My host mother is an amazing cook. The dinner and breakfast was incredible. My host brother, Jafar is a super host and a very patient person since you need to be if you are travelling with a crazy nut. Anyone interested in staying with a local family should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. There was another traveller staying with the family. Paul came to Bangladesh to master the language and be immersed in the culture- something that he is a part of since it is in his blood. Talking to him and listening to his adventures was fascinating. One thing that I’ve learnt from Paul is – never cut off your own family root and cultural ties. It is a precious gift and by cutting it off, you send a message of ‘shame’ and self-disrespect. No need for that. Hold on.
In the past, I vowed never to REvisit a country since life is short. If I nearly died in 2013 then 2014 and most recently in May 2015 then I could die any minute. Well…bugga! I’m not winning here since time is limited and there are tonnes of places to see in the world. However, I would go back and say ‘hi’ to Bangladesh again for her people are friendly and welcoming and she has much to offer — travelling here is like a step back in time. I felt like I was the only one discovering a hidden country and her beautiful people- a country clearly developing and hard at work yet globalisation haven’t left such a strong footprint (yet) – a country where the people are not too tainted by modern negativity of the modern world and overly commericalised.I’m a selfish person and as much as mass tourism would be economically beneficial and positive for Bangladesh, the country will not be immune to such problems and distasteful changes. I want Bangladesh to stay this way forever, untainted by what I see are the problems of this modern world. Yet, on the other hand, I want more people to experience and fall in love with the country. Nevertheless, I called Bangladesh my home for the past week and it was a honour to see her during this interesting time.
The 200 taka tuktuk ride to the airport was my last chance to see Dhaka.
The airport staff were extremely kind and mad sure I get a window seat to the left-hand side of the Druk Air flight into Bhutan. I’ll definitely miss this genuine kindness and happiness that the people have shown me so far. Money-wise, they have little but spiritually, they are happy and at ease with themselves. I admire that since that is what I need.
Before I boarded my flight, I saw a billboard those slogan I agreed with.
Tourism needs to be further promoted in Bangladesh- from infrastructure, information desks to little aesthetic things such as provincial logo and mascot designs and more colourful attractive looking tickets for various tourist sites.
Unfortunately, from the responses that I’ve received from the Bangladeshi Embassy in Beijing along with a lack of promotions, tourist numbers are not particularly high. To add insult to injury, the 2015 travel ban placed on Bangladesh due to the deaths of two foreigners isn’t helping either.
An Italian aids worker was gunned down in Dhaka. After a few days, a Japanese citizen was also shot in Rangpur. Tragedy and violence can be found in every country and no doubt, future threats exist in the country. Yet, such warnings are blown out of proportions and it’s not fair as every country has their own share of violence and incidents. If one exercise caution and use common sense then it should be perfectly fine.
I’m grateful that I was able to see , feel, taste and be moved by the beauty of Bangladesh. I hope that more travellers are able to fall in love with the country since it’s a hidden gem- waiting to be discovered. If you love food, want to relax, go on an adventure and be blown away by historical relics then why not put Bangladesh on your list? Nothing is as magical as seeing a country with your own eyes. As a developing and young nation, she offered me the perfect destination to get lost in and feel like I’m discovering unchartered land.
As her neighbours allow globalisation to gain greater presence, Bangladesh finds herself at the crossroads of critical change and economic transition. It is a perfect time to visit the country before it all changes.
Derek ( a super traveller who I bumped into in Kyoto) said to me
” I highly recommend Bangladesh. It is a magical place. You’ll fall in love. I hope you can make the trip!”
That is exactly what I would tell you as well.