Blogs from Sylhet, Bangladesh, Asia


Asia » Bangladesh » Sylhet April 17th 2019

With no real expectations based on other peoples stories because we don’t know anybody who has ever visited nor any proper research we entered Bangladesh and were immediately engulfed by its chaos and the sheer numbers of people living in Dhaka, in what apparently is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries of the region and we have seen some of the worst living conditions. But we have also seen that Bangladesh is an extremely green and fertile country it being one big delta of 700 rivers with rice paddies, tea plantations, rubber plantations, pineapple gardens, a lot of bananas and an unbelievable number of watermelons. A lot of Bangladeshi live under the poverty line and especially in the rural places too many people cannot read ... read more
Rickshaw art
Rickshaw art
Rickshaw art

Asia » Bangladesh » Sylhet February 12th 2017

Day 1: I arrived in Sylhet at about 4:30am from a bus from Dhaka. I went and found a hotel and took a bit of a rest. Later I arranged for a car to take me to a nearby wetland. It took about 1 hour to get there on a mostly dirt road. Hopped on a boat for a leisurely cruise into the freshwater swamp. Saw a few interesting animals including an eagle, a snake and a small monkey troop.The boat guide took me around a bit on dry land as well. Back in town I went out for what was the best restaurant I had on my entire Bangladesh trip. Sylhet is full of families that have connections to London, and apparently many of the famous Indian chefs in London are actually from this area. ... read more

Asia » Bangladesh » Sylhet » Srimongol March 14th 2014

We had breakfast at 8.30 with fresh pineapple and a cup of tea. Our means of transportation for the day was a pickup truck, and we rode in the back like the locals, wind in our hair, sun on our face. We had no doubt our families back home would disapprove if they knew, but it felt incredibly liberating. And as long as the pickup doesn’t crash, it really isn’t a safety issue… We started out with a trek through a national forest that hosted a certain species of Gibbon monkeys, snakes, spiders, and wild boar. I was excited for some close encounters with half a zoo, though Rikke was not at all okay with the prospect of running into snakes. After an hour of walking with careful and as inaudible steps as possible on a ... read more
Forest trek
Tea workers

Asia » Bangladesh » Sylhet » Srimongol March 13th 2014

Since Monday was a holiday, we decided to take Sunday off and leave for an extended weekend trip to Srimongol from Thursday after work to Monday evening. Srimongol is a city in the tea producing Sylhet region, northeast of Dhaka. I was excited about the prospect of drinking lots of tea, but also more generally to be out of Dhaka and experience something new. We were picked up after work in a minivan, which started out by scraping its side against a parking column when it left the embassy. Not very comforting when you’ve read hundreds of horror stories in guide books about driving at night. But we managed to get to Srimongol in one piece, despite a few near-death experiences once it got dark. The busses down here act like the bulky playground bully, pushing ... read more

Asia » Bangladesh » Sylhet » Srimongol June 5th 2013

I have just returned from a much needed two day break from the city (and schoolwork) to the division of Sylhet. In this region I visited the town of Srimongol and it's lush outlying landscapes that offered an adventure I will never forget... Srimongol is a small town only about 185 km from where my home base is situated, but it takes approximately five hours to travel there given the state of the roads and the overwhelming traffic congestion. According to our guide, we were actually lucky that we didn't hit any "big jams" as the journey can often grow to be a seven hour drive if you do. On the way there we made multiple stops to photograph the scenery and to tour a rice factory. Once we arrived in the town, we stopped to ... read more
At the rice factory
Mosque off the highway
Bangladesh buffalo

Asia » Bangladesh » Sylhet » Srimongol April 23rd 2013

The last entry seemed a tad dreary and self-pitying, and certainly didn't do Bangladesh justice, so I thought I'd augment the blog with some of the numerous crazy and fascinating experiences I've managed to cram into a chaotic two weeks of endless bus delays, tribal festivities and hardcore backpacking that came to an end yesterday. I write now from Kolkata after taking an earlier-than-anticipated bus back over the border for fear of getting caught up in the huge hartel (strike) that's kicking off now. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I crossed the border - it was a stressful 48 hours, attempting to outrun the all-encompassing wave of strikes - but I can also treasure many unique memories from the plains to the hill tracts of Bangladesh. I devoted a large chunk of my ... read more

Asia » Bangladesh » Sylhet February 25th 2013

To check out another part of Bangladesh, I went bird watching with a couple colleagues on the northern border near India, in a wetlands area named Tanguar Haor. Before I moved to Bangladesh I had heard that it was the best place for bird watching in Asia. The whole country is a river delta. The Bradt guide says "If you're supremely adventurous or a keen birdwatcher (perhaps both), Sunamganj is where you'll want to head." It also mentions that it takes four days on a boat to do the round trip from Sunamganj to Tanguar Haor, staying on the boat at night and waking up surrounded by birds in the wetlands. A haor is a large depression in the earth, which creates a wetlands area. Water trickles in from nearby rivers and rains fill the depressions. ... read more
Farming the Dry Season
Living on the River

Asia » Bangladesh » Sylhet » Srimongol June 4th 2012

Everyone knows that Bangladesh is an overcrowded country and is losing greenery at an alarming rate to accommodate all these people in the cities. But still, as the overpopulation problem is more in cities, there still are some places where there are lush green fields and rivers and lakes -where we can run off to soothe our eyes from the fatigue of seeing traffic congestions and ears from hearing annoying noises that are parts and parcels of city life. I personally hate living in Dhaka city and love to take escapes close to nature. Sylhet is one such place- with rolling tea gardens and lakes and quiet roads that pass through the tea estates. Myself, my hubby and three of our friends had taken a weekend trip to Sreemongol (a part of greater Sylhet) to spend ... read more
Rural Bangladesh
Lush Green Fields

Asia » Bangladesh » Sylhet June 7th 2011

Here you can see the natural beauty of Haor (wetland) area. Where you can see the Mountain of Meghalaya are appeared on the horizon...... read more
Haor - photo by arif
Sunset at Haor (Wetland) - photo by arif
Sunset at haor

Asia » Bangladesh » Sylhet May 31st 2009

Biking Through the Tea Estates- 29/05/09 This morning I woke up thinking it would be a mellow day bike riding through the tea estates of Sylhet. However, I am quickly learning that nothing in Bangladesh is easy or relaxing. The bike shopkeeper was supposed to deliver fifteen bikes for the interns at 9 am to the Nirala Guesthouse. Of course, when we walked downstairs in the morning there was no one waiting. Two hours later, after much sweating and negotiation, we had fifteen shoddy bikes and a tour guide who neither spoke English nor knew the area. Heading out to Lowacherra National Park, we rode through lush forests, pineapple bushes, rubber plantations and beadle trees. Stopping at a little shop on the side of the road, I tried the infamous five layer tea. After finishing walking ... read more

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