maybe. I had my trip around included from the tour company as a whole pack. half day was plenty for me. more people in dhaka density wise than anywhere else.

if you have any interest in ships, machinery or 'big' things, i'd suggest you take a ship breaking boat trip.

I cant comment on wildlife etc unfortunately sorry, skipped all that. i'd skip the beaches too - they are all 'down stream' from the ship breaking yards!!!

nijhoom tours was pretty good to me overall, a bit pricey, but it was just me in a car with tour guide and driver the whole time.

feel free to ask anything else!
 

Happy Dude

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Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
1,002
Hi Rooflyer,

I spent three weeks backpacking there in 2001 so I can't really provide any detail or anything useful other than to provide the highlights as I saw it.

The good: Tea plantations in Sylhet were pretty and fun to bike round around. I did an overnight boat trip in the Sundarbans and that was quite nice but for the mossies. No tigers spotted. I would be suspicious of any stories proclaiming sightings. The best part of the trip started down there though. I went on a nice old boat from Mongla up to Dhaka for 4 nights (I think). Saw a lot of interesting scenery and was treat like a royal onboard.

The bad: We got stuck in a 'hartal' in Chittagong and literally couldn't leave the "hotel" for three days. The hotel staff though it was funny to put grainy photocopied porn under the door. I don't recall beggars per se, but the locals are fascinated by you. They have no sense of your personal space and will, quite literally, get all Scomo in your business. Harmless but annoying. Often were were invited into homes for dinner and occasionally accepted resulting in some great memories.

I would go back if there was a test match on and only then.
 

RooFlyer

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Thanks to you both. I'm still interested in going, but discovered (I should have known) that Cathay Dragon isn't redeemable on Mileage Plan, its been deferred.

But just my investigations to date has opened my eyes to the country and punctured a few stereotypic ideas.
 

Happy Dude

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Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
1,002
You must be getting to towards the bottom of your trip ideas list? If your Trip Reports list in your signature is anything to go by :D
 

RooFlyer

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Well, yes... I am always looking for new frontiers :). Stans and Balkans coming up later this year.
 

fifo

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Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
293
Ah stans and balkans.... my two elusive backpacking regions I just haven't 'gotten to' before I'm 35 in a few weeks! - my goal was 100 countries before 35, now by years end i'll be at 84 I think.
 

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