The only things I knew about Bangladesh before making Bengali friends at university were that one of the main avenues in the capital city was called Kemal Ataturk Avenue and that just like the Netherlands, the country’s land was below sea level making it vulnerable to excessive flooding. Unlike other South Asian countries like India, this country has not yet been defeated by tourism and has been able to relatively protect its wilderness such as the Royal Bengal tiger. It is a remarkable destination for alternative tourism and a country full of surprises.
What makes Bangladesh special is its people. Even though the lives of Bangladeshis are marked with suffering, hunger, poverty and natural disasters, these people have been ranked as the happiest people in the world. Bangladeshis always wear a beautiful smile on their face. As at first glance, it seems like the country has not opened up much to wordly competitions, human relations still appear to be very innocent, loving and kind. Unlike other countries like India where tourism has turned some locals into reckless mercenaries, Bangladeshis are remarkably pure, tolerant and hospitable.
Whilst browsing in Bangladesh, you should remember that this is a country trying to cope with a population of 150 million and extreme levels of poverty. This has caused distorted and ugly urbanisation in the capital city Dhaka and Sylhet, near the Himalayas. Nevertheless, what defines Bangladesh is its 68 thousand villages. It is quite possible to find the remains of the Mogul Empire, bridges, mosques, Buddhist and Hindu temples in dense tropical forests and villages. The cleanliness of the villages and villagers is very remarkable. The fertility of the soil and trees is truly a great blessing to this poor country. Rice can be cultivated and harvested three or four times a year. Locals consider it normal to frequently see monkeys and other wild animals wandering in their lieu where a seed sown grows into large green fields within a month. The delicious tea, which is so widely enjoyed in the UK and the rest of the world grows around the city of Sylhet near the Himalayas. Near these lush tea gardens, you can come across beautiful rubber and mango forests, pineapple fields and other varieties of tropical fruits and vegetables. Bangladesh offers a true life experience for travellers to South Asia. If you ever get to visit India or Nepal, stop by Bangladesh as well. If you are disappointed in India or do not find what you were hoping for from South Asia, Bangladesh will provide you with the real and untouched South Asia experience.
You can find accommodation in 4 or 5 star hotels in the capital city Dhaka, stay in bungalows among the tropical trees in the tea gardens of Sylhet, visit the Sundorbon Forest in the south, where the Royal Bengal tigers live and sunbathe in the world’s longest beach in Cox’s Bazaar. Despite all the confusion and the crowd, Bangladesh can somehow guarantee a calm and stress free holiday for its visitors.