While doing research for the trip, I decided that this would be the perfect time for a quick visit to Bangladesh, a country none of us had ever visited before.
Here is what we did while spending 48 Hours in Bangladesh.
While writing this post, I realized that I didn’t account for the day we arrived in Bangladesh. The truth is that our first day wasn’t very productive!
We arrived in Dhaka at around 1:00pm and it then took over an hour to get out of the airport. By the time we got to our hotel, we were hungry. After quickly settling in, off we went to find something to eat.
There were some malls close-by (not exactly what we’d consider a proper mall in the US), so we stopped in for some pizza. It was a chain from the region which I don’t believe was actually from Bangladesh. The meal was forgettable but it got the job done.After lunch we wandered around the overly congested and traffic-heavy streets. The air quality was pretty awful but we loved seeing the bicycle rickshaws whizzing by.
It was very hot and humid out and it turned out that the Michael W Travels family was the star attraction. We didn’t get very far before being stopped for photo-ops. The prime targets were Theo (a little less than 3 years old at the time) and Kim.After some time, we made it inside the building which is now a dusty museum. Before heading off, Lucas and I got a quick photo in the front of the Pink Palace.Next up was an interesting stop at the Armenian Church located on Armenia Street!
We were surprised to read that there used to be an Armenian community in the city. We were shown around and given a short tour by the caretaker’s son. (A local family takes care of the church.) From what I recall, prominent Armenian families donate money to keep the church in good shape.A short distance away is the Star Mosque. Kim and the kids stayed in the car while I went to check it out.
The mosque gets its name from its star-covered domes. I couldn’t get a decent photo since it was being repaired. I enjoyed checking out the mosaics inside and out. While there, a few of the men chatted and welcomed me which was nice.
After lunch we went to our last destination which was the highlight or the day.The line to get into Lalbagh Fort was huge. It appeared that this was the place to go for families and couples looking to relax.
Luckily, the wait wasn’t long. A couple of the local folks told us to go up and pay. I am not sure if this was due to being with young children or being foreigners…We loved walking around the huge grounds. it really was a nice place. Like at the Pink Palace, we got stopped a bunch of times for photo-ops. We went along with it due to everyone’s genuine friendliness. We’ve experienced this in other countries we’ve visited, and usually find it annoying and sometimes even rude.We didn’t spend a ton of time here (probably around an hour). Regardless, the fort is a must-visit if you come to Dhaka.
The area was pretty busy with local visitors. I think the day we visited was a holiday so there were lots of families and groups of young couples here taking photos and hanging out.Once again, we were the main attraction. We were stared at and stopped for photos but again everyone was really friendly so we kind of went along with it. We really enjoyed checking out Panam Nagar and could picture it being a thriving area many years ago. The buildings were in varying conditions but you could still see how impressive some of them must have been.
We then drove a short way to the Sonargaon Museum but it was closed. Kim and I were interested in learning more about the area but it wasn’t meant to be.Since we were close by, we decided to stop by for a visit to the Bangladesh Taj Mahal.
This smaller scale version of the real Taj Mahal took 5 years to build at a cost of around US $56 million. A wealthy Bangladeshi man decided to build a copycat of the famed building so the poor people in the country could get the opportunity to see the Taj.
We didn’t spend much time here and kind of just laughed. Our driver asked us if we wanted to stop to see the Pyramids but we declined…The last stop of our day was back in Dhaka at the Bangladesh National Museum.
No photos were allowed which makes visiting a bit less fun, if you ask me. The museum showed its age but it was informative and interesting for the kids.
One of the best exhibits was a huge map of the country on the floor. There were lights on it which lit up to see different areas of the country.After a long day we were hungry so we stopped by a famous restaurant I had read about.
Star Hotel & Kabab was very busy and the prices were pretty cheap. The food was good but we weren’t sure it was worth the drive in Dhaka’s crazy traffic to go there.
Before arriving in Bangladesh we were a little bit worried about our visit due to a dengue fever outbreak. We heard about it around a week or two before we arrived.
Happily, we had no issues (we were careful and used bug spray but we hardly saw any mosquitos) and were glad to get to check out Bangladesh since we were in the region.
We really liked how friendly the people were, that’s probably what stood out most. Otherwise, we had a good time checking out various sites although nothing we saw blew us away.
If we had more time, I would’ve liked to have visited the Chittagong Ship Breaking Yard.
Have you visited Bangladesh? If so, what did you think of the country?