About this book
This updated guidebook, with a focus on responsible tourism, offers greater coverage than any other to the Chittagong Hill Tracts where 13 different ethnic groups live, and to the world's largest mangrove forest at the Sundarbans. Personal insights and anecdotes guide trailblazing travellers to those aspects of the country that are almost unknown to visitors - dolphin and whale watching, winter bird-watching in the northern wetlands and golden Bengal's silk and archaeological highlights.
About the author
Press reviews'Mikey Leung ... [has] succeeded eloquently in bringing Bangladesh out from the shadow, or perhaps armpit, of India and revealing a country worthy of exploration in its own right.' Real Travel
'Valuable travel information, advice and an insight into a people who "possess hearts of infinite kindness". If you want to get off the beaten track then this is well worth a look.' Adventure Travel Magazine
'An in-depth look at the country'.
Recommended reading by The Belfast Telegraph
Good guide; update needed; a few minor problems
The guide needs updating - that's not the fault of the authors of course, and I understand Bangladesh is not a wildly busy destination, but there are some problems with some of the information. A lot has changed in Bangladesh since this edition in terms of hotel and transportation; for example, a lot of bridges have been built over major rivers (I think mostly by the Chinese) which has drastically altered routes and timings as buses don't need to cross on ferries in many cases. The maps are also very out of date.
One larger problem I noticed is that the guide is written from the perspective of a person living or basing himself in Dhaka and making trips from there and back. Most independent travelers don't travel that way, rather they make a loop or a circuit of the country as I did, moving from place to place. Because the guide focuses largely on this "Dhaka out and back" approach it doesn't suggest a possible backpacker's route around the country, as many Bradt books do. It also makes it very difficult to gather any information or ideas about onward transportation as, in general, the traveler is expected to return to Dhaka and then move on elsewhere from there. That approach is not consistent with other Bradt guides.
One other problem I noticed is in the coverage of some of the southern areas of the country. For instance, the guide has an entry for Bhola island - and justifiably so, it's a fascinating area. The way the guide outlines it the only real place on the island is the guest house at Char Fasson. The guide explains how to get there but fails to mention the actual capital of the island, Bhola, a very interesting and significant town in its own right and much easier and more logical place to reach when arriving on the island, and there are a lot of other places on the large island worth exploring. I know no guide can give information on every place, and that's fine, but in the case of Bhola there was simply too little information based on the size and importance of the island. I had the idea the authors didn't really explore much of it and just settled on one tiny place for inclusion in the section.
Those are just a few observations. Overall I really enjoyed the country and the book and hope Bradt will one day publish an updated version.
(Posted on 09/04/2019)
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION 1
Background Information 3
Geography 3, Climate 4, Natural history and conservation 7, History 9, Government and politics 21, Economy 22, Development 24, People 26, Language 28, Religion 30, Education 32, Culture 32
Practical Information 37
When to visit 37, Highlights 38, Suggested itineraries 41, Tour operators 42, Red tape 42, Embassies and high commissions 46, Getting there and away 48, Health 53, Safety and security 65, Women travellers 67, Disabled travellers 68, Travelling with children 69, What to take 69, Money 71, Budgeting 73, Getting around 73, Accommodation 78, Eating and drinking 81, Public holidays and festivals 86, Shopping 91, Arts and entertainment 93, Media and communications 95, Business 97, Cultural etiquette 99, Travelling positively 101, Living in Bangladesh 104
PART TWO THE GUIDE 113
History 116, Getting there and away 117, Getting around 124, Tourist information 128, Where to stay 129, Where to eat 138, Entertainment and nightlife 144, Shopping 148, Other practicalities 152, What to see 154, Day trips from Dhaka 166
Dhaka Division 177
Bhawal National Park 177, Mymensingh 178, Around Mymensingh 181, Tangail 183, Around Tangail 184
Sylhet Division 189
History 190, Language 190, Sylhet 191, Around Sylhet 197, Ja'ong 199, Cherrapunjee 200, Sunamganj 201, Srimongol 203, Around Srimongol 217
Chittagong Division 221
Chittagong 221, Around Chittagong 236, Sitakund 237,
Chittagong Hill Tracts 238, Cox's Bazaar 254, Around
Cox's Bazaar 263, Teknaf 264, St Martin's Island 265,
Noakhali 270, Hatiya Island 271, Nijhum Dwip 273,
Comilla 273, Around Comilla 277
Khulna and Barisal Divisions 279
Khulna 279, Around Khulna 285, Bagerhat 287, Mongla
289, Sundarban 290, Jessore 297, Around Jessore 302,
Benapol/Petrapol 303, Kushtia 304, Around Kushtia 308,
Barisal 309, Bhola Island 312, Kuakata 314
Rajshahi and Rangpur Divisions 319
Rajshahi 320, Around Rajshahi 325, Puthia 326,
Natore 327, Pabna 329, Around Pabna 330, Chapai
Nawabganj 332, Bogra 334, Around Bogra 338,
Paharpur and Mahasthan: the Buddhist monuments
338, Rangpur 343, Around Rangpur 347, Kurigram 348,
Lalmonirhat district 348, Saidpur 351, Around Saidpur
353, Dinajpur 353, Around Dinajpur 356, Thakurgaon
358, Around Thakurgaon 359, Panchagarh 359, Around
Further Information 373