During a flight to Dubai via Thailand, I once had a stop-over in Bangladesh. I love travelling and have been to some very interesting places, but this trip was completely new. On the stopover we had 24 hours to kill, so I checked into one the local airport hotels and decided to do a local city tour as it was still early in the day. I wasn’t prepared for the challenge of visiting the country and I am glad I didn’t miss it. I always love to have great adventure when I go anywhere in the world and just experiencing the local culture, seeing new sights which I will never see again and, of course eating authentic foreign cuisine was worth it.

Lalbager Kella 01
Lalbager Kella, BangladeshSfaisal2005 / Foter

 Dhaka is the current capital of Bangladesh. It is situated on the banks of the Buriganga River. Dhaka, with its metropolitan area has an estimated population of over 12 million in 2008, it the largest city in Bangladesh. In population terms it is the 9th largest city in the world and also 28th among the most densely populated cities. Dhaka is known as the City of Mosques, and with 400,000 cycle rickshaws running on its streets every day, the city is also described as the Rickshaw Capital of the world.

I have been to two other countries that are similar, Pakistan and Turkey. I’m not sure if it’s all because of the novelty of travelling, but I really enjoyed my destinations. For the most part, I usually travel alone so I ride public transportation, but on this occasion I exercised caution and did a city by taxi, all for an impressive £10.00 excluding the tip.

This particular area of south Asia is best known for blending the old and new culture, Bangladesh is an exciting place where you can study about heritage and culture in the past and the present. You can also totally immerse yourself in the Bengali language. They have a whole different culture and tradition that once entered would totally be like entering a new world, it’s like nothing you have ever seen.

Bangladesh is a country rich in culture and history that is completely diverse, making it really fun to be there. So what exactly is the best way to start out touring a whole new different and hopefully whacky place, especially if you hadn’t planned the stop? Of course it is through the kitchen and the local cuisine! Bangladesh is a land known for its delicious food; I have lived in the UK and eaten in many eateries that serve Bangladeshi food. As with most Asian countries, Bangladesh’s staple food is boiled rice but on special occasions the cooking methods can turn into a very homely pulao dish. They also use mustard and soybean oils as cooking medium that adds a subtle flavour to some of the vegetable dishes. Anyway, perhaps before you leave a restaurant in this foreign land you should try the Bengali curry, pulaos and the huge amount of sweets that this country has to offer. I even brought some home in a nicely decorated box.

After a long hour of practically stuffing myself with authentic Bangladeshi food (which a lot of people mistake to be the same as Indian food) in the five star hotel, you can then start burning off the extra calories you just accumulated by going on a quick tour. Most hotels serve buffets and they are marvellous value for money, you can eat as much as you want from a variety of dishes.

If you are interested in treasures, natural treasures that is, then Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka would be the perfect place for you. Not only will you see natural wonders here, you would also see an assortment of exquisite Hindu temples and churches around it. But if you are looking for a place where there would be a lot of people and a place where you could have a little swim and cool off, then Cox’s Bazaar would be a magnificent place. This beach is recognised for being the longest unbroken beach slope in the world, South Africa eat your heart out!