Mustard crop in Sirajganj, Bangladesh
Mustard crop in Sirajganj, Bangladesh

Sirajganj

Beautiful colours of a mustard crop in Sirajganj
Photo by Manzur Alam

BANGLADESH

Asia

Bangladesh Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Dhaka

Location:

Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India

Currency:

taka (BDT)

Area:

148,460 sq km

Population:

164,098,818 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

Bangla 98.8% (official, also known as Bengali), other 1.2% (2011 est.)

Religion:

Muslim 89.1%, Hindu 10%, other 0.9% (includes Buddhist, Christian) (2013 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC+6

Tel Code:

+880

Weather

Climate

Bangladesh has a tropical monsoon climate, with high temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. The country experiences three main seasons: the hot summer season from March to June, the monsoon season from June to October, and the cool winter season from November to February. The monsoon season is characterized by heavy rainfall, which can cause flooding and landslides in some areas.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Bangladesh depends on what you plan to do and what you prefer in terms of weather. The months of October to March are considered the best time to visit the country, as the weather is cool and dry, and the landscapes are lush green. During this time, visitors can enjoy the country's natural beauty and explore its historical sites without the heat and humidity of the summer months.

If you want to experience the traditional Bangladesh festivals and events, then the months of October to February are the best time to visit. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy the beach and sea activities such as swimming, snorkeling and diving, then the months of November to February would be the best time to visit.

Keep in mind that the monsoon season of June to October can be unpredictable, and many of the country's outdoor attractions may be closed or have limited hours during this time. Visitors are advised to check the weather forecast and plan accordingly, as well as to take necessary precautions when travelling during the monsoon season.

Transportation

Air

The main international airports in Bangladesh are Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka and Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong. There are several airlines that operate flights to and from Bangladesh, including Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Novoair, and Air Asia. Visitors can also fly to neighboring countries and then take a domestic flight to Bangladesh.

Train

Bangladesh has a railway system that connects major cities and towns throughout the country. The trains are generally affordable, but can be crowded and not very punctual. Visitors can also take a train to neighboring countries such as India and Myanmar.

Bus

Buses are a popular and affordable way to travel around Bangladesh. The bus system connects major cities and towns throughout the country, and there are also long-distance buses that connect Bangladesh with neighboring countries.

Taxi

Taxis are widely available in Bangladesh and can be found at airports, train stations, and bus stations. Visitors can also use ride-hailing apps such as Uber, Pathao and Grameenphone's GP rides to book a taxi. Visitors are advised to agree on the fare before getting in the taxi, and to have the destination address written in the local language.

Rickshaw

Rickshaws are a popular and affordable way to get around in Bangladesh, particularly in the cities. They are a common sight in cities like Dhaka and Chittagong, and can be found at most major intersections. Visitors should negotiate the fare before getting on the rickshaw and be aware of the traffic laws and regulations.

Accommodation

Hotels

Bangladesh offers a wide range of hotel options for visitors, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts. Visitors can find hotels in most major cities and towns, and many of the historical sites also have on-site accommodation. Some of the larger cities such as Dhaka, Chittagong, and Cox's Bazar have several international hotel chains as well as smaller, locally-owned hotels.

Guesthouses

Guesthouses are a popular and budget-friendly accommodation option in Bangladesh. They are often family-run and offer a more authentic experience of local life. Guesthouses can be found in most cities and towns and offer simple, clean rooms with private bathrooms. Some guesthouses also offer meals and other amenities such as laundry service.

Homestays

Homestays are a great way to experience local culture and hospitality in Bangladesh. Visitors can stay with a local family and learn about their customs, culture and way of life. Homestays can be found throughout the country and offer visitors a unique and authentic experience.

Camping

Camping is not a common accommodation option in Bangladesh, and visitors may not find many designated camping sites. However, visitors can explore the country's natural beauty by staying in the local eco-lodges, and the lodge owners may be able to provide camping gear and equipment.

Yurt Camps

Yurt camps are not commonly found in Bangladesh, as traditional yurt tents are not a part of the local culture. However, visitors can explore the country's natural beauty by staying in eco-lodges or tents that mimic the traditional yurt design.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Bangladesh Closed
Test
Required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Bangladesh is a country of natural beauty, rich culture, and friendly people. It is home to the world's largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans, and has a long history of art and literature. From exploring the country's natural wonders to experiencing its vibrant culture, there is something for everyone in Bangladesh. Here are the top 10 things to do in Bangladesh:

      1. Visit the Sundarbans

      The Sundarbans is the world's largest mangrove forest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to the Bengal tiger and a wide variety of other wildlife, as well as many traditional fishing and farming communities. Visitors can take a boat tour through the forest to see the wildlife and learn about the local way of life.

      2. Explore Dhaka

      Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is a vibrant and bustling city. Visitors can explore the city's many historical and cultural sites, such as the Lalbagh Fort, the Ahsan Manzil, and the Dhakeshwari Temple. The city also has a thriving street food scene and several markets where visitors can shop for traditional handicrafts and textiles.

      3. Visit the Cox's Bazar

      Cox's Bazar is a seaside town located in the south of Bangladesh, known for its beautiful beaches and clear waters. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports, as well as explore the local markets and seafood restaurants.

      4. Visit the Rangamati

      Rangamati is a hill district located in the southeast of Bangladesh, known for its natural beauty and rich culture. Visitors can explore the local villages, trek in the mountains, and learn about the lives and customs of the different ethnic groups that call the area home.

      5. Visit the Saint Martin's Island

      Saint Martin's Island is a small coral island located in the Bay of Bengal, is the only coral island in Bangladesh. Visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and diving to see the coral reefs and marine life.

      6. Visit the Sundarban Reserve Forest

      The Sundarban Reserve Forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the Bengal tiger and other wildlife. Visitors can take a boat tour through the forest to see the wildlife and learn about the local way of life.

      7. Visit the Rangamati Hill District

      The Rangamati Hill District is home to several ethnic groups, each with their own unique culture and customs. Visitors can explore the local villages and trek in the mountains to learn about the lives and customs of the different ethnic groups that call the area home.

      8. Visit the Bandarban

      Bandarban is a hill district in south-eastern Bangladesh, known for its natural beauty and rich culture. Visitors can explore the local villages, trek in the mountains, and learn about the lives and customs of the different ethnic groups that call the area home.

      9. Visit the Kuakata

      Kuakata is a seaside town located in the south-west of Bangladesh, known for its panoramic sea views, sandy beaches, and natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports, as well as explore the local markets and seafood restaurants.

      10. Visit the Chittagong

      Chittagong is the second-largest city in Bangladesh, and is known for its rich history and culture. Visitors can explore the city's many historical and cultural sites, such as the Ethnological Museum, the Chittagong War Cemetery, and the Foy's Lake. The city is also a major port and a hub for trade and commerce, visitors can also explore the local markets and shops to find unique and traditional items. The city also has a vibrant street food scene, where visitors can try local delicacies such as pitha (rice cakes), samosas, and cha (tea). In addition, Chittagong is also home to several beautiful beaches such as Patenga and Rangamati Beach, where visitors can relax and enjoy the sea view.

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