Bangladesh is south Asia's greenest jewel
– a country braided with rivers, with a rich culture waiting to be explored by pioneering travellers.
Welcome to river country. Bangladesh is braided together by more than 700 rivers, producing a deliciously lush landscape with more shades of green than you ever imagined. Travelling by boat is a way of life here, and provides a fabulous opportunity to see the country from a more unusual angle. This is one of the world’s most densely populated countries, but once you’re slowly floating downriver on a small wooden rowboat, it’s easy to imagine you have it all to yourself. Whether you're travelling to hectic Dhaka or to the Sundarbans' mangrove forests, boats large and small will help you explore Bangladesh's riches.
The mangrove forests and tigers of the Sundarbans National Park are Bangladesh's most famous attraction, but the country has a host of lesser-known attractions that are waiting to be discovered. Highlights include the Buddhist remains at Paharpur and the 15th-century mosques and mausoleums of Bagerhat, both of which are Unesco World Heritage Sites. While modern Bangladesh is majority Muslim, its hill tracts are still home to Buddhist and Christian Adivasi tribal peoples, while temples in Dhaka and beyond attest to the influence of Hindu culture on the country.
Getting off the beaten track is something of a travel cliché these days, but Bangladesh is somewhere that tourism remains in its infancy. It's easy to get the sensation that you're breaking ground here, even if your pioneering spirit is frequently attended to by being the centre of attention. Bangla culture is famously welcoming – rarely will you have cause to suspect the ulterior motives that can sometimes bedevil travel in other parts of south Asia. If you enjoy making friends, mixing with locals and travelling without bumping into too many other tourists, then this is probably just the country to explore.
Be prepared to embrace Bangladesh in all its possibilities and quirks. This isn't a destination to be rushed. Poor infrastructure and an undeveloped tourist industry means that you’ll be left frustrated if you’re trying to travel in too much of a hurry. So slow down; don’t try to pack too much into your itinerary. Bangladesh isn’t a tick-the-sights-off-the-list type of country. It’s a place to relax, meet people and discover new ideas and ways of life. Taking your time will allow the country to reveal the best of itself at its own pace, as sure and steady as the rivers that flow through its veins.
GETTING TO BANGLADESH
Compared to most other countries, Bangladesh can be described as having a limited selection of airports. None-the-less, flying to Bangladesh and between cities is a popular means of travel in the country and airports can be found in destinations such as Barisal, Chittagong, Comilla, Cox’s Bazaar, Dhaka, Ishurdi, Jessore, Rajshahi, Saidpur, Shamshernagar and Sylhet. Traveling by bus or vehicle is a preferred method of travel by many locals, but as the majority of roads are not paved, road travel can become daunting for travelers who are unfamiliar with the country. With the railway consisting of 2 768 kilometers of tracks, a train ride is definitely recommended. However, many visitors opt for traveling by boat, as it is not only the most scenic way to explore the country but with the waterways covering over eight thousand kilometers, it definitely gives visitors more options.
Passports and Visas
Passports must be valid for three months or more following departure. Visas are required by all those entering the country with certain exceptions (Bangladeshis with stamped British passports, Hong Kong nationals, Macau nationals, Maldives national and transit passengers). Members from certain countries can obtain a thirty day visa when they arrive. Tourist and business visas are issued. Prices will depend on traveler’s nationality. Application for visas are handled by the consular section of the High Commission or Embassy. Applications take three to seven days or more.
Getting Around Bangladesh
Travelling around Bangladesh is extremely cheap, although in some cases it can be quite uncomfortable. Road safety is a real issue in Bangladesh. The country has some of the worst road-accident figures in the world, and the Dhaka–Chittagong Hwy is notoriously bad.
Buses Dirt cheap if you don’t mind squashing into the local ones; more comfortable, more expensive coaches are usually available, too.
Trains Safer option than road travel, although the network and tickets are limited.
Rickshaws (cycle-rickshaws) or CNGs (auto-rickshaws) Best way to get between sights in cities and between villages.
Boat In Barisal and Khulna divisions, the riverboat is the king of travel. Joining locals on a long ferry ride is one of the undisputed highlights of your Bangladesh trip.
Plane Domestic flights to divisional towns from Dhaka are worth considering if your time is limited.
Car & Motorcycle
Travelling by private car has some obvious advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, it gives you the freedom to quickly and easily go where you please, when you please, and allows for all manner of unexpected pit stops and adventures. On the minus side, it does insulate you somewhat from Bangladesh and it is far more expensive than public transport. Self-drive rental is not available in Bangladesh, so car hire really means hiring a car with a driver. Motorcycles can be hired on self-ride basis only in a few places, such as Kuakata in Barisal. Touring the country on a motorcycle isn't a popular activity as yet.
Self-drive rental cars are not available in Bangladesh, and that’s probably a good thing. However, renting cars with drivers is easy, at least in the big towns.
In Dhaka there are innumerable companies in the rental business. For the best cars and the safest drivers, try one of the more reputable tour operators. Expect to pay at least Tk 4000 a day for a car, plus fuel and driver expenses. When you stay out of town overnight, you must pay for the driver’s food and lodging, but this won’t cost much. Make sure you determine beforehand what all those extra rates will be, to avoid any misunderstandings. Insurance isn’t required because you aren’t the driver. Outside Dhaka, the cost of renting vehicles is often marginally less, but actually finding an available car and driver is much harder. Asking at the town’s top hotels normally produces results.
WHERE TO STAY IN BANGLADESH
With the passage of time, Bangladesh has made great efforts in developing tourism industry. The growing number of hotels in Dhaka and all over Bangladesh appears as evidence of the growth of tourism industry. Though the metropolitan areas embrace most of the star class luxurious hotels; the urban terrains too are not far behind.
- Radisson Water Garden Hotel Dhaka
Situated near Hazarat Shahjalal International Airport, Radisson Water Garden Hotel is known as one of the luxurious and most admired hotels of Bangladesh. Not only its amenities and elegant services irresistibly fascinate the tourists, but also its posh locality adds to its charms. Gulshan is an aristocrat zone in Dhaka and the hotel lies adjacent to it.Amalgamating the Bengali cultural-touch with the modern means and ways of hospitality industry, Radisson Water Garden Hotel appears to be an epitome of hospitality.
Attracting a great number of foreign tourists, Ruposhi Bangla Hotel is known as the first five star hotels in Bangladesh.
Earlier it was known as Dhaka Sheraton. It is located in a grand locality and close to the office of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Its restaurant is one among the best restaurants in the whole Bangladesh. For the Bengali cuisine lovers, it is one of the best and hottest spots. The cuisines from across the world are certainly available in all seasons but it is more renowned for Bengali delicacies. The residential service is a hallmark of Ruposhi Bangla.
- The Peninsula Chittagong:
Rendering holistic rejuvenation and recreation to the exhausted businessman, the Peninsula Chittagong is located in the heart of Chittagong, the financial capital of Bangladesh. Surrounded with exotically captivating hills and greenery, it proves to be one of the best places to lull the people fatigued mentally and physically.
In confluence with the western trends, the hospitality of The Peninsula Chittagong attracts the domestic and foreign tourists in an equal manner.
Sylhet is the Beauty Queen of Bangladesh and Rose View Hotel, Sylhet is situated in the lap of this Beauty Queen. It is said that this hotel is the Prince of Sylhet. The amenities and the cordial hospitality in the hotel are of course one of the various attractions, but what in addition escalates its values is the aye catching and soothing surroundings here. The surroundings here offer abundant natural gift in the form of nature, and it is almost a heaven for the admirers of nature and natural beauty.
- Seagull Hotel, Cox’s Bazar:
There are very few hotels across the world with the facility of a private sea beach like, Seagul Hotel.
The tourists willing to stay at Cox’s Bazar cannot afford to make the mistake of not opting for this hotel only if they are unaware of its world class hospitality facilities and amenities. There are no other five star hotels in Cox’s Bazar except Seagull Hotel, and the natural wonder in the surroundings makes it a place to be imagined only in fairy tales.
Ideally located in the middle of the city of Dhaka, Pan Pacific is not only one of the best hotels in Dhaka but in whole of Bangladesh.
Not only is it close to the diplomatic zone of the country, but also it is very near to the Motiheel Commercial Area. Also, the well known posh locality known as Gulshan is not far from Pan Pacific Sonargaon. The service and hospitality of the hotel is traditionally world class.
Comprising two hundred and fourteen rooms, Dhaka Regency Hotel is located in such a place that it offers revitalizing experience to both leisure lovers and businessmen. Embellished with the modern technology like internet and air conditioning etc, it embraces many more facilities like nightclub, 24×7 room service, spa, gym, meeting facilities, and restaurant.
The posh locality of Gulshan in Dhaka is one of the most frequently visited places in Bangladesh and Six Seasons Hotel is located in this prime location.
Designed to render maximum comfort and relaxation to the guests, it caters to the needs of all types of tourists. Appareled with car parking, business center, 24×7 room service, meeting facilities, and coffee shop, it is an ideal hotel for both domestic and foreign tourists.
Located at Banani, Dhaka, Hotel Sarina Dhaka is a popular place to stay for business travelers. Laden with high speed internet, air-conditioning, safe, business center, parking, restaurant, non-smoking rooms, spa, and wellness center, it renders the high standard and world class services and amenities to the guests.
- Best Western La Vinci Hotel:
Though a three-star property, Best Western La Vinci Hotel leaves no stone unturned in serving the guests to their full satisfaction.
Established by a joint venture of Bangladesh and Italy, it is very popular and is highly appreciated by the tourists for its architectural magnificence.
Located in a popular business area named Karwan Bazar, it is at the distance of about fourteen kilometers from Hazarat Shahjalal International Airport.
WHEN TO GO IN BANGLADESH
High Season (Oct–Mar)
- Cooler temperatures; almost chilly in January and February.
- Dry; the worst of the monsoon has gone; some late rains in October.
- Prices in Cox’s Bazar may be inflated.
- Almost unbearably hot temperatures, without the cooling monsoon rains.
- Join honey-harvesters for the honey-collecting season in the Sundarbans.
- Mangoes start ripening in May.
Low Season (Jun–Sep)
- Monsoon season disrupts plans and sees much of Bangladesh under water.
- Hot, but the rains cool the air.
- Tea-picking season in full swing in Sylhet.
BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN BANGLADESH
Covered in greenery as well as undulating hills. Bangladesh echoes with the Muslim call to prayer as well as Buddhist chants, and is one of the most mysterious and wonderful lands in Asia. Bangladesh is the neighbor of India, but you will find a less developed and more laid back atmosphere here.
The country had a tumultuous past that saw it gain freedom from first the British and then from Pakistani rule. When you consider that all this happened in the 20th century, it just goes to show what a turbulent recent past Bangladesh has had to endure. As a result, it offers a slice of authentic life to travelers who want an untainted image of the region.
The people of Bangladesh are famously friendly and welcoming and the country is full of cultural wonders such as the tea covered highlands of Srimangal to the gorgeous golden sands of Cox’s Bazar, which is actually the third longest beach in the world. Other highlights include bustling cities like Dhaka as well as areas of rural paradise like the Sundarbans National Park.
1. Cox’s Bazar
Spilling out into the Bay of Bengal is Cox’s Bazar, an area covered in salty fishing skiffs and bustling jetties.
This little town in the far south-east of Bangladesh is known for its stunning beach which stretches for an amazing 120 kilometers from north to south along the side of the balmy Indian Ocean. This is the third longest beach on the planet and you will find local fishermen reeling in the day’s catch as well as bubbling rock pools and crashing turquoise waves that make this a great spot for surfing.
2. The Sundarbans
The Sundarbans are located at the point where the mighty waterways of the Brahmaputra and the scared Ganges crash into each other at the edge of the Bay of Bengal. As you would expect, the area is also covered in spectacular wildlife and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you will find Bengal tigers stalking the mangroves as well as rhesus macaques swinging in the canopies. Other highlights include chitals and you will also find local huts dotted around the area and hiding beneath waxy palm trees.
It may seem a world away from the wilds of area like the Sundarbans mangroves but the city of Dhaka offers you a jungle of a different kind.
Sprawling along the Buriganga River, Dhaka used to be the home of the British Raj during the colonial period as well as Mughal princes and the likes of Shah Jahan (the architect of the iconic Taj Mahal). Nowadays more than 17 million people call this city home and you can expect temples, churches, mosques monuments, and colorful and aromatic bazaars. Make sure to also check out the curry and golap eateries of Old Dhaka while you are here.
Srimangal is the tea-growing capital of Bangladesh and the area is a riot of different hues of green. The area is famous for its rains which help the tea to grow and you will find a sea of different plantations here as you explore the highlands and the hamlets that make up Srimangal.
On a trip here make sure to visit a local tea processing plant which will usually include a trip to a tasting house so that you can enjoy a cup of fragrant tea whilst enjoying the views over the rippling fields. Hiking is also poplar in the area although the undulating landscapes mean that some hikes are more challenging than others.
Chittagong has a population of 2.5 million which is nothing when you compare it to other cities like Dhaka.
That said, this frenetic port town is still worth a visit, particularly if you are traveling to the beautiful Hill Tracts of Bangladesh.
These gorgeous trails that include pretty Foy’s Lake are hidden along scenic valleys and Chittagong is widely considered to be the jumping off point if you are planning a trek.
In the city proper you will find Chittagong Ship Breaking Yard where you can see hulking tankers being ripped apart, and other spots of interest include the shrine of Sufi Amanat Khan, one of the most revered saints in Bangladesh.
Set amongst the beautiful Chittagong Hill Tracts is the delightful mountain town of Rangamati which is a serene and peaceful alternative to many of Bangladesh’s frantic cities. The town sits on the banks of Kaptai Lake which is known for its blue and green waters as well as the woodlands that surround it. Small, colorfully painted boats bob on the surface of the lake and if you are lucky then you may see an Asian elephant strolled along the riverbank. The main draw here is the hiking and wildlife excursions as well as the golden statue of Buddha Dhatu Jadi.
Other top spots to visit also include the Parjatan Hanging Bridge and the regal palaces of the old Chakma Raj.
Surrounded by the Muranja, Wayla, and Chimbook mountains that rise to nearly 1,000 meters above sea level is the stunning town of Bandaran.
The area is covered in misty green and is home to tobacco farms and hilltop lookouts and there is also a lively bazaar where you will find arts and crafts from the Shan tribes from Myanmar across the border.
Other reasons to come here include lazy bamboo boat rides along the majestic River Sangu as well as the mighty Nilgiri Hill and the crashing waters of the Jadipai Waterfall.
8. Saint Martin
The little enclave of Saint Martin is like nowhere else in Bangladesh as this is the only coral island in the country. The region is covered in shifting sands and lapping seas, all nestled close to coconut groves. In many ways it looks more like the Caribbean than South Asia, and you will find delicious seafood here including fiery curries. Scuba diving is also a popular pastime, so if you want to check out some of the country’s amazing aquatic life then this is the place to do it.
Paharpur is a pint-sized town which is most well known for the Naogaon District where you will find UNESCO World Heritage Site ruins called Somapura Mahavihara. This spot is said to be one of the most fascinating Buddhist archeological sites in South Asia and takes the form of a large redbrick quadrangle which is bisected with alleys and chambers that would have been meditation rooms in days of old.
Make sure to check out the ornate stone work which dates back to the 8th century.
Kuakata Beach juts out into the Indian Ocean from the southern side of the river islands of central Bangladesh.
One of the great reasons to come here is to watch the sunset over the sea with the glowing Sundarbans in the distance. The beach is fringed with tropical palm trees and you will also find small rivers that cut through the land to the Bay of Bengal. This area of Bangladesh is less visited by tourists so if you are looking for the road less traveled then this is a good spot to choose. Some of the people you will see here are the local fisherman and you can sample delicious curried crab and lobster.
Located in the lush highlands of the north of the country, Sylhet is covered in tropical forests and tea plantations.
This part of Bangladesh has a history that dates back 800 years and you will find Hindu shrines in Jaflong that are slowly being taken over by the lush shrubbery. In the center of Sylhet you will find markets selling piles of tea leaves and locals cycling around town.
You will also find the Bangladesh-India border here at Tamabil-Jaflong as well as the Lawacherra Rainforest which is known for its resident leopards.
12. Gaur (Lakhnauti)
The ancient city of Gaur sits on the Indian border and is located in north-eastern Bangladesh.
Nowadays the city is ruined and uninhabited and you will see red-hued arches as well as towers and crumbling monuments.
Power struggles between the Afghans and the Mughals meant that the town was abandoned in the 16th century and you should make sure not to miss the relics here such as the carved stone reliefs in the Eunuchs’ Mosque and the royal tombs.
Bagerhat is not as famous as Dhaka or Srimangal but this peaceful city in the south west of the country has an array of historic attractions that you can enjoy at a slower pace.
The city was founded in the 15th century by the Sufi Saint Khan Jahan Ali and it is the home of the Shait Gumbad Mosque. Here you will find towering domes and you can also take a trip to the tomb of Saint Khan Jahan Ali which is usually covered with offerings and surrounded by chanting pilgrims.
If you were to look at Barisal from above then it would resemble a patchwork of muddy brown and deep green fields.
This river town on the Ganges Delta is covered in fields of shrimp farms and rice paddies and if you make it here then be sure to check out the floating markets that sell local vegetables, fruits, and seafood.
Sonargaon used to be a thriving trading hub but now it is something of a ghost town that straddles the Ganges.
Here you will find eerie carved mansions and docks, old mosques, and jungle vines twisting in between everything. If you want to see a completely different side of Bangladesh that many people don’t experience, then this is the place to come.
Bangladesh is known worldwide for its versatile food items. Perfect use of herbs, spices, oil, and masalas make Bangladeshi foods different from other country’s foods. That’s why people of foreign countries and also our native people like these foods for being extra spicy.
Although Bengali people are mostly known for eating Rice, Lentil, and Fish, there are more delicious foods apart from these. People from all over the world crave for Bangladeshi sweets and rice cakes. Also, Bangladesh is blessed by abundant fishes, vegetables and fruits. So there are so many different types of foods you should taste.
These famous Bangladeshi dishes are not just delicacies in Bangladesh, but often a big hit in Western countries too.
1. Panta – Ilish
“Panta” is a form of rice that is actually made of leftover rice. The leftover rice is soaked in water for the whole night. In the morning, it is seasoned with salt Chili and Onion. Then it is served. This is how “Panta Bhaat” is made. Some people also add Hilsha fish or any other fish and pickles with it to make the Panta Bhaat more delicious.
Although earlier only people who lived from hand to mouth used to eat it, but nowadays most of the city people eat it on “Pahela Boishakh” to show respect and love to the Bengali Traditions. That’s why it has become the most known traditional Bengali food. Even now, farmers and laborers take this item as their staple food.
02. Morog Polao (Chicken Pilaf)
If you’re among those rare people who are getting bored of eating Fried Rice or Biriyani, then you must try this item. The main ingredients of this item are Chicken and Flavored Rice. They are cooked with clarified butter, yoghurt and many kinds of spices.
Many people use both butter and oil to make it more delicious. It is known as a traditional rich Bengali food. Meat is used in larger portion in this item. Meat lovers just love this item because of it’s yummy taste. A Yoghurt Drink named “Borhani” is served with Morog Polao just to make the taste more perfect. Sometimes a little portion of Salad makes it more tasty too. Bengalis cook Morog Polao for every special occasions like marriages, birthdays, anniversaries etc.
03. Bhuna Khichuri
The Bengali food “Bhuna Khichuri” is the mixture of deep fried brown rice and lentil. The process of making it is easier than making other dishes. That’s why most of the people cook it when they want to make a tasty dish in a short time. Also, it spreads very enchanting aroma while it is being cooked.
Although Bhuna Khichuri is all about Rice and Lentil, but many people add different kinds of meats (Chicken, Beef and Mutton), Prawns or Eggs to enhance it’s taste. Nowadays, people also love to eat this item with fried brinjal.
People enjoy eating Bhuna Khichuri the most on rainy days. Salad, piece of Onion or Chili and Lemon add more to it’s taste.
04. Rice along with Vorta and Vaji
In every small town of Bangladesh, you’ll find at least one traditional restaurant where many kinds of Vortas and Vajis are served with Rice. That’s because Rice with Vorta and Vaji is that much popular in Bangladesh. Bengalis are known as “People who eat Fish and Rice the most”.
That’s why Bengalis like Vortas and Vajis of different kinds of fishes to be eaten with Rice. Again, they also eat different kinds of Vegetable’s Vortas and Vajis with Rice. The spicy Vortas and Crispy Vajis are always mouthwatering for the Bengalis. Or in a word, Vortas and Vajis actually complete the Bengali people’s food list.
They find something missing when they don’t find any kind of Vorta or Vaji on their plates. And along with the Vortas and Vajis, lentil add an extra taste in Bengali food. Sometimes they also make Vortas of Lentils.
05. Labra – Vegetable Curry
This is kind of food which appears to be weird to some people. But some find it very tasteful. “Labra” is never about one kind of vegetable. Rather it’s actually a name of mixed vegetable curry.
Bengali people use cauliflowers, eggplants, capsicums, carrots, beans, peas, onions etc. items in this curry. But potato is always used as the main ingredient for this curry. Also, they add many kinds of Masalas to make the curry more tasty. Some people add yoghurt in the curry for marinating the vegetables nicely.
People often cook “Labra” cause it takes less time to be cooked. Moreover, it’s popularity is the same in other South Asian Countries too. So obviously you shouldn’t miss to taste this item.
06. Mishti Doi (Sweet Yoghurt)
It is a famous low-fat dessert of Bangladesh. It is both yummy and healthy. That’s why people like it so much. It is served in most of the Bengali weddings. Mishti Doi simply completes the menu of special occasions. While having Mishti Doi, you’ll have same feelings of having creamy cheesecake. Because Mishti Doi is very thick and dense.
The main ingredients of this item is Sugar or Jagger and Milk. Mishti Doi is served in earthenware as these have the perfect temperature for containing the actual quality. These also thicken the yoghurt. Mishti Doi of Bogura is one of the most popular desserts of Bangladesh.
07. Lassi and Borhani
“Lassi” and “Borhani” are two popular drinks of Bangladesh. These two taste completely different from each other. But the reason to name them together is the main ingredient of both this item is yoghurt.
Borhani is a spicy yoghurt drink, while Lassi is a sweet yoghurt drink. But both are served specially on weddings. Apart from yoghurt, cumin and mint are used in Borhani. In addition, Borhani helps in digestion system.
In Lassi, the other items except yoghurt are water, spices and fruit syrups. Lassi is taken more on hot-weather days. And what you must know is that along with being tasty, these two items are healthy too.
It is the mostly known street food of Bangladesh. The taste of it is sour, crispy and spicy. Fuchka is mainly a fried crispy small puri. But the little puris are filled with Flavored Water, Smashed Potatoes, Chili, Tamarind Chutney, Chaat Masala, Chickpeas etc. items.
Mainly these items make Fuchka what it is. A sour and spicy flavored thick water is served which Fuchka to increase it’s taste. This flavored water will make you feel like having sweet and sour tamarind chutney.
Fuchka is more popular among the students because this costs very low (5-10 Taka / 7-13 cent) and is suitable to their daily pocket money. Moreover, they find it more mouthwatering. That’s why Fuchka stalls are available in most of the premises of schools, colleges and universities of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is called as “The Kingdom of Desserts”. Many kinds of sweets are available here. Sweets of Bangladesh are famous around the world. Among them, Rashomalai, Rashogolla, Sandesh, Kalo Jam, Balushai, Chom Chom, Amriti, Bundiya, Falooda etc. items are very popular.
Most of the sweets are made from Cow Milk. Again, Payesh, Shemai, Firni etc. items are also Bangladeshi popular sweet dishes. These all are milk made desserts And the is the most popular desserts in bangladesh.
10. Pithas (Rice Cakes)
Bengalis are very famous for making different kinds of Pithas. As we know, Bangladesh is called as “The Country of Six Seasons”. With the changing seasons, Bengalis make different kind of foods. Pithas are mainly made in the Winter Season. The rural women stay awake overnight, gossip and make different pithas.
Pithas are also made on the occasions of “Nobanno” and “Poush Parbon”. Some mention worthy names of the Pithas are – Chitoi Pitha, Vapa Pitha, Teler Pitha, Sondesh etc. The main ingredients of Pithas are rice flour or wheat flour, sugar, jagger, oil, coconut etc.
Bengali Muslims especially make Pithas on their special occasions like Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha etc. Without Pithas, their happiness isn’t fulfilled. And the Bengali Hindu people have two Sangkrantis, when they make various kinds of Pithas. Pithas are not made and famous only in Bangladesh, but also throughout the Indian subcontinent.
SAFETY IN BANGLADESH
Safety Clashes in the Chittagong Hill Tract region have created a risk and therefore travelers are advised to avoid this area. This does not encompass Chittagong city. It is important that tourists be aware that terrorism is a threat in Bangladesh and Embassies will be able to provide you with up-to-date information on the political and safety situation in Bangladesh. As is the case throughout the world, crime is increasing – especially in the larger cities. Be aware of pick pocketing and purse-snatching. Do not walk alone at night or carry valuables. Keep jewelry and money in safety deposit boxes at the hotel. Penalties for breaking Bangladesh’s laws are quite severe and very strict. Drug possession is not taken lightly and is likely to lead to imprisonment. Bangladesh’s judicial system is slow and prison conditions poor, so it is best to avoid engaging in any sort of wrongdoing.