Last Updated on 19/06/2022 by Alfred
Like most non-touristic Asian countries, Bangladesh is a mixed bag for tourists. However, unlike Thailand or Singapore, or even Nepal, Bangladesh does not depend too much on tourism for its economic growth. Thus, a tourist will not face too much trouble on the streets, e.g., there will be fewer people trying to sell scam deals or touristy services to you.
It would be better if you knew someone here in Bangladesh. However, hundreds of tourists visit Bangladesh every year without knowing anyone and having a good time.
The general instructions apply to all tourists; extraordinary precautions are not necessary to survive in Bangladesh as a tourist.
The rules are simple–eat safe, drink safe, travel safe, and respect cultural and religious beliefs.
Eating and Drinking
Like any other south Asian country, Bangladeshi cuisine is also spicy and may not adjust well to your digestive system. Furthermore, it is better to eat in a proper restaurant instead of eating street food. Street food is not 100% safe as it is likely that the ingredients are not of the best quality, and the water used in cooking may not be boiled.
Drinking bottled water is always a good idea for tourists. However, tap water in Bangladesh cannot be used as drinking water, and it needs to be boiled/purified before drinking.
While walking/roaming around at night is usually safe, secluded places should be avoided at night.
You should always carry your passport and collect the consulate number. In rare cases, police members may try to harass you, but being confident and carrying your passport will help you avoid any such issues.
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It is better to avoid cheap hotels. This is because different unwanted issues exist in those places, and the surrounding areas are also not pleasant. Though it is possible to find a good place to stay at an affordable rate, it is better to find a 3-star place.
Tripadvisor, booking dot com and other websites have reviews and scores for the places, so you should check them out before choosing your accommodation.
Seeking help from people
In general, people are friendly in Bangladesh, and most of us want to help out tourists. Thus, if you run into trouble, look for young university students or professionals on the street. The way to recognize them is by their bags, books, or be better dressed. Ask them any question, and they will try to help you out.
But always re-check. It’s best not to believe one person’s information. Sometimes, despite having genuine, honest intentions, people may give you misguiding or erroneous information. Sometimes people make mistakes, while on other occasions, they miscalculate.
It is important to have a good Cellular Connection
The majority of locations in Bangladesh can now be found by using Google maps and or Streetview and having a good cellular connection can make a huge difference. Airtel offers cheap, affordable internet access and great speeds if you mostly visit large cities.
Grameenphone has the best coverage if you plan to visit a lot of places outside the capital. You will find SIM card selling shops in almost every corner of the country; they are also available at the airport. Bangladesh has some of the cheapest cellular rates globally, and most cities are covered by 3G connectivity.
Thus, having cellular connectivity at all times can be of help, big time.
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Bangladesh is a Muslim country
As most Bangladeshis are Muslims, wearing short and or revealing dresses, consuming alcohol, etc., should be done cautiously. If you stay in a hotel, you can wear a swimming dress and dip in the pool without any issue.
However, you cannot necessarily wear the same dress to the beach. Also, shorts for women can be frowned upon, and you should never, ever enter a mosque wearing shoes or revealing clothes.
Alcohol consumption practices with restriction and only license holders are allowed to drink at home or in the bar–public consumption is strictly prohibited. Alcohol is also difficult to find; you can’t buy it from any grocery store. Liquor shops are few and expensive, and bar prices are also on the steep side.
Consumption of pork is also prohibited so that you won’t find pork meat on the menu for most restaurants in Bangladesh.
If you are traveling during the month of Ramadan, you have to be very, very vigilant. That is the month when Muslims practice fasting, and during that time, eating or smoking in public is inadvisable.
Summer is tough
Yes, summertime temperatures can go up to 40 to 45 degrees (centigrade), or even worse, depending on your location. The worst part is that you will have a lot of sweat, and you might suffer dearly from dehydration.
Therefore, it is inadvisable to visit Bangladesh from April to September, as the summer, followed by the rainy season, makes things mess up.
After summer comes the rainy season, and it might rain for days at a stretch, which makes many roads unusable.
During the cooler and drier months of October to February, Bangladesh is the best place to visit.
If you have any other questions about Bangladesh, feel free to get in touch with me. But, don’t listen to some gloom and doom stories being spread by others regarding Bangladesh.