Bangladesh – First Edition
Posted by bradttravel on 4 September 2009
Bangladesh – it’s poverty-stricken, flat, flooded, overcrowded, corrupt, has a fatal attraction for cyclones and nestles sweatily in the fragrant armpit of India. This is how most people conceive one of the world’s youngest nations, independent since 1971 following a vicious war of secession with Pakistan. Why would anyone choose to go there? Mikey Leung, co-author of Bradt’s new Bangladesh guide, doesn’t shy from the reality. ‘To be frank, researching this guide was a right pain in the backside.’ However, Leung expands and invites travellers beyond the headlines ‘inside this friendly region of south Asia whose people may be short on space and material wealth, but who possess hearts of infinite kindness.’
On Dhaka’s choked streets, Bradt’s Bangladesh invites travellers to follow their noses through Sadarghat’s Somme-like fish market, points the way to Haji Biriyani in Old Dhaka – the city’s best – and offers a masterclass in outmanoeuvring silent-but-deadly bicycle rickshaws. Beyond the maelstrom of headache-inducing CNGs, kamikaze buses and belligerent Tata trucks, Leung and co-author Belinda Meggitt point the way to rural Bangladesh. Explorations of this ‘republic of rivers’ (the Ganges/Brahmaputra River Delta) aboard a ‘Rocket’ – one of four 100-year-old scheduled paddle steamers – are serene, in a very Bangladeshi way. Elsewhere, chapters detail the world’s largest expanse of littoral mangroves – the Sundarban, with its myriad channels enlivened by the antics of endangered endemic river dolphins, and whose forests are gingered up by a healthy tiger population with a penchant for Bengali honey collectors. Perhaps the biggest surprise described in the book are the Chittagong Hill Tracts: they’re hilly for a start, and sparsely populated by indigenous tribes owing more to Burma than Bangladesh and maintaining Buddhist religious traditions at odds with Bengali Islam.
For anyone – NGO worker, business traveller or tourist – travelling to Dhaka and beyond, Bradt’s Bangladesh is now the only English-language resource to provide up-to-date independent travel information and advice. For those interested in Dakar, sit down, we need to talk…
Mikey Leung volunteered for VSO in Bangladesh. He currently reports current affairs for CBC and other worldwide radio stations whilst combining writing for numerous business and in-flight magazines.
Belinda Meggitt spent a year in Chittagong as an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development before taking up travel photography.
Author: Mikey Leung & Belinda Meggitt
Publisher: Bradt Travel Guides
Publication: September 2009
ISBN: 978 1 84162 293 4
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.