Tuesday, June 06, 2006

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DHAKA, BANGLADESH

Dhaka is rickshaws, muezzin calls, milky tea, smiling faces, skinny chickens, boats, chapatis, palaces and bazars.

Safety

Dhaka may be no more dangerous than London or New York. But you should be aware of certain problems.

"The relationship between the two main political parties and their supporters in Bangladesh is poor. The attacks on an opposition rally in Dhaka on 21 August 2004 and in Habiganj on 27 January 2005 have further increased the tension. Political parties regularly impose hartals (general strikes) and conduct public demonstrations, often at short notice. Hartals can sometimes last several days and can end in violence including deaths."
http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket%2FXcelerate%2FShowPage&c=Page&cid=1007029390590&a=KCountryAdvice&aid=1013618385630

On 17 August 2005, there were explosions throughout Bangladesh, including Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. Two people were killed and 50 injured in the attacks.

"Armed robbery, pickpocketing, and purse snatching are very real threats day or night, including in areas frequented by foreigners."

Some people suspect certain spooks of causing trouble in Bangladesh.
A Bangladesh Government Minister Points his Finger to MOSSAD & RAW ...
Himal South Asian-August-2000

Hotel

The Radisson Water Garden Hotel Dhaka
"Fantastic, Comfortable Stay"
Radisson Water Garden Hotel Dhaka

The Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel has cable TV, a swimming pool, tennis, squash courts, and car rental.

The Sheraton is also comfortable.

Weather.

In April the temperature can rise to 40 degreesC and there can be dangerous hail storms.

Most of the rain falls between late May and early October.

There is usually heavy rain followed by blue skies; it does not rain all day and it is possible to visit between May and October.

The south-east gets most of the rain.

During the Monsoon, around 70% of the country is under water.

In 1988, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna all flooded and 2,000 people drowned.

A cyclone in 1970 led to around half a million deaths. A 1991 cyclone destroyed many houses.

Poverty.

Illiteracy and malnutrition are major problems. Only 38% of adults can read and write. 50% of the population are usually hungry. TB is common.

Sex

Among women, rates of mental illness are high; Bangladeshi men prefer boys to girls; men often walk hand in hand with men; men generally keep a distance from women.

The people.

80% of the population live in rural villages. Some Bangladeshis may appear to be rough, rude, simple-minded, narrow-minded peasants, but most are actually very friendly and hospitable.

Some are very beautiful.

In small villages, petty theft is uncommon.

In the heat, stay calm and avoid bad-tempered arguments. Remember that some of the beggars are controlled by mafias.

Health

Drink bottled water and avoid ice.

Take all the usual precautions with food.

Keep your vaccinations up to date.

Malaria should not be a problem in Dhaka.

Keep your arms and legs and head covered in order to avoid insects and the sun.

Transport

Avoid buses. Trains are a little safer. There are few taxis but lots of rickshaws.

Get a car and a driver; this is not expensive.

Buy a map; it is easy to get lost.

Dhaka

Markets include (1) New Market and Chandni Chowk Bazar (2) Banga Bazar. Check which days these are open.

Rajbaris are beautiful old Hindu buildings. One of these is the Rose Garden, which has Corinthian columns, elegant balconies and a small dome.

The Baldha Garden are pleasant botanical gardens.

The Pink Palace, aka Ahsan Manzil, dating from 1872, is worth a visit. It has a beautiful dome and a beautiful interior.

Hindu Street, aka Shankharia Bazar, has interesting old houses and lots of little workshops.

Take a cruise on one of the rivers. You need to book.

You can take a small boat on the Buriganga River from Sadarghat boat terminal. This will allow you to see river life.

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1 Comments:

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