Bangladesh — Shopping and Leisure
Bangladesh is a shopper’s paradise, especially for those with a love of handmade goods. The country has a rich craft making tradition so products such as shital pati (breathable mattresses), woodworkings, contemporary paintings, bamboo decor, silver and gold ornaments, conch shell jewelry, cane products, silk, jute, cotton, reed, brassware, and leather goods are widely available. Collectors will fall in love with the traditional dolls, as well as pink pearls, which are among the most popular souvenirs. You can also take home printed saris and handloom fabrics in intricate designs.
Bangladesh is one of the largest producers of ready-made garments and export clothing for many famous brands like Adidas, Nike and Levi’s. While these brands are not meant to be sold in local markets, they are available in well-known shopping areas like Dhaka College and Banga Bazaar. There are a number of real malls, several of which are found in Dhaka. Bashundhara City is particularly noteworthy, which features an excess of 1,500 shops, a multiplex cinema and plenty of dining options. Shopping hours vary, but they generally run all-day long from 9:00 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. on Fridays and from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. the rest of the week. Stores in tourist areas stay open later.
Aarong is a popular chain of stores in Bangladeshi cities like Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, and Sylhet. It is the go-to place for handicrafts, clothing, and souvenirs, including stylish and high-quality salwar kameez. If you enjoy bargain hunting or if you simply prefer local markets, head to the bazaars and street shops in Dhaka. Bargaining is common and even storeowners with “fixed price” labels are likely to tolerate some degree of haggling.
Banga/Bango Bazar, located on Kamruzzaman Sharani Street bordering Old Dhaka is one of the most popular shopping areas. Small stalls cram the narrow walkways with products at dirt-cheap prices. Quality varies widely so have a look around before you buy. Expect large crowds of both locals and tourists.
The largest market in Dhaka is on Mirpur Road just west of Dhaka University. New Market is more spacious and upscale than Banga and is open every day except Tuesdays. Clothing, linen, household goods, jewelry, and other products can be found here, but prices are slightly higher than other markets in Bangladesh.
Pink pearls from Bangladesh are known for their superior quality and unmatched luster. They are in abundance in Dhaka, particularly in Gulshan, where many dedicated stores sell them in various forms of jewelry and accessories.
While this traditional dress is not exclusive to Bangladesh, quality salwar kameez are widely available in many stores around the country. Salwar refers to pajama-like trousers with loose legs that are narrow at the ankle. Kameez is either a long tunic or shirt with long slits on the side seams.