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March 14th 2012
Published: March 15th 2012
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Jessore - Dhaka

Today I visited the World Heritage listed mosques scattered around the town of Bagerhat, the drive was very scenic and the roads for the most part surprisingly good. Bangladesh is very clean and very green in comparison to India, the roads are almost deserted and pollution is minimal.

I visited the Shait Gumbad Mosque built in 1459 and the largest and most magnificent traditional mosque in Bangladesh, the Singair Mosque and the Ronvijoypur Mosque which has the largest dome in the country still none of where a patch on the Mughal architecture of India. It was then on to Khan Jahan’s tomb and the Dargah Mosque which was surrounded by a solid wall and wasn’t very exciting despite the blessing I received from the imam and the pretty nearby lake with the crocodiles.

It was then off into the country side in search of the Hindu Khodla Math Temple built in the 17th century which was very attractive; however it was the villages that were the real attraction. Everything was so clean and pleasant, people were sweeping up leaves and self repairing pot holes in the road, there was no rubbish anywhere and everyone looked happy and healthy. There was also an absence of that awful stench that characterises India and other third world countries.

I decided to stop for a meal in Kulnha which is the town closest to the new bridge spanning the river, I ordered a light meal while the driver ordered course after course before getting up and leaving the bill for me. This has happened over and over and this time I became really angry and had ago at the bastard the nerve of these people is just unbelievable. On returning to Jessore I went to the airline office and changed my flight to the next morning, there is nothing else to do here and the actions of the driver have soured Jessore for me, perhaps I will have a few more of the illicit beers that Rabbani, one of the hotel staff is sourcing on my behalf, no doubt at inflated prices, but I can’t get it myself so I don’t complain.

The trip to the airport was scenic particularly from the back of a motorised rickshaw and I arrive in plenty of time for my flight, I expect no nourishment on my twenty dollar flight to Dhaka so I buy some crisps and a can of Sprite and spend the next thirty minutes debating whether Brett Lee is hero material with a dozen or so Bangladeshi men.

I then enter the departure lounge where the security staff examines my paper machete elephant, they seem quite impressed, they are delighted to meet a real Aussie and let me in well before my flight departure time after checking my manly strength with an arm wrestle. They are very friendly and later invite me to return for another round as I head for the plane.

The flight was short (forty minutes), but long enough to hand out copious amounts of food and drink for nothing, what wonderful service. The little man next to me owns a cruise ship in the Sunderbans and gives me his card while stating that the Indian Sunderbans where I went the other day was rubbish and that I should see his, he is probably right my trip there wasn’t great and they charged like a wounded bull . Perhaps one day I will return and take him up on his offer.

I caught a taxi from Dhaka’s little airport and was initially pleased at the speed of the trip until we entered the Gulshan area which is like a walled maze, we got stuck in traffic for quite some time which wasn’t pleasant in the heat. The hotel I went to was a disappointment it was old and certainly not worth the price they were charging for rooms. I went for a walk to try and find some food and was forced to out run the hoards of children that were stalking me, it turns out they wanted the soft drink can I had in my hand and not my money, once I handed it over they went away.

I found a KFC rip off for lunch before exchanging the rest of my Ruppees, by the time I returned to my hotel I was in a bad way, I returned to my room and was shivering, my skin was sensitive to the touch and I had a huge headache. I also was suffering from a serious case of the squirts, so I decided to take action and find a more pleasant place to stay so I rang a more luxurious hotel and asked them to come get me the next day at 8am.

When 8am came around I was really sick, but I dragged my bags down the stairs only to realise the promised ride was not coming, so I asked the desk clerk to ring me a cab, he claimed one wouldn’t come and sent one of his staff up the street to find a motorcycle taxi, by now I was sweating so profusely and feeling so bad I thought I would pass out, eventually I crawled into the back of the little vehicle and headed to the other hotel, my room there is actually cheaper and they have - Western food (no more Indian of Chinese for me), Internet, Hot water and TV that works. I had breakfast (included) then a shower and realised that self medication wasn’t going to help this time, so I staggered down stairs and into a bicycle rickshaw for the ride to a medical facility, a lady doctor examined me before sending me to a nearby pharmacy for a range of drugs, total cost for transport, consultation and drugs - eleven dollars.

I returned to the hotel took a handful of pills and passed out for three or four hours before ordering an interesting schnitzel like meal. The next time I left the hotel was when I left for the airport for my flight to Singapore, when I dragged my bags down the stairs at 5.30am I found all the staff asleep, I was supposed to have a car waiting, still within a few minutes everybody was awake and they had called for the driver, the trip took only about ten minutes and it was complimentary so I couldn’t complain.

At the airport I tried to change my Bangladeshi taka for Singapore dollars but they refused unless I could produce a receipt for the cash, I didn’t have one so I was forced to wander around the airport looking for things to purchase, there wasn’t much and what I did buy I didn’t particularly want. When I later boarded the plane i was moved to a better seat with improved leg room and eventually arrived in Singapore safe and sound.

In Singapore I checked in my bags then bought some bits and pieces for Ruth before checking into the airport hotel for a few hours sleep, later checking out at 10pm. I then had a bite to eat before bumping into Padraic near the waiting area so we had a few beers; Padraic had had my seat moved so we were seated together on the flight home which would have been fine if he hadn’t eaten whole raw garlic for lunch still it was pleasant enough trip home.

Additional photos below
Photos: 23, Displayed: 23


Rural BangladeshRural Bangladesh
Rural Bangladesh

Near Bagerhat
Fishing boatsFishing boats
Fishing boats

Near Bagerhat
Coconuts anyoneCoconuts anyone
Coconuts anyone

Near Bagerhat
The village of AyhodhyaThe village of Ayhodhya
The village of Ayhodhya

Eleven kilometres from Bagerhat
Village lifeVillage life
Village life


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