Bangladesh — Overview
For the adventurous voyager looking to explore the path less traveled, Bangladesh’s sprawling beaches, hilly landscapes and countless historic treasures are irresistible. This little-known country boasts a fascinating mix of culture, heritage, and natural attractions and shares a border with other worthy destinations in Asia like India and Burma, making it a perfect stop on a pilgrimage around the region. To the south is the scenic Bay of Bengal, which offers exciting aquatic activities. From enchanting river journeys and treks along the hilly trails of Chittagong to the captivating cityscape of Dhaka, Bangladesh is truly a wonderful place to get lost in.
Unknown to even the most seasoned travelers is the innate potential of Bangladesh. Its primeval forests are home to mighty Bengal tigers, while scenic plains make way for mile after mile of rolling tea gardens. Hidden is the world’s longest natural beach, known as Cox’s Bazar. There are also many underdeveloped shorelines offering peace, quiet and a rawness that make them even more charming. Beyond the picturesque views, tribal destinations, and historic mosques, the country boasts mysterious archeological sites and unbelievable temples built entirely out of red earth.
National monuments stand as a testament to Bangladesh’s rich history. Archeological landmarks dot ancient sites like the Mahasthangar mound, which is said to be the oldest in the country. Large churches, iconic shrines, mosques, and towering old temples show diversity in religious influences. You will find ancient Buddhist kingdoms (or what’s left of them) in Ramgamati. The 1857 Memorial in Dhaka is one example, along with other statues within the gorgeous Bahadur Shah Park.
Active travelers will appreciate the wilderness escapades Bangladesh has to offer. The country is home to several national parks and well-preserved conservation areas that boast magnificent animal, plant and bird life. The Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world and can bring you up close and personal with all kinds of wild animals, including the famed Bengal tiger.
Bengalis are some of the most openhearted, optimistic and hospitable people you will ever meet, and they are eager to share their homeland with the curious eye. In bigger cities, you will find no shortage of hotels offering all the luxuries you would expect from high-end establishments. In smaller villages, you will have to make do with hostels, modest bed and breakfasts, homesteads, and guesthouses. It is best to arrange your accommodation in advance especially when staying in rural regions.
Bangladesh is an easy country to get to with three international airports – Shahjalal in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. Flying between major cities and popular attractions is possible, but locals prefer to travel either by bus or car. Most visitors opt for the waterways, not only for the stunning views, but because of the range of options with boat transport. The railroad is also recommended, especially for those wanting to enjoy countryside views.
- Explore archeological sites in the northwest, including the ancient remains of Paharpur, Sherpur, and Mahasthanagarh
- Visit centuries-old mosques and religious edifices throughout the country
- Walk barefoot on the fine sands of the longest natural beach in the world, Cox’s Bazar
- Take an overnight boat trip down the scenic river between Khulna and Dhaka, or cruise the beautiful Turag waterwat
- Tour the port city of Chittagong and its 17th century Shai Jama-e Masjid Mosque
- Experience nightlife, shopping and the past in the historic capital city of Dhaka
- Enjoy a day at the sprawling Maheskali Island, a short boat trip from Cox’s Bazar
- Get lost in the endless national parks, including the Bengal-tiger infested swamps of Sundarbans and the beautiful Rajendrapur and Madhupur regions
- Don’t miss the water sports at Chittagong and on Rangamati Hill District’s Kaptai Lake