After ten long years, the opportunity arose for me to visit Bangladesh again. Even though I’d visited many times as a child, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect this time. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. I love the hustle and bustle of Bangladesh. There is something very beautiful, real and raw about this country.
I noticed that there was a lot of construction and development going on everywhere. Bangladesh is the kind of place where you still buy your fresh fish and chicken from the markets, or from a man passing through the residential areas. This is one of the things I always appreciated since I was young – seeing a live animal being killed and knowing where the meat on my plate came from. This might seem cruel or gross, but in the Western world it is easy to forget our chicken wings came from a live animal. It is a reality that I wish more people could witness to understand and appreciate that there is a life before our plates.
I went on a day trip to a beautiful place called ‘Rattar Gul’. It’s a river area that was about 1-2 hours drive from Sylhet. We rode on a little wooden canoe through the mangroves with two boys paddling. It was scenic and beautiful. We stopped at a watch tower and took the steps to the top to see the wonderful views.
For me, the food in Bangladesh is amazing. There is a dish called ‘poochka’ or ‘pani puri’ which is little hollow round crisp shells filled with chickpeas and tamarind sauce is added on top. Lovely. And for some reason, Chinese food in Bangladesh is phenomenal. Foreign food in restaurants everywhere is often catered to the local customers, so the Chinese food in Bangladesh often has extra spices added to it and it tastes delicious. I even found a Pizza Hut in Dhaka that was tastier than Pizza Hut in the UK!
Dhaka is the capital and notorious for its bad traffic nowadays, but it’s not really the end of the world. I visited Jamuna Future Park, which is a HUGE modern shopping mall and also where I found Pizza Hut. It’s so big that I couldn’t cover it all in a couple of trips and it would be easy to get lost. It is good for people who fancy some modern shopping with fixed price tags instead of haggling at markets.
I visited some of the University campuses just to have a look around and ate at some great restaurants. That always makes me happy! Bangladesh is a great place to explore and there are some other areas like Chittagong and Cox’s Bazaar that I would have liked to see as well. That may need to be saved for another trip.