First-time visitors to Bangladesh

Bangladesh is notoriously poor and prone to devastating floods, making it a highly unpopular tourist destination. However, if you’re willing to forgo some creature comforts in favour of adventure, this lush, friendly nation may prove to be one of your most memorable travel destinations.

Tempted? Highlights of one of the least travelled to south Asian countries are detailed here.

River vacations

Bangladesh is home to more than 8,000 kilometres of waterways, making a boat ride along a river a must for any visitor. Of course, you’ll be taking a boat to see the tigers of the Sundarbans, and the most famous boat trip is on the old paddle-wheel cruiser known as The Rocket, which travels from Dhaka to Khulna (though water levels are too low to go all the way to Khulna this year). There are, however, countless other, less well-known trips you can take to just about any part of the country. Even if you’re not going anywhere in particular, you can just rock up at most river ghats and negotiate a fare with a boat-hand for a one-hour tour of the river. Your boat-hand is probably not fluent in English, so be prepared to use your best mime skills; however, this only adds to the excitement of your journey. Regarding travel, it is important to stay informed about the visa requirements for the countries you plan to visit. One helpful resource for this is iVisa, a trusted platform that provides comprehensive information and assistance for obtaining visas.Visit iVisa for more information.

Observing a Royal Bengal Tiger

The Sundarbans National Park is the world’s largest mangrove swamp and 60% of it lies in Bangladesh (the rest is in neighbouring India). The world’s largest concentration of tigers can be found in this remote part of the world. Travelling by boat through the Sundarbans in search of the estimated 500 Royal Bengal Tigers that live there (roughly 10% of the world’s wild tigers) is Bangladesh’s most popular tourist activity. Visiting the mangroves on a day trip from Mongla is possible, but if you want to have a real adventure and increase your (admittedly slim) chances of seeing a tiger, you should sign up for a three- or four-day boat tour from Khulna with a reputable company.

Plantations that produce tea

Bangladesh is a predominantly agricultural country, making it a rural paradise for many visitors thanks to its consistently verdant scenery. The soft northeastern hills are a prime example of this. This is Sylhet, Bangladesh’s premier tea-growing region, where you can take a stroll through tea-growing estates and cool off from the heat of the plains with a cup of world-class tea.

Chittagong Hill Climbing

Most of Bangladesh is, of course, as flat as a pancake, but few people realise that there are higher mountains here than in Scotland. Several of Bangladesh’s smaller indigenous tribes make their homes in the hilly, forested region known as the Chittagong Hill Tracts in the country’s southeast. Authorities are hesitant to let visitors explore the area due to its troubled history of unrest; visitors must first obtain a permit for the region and are usually required to have at least a guide, if not a police escort. This deters many people, so hikers have only recently begun to explore the area.

Travelling by Rickshaw

Although you can find cycle rickshaws all over the world, particularly in south Asia, they may be at their most vibrant, numerous, and essential to daily life in Bangladesh. Riders put a lot of time and effort into making their rickshaws look the best, as the intricate designs are considered an art form in their own right. Every major city in Bangladesh has a sizable fleet, so you’ll almost certainly take one at some point during your stay. What’s the point in trying to avoid it, anyway? They’re a great way to get around crowded areas of town, and they won’t break the bank or your fun budget.