Bangladesh

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The People's Republic of Bangladesh is a nation in South Asia, on the edge of the Indian subcontinent. It is nearly completely surrounded by India, having a small land border with Myanmar in the southeast and a coastline facing the Bay of Bengal in the south. While geographically tiny, Bangladesh is huge in terms of population, with more people than Russia in a land area smaller than the American state of Florida. Many know Bangladesh only for its moderately-successful cricket team, of which locals are very proud. However, this Muslim-majority nation has been lauded by the United Nations for its poverty reduction, swarmed by investors for its burgeoning economy and has taken the lead on global environmental issues. The next frontier for Bangladesh is tourism, and it is fast developing its facilities to prepare for visitors to its numerous archaeological sites, pristine beaches, bustling markets and ancient mosques. (less...) (more...)

Population: 163,654,860 people
Area: 143,998 km2
Highest point: 1,230 m
Coastline: 580 km
Life expectancy: 70.36 years
GDP per capita: $2,100
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  • Casino Casino
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  • Green space Green space
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  • Medical Medical
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  • Winery Winery

About Bangladesh

Climate

Bangladesh has a sub tropical monsoon climate. There are six seasons in a year; Winter (Dec-Jan), spring (Feb-Mar), Summer (Apr-May), Monsoon (June–July), Autumn (Aug-Sep) and Late Autumn (Oct-Nov). The average temperature across the country usually ranges between 9 C - 29 C in winter months and between 21 C - 34 C during summer months. Annual rainfall varies from 160 cm to 200 cm in the west, 200 cm to 400 cm in the south-east and 250 cm to 400 cm in the north-east. Cyclones above category three/four are uncommon (especially in the deep winter January through March)-- but while rare, can still bring widespread disruption as expected to infrastructure and power outages, especially in the coastal areas. It is recommended that you do not travel in Southern part (Khulna, Bagerhat, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar) during this season.

In summer try to wear cotton clothing as it's so humid. Take care during the rainy season: Even big cities such as Dhaka and Chittagong get submerged quickly by torrential rains, and open drains of sewage or missing manhole covers can be fatal. The best time to visit is October to February.

The current weather can be seen by hitting the 'play' button on the following interactive map: Current Bangladesh Satellite Weather Radar.

Food

Bangladesh is a fish lover's paradise. Traditionally most of the country lives off of the once-bountiful fresh-water river fish, especially the officially designated "national fish" Hilsa. The Hilsa has a nice flavour but some may find the many fine bones difficult to manage; if you can master eating this fish, consider yourself on par with the locals in fish-eating and deboning expertise. Various recipes exist for cooking Hilsa, suitable for all seasons and all regions of the country. Mutton is also popular, as in most Muslim countries, as is decidedly lean or hard chicken. Rice is almost always the staple side dish.

Mixed vegetable curries are plentiful - potato, eggplant, squash and tomatoes are the staple ingredients. Gourds, tubers and certain root vegetables are common. In the major cities (Dhaka, Chittagong, etc.), you will find a larger variety of vegetables than in rural areas.

The idea of salad varies from the international standard. In Bangladesh, salad has not been extensively developed, and "kacha" (raw) vegetables are generally not deemed very appetizing or palatable (with the exception of cucumbers), especially in more rural or suburban areas and in less Westernized households. Traditionally, most salad vegetables (carrots, celery, lettuce, paprika, etc.) were not even grown in most agrarian households, so the use of these vegetables was extremely rare. Hence, borrowing from the Mughal traditions, a few round slices of onions and cucumbers, spiced with salt, chilies, etc., is often treated as a full plate of salad.

Dal is usually a given side dish or meal course for all households, even the poorest or most rural (who often cannot afford any other daily meal courses). Most Bangladeshi dal varies from its West Bengali counterpart, and even more so from its other Indian counterparts, primarily because it is more watery and less concentrated or spiced. An easy analogy would be that whereas most Indian dal is more like thick stew, most Bangladeshi dal is more like light soup or broth. The Hindus of Bangladesh have greater varieties of Dal recipes, just as they have greater varieties of vegetarian dishes. The Muslims have thicker and more spiced varieties of dal. Dal recipes vary regionally in Bangladesh, so be careful not to over-generalize after a brief experience.

Boiled eggs (dhim) are a popular snack (Tk 3-5), and fresh fruit is abundant, such as bananas (Tk 2/ea), apples (Chinese, Tk 80-100/kg), oranges, grapes, pomegranates and papayas. Delicious and diverse, mangos (Tk 50-150/kg) are a very popular fruit throughout Bangladesh.

Fast food restaurants and bakeries serving burgers, kababs, spring rolls, vegetable patties and just about anything else you can throw in a deep fryer are dotted around most cities. Most items will run around Tk 10/each.Bangladesh also has international fast food chains like Pizza Hut, KFC, A&W, Nando's.

To enjoy the tastes of Dhaka one needs to go to old Dhaka. The Haji biriyani, Nanna biriyani are a must. Also Al Razzak restaurant is famous for its Shahi food. To savour local food one must go to Korai Gost at Dhanmondi Satmosjid road, Kasturi restaurant at Gulshan & Purana Paltan area. No one should leave Bangladesh without tasting the Phuchka and Chatpati available in the streets of Dhaka,Chittagong. Also there are loads of Chinese and Thai restaurants in Bangladesh which serve localized Chinese and thai dishes.Bailey road in Dhaka is the unofficial food street of the nation followed by Satmoshjid Road.Dhaka also has Japanese, Korean and Indian restaurants located mostly in Gulshan area. For world class Ice creams do visit Moven pick, Club gelato in Gulshan. To taste Kebab, Babecue tonight in Dhanmondi is the best followed by Koyla in Gulshan.

Most Bangladeshis eat with their right hand as in neighboring countries. Never use your left hand to bring food to your mouth, though it's ok to use it for bringing a glass to your mouth or to serve food from a common dish with a spoon. Every restaurant will have a handwashing station (sometimes just a pitcher of water and a bowl if they don't have running water), and you should use this before and after the meal. To eat with your hand, rake in a little portion of the rice and a bit of the curry to an open space on your plate (usually create a bit of space on the side of the plate closest to you, sufficiently inward from the rim but NOT in the center of the plate), and mix the rice and curry with your fingers. Then, create a little ball or mound (it should be compact and modestly sized, but does not need to be perfectly shaped or anything—function over form!) of the mixture and pick it up with all your fingers, and scoop in into your mouth. Your fingers should not enter your mouth in the process, and your upper fingers and palms should not get dirty either. Only toddlers and foreigners/tourists are exempted from these rules. It doesn't matter a whole lot if you don't get it all exactly right, but know that the entire restaurant is watching and waiting to see if you do. Attempting to eat with your hands and failing miserably will raise many a smile. The use of cutlery (except serving spoons for common dishes) is lacking in rural areas and poorer households, and basic cutlery (i.e.: spoons, sometimes a fork) is sometimes available in urban restaurants and more Westernized, urban households. However, the use of hands is a more humble and culturally respectful gesture, especially from a tourist.

Table-sharing is acceptable and even expected in most establishments, with the exception of nicer urban restaurants. Many places have separate curtained-off booths for women and families, a nice reprieve from prying eyes.

Drinks

Nightlife in Bangladesh is nearly non-existent. Being a Muslim country, alcohol is frowned upon and found mostly in the international clubs and pricier restaurants in Dhaka and in some restaurants in tourist centers like Cox's Bazar. In Teknaf and on Saint Martins Island you may stumble upon the occasional beer smuggled in from Myanmar. Some of the nicest hotels in the cities have fully equipped bars with exaggerated prices to match. However, lack of commercial availability of liquor should not always be confused with cultural aversion to alcohol in mainstream society. You'll likely find that Bengali Christians and many urbanized, upper-class Muslims privately have a more liberal, Westernized attitude toward social consumption of alcohol. However most 5 Star Hotels like Radisson, Sheraton. Shonargoan, Regency etc. and few clubs in Gulshan, hold DJ / Dance parties on frequent basis. Foreigners may bump into one of those parties if they are lucky. Usual entrance fees of such parties aare around 2000 Tk. Young people of upper class and higher uper class of the society are the main portion of the formed crowd. How ever in some places, western clothed hired companions are available. Foreigners looking for a clean vacation should stay away from them using common sense. Alcoholic drinks are rare.

Coffee is aperennial middle-class 'Adda' (gossip) accompaniment in this city. A popular chain is 'Coffeeworld' [24], of which there are seven in Dhaka. Instant coffee is widely available.

Tea is everywhere. Ask for red tea if you do not want milk.

Fruit juices are plentiful, varied and delicious, though be wary of watered down or icy drinks and dirty blenders. Raw sugarcane juice is widely available during the hot season, and usually safe, as are coconuts, which are widely available.

Shopping

The currency of Bangladesh is the Bangladeshi Taka (BDT / Tk). As of September 2013: 1 EUR is about 102 Tk; 1 GBP is about 121 Tk; 1 USD is about 77 Tk.

Bangladesh is one of the largest ready-made garment manufacturers in the world, exporting clothing for famous brands such as Nike, Adidas and Levis. Though these products are usually not meant for sale in the local markets, they can be found in abundance in famous shopping areas such as Banga Bazaar and Dhaka College.

In most stores, prices are not fixed. Even most stores that display 'fixed-price' label tolerate bargaining. Prices can thus be lowered quite considerably. If bargaining is not your strong point ask a local in the vicinity politely what they think you should pay. Besides there are loads of handicraft, boutique shops. There are lots of shopping malls in and around Dhaka and Chittagong. Foreigners will usually be changed a higher cost, however you will not usually be priced gouged, with what you are changed usually being only slightly more than what the locals would pay, with the difference for small items often being only a matter of a few US cents.

Aarong [22] is one of the largest and most popular handicraft and clothing outlets with stores in Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet and Khulna. It's a great place for souvenirs or to pick up a stylish kurta or salwar kameez at fixed prices.

Women can find a cotton shalwar kameez for around Tk 400 in a market or Tk 800-1500 in a shop. Silk is more expensive.

ATMs can be found in most metropolitan areas. Dutch Bangla Bank has the largest ATM network in Bangladesh and finding one isn't hard. These ATMs accept all MasterCard and Visa credit/debit cards. Most international banks in the country such as Standard Chartered and Citibank also rely on the Dutch-Bangla Bank Nexus™ ATM network for their own clients. HSBC [23] ATMs are located at most hotels but accept only Visa debit/credit cards and HSBC GlobalAccess™ cards (no MasterCard).

Most ATMs are usually quite safe to use as most will be set inside a building with a security guard standing (or more likely sitting) guard at the door.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Bangladesh on Wikivoyage.

Cities in Bangladesh

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Dhaka is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh. It is also the second largest city (after Kolkata) in the historical region of Bengal (today's West Bengal and Bangladesh) and and the 8th largest city in the world. Dhaka, located on the banks of the Buriganga River, is the financial, political, cultural ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Bangladesh National Museum
  • Curzon Hall
  • Bangabandhu National Stadium
  • Ahsan Manzil
  • Baitul Mukarram
panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

Points of Interest in Bangladesh

Bangladesh as a vacation land has many facets. Her tourist attractions include archaeological sites, historic mosques and monuments, resorts, beaches, picnic spots, forest and wildlife. Bangladesh offers opportunities for angling, water-skiing, river cruising, hiking, rowing, surfing, yachting and sea bathing as well as bringing one in close touch with Mother Nature. She is also rich in wildlife and game birds.

  • Sundarbans — A UNESCO world heritage site, largest mangrove forest on the earth.
  • Cox's Bazar — The world’s longest uninterrupted natural sandy sea beach.
  • St. Martins Island — Bangladesh’s only coral island.
  • Mowdok Mual - The highest peak of the country.
  • Nafa-khum Waterfall - The largest waterfall of Bangladesh, and also a place to enjoy rafting on local boats.
  • Lawachara National Park - IUCN category V protected landscape, a tropical forest of Bangladesh.

If you arrive at a historic monument after it has already closed for the day, it may be possible to "pay" a security guard an "after hours tour fee" to be quickly taken around a site.

Bangladesh National Museum - Dhaka

Laboni Beach - Cox's Bazar

Jatiyo Smriti Soudho (National Martyrs\' Memorial) - Savar

Shrine of Hazrat Shah Mokhdum - Rajshahi

Patenga Beach - Chittagong

Kuakata - Kalapara

Somapura Mahavihara - Jaipurhat

Shahi Eidgah - Sylhet

Sixty Dome Mosque - Khulna

Kantaji Temple - Dinajpur

Curzon Hall - Dhaka

Bangabandhu National Stadium - Dhaka

Ahsan Manzil - Dhaka

Baitul Mukarram - Dhaka

Shaheed Minar - Dhaka

1857 Memorial - Dhaka

Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban - Dhaka

Bashundhara City Mall - Dhaka

Suhrawardy Udyan - Dhaka

Old High Court Building - Dhaka

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

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