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  • Overview

    From elaborate clothes and ornate taxis, to crowded cities, tinyBangladesh is bursting at its seams. Famous rivers, the world'slongest beach, ancient ruins and sacred religious sites abound, allwithout the fingerprints of commercialised tourism.

    Visitors usually venture out from the capital, Dhaka, wherecramped streets connect a sprawl of low buildings in the freneticcity centre. Rain-washed colonial structures and an ever-presentcacophony of car horns and rickshaw bells lend the capital anunmistakable energy. It is as intimidating as it is intoxicating.Fortunately, the locals are renowned for their friendliness, andtheir inquisitive streak. Both go a long way to making travellersfeel welcome. Delicious Bengali cuisine helps too.

    South of Dhaka, the Jamuna River leads into Sundarbans NationalPark: famous for its mangrove forests, and as one of the Bengaltiger's last refuges. As with the country in general, the best wayto travel the jungle-choked region is by boat.

    The country's lesser-known attractions include the Buddhistremains at Paharpur, and the 15th-century mosques and mausoleums ofBagerhat. Both of them are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

    Poor infrastructure and an undeveloped tourist industry make itdifficult to move around Bangladesh with any speed. Luckily, theserealities don't hurt the adventure travellers can enjoy in thecountry. All told, it's a place to relax and open up to new ways ofbeing, rather than tick off sights.

    From a safety perspective, travellers should avoid theChittagong Hill Tracts, though not the city of Chittagong or otherparts of Chittagong Division. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingyarefugees have arrived in the south-east of Bangladesh, followingongoing violence in Burma since August 2017. The Bangladeshiauthorities regulate access to the areas where the Rohingya areaccommodated.

    Also, terrorists are very likely to carry out attacks across theentire country. They target security forces, though they may aimfuture attacks at public gatherings and foreign nationals.

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    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    Bangladesh has a very wet climate defined by its subtropicalmonsoon seasons. Most of the rain falls from late May throughOctober, followed by a cool season till February, and a hot summerfrom March to mid-May. Summer temperatures in Bangladesh averageabove 90°F (32°C) and are at their peak in April. Summer is alsovery humid and prone to hailstorms.

    The rainy season in Bangladesh runs from June to September,during which the country sees three quarters of its annualrainfall. Bangladesh suffers yearly cyclones and floods, whichoccur most often between May and June, and October and November.The country is a high-risk earthquake zone.

    Bangladesh is a good winter sun destination for NorthernHemisphere travellers. The best time to visit is between Octoberand February, when the weather is mostly sunny and dry, andtemperatures average around 75°F (24°C).

    Osmani International Airport
    Location: Osmani International Airport is located six miles (9km)north of Sylhet.
    Time: GMT +6
    Getting to the city: Taxis are a cheap and popular option, though buses and pick-upcars are also available.
    Car Rental: Hertz, Avis, Budget and Alamo are among the car hire companiesrepresented at the airport.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available for transfers into the city.
    Fascilities: Airport facilities include first aid, ATMs and foreign exchange,cafes and restaurants (halal), and prayer rooms.
    Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport
    Location: 11 miles (17km) north of Dhaka
    Time: Local time is GMT/UCT + 6
    Getting to the city: An airport shuttle bus runs to the city. Taxis and tuk-tuks arealso available.
    Car Rental:
    Fascilities: Currency exchange counters, post office, duty-free shopping,ATMs, small restaurants, and car-hire kiosks are available.
    Parking Long and short-term parking is available.
    Money:

    The local currency is the Bangladeshi Taka (BDT). Major citieshave ATMS, though credit cards are usually only accepted in Dhaka.Travellers will find the best exchange rate in private shops. Also,travellers are not allowed to leave with more currency than theydeclare on arrival.

    Language:

    The countrys official language is Bangla. English is themain foreign language.

    Electricity:

    Electrical current in Bangladesh is 220 Volts, 50Hz.Round-pin plugs, flat-blade plugs, triangular three-round-pin plugsand parallel flat pins with grounding-pin plugs are allcommon.

    Entry Requirements:

    United States passport holders require a valid passport as wellas a visa; visas can be issued on arrival for stays of up to 30days. They can apply to extend their stay.

    British passport holders require a valid passport as well as avisa. Visas valid for 30 days can be issued on arrival. They canapply to extend their stay.

    Canadian passport holders require a valid passport as well as avisa. Visas valid for 30 days can be obtained on arrival. They canapply to extend to their stay.

    Australian passport holders require a valid passport as well asa visa. Visas valid for 30 days can be obtained upon arrival. Theycan apply to extend their stay.

    South African passport holders require a valid passport as wellas a visa. However, South Africans with proof of Bangladeshi origincan obtain a 30 day visa on arrival. They can apply to extend theirstay.

    Irish passport holders require a valid passport as well as avisa. Visas valid for 30 days can be obtained upon arrival. Theycan apply to extend their stay.

    United States passport holders require a valid passport as wellas a visa; visas can be issued on arrival for stays of up to 30days. They can apply to extend their stay.

    New Zealand passport holders require a valid passport as well asa visa. Visas valid for 30 days can be obtained upon arrival. Theycan apply to extend their stay.

    Passport/Visa Note:Visa:

    Although some visas are available on arrival these are limitedand inconsistently 'given out'. Visa fees depend on embassy andnationality. Israelis are denied entry. A return or onward ticketis required and departure tax depends on onward destination.

    Travel Health:

    Medical facilities aren't close to the quality of most westernhospitals. Travellers with serious conditions should seek helpoutside the country. Also, travellers should see a physician fourto six weeks before they arrive to receive necessary immunisations,and begin taking anti-malaria and typhoid medication.

    All ordinary immunisations must be current. Hepatitis A and Bimmunisations are recommended. Travellers heading to ruralcommunities and the outdoors will need immunisations for rabies andJapanese encephalitis as well. Tuberculosis is also on the rise inBangladesh.

    Travellers' diarrhoea is the most common affliction. Visitorsshould drink bottled water and be sceptical of undercooked foods. Ayellow-fever vaccination certificate is required for all travellersolder than one who are arriving from yellow-fever infectedareas.

    Tipping:

    Tipping in Bangladesh is not expected but welcome.

    Safety Information:

    The security situation in Bangladesh is fluid. Consequently,travellers should contact their local embassy for advice closer towhen they plan to visit.

    All protests should be avoided in case they turn violent.Chittagong Hill Tracts should be avoided by all tourists as theyhave experienced political unrest and violence in the past.

    Theft and armed robbery are problems, especially in poor urbanareas. Pickpocketing and purse snatching are common and directed atforeigners. Travellers should avoid walking or taking publictransport at night because of crime.

    However, city transport can be dangerous due to road and trafficconditions at all times. Ferry trips also suffer fatalities everyyear. Monsoon-season cyclones and flooding are a threat, especiallyin coastal regions and near rivers.

    Local Customs:

    The left hand is considered unclean and generally isn't used togreet people or pass food. It is common to eat with one'shands.

    Women dress conservatively and often don't shake hands with menin greetings. People are addressed with a suffix denoting theirrelative age, so addressing unknown people as older brother orsister is common.

    Bangladesh is an Islamic and a male-dominated society, despitehaving prominent women in government.

    Communications:

    The international access code for Bangladesh is +88. Theoutgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g.0044 for the United Kingdom) and city codes are in use (e.g. 2 forDhaka). Most cell phones work on a GSM network with prepaid SIMcards.

    Duty Free:

    Travellers to Bangladesh may bring with them 200 Cigarettes, 50Cigars or 225g of tobacco. Travellers are also granted an amount ofperfume reasonable for personal use, and gifts of up to 500BDT invalue. Non-Muslims may have two bottles of liquor.

    Useful Contacts:

    Bangladesh Embassies:

    Bangladesh Embassy, Washington DC, United States of America: +1202 244 0183.

    Bangladesh High Commission, London, United Kingdom (alsoresponsible for Ireland): +44 20 7584 0081.

    Bangladesh High Commission, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 236 0138.

    Bangladesh High commission, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 3432105.

    Bangladesh Embassy, Canberra, Australia:+61 2 6290 0511.

    Bangladesh Consulate, Auckland, New Zealand: +64 9 302 0545.

    Foreign Embassies in Bangladesh :

    Embassy of the United States of America, Dhaka: +880 2 55662000.

    British High Commission, Dhaka: +880 2 55668700.

    Canadian High Commission, Dhaka: +88 2 55668444.

    South African High Commission, Colombo, Sri Lanka: +94 11 2463000.

    Australian High Commission, Dhaka: +880 2 58813101.

    Ireland Embassy, New Delhi, India: +91 11 4940 3200.

    New Zealand High Commission, New Delhi: +91 11 4688 3170.

    Bangladesh Emergency Numbers : Ambulance, fire, police: 999
    Bangladesh