Countdown to Bangladesh…
20 days from now, I’ll be on my way to Bangladesh. Wow. I’ve known about the possibility of this trip for about a year and in January we purchased our plane tickets. It seemed so far away and that I had a ton of time to prepare and now I’m 20 days away! Time flew by, but I’m mostly prepared and growing more excited with everyday! It seems at this point the last thing to do is to figure out what we are going to do when we have some free time.
So a few of us going decided to sit down and discuss what we want to do when we have free time and so far this is what we have come up with. I’ve included a little information about each one. When I get to all these places, I’ll be sure to post more.
- The first week we would like to take an organized tour of the Dhaka City. We hope to be able to see a little bit of everything and from there decide what we want to see more of and what we do not need to see again.
- Ahsan Manzil – also known as the Pink Palace. Construction was completed on Ahsan Manzil in 1872 and was built by one of Dhaka’s wealthiest landowners, Nawab Abdul Ghani. Ghani’s land ownerships grew to include much of Dhaka and he contributed large amounts of money to local colleges. It underwent a massive historical restoration in the 1980s restoring it to its original grandeur.
- Shankharia Bazar (Hindu St) – It’s lined with ancient houses and small shops and workshops. Shankharis (Hindu artisans) can be seen making kites and jewelry.
- Sitara (Star) Mosque – It was built in the 18th century in the Mughal style architecture with four corner towers.
- Lalbagh Fort – Construction began in 1677 but was never completed.
- Dkakeswari Temple – the main Hindu temple in Dhaka.
- Bharmarajikha Buddhist Monastery – the largest Buddhist cultural center in Bangladesh.
- Rickshaw Ride – we hope to be able to take a ride on a rickshaw or two.
- Gulshan Area – this is the area of Dhaka where many of the foreign embassies are located.
- Bangsal Road (Bicycle St.) – The art that is used to decorate rickshaws can be purchased quite cheap (cheap means about 50 taka, according to the guide book, which equals less than $1 USD).
We are planning on going to Sylhet in the northeastern part of the country to see the tea estates. Tea is a major industry in Bangladesh and one of the country’s largest exports (mostly to Russia and Pakistan). The 200 ft. Madhabkunda Waterfall is nearby. In the general area, elephants can be seen hauling logs!
Overall, I think we have a pretty packed trip planned. Unfortunately, it will not be cricket season while I am I in Bangladesh, so we will likely not see a cricket match. The second most popular sport in Bangladesh is, of course, soccer and the World Cup will still be going on the first few weeks we are there! I’m sure it will be an experience watching the World Cup in Bangladesh.
I read a few articles on BBC News and Reuters about the World Cup fans in Bangladesh. It seems that the energy authority is asking factories and shopping malls to close early to save the energy and to prevent power outages during the game!