Bangladesh may not have been your first thought, but it is certainly worth considering if you are looking for a transformative experience that won't break the bank. No doubt, the emotions will be stirred and there will be beauty that can take your breath away and maybe some things that give you pause. Dhaka will blow your mind with its chaos, but go a short distance from the city and reap the rewards of venturing where others don't think of going.
Teaming with photography opportunities, from interesting culture to beautiful landscapes, and amazing wildlife, there is so much to offer the intrepid traveler, you just might want to return.
The Sundarbans - The largest mangrove forest on earth is in danger of disappearing as is the largest draw to the region, the Royal Bengal Tiger. An endangered species estimated to be about 2500 in the wild and under 500 of these in the Bangladesh Sundarbans. The best way to enjoy is on a 3-day tour of the area in a very small group with qualified guides. Early morning boat rides through the creeks and canals are the best time for viewing the wildlife.
Sylhet - Located in the northeast and tucked away in the incredibly scenic Surma Valley are lush tropical rain forests and beautiful tea plantations.
Lawachara National Park - Not far from the city of Sylhet in the Kamalganj Upazila, Maulvi Bazar District. This is a large national park and nature reserve teeming with wildlife including the endangered species Phayre’s Leaf Monkey, Northern Pig-tailed Macaque, Capped Langur, and Bangladesh's only ape species, the Western Hoolock Gibbon.
Tribal cultures - With several indigenous tribal cultures in this area of Bangladesh, there are opportunities to immerse with societies that are self-sufficient and are living much like they always have.
Situated on the southeast coast of Bangladesh is Cox’s Bazar. Long known for being the world's longest stretch of golden sand beach, it is now also home to the world's largest refugee population. The Bangladesh government has plans to take advantage of the beachfront and develop more tourism here, so now would be the time to go and see this beautiful coast line.
When To Go
An important consideration if visiting Bangladesh is to also understand where to go. Some areas of the country are deemed safer than others and there have been governmental warnings issued. Currently, the U.S. State Department gives a Level 2, increased caution warning. Always check for current warnings before making any decisions and traveling with qualified tour operators is suggested.
With respect to the weather, unless you love rain and potential cyclones, avoid the monsoon season which can begin toward the end of May and it hangs on for dear life until through October. Early November is typically not as rainy, and things will likely begin to normalize by mid- November. From there the weather becomes ideal through the very beginning of March.
The best time to visit the mangroves in the Sundarbans could be during the summer months as the wildlife are seeking shade and are more easily viewed. The downside to that is the scorching heat.
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